31 March 2008
My Trad Dad
He's on the far left. With the Ballantine can in front of him. Vietnam- circa 1967. A quiet, no bullshit, Green Beret, A Team Leader in the Central Highlands. A fan of movies. Especially, The Wild Bunch. His favorite quote from Pike Bishop, "When you side with a man - - You stay with him. And if you can't do that you're like some kinda animal. You're finished. We're all finished." Abso-fucking-lutly.
He's not really a Trad. You'd never see him in a bow tie. Although, he was fond of short sleeve Madras button downs. Bleeding Madras of course. A Rolex Explorer he purchased in Vietnam for $200. A Randal Attack Survival he gifted me when I joined the Army. Along with a French Foreign Legion Para Jacket. Those Army issue glasses are certainly Trad but this man is hard to label.
A career Army officer, he was also an artist. Two paintings of his are in The Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC. He experimented with oil paint on strings of firecrackers and subscribed to the Evergreen Review.
At 16, I earned my third degree brown belt in Judo. I told him over phone and he told me when he was in a wheel chair he'd be able to kick my ass. Adding, "I'll bite your adams apple out and spit it in your face."
He's very sick now. I love him dearly.