Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Where the Boys Went

I got an email from a friend I found interesting. Chet Huntley reporting on "Where the Boys Go" in 1962. I think I might have been there in 1960 or 61. My brother was there EVERY year. What I found interesting is the fact that Daytona Beach (bless they little hearts) invited all the college kids in the world to come party for a month.

Fort Lauderdale, where the whole "spring break" thing started, got tired of the whole mess, and "throwed the bums out". Daytona was magical. They welcomed us , and our buying power with open arms...they did have their rules, but used common sense in enforcing them. Disney couldn't have done it any better.

The most poignant thing in the video, besides the cars, Chubby Checkers "twist", and the  neon lights of the motels I remember from those long years ago, was the interview with the young men and women who were soon to be embroiled in the great American disaster...Vietnam. I was one of those young men and women. I never had to go, and probably would have done my damnedest to avoid it. Happenstance kept me out.

Looking at the faces, of the kids I saw in the video...I had to wonder..."How many did get a trip to Vietnam, and how many didn't come back from that "dirty little Asian war", as John Prine, or was it Bob Dylan, so succinctly put it.

I guess we're all over the age of 64, now. Most finished college. We married, had children, careers and participated in retirement programs. There are a lot of guys that didn't get in on that American dream. Some young men went to Vietnam, and stayed. Some came back a little bit broken, some just fell through the cracks in the system. All wars are like that...seems like all who fight them, suffer the most. The rest of us tend to forget, and only react to the newest one rears it's ugly head.

Our sons and daughters, and even our grandchildren don't have the Beatles, John Prine, Country Joe and the Fish, Bob Dylan...or the draft.  Those who go to get shot at for little reason I can see, go for reasons know to themselves. God Bless'em everyone.

We were not given that option in 1962. We had the Draft...the dreaded letter...Greetings!

The British, the Russians learned: Afghanistan is easy to get into, but very hard to leave. You seldom here that story told; of the British retreat that cost the lives of hundreds of non military British family members. The scars of war only scab over...they never really heal. "Collateral damage" is the military term? Seems there are Vietnam's everywhere these days, and we have to referee them all. Poor planning, I fear.

Anyway, watch the video...with commercials. This 15 minute Chet Huntley new feature conjured up a lot of memories.


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