Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's My Story and I'm Sticking To It

In January 1970 I came home from hot and steamy Vietnam and headed directly to Pease AFB in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where I spent long hours on the runways counting the days (471) until I would be a civilian again. Susan describes that entire time as "The longest winter I've ever lived through."  

We lived in a quadplex, next door to Rick and Marie, their adorable toddler, Rebecca, and their beautifully trained German Shepherd, Angel. Rick was a pilot and Marie was a quasi-hippie, which was the best you could be when you were an officer's wife, but she definitely had earned her credentials by being at the real Woodstock.  

When Rick wanted to have some cheap amusement he would convince me to put on a padded jacket and then work on training Angel to attack on command. You don't know fun until you've had a snarling German  Shepherd leap at you with all 376 pointed teeth on display.  

One of the interesting things we learned about snow was that as it piles up it buries everything in layers as each snowfall comes down. It looks beautiful until it starts to melt in the spring and then everything it had covered up melts down into the ground at once. This results in an incredible amount of fertilizer for the earth; that's why Spring is so vibrant up north.   But in between snowfalls you see frozen on the 4' snowbanks the reminders of might have been there.

You may not have known it but I'm also a poet.  One morning I wrote a poem for Susan to see when she woke up.

Ode To A Dog Turd
There is a frozen dog turd
Outside my kitchen window
Surrounded by a sea
Of soft virgin snow.
Good morning.
I love you.

In a desperate attempt to shed the trappings of being a maintenance officer, I took pottery lessons in Exeter at night, in an old building by a river. I kept the first one (top photo above) as it proves that yes, I can make wheel-thrown pieces. It is about 5" high. The second one is also about 5" high, Susan calls it "Nuclear Reactor" and it and the bowl were sold at the Student sale. Skip over more than 32 years -- everything I do now is hand-built.


Anonymous said...

Yo...'bro-in-law - you're awesome. So is my equally talented sister. You both continue to amaze! xxoo Gigi

ArtPropelled said...

A poet and I didn't know it :-)

mansuetude said...

love this poem
very classical lines.