Like I said in the title, I have nothing in mind to write about. This blogging is kinda addictive, but when nothing comes to mind to write about, it is sort of frustrating. I am surprised by the response I have received on my last outing, ” Gals Of The Old West”. Seems like I have had more than several hits a day since I posted it. Just a short time ago I dug out the other books that have the necessary material in them to continue. While I know the women I want to write about, many of the dates and associtated names elude me. The two I wrote about Annie Oakley and Belle Starr, are familiar because I have read and studied them both many times in the past. Several of the others I intend to cover are Calamity Jane, Little Charlie Parkhurst, Pearl Heart, and the youngsters Cattle Annie and Little Britches. There also are the Ladies of the Evening in the wings, along with some of the Calvary Wives. Lord you better hope that I don’t get started on the gun hands and lawmen, I might never find a stopping point. As you can see along with the Civil War I have a deep interest in the Old West, it’s people and equipment.
To change the subject now, Something jogged my memory the other day on censiorship. In the mid sixties I remember some damn old Bi#@hwas trying to get the Edgar Rice Burrows book about “Tarzan removed from the City of Downey city Library because Tarzan and Jane were living together unmarried. Apparently she did not read the book because in the first book delt with Tarzan’s birth and upbringing, adding to the improbability he discovered his father and mother’s tree house where he found his knife which he named the big tooth. He also discovered some books and figured out their purpose, and taught his self to read (huh). Yes,, he rescues Jane and considered her personal property for a time but not as a wife. And in old Edgar’s day sex was not mentioned at all. In the second book Tarzan follows Jane and her father, a New York Judge, to America and tries to live as a civilised person. However as the criminals of the streets of New York soon finds out muggers beware (they never have had their throats ripped out by someones teeth before). The mob kidnaps Jane to force the Judge to throw out a case against the mob boss. Taking Jane to the Catskill Mountains where our tree swinger strips off his clothes and is in his element to effect Jane’s rescue. The Judge, Dad, marries Tarzan and Jane before they return to the jungle for a number of adventures in more books. I read most of these as a bored United States Marine in 12 Area on Camp Pendelton, in California. the Area Library was adjacent to my barracks and I was a frequent visitor to the establishment. I believe it was run by civilians or Marine wives. Next door was a small theater where I watched “My Sister Ilene” preformed by a theater trope of young officers and their women. Also while in this area I served on Mess Hall Duty and set penn’s at the four lane bowling alley one Sunday afternoon for a couple of the Cook’s and their dates (it never hurts to have a “in” with a cook, as a previous chapter explains in my desert Field exercise at Twenty Nine Palms shows).
Speaking of Twenty-nine Palms reminds me, I receive weekly a news letter entitled Sgt. Grit. It it is hard core Marine, containing letters from Active, Inactive Marines (we aren’t ex or former), and their families. On letter was about the home coming of Twenty-nine Palms Marines from Iraq and the parade of Motorcycles leading them home and spectators and family members waving their flags as the buses arrived. A second was even longer by a old inactive Marine who went to see the arrival of a Marine reserve Unit returning home to Illinois. He said he talked to a guard at the gate to ask when they were expected arrive. He was told that he did not know for sure as they would deplane two states away. But he said that the bus convoy would be escorted from the airport to the state line by the state patrol. At the next state line that’s state patrol would pick up the convoy all across the state. at the Illinois State line the Illinois state Troopers motorcycle force would lead the convoy home. When the roar of motorcycles was heard in the distance the crowd went wild, A two mile gauntlet of USA and Marine flag waving people were cheering and clapping before the first Trooper came in sight as the State Force motored by it was followed by an almost two mile long escort of various bikers with American and Marine Corps flags flying on the back of their bikes many with their jackets festooned with Marine Corps emblands. The old Marine said it took almost fivteen minutes for the first bus to come into sight. Then the cheers and clapping intensified. He related how after the last buss rolled on to the reserve grounds and the Marines began disembarking the families flooded onto the grounds to greet their Marines. One such incident he said he would never forget was a mother standing there holding the hands of two small boys by the hands as they each clutched a American flag in the other hand. Finally a Marine walked around the back of the buss and the little guys broke free and ran to him Daddy was home.
Each week I read stories like these and it almost brings tears to my eyes. Some are from mothers or fathers writing to tell the loss of their sons and sometime even a daughter. Often the passing of a old Marine is told, and many remembrances of boot camp from as far back as the forties are recounted. The saddest in my opinion are the stories of the Viet Nam era Marines and the difficulty they have struggled with for years. Then there is the story last night of the young female college student who has decals on her car for her Marine brother. She returned to her car after class and noted a paper on the window, reading it, it said simply “Simper Fi, the blue pickup to your right” She looked and it had it’s share of Marine stickers on it.
Well you probably have guessed by now that I am most definitely one of those old inactive Marines. I wish us old farts were in good enough shape and they would let us take some of the slack off of the young kids. We are still as Gung Ho as ever and have had our chance at life, many of us would go in a heart beat, cause the patriotism beats loud and strong in our proud breast. And Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying any “Senator who does anything to destroy or lower the moral of our fighting men are traitors and should be dealt with accordingly”. Amen Abe,,, DIG -Nancy, Teddy, John, Diane and Barbara?