NauenThen

April 24

April 24, 2017

Tags: The House

I always like to arrive at this date, because on April 24, 1971, my friend Beth & I hitchhiked down to D.C. for the last big anti–Vietnam War demonstration. She woke up smiling on the lawn in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the young man who happened to be sleeping next to her fell in love, & thus we fell in with The House, which has been my tribe and lodestone for 46 years now.

I've written about The House so much, today it's just a tip of the protest sign to these men & women I love & always will.

Veterans

November 11, 2016

Tags: The House

Bill. I managed not to get a photo of all of us.
Spending Veterans Day with 3 of my favorite vets:
Steve Willis
Gene Forrister
Bill McFarland

Three of the Air Force guys I originally met at or just after the last big anti–Vietnam War protest in D.C. in 1971. We have been fundamentally connected ever since. Bill had moved dozens of times in the last 35 years & only resurfaced a couple of months ago, so seeing him was incredibly wonderful. We are still & always The House.

I'm the only one who still has a (more…)

Amaze amaze

August 19, 2016

Tags: The House

I was grouchy when I got up—too muggy, spinning my wheels, no one getting back to me for an article that's due in less than a week, etc etc etc.

And then ... Something Happened.

Steve & I had tried many times to track down our old friend Bill from The House. We wondered if (more…)

War stories

November 11, 2015

Tags: The House

We were "Air Force hippies," our eyes opened to the unjust war in Vietnam only by doing as our fathers did, joining up. Or we were against the war, but thought the Air Force was different from the Army. Or we were antiwar protestors who reconsidered our contempt in order to be friends with soldiers. We were cynical about red-white-&-blue holidays but we loved our home ground & its people. We became friends then because of our politics & many of us remain friends now despite our politics.

More about The House

January 8, 2015

Tags: The House

I think it's that we all felt the same way about the House & knew that we did. Not every single person who passed through the doors, of course, but a lot of us. Most of us? That we are willing to say it. That we still & always felt & feel it.

Steve followed up with this reminiscence. All of it & more: (more…)

The House redux

January 7, 2015

Tags: The House

These Air Force (Farce) name badges of friends from long ago are of interest only to me (& a few others), I do know that, but that time in my life is still so alluring & resonant. Everything about it is in my cabinet of fascinations, and if I find (out) something new, I can live on it for days.

I remember so much yet knew so little about any of the guys. Maybe when we were 20 there wasn't that much to know. We had no pasts except (more…)

Many a slip

June 12, 2014

Tags: The House

I woke up so happy to have reconnected with one of my friends from the House after many years (decades!). In my head I had half a meditation written on old friends, formative years, another stab at trying to explain just what was so important about that time & place, how fantastically great it is to talk to Mike (more…)

1971

April 24, 2014

Tags: The House

I can't find my little cache of photos from The House. This was taken in 1979: Forrister, ?, me, ?, Billy McF
On this date, 43 years ago, my life changed. I hitchhiked to D.C. with my friend Beth to go to a large demonstration (500,000 of us!) against the Vietnam War. We slept overnight on the Mall & she woke up next to a guy who became her boyfriend for the next 3 years. I was stuck with his friends for the day, but they soon became of lifelong importance. We all lived in a hovel in Maryland known as The House. I learned to have fun & deep conversations, I discovered I had allies in this long strange trip, I still love Steve, Forrister, Phil, Theresa, Sam, Max, Paul E, Frenchy, Billy, Bill, George, the Man of Good Humor, Wayne, even Duane.

Breathing is also hard to put into words.