Monthly Archives: December 2009
For every dream that took me high there’s been a dream that passed me by . . . I know that’s so true. – Harry Chapin
It was the second day of May 1970. We were parked at Caldwell’s and Phillip was in the back seat spreading his smile and charisma through the car where LaWanda Frost, and I (and maybe Susan
Smith . . . I can’t remember) were all talking about LaWanda and me getting married the next night. Phillip was my best man. All of us were members of the PHS …
After I told Phillip what had happened we were both fairly certain our trip to Mexico factored in somehow, but where? Everything appeared to be going so smooth.
On the day of the procedeing I put on my blue uniform and polished my shoes. Phillip walked with me to the end of the Dormitory hall and we stood at the door and talked for a few minutes. I
turned and started walking to the location where the Captain’s Mast was being held . . . a full court gymnasium which struck me as …
Perhaps it was because he was in such great physical condition, but Philip began recovering quickly and within a couple of days he is watching television at the dormitory while I am off to wax and
buff floors. He razzes me about that in a “Phillip Long” kind of way that even makes me laugh. I am just glad he is getting up and around.
The one thing that isn’t recovering is his spirit about the Navy.
I sleep with one ear listening for Phillip to come through the door at any time. Saturday morning comes and not a word. With every passing hour I am more and more concerned.
There is not a word the entire day on Saturday and other than going for meals I had not left the room. I went to bed Saturday night nearly out of my mind between worry for Phillip and fear of the
court martial coming if his body is found in Mexico somewhere. I just keep asking myself how I allowed myself …
When I stepped into the street the city had transformed itself from when we had entered. It was now lit up in a sinister kind of way and only about a block down on the left was the brightest building of all calling itself The Palace. “How could anyplace in this hell hole call itself a palace,” I questioned. I looked at my watch. It was nearing 9:30 PM. Still early. I decided to check out this so called palace while I waited for Phillip to get over the romance he was having. Continue reading
We graduated from basic, returned home for 30 days leave where it was nice to not be called a maggot for four weeks. Arriving back in San Diego Phillip and I began to explore and soon found ourselves in Tijuana, Mexico. Continue reading
The next chapter in this story is a very sensitive one. There is one person who may stumble across it someday that I must write something personal to her if she happens to pass this way. Continue reading
The flight arrived at San Diego about midnight. On the way out Phillip had charmed the hostess into serving us drinks. I am sure she knew we weren’t 21, but Phillip had told her we were joining the service and I suppose she figured it didn’t hurt.
pretty tall when we got off the plane. That would quickly change.
Graduation is only weeks away. In small town Pampa, Texas the US Navy recruiter wants Phillip and me to enlist as “buddies” and promises us the moon. We saw stars and before we could change our minds he had our signatures on the bottom line. Continue reading