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Local Focus – Global Reach

The cold air chews through my clothes,
gnawing on these old bones.
The air crisply attacks my nose
as I shiver with the coldness.
A warm hat on my head
with flaps to protect my ears.
Gloves with a warm lining
keep the fingers writing.
I don't like this Winter chill
especially when it's still Summer.

Pulling into the Chi Chi Jima Harbor, I could see
a rusted hulk of a tanker, sitting idly
in the harbor of this beautiful island.
It has been many years, quite awhile
and thinking of it, made me smile.
This island, all hilly and green
was used to fuel the propaganda machine.
This all happened, as I suppose
you have heard of that person, "Tokyo Rose"?
The radio tower, is down on the ground
and no longer broadcasts a musical sound.
The propaganda was full of inaccurate news,
but the music was good, so what's to lose?
Directed at young men and our boys,
Rose played with their emotional toys.
Those days now gone, no longer here,
all I wanted now, was the free beer.
The Captain had provided a picnic lunch
and we obliged by eating and drinking, a bunch.
Budweiser and Philippine San Miguel beer.
That's all the news wanted here,
of course, excluded were some men on the ship,
as they "had the duty" and missed the trip.

We were young and a pair of fools,
Who played hard, when we could,
Breaking all the known rules.
Frank was my close friend.
He became my best man.
We would go out to drink beer,
From bottles, not from a can.
Frank had a 47 Ford, Turtleback
And mine was a 47 Plymouth Coupe.
We would cruise through the 'Burg,
Around the block, doing a big loop.
We liked the noise of the cars
And would exchange our mufflers
With Smittys, glaspaks and
Were nice sounding with Echo cans.
We would cruise the town, like LeMans.
Noise from the Smittys were not crass
And when we cruised by the stores,
We could rattle the window glass.
Those were the days; no more to see
For most of my friends
Are now sweet history.

In the navy, back in the day,
on board a ship, all painted grey.
Our ship, the USS Marsh, Destroyer Escort,
tied up to Buoy 21, when in port
of San Diego. Many sailors, at this time
would have Liberty for shipmates mine.
Not wanting a uniform was the rub,
civilian clothes, banned on our ship,
not wanting uniforms, to look hip.
Joining a locker club, where you could keep,
your clothes on hangers, not in a heap,
on the floor. The Seven Seas was the club for me,
where my civilian clothes would always be,
when we were at sea. Liberty would
be the call, to lockers of steel not wood,
where we could change clothes, most certainly,
at the Sevens Seas for a small monthly fee.

I recall, from so long ago,
being at a local establishment,
one evening so clear,
that I was dancing with my Mother,
and it was dear.
I said to her, with a grin,
"Mom how come your wedding anniversary
was in June the same
year I was born, in December?"
She looked at me and said, "The first one
comes at anytime, the rest
takes nine months", you see?
I said to her, " most certainly."
I was thirty-two, while she was fifty-one.
I miss you Mom.

Down in the Yakima Canyon,
Oh my sakes alive,
Did that speedometer
Pass ninety-five?
Back in the day,
Gas was 29 cents a gallon.
No emission equipment,
No four cylinder banger,]
Just big V-8's,
With plenty of horses.
Mufflers were replaced
With a Smitties, glass packs
And shiny echo cans,
Protruding under the back.
Did they make noise?
You bet they did,
After all we were still
Being a kid.
I liked to drive fast
And race if I could.
Not legal of course,
But we understood,
That we were,
Invincible.
The folly of youth
Was where we were at.
The king of the road
Or something like that.

The story was...
From out of the heavens, it did fall.
A mysterious object, that's what I recall.
It wasn't located for many a year,
So the search, no longer did appear,
When by chance, on a Spring day,
It was discovered by children at play.
The object, was oblong, three feet in length
And took several children, using their strength,
To hoist into a wagon, a Radio Flyer.
The wagon was pulled through rock and mire,
Arriving home, where the dirt was hosed off.
Washing away they heard a small cough;
Now getting louder, from this space thing,
When the object suddenly began to sing.
Getting out tools, a gentle process began.
Suddenly there appeared a small little man.
A man/woman, unlike you or I.
The small creature then uttered a sigh
And said in a unique, accented tongue.
"Are you adults? For you appear very young."
This creature was thin like an axe.
For practical purposes, we named it Max.
We kept Max hidden, long after that,
It's size was about like a feral cat.
Many days and nights became years.
The lesson learned, was Harness Your Fears.
Max is gone now, I don't recall how,
But the lessons learned, we could use now.
That's our story, so in the end
Let's call it a happening. Let just pretend.

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