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Family & Memorial Day

Old Glory at Los Angeles National Cemetary

Old Glory at Los Angeles National Cemetary

Foto by Paul Wilder

I was hanging with my family all day yesterday and chose not to mess with the computer. I phoned my friends who are surviving vets and we all honored Memorial Day… and the fallen.

Uncle Tarmo

Uncle Tarmo

Foto by Paul Wilder

Uncle Tarmo survived North Africa, Sicily and from the boot on up. He died in a Memphis VA hospital from lung cancer. My Father and Uncle Pen were also WWII Vets. I never met Tarmo… but I still miss Pen and Dad.

Honor Memorial Day!

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  1. mark k
    May 30th, 2018 at 14:39 | #1

    I was just thinking about my dad who would have been 100 this June. He certainly was of a different generation and served in WW2 first in England in the Army Air force and later in Alamogordo NM. Interestingly he kept the secret until he was in his 80’s that he was one of the radio operators in the bunker with the scientists at the Trinity site and witnessed the first A Bomb. In those days when they were sworn to secrecy they kept their word. He was a master carpenter, a true artist in his own right. He raised us 5 children, stayed married to my mom for nearly 70 years and sacrificed dreams of travel and adventure for us without complaint. I didn’t always see the sacrifices he made, but he did help shape me to become the man I am today. I cannot recall anyone ever saying a bad word about him and he was always the happiest man in the room, even into his 90’s when he suffered from Alzheimer’s. I can only wish that I am half the man he was and I am ever grateful.

  2. johno
    May 30th, 2018 at 19:41 | #2

    Just a beautiful tribute to Tarmo Kaukonen.

  3. Tom Fabry
    May 31st, 2018 at 08:09 | #3

    To all the Volunteers and non volunteers for and of America who have died in all our past wars and who have been wounded in all ways in our past wars, I ask for the blessings of God and Christ on and in their souls. May all those who have gone before us and are in a position to intercede for us do so.
    For all those who have protested unjust wars, may they too be consoled.
    Prayers for our current troops, and special forces in dark and dangerous places, may they protected right now and going forward. Amen

    “Oh the First World War, boys
    It closed out its fate
    The reason for fighting
    I never got straight
    But I learned to accept it
    Accept it with pride
    For you don’t count the dead
    When God’s on your side.”
    Bob Dylan

  4. Andy K
    May 31st, 2018 at 08:57 | #4

    Thank you for a deserving tribute to all those who sacrificed for us all.
    I lost my dad last year. He was extremely proud of being a WWII vet.
    He didn’t avoid combat by repeatedly seeking military deferments citing bone spurs.
    And, yes, you are an American hero if you are unfortunately captured while in combat.
    A tribute to all those that serve – they deserve!

  5. Andriy
    May 31st, 2018 at 17:20 | #5

    Jorma, one of my new beach friends invited me to the house where the parents of his boss lives. World War Two veterans in his family were there uncles who served in pacific and Europe. They are very involved with veterans groups and helping them. This is another great thing about living in America, people are free to give help to others and military veterans have a lot to offer here.

  6. Andriy
    May 31st, 2018 at 17:24 | #6

    Who could you possible be referring to here? ( the part of comment deferrals and bone spurs)@Andy K

  7. Andriy
    June 1st, 2018 at 14:11 | #7

    Don’t be afraid to answer or just say it: John is a hero. Trump avoid many times to serve. Americans have freedom of speech. I am a American citizen now so next election I can vote. Americans have this right to vote not like Russian where Putin never lose election. Russian election recent there were protests and the people were dragged like not human beings to be arrested and little kids 12 years old arrested . America is a great country and to be Americans is great. ( p.s. there is no breeding population of wolves in upstate New York. You go up there you post comments here, you ever see wolves there?!). Don’t follow foolish leaders. Especially on blog comments .)

  8. Brian Doyle
    June 2nd, 2018 at 00:34 | #8

    Andriy: In 1968 the Chicago police ripped in to protesters, broke skulls, and beat them bloody…In 1970 National Guard shot unarmed college students at Kent State University killing 4…Permanent power is everywhere…

  9. Rich L
    June 2nd, 2018 at 09:18 | #9

    “The police are not here to create disorder, they are here to preserve disorder.” _Mayor Richard J Daley

    Growing up in the 60’s, was a special place in time. The Kennedy’s and King assassinations, Vietnam, Civil Rights, The Cuban Missile crisis, an awakening of enviromental concerns.

    it was also a time though of ice cream trucks, daily baseball or football games across the street in the field we so meticulously maintained. (Moms flour pot got used for baselines more than once.) It was afternoon thunder storms and bright rainbows. My grandma had us convinced there was a pot of gold under the rainbow. We’d jump the creek and try and find it, but the damn rainbow kept moving.

    it was a mad crush on Paulette Gratkowski in 8th grade, even though she didn’t know I existed. it was walking through the halls in high school, and seeing a riot break out between blacks and whites. I was in the hall one day and all hell broke loose. Five young black kids approached me and were ready to open up the proverbial can of whoop ass on me. One of the brothers took a look at me and said, “He’s ok, he’s on the basketball team.” True story.

    It was driving Ralen Jones home after practice, and him telling me, “Just leave me off at the corner.” I said no way, I,m taking you to your house. It was a worn down house, and had candles in the window. I think Ralen was embarrassed about it, but things don’t make good people, their character does. Ralen was a good apple.

    It was heading down to the induction office, my draft number was 53. The year before I would have been sent off to Vietnam. my year, you had to take a physical just in case, but the war was finally coming to an end. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the soldiers who went to Vietnam, but I’m glad I didn’t have to go.

    Of course, it was the time of the British invasion, Southern Rock, Psychedelic Rock and an explosion of sound known as Motown. So much wonderful music. s”Scuse me, while I kiss the sky.” It was also a time of experimentation with drugs…thankfully I emerged relatively unscathed.

    Brian, no doubt we’ve had our problems in this great country. I still would definitely take it over communism. Democracy is no doubt a messy entity; but eventually we seem to get it right. I just sort of wish the fate of the world was not in the hands of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

    Thinking back on the 60’s sort of reminds me of Jorma’s great line in The Third Week In The Chelsea; “So I walked into a little room, that whistled like a sigh.”

  10. Kevin
    June 2nd, 2018 at 11:17 | #10

    @Rich L
    You just described my childhood too, as well as many more folks on here.

    That whole verse from “Chelsea” is one of my favorite from Jorma/Airplane. It speaks volumes in those 5 lines about what life was like before and even what was to come after that point in time. It’s only a couple more months, but can’t wait for that book.

    I love how Jormas and Graces voices blend in that song. I can hear it as I type. In fact most of my favorite Airplane songs are with Grace and Jorma on vocals.

    On an early New York mornin’ a mirror in the hall
    Showed to me a face I didn’t know at all
    Lines were drawn around a pair of eyes that opened wide
    When I looked into the mouth there was nothing left inside
    So I walked into the little room and whistled like a sigh

  11. carey georgas
    June 2nd, 2018 at 11:51 | #11

    @Rich L Excellent summation.

  12. johno
    June 2nd, 2018 at 12:57 | #12

    Great song. Very trippy!
    @Kevin

  13. June 2nd, 2018 at 16:49 | #13

    I have never considered myself a trippy writer except by accident. Of all the adjectives I might think of to describe this song… ‘trippy’ is not one of them. I would consider ‘trippy’ to be dismissive and trivializing. Just sayin’!

  14. rich l
    June 2nd, 2018 at 17:20 | #14

    I’m not sure what the right word to describe that song is – I want to say melancholic, but there is a definitely looking ahead to a new horizon twist. Johno, did your trippy description have more to do with the intro with Will, Jack and Jorma. That jam could go on forever as far as I’m concerned. The entire song is aboit as close to perdection as you can get!

  15. Kevin
    June 2nd, 2018 at 21:10 | #15

    I’d call it introspective and life changing.

  16. johno
    June 3rd, 2018 at 12:01 | #16

    Jorma by “trippy”, I meant psychedelic – to be on a higher consciousness.

  17. HOGAN
    June 4th, 2018 at 13:31 | #17

    Thank you for your service gentlemen. May you rest in peace…