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“Can’t Leave It Alone.”

December 9, 2015

65 Ralston

Todd and I at lunch time are across Redhill Avenue from the Marine Helicopter Base at Santa Ana.  See the Volks across the way next to the pickup?  Might or might not be ours.  We had a friend with one, too.  I don’t know what the little building was all about.  Picture must have been taken in 1971.

December 8, 2015

I have computer diary I call, “Can’t Leave It Alone,” that I, well, can’t leave alone.  Every day or two I add to it.  The newest entries are at the top, at the beginning, always.  I suppose the oldest entries are down there, somewhere, probably turning to coal, like the ferns and trees of the pleistocene.  At this moment I am adding to the drivel.  I’m trying to get into a groove.  Like uh this.  MMM.

So often my paragraphs start with “I.”  Contrariwise, if I’m writing about my lost maternal Uncle Carl, all my paragraphs start with “he.”  Or, I should say, “He.”  I gained this knowledge from my writer’s workshop.

I’m duty bound to forgive you if your paragraphs all start with “I.”

So much news lately has been, at best, troubling.  Well, there’s the shootings.  This makes me so sad for the families left behind and the victims who must live with terrible wounds.  I imagine months, years of rehabilitation and nursing facilities.  Great expense.  Then there’s the bullshit espoused by the King of Krap himself to lump Muslims into a group to be feared.  If I think very much I get feeling down.

I bring up the news because, damn it!  I feel like I’m in the Christmas spirit!  Two days ago our Senior Minister, at the Church of the Fervently Religious, allowed me to assist him in administering the rite of Communion.  Oh, I told my sister all about it.  Yes, I embellished it a bit, but I did tell her how I got to lift a cube of bread (delicious, tasted like it was made with molasses) and declare that this was, well, bread!  “Take and eat!”  Then we all took and ate.  This echoed all through our family’s early days of going to church.  That is, when our little new family used to go to church together, back in the early 1970s.

In the early years, P. and I lived in a humble WW II-era apartment, constructed just outside the Marine base at Santa Ana, California.  Of course, the weather was mild all year there.  We had a little oil stove for heat.  You turned on the little spigot and heating oil dripped into a little chamber lined, perhaps with sand.  Then you dropped in a match and the oil burned and the stove heated up and the place got warm.  I think there was an oil tank out there somewhere with copper tubes that ran into each apartment, to the stoves.

Anyhow, P. and I were new parents.  We had Todd, an enthusiastic and cheerful baby.  What a fun kid!  I used to walk him around the sidewalk up and down where the apartments were to introduce him to the world as I knew it.  I introduced him to the other GIs that we encountered, such as Corporal Pratt.

Soon we had a second child, Robert.  The officer’s wives went bananas.  Then we had layettes.  Or one layette.  Amounted to a bunch of diapers, a rattle, and a blanket.  Possibly two diaper pins.  P. used to wear a diaper pin on her shirt like a sheriffs badge.

We had no money for entertainment.  I mean none.  However, on Sundays, the base chapel cost nothing to attend.  The price was right, the entertainment was sufficient.  Plus, the old officers and non-commissioned officers loved us!  I guess we were the only young enlisted families that thought about going to church.

That’s where the minister, a Navy Chaplain really, would lift up the wafer and admonish us to “take, and eat.”

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