Archived Story

Revisiting Vietnam in memory

Published 4:08pm Saturday, January 21, 2012

“In this postmodern world, cultural conflicts are becoming more dangerous than anytime in history. A new model of coexistence is need is needed, based on man’s transcending himself.” — the late Vaclav Havel


Vaclav Havel said once, “… I think there are good reasons for suggesting that the modern age has ended. Today many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way out and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, decaying, and exhausting itself, while someone else, still indistinct, were arising from the rubble.”

There is more: “Man as an observer is becoming completely alienated from himself as a being.”

I guess it has a male ring to it.  I will nudge a few more Havel sayings along the way. I’m trying to complete this column while in the conference room at Austin Manor where I spend portions of time working with the residents.

Over the years I have spent some time as a teacher here in Austin that wasn’t good so I ran off to California and started teaching in Mira Loma. That worked well and eventually that made way for the draft and that eventually leading to Duc Pho Vietnam where we became acquainted with each other. Jim Hinkle was the first friend I met on the flight to Hawaii from California.

Hinkle was moved across the street from the Duc Pho Catholic Orphanage. Not so long after that Jim drove over a command detonated 155 round. He died a couple weeks later in Japan along with a couple other soldiers.

Thursday I will be going to Duluth to share my CD of my story of Vietnam that will be called “You Beau Coup Dien cadau.” Steve Burton assisted in making the CD, something way beyond my capability.

Mello and Fred will have to put up without me for a couple days and they, with Jeanne’s assistance and their barking, will continue as the work is being done with the builders.

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