Wednesday, May 5, 2010
'the weekend I came home was that same weekend of the Kent State incident. And after going through all that, and coming home one of seven survivors in my platoon, after I'd fought for my country to come home to them killing people just 60 miles from my home...the whole rest of my military career was in a different light after that'
' from here to that wall was every weapon the military had at the time. We had them just stockpiled, and they threw mortars in there and the ground shook for days like an earthquake. And there were seven of us left alive. And they handed us shovels and said "you're on body bag detail" so we had to go around and clean up whatever pieces were left'
'After that and before I came home I was on this Air Force base where, I'm pretty sure those guys didn't even know we had a war going on'
Yesterday on the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State Incident, I heard a whole new viewpoint on that incident. Growing up I was always fascinated by the events of that day. My mother knew some people who were involved in the incident, so I'd heard those stories. It was always a topic of interest of mine, it was one of those things that really got to me. And it happened in Ohio. Now, all these years later, it affected me in a new way listening to the stories from a Vietnam Vet as I tattooed him, and getting a new feeling, how it affected him so deeply, you could hear it in his voice and in the way that he told the stories, jumping around from thing to thing where some points were hard to connect in the stories, but it's all pretty mind blowing.
He didn't only bring me cool war stories, but he also has a collection of all sorts of memoribilia which I got to take a peek into. He brought in a great photo album, with photos from all over when he traveled everywhere on motorcycles after he got home from the war. Unfortunately I didn't make copies of some of that, he has some photos of old bikes that I know some buddies of mine would drool over. Just some great 1970s biker photos, business cards, stickers, and an old newspaper article from a way back easyriders show where he got his rather large harley tattoo on his back for $120! That I did copy and I'll try and get a pic up on here. He also gifted the shop an old Spider Webb book that I remember looking at in my past but god knows when or where.
After 14+ years of tattooing I've heard a lot of amazing stories, and I've forgotten more than I've remembered, but sometimes you get something that sticks out in your mind. Yesterday was one of those moments, so thanks Monty, we'll see you soon.