Sunset - June 2, 2020

Sunset - June 2, 2020

Monday, July 4, 2011

Voices From the Past...

It had been 43 years since they last saw each is hard to imagine what it was like for them so long ago. Both in their early 20's, fresh out of Army Aviation School and wearing new silver wings that indicated they were qualified to fly a helicopter. Sent far away from family and home, they encountered heat, humidity, monsoons and an enemy that remained invisible a good part of the time. Villages and coastal areas with names like Ninh Hoa, Tuy Hoa,  & Nha Trang and meeting people who spoke a different language than English...such a different world compared to where and how they had both grown up in. Both men returned home safely. One served a 2nd tour with different names...Da Nang, Camp Evans, DMZ. One returned to settle in the South where he had been born and the other eventually moved to the Upper Mid-West. Careers continued on, families were raised, retirement and health issues became a way of life.

It is now the Summer of 2011 and silver wings, mementoes and old photographs are displayed and stored on shelves. Instead of flight suits, blue jeans and t-shirts are the dress of the day.  Time has taken on a different meaning from those youthful days. Packing up an RV and heading out on the road becomes a reality instead of "someday." Travel can now be in which ever direction the wind blows - whereever old friends reside and have room to park a motorhome. 
And that is how we spent this past week - welcoming Bill and Susan to our neck of the woods. Once again, the names of villages were spoken of, old buddies recalled and missions flown. It seemed like many sentences started with..."were you there when..." or "do you remember when..." or "whatever happened to..." echoing across the years. 

When they weren't comparing notes on the last 4 decades, we spent some time showing them Northern Wisconsin and being holiday tourists. After viewing the beautiful glass works and other art exhibitions at Leigh-Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, we strolled around the peaceful grounds outside. 

Susan, relaxing in the shade back at the house
A day spent in Minocqua served up tempting little stores...
We passed up most of the trinket shops but couldn't resist the lure of handmade candies...seems like all four of us have a sweet tooth.

Bill - trying to decide!!!

And there were quiet little corners with summer plantings...

Time together went quickly and points West awaited our friends. Bill has taken a welcomed break from extensive chemo (he states he is a Life Member of the Agent Orange Club)  and this summer they want to just enjoy life. 
 They hope to make it to Glacier National Park...and said we should go along! Maybe next year as it is on my Bucket List. Hugs and promises to not wait another 43 years...and those voices from our past have become a very nice part of our friendship circle. 


Happy Birthday, America!


  1. What a beautiful story and making more memories. I have been trying to find a friend of my dad's (he will be 90 this year) who he served with over in England during WWII. It's been an interesting journey. So glad you had a great visit.

  2. A truly beautiful story of friends and friendships. You bring us into your life through your words and we experience the uniqueness of the visit, the bond of friends. Thanks for sharing this with us Pat. Judy C in NC

  3. What a lovely time you are all having together. I hope you do get to make that trip next year. Thanks for sharing the tale of a long lasting friendship.

  4. It means so much when old friends take the time to turn off the road to spend some time with you. This was a very touching post.

  5. This is a beautiful post, full of memories, and great friends! I hope the experiences they had in VN, doesn't haunt them too much.

  6. What a wonderful post Pat! And I got chicken skin/goose bumps as I read through it. Isnt it amazing that despite the time that has passed, friendships forever last...and often it is like only a short space of time has lapsed... We love when we have been able to get together with friends from our military past...and love to listen to the stories shared...those moments like you mentioned that begin with "....were you there when.....remember when...whatever happened..."
    And great memories made of this time with Bill and Susan spent with you and John... hope you all get a chance to take a trip together.

    Blessings & Aloha!

  7. A wonderful post. so nice to visit with friends. looks like you all had a nice time together.

  8. It's been a while since I visited your blog. I usually get reminded when you post over at BTCT. I must add you to my list. Did you make this quilt, the one with the flag hanging on the coat rack? Where did this pattern come from? It's the nicest July pattern I've seen! Please share with me :-)

  9. How nice to see old and cherished friends. I liked the tote bag with Life is Good on it! Our lives are good!


Your comments are like the chocolate chips in cookies...they make my day!