Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sounds and Sights of My Life, 1969

Monday Mystery Tour
August 13, 2012

This "Tour" is from a place I traveled to a long time ago. The trip was all expenses paid and took me around the globe.

This YouTube video was made from snapshots. Most of them taken in the Republic of Vietnam in 1969 when I served in the US Army’s 25th Infantry Division. A few of them were taken a short time after I returned home. None of these depict the ravages of war from a standpoint of the death and destruction or combat operations. Read that to mean there are no dead bodies or photos of people shooting guns.

What is evident by some of these photos are the grim facial expressions on some and the terrain in the background as well as the armament by way of vehicles and weapons. Also, there are many with smiles on our faces. War was not a 24/7 affair. We were not locked into mortal combat every minute of every day.

The soundtrack is unique in the fact that it was recorded on a small battery powered boxy cassette recorder that was simply activated as we were in a bunker in a base camp near the city of Tay Ninh. I’m sure there was pot and alcohol involved. Down time like this was a time to let loose.

It is about nine minutes long. Having these memories as a YouTube video doesn’t allow the viewer to dwell on any one photo for long unless you have the stop gap capability on the equipment you are using to view the video. Of course I have the original cassette tape and the actual photos. I also have more tapes of other times during my stay in Vietnam, and a 10 minute piece of video taken during my last days in country. I offer to share this part of my life on my Round Circle blog.

Enjoy the film, enjoy the music.



Jeannie said...

Looks like it should be part of a dramatic movie of the period.

GlorV1 said...

First of, I hope you are doing well. Wow, that was some video. Intense to me. One of my cousins was killed in action and I knew a few people who were there. It was indeed a very tense and scary time but it also was a time of change for all of us. Thank you for sharing this video. Well done and I salute you.

Spadoman said...

Thanks Jeannie, thanks Gloria. I appreciate your visit here.


Mel said...

How can you not adore the sound track with the ad libbing going on? And the photos--gosh, sir.....they're a part of what memories are made of. I'm glad there were some good ones along with the difficult ones. And I'm amazed that you'd share them here, with us.
I hope it was a healing process for you, a good exercise in the balance of memories....cuz undoubtedly there were some very bittersweet times....a blend of joyful youth and the loss of innocence. *sigh*

There's a heavy sadness I feel, jumbled up with a few smiles that were presented here. It's good to see the broader picture--to celebrate some of the goodness in a crappy situation, to celebrate lives that were joined, no matter how long......

And thank you for sharing them and this with us.

Spadoman said...

Thanks Mel, just a load of thanks. It meant a lot to me to share this with you, and yes indeed, it had healing for myself all over it. Hearing my own voice, remembering I made friends.m I cry and will continue to cry. I know that war is never over until we die. Doing this allows me peace.

Much Peace to you.

Kim Mailhot said...

I was struck hardest by two things. One was how muddy and rough the environment was. I think I knew this from other depictions, but somehow it really hit me here.
And the other thing, and more poignant to me, was how young you all were. So very young and experiencing something so horrific, life-transforming and beyond your control in so very many ways. Even the smiles and "play" were haunted by that, completely.
Once again, I am blown away by how far you have come from there, Man. I know it will always be a part of you, but to have arrived at a point in your life where you have relative peace in your heart and have learned to let love in, and give it back out so freely...that is a bravery that I am in awe of, truly.
You said in your comment above that sharing these images and memories allows you peace. I am grateful for that. It brings me a great deal of gratitude for my precious and peaceful life.
Sending you light and love.

Spadoman said...

Kim.... Thank you so much for your visit here. I know every photo, where and when they were taken. We tore up that country, that's one reason the terrain looks so rough. Monsoon season and tracked vehicles. I appreciate how you think of me. If you see it, something has worked as far as healing goes, I am blessed in many ways. Thanks so much for your thoughts.


Lea said...

I was eleven years old when you made these recordings of song and picture. I had no clue as to what was going on, except that the man that was going to marry my aunt wasn't coming home. I miss Gary to this very day. I have seen pictures like these before, but never with someone I know, it brings me to a whole other level of feelings... thank you Joe for sharing these with us, slivers of the joy and pain and who you are today. Much love to you and Mrs. Spadoman for creating this view into your life.

Spadoman said...

Thank you Lea.