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.


Anonymous said...

Trad or not, your dad sounds like a great guy. Hope he is feeling better soon.

Anonymous said...

Trad Dad? Definately not. He defined his own style... whatever is the opposite of "sissy"...that seemed to be it. Maybe somewhere between Steve McQueen and "Rat Patrol"?
I only met him once. He was short and square but his handshake was big and powerful. It was like holding a leg of lamb.
He left quite an impression.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

Greenies, Tintin, a different breed of critter. I had contact with them in the Nam--they'd contact my platoon of the AirCav needing medical treatment, usually minor though occasionally a GSW needed to airlifted to Danang or Chu Lai. But they frankly gave me the chills. I wish your dad a speedy recovery.
Beau in Seattle

Alice Olive said...

Lovely post.

Caroline said...

beautiful post. and a gorgeous photograph!

phrannie said...

Tintin, we loved how eloquently you described your Trad Dad, you sure are a talented writer. He sounds like our kind of guy (and so do you). The Vietnam War will never end; nevertheless, you have done a service for our country and younger generation by posting it.

Richard said...


I really enjoy reading your blog, and I am a regular reader. I just never comment. I have also enjoyed reading the Ask Andy Trad Forum about my blog. I know some speculated that I was a member on that particular forum, but I am afraid they are wrong! However, I do read from time to time. I think you are the gent who wanted me to use paragraphs. Well, I do, but when I hit publish post it clumps all the paragraphs together. If you know how to solve this problem, please share! Thanks again for having a wonderful blog, and I would love to add you to my list of links if you allow me.

Take Care,

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post. Best wishes to your father.

tintin said...

Anon 5:29,
Many thanks for your kind comments as well as observations. The Leg of Lamb handshake is dead on.
You are very kind. Vietnam seems so far away but oddly close with the war in Iraq. The more things change...?
Thanks for looking. The Trad boards at Ask Andy are always fun, cynical, generous, snarky and never boring. I am honored you would like to include my link. Feel free to. And I always just hit return twice for a para. Although, I'm still learning Blogger myself. You have great style for a 30year old.