Daily Archives: June 10, 2014

Thank you for your service – Cold War Conscription era sleeze

Hi readers.  Someone posted a sign telling us veterans thank you for your service in one of the places I go, and in the Dollar Tree they asked again if I’d like to contribute to help the dependents of US active service military.  Fact is the romance and drama of thanking GIs for their service has been happening so long it’s probably okay to give it a break.

I got transferred once and hadn’t gotten paid yet, no money until payday.  Red Cross loaned me the money to last until the end of the month or my pay records caught up.  At loan-shark interest rates.  I was getting paid $68 per month at that time.

Maybe if they paid the all volunteer military less money they would be able to take care of their dependents without begging by proxy at the cash registers of the stores in the US.  Paying the bejesus out of them evidently hasn’t done the trick.

Seems to me it’s a sickness resulting from the supporting wars where you’re own kids aren’t being forced to go off to serve.  The out-of-balance “let’s you and him fight” paid for with a “Thank you” and nobody in my family had anything to do with the war and I support it so long as they don’t.  I’ll shower you with thankyous and give a buck down at the Dollar Tree for your kids.

All American Boy – Bobby Bare

Working for the Yankee Dollar

Hank Locklin, My Little Geisha Girl

Fraulein – Bobby Helms – 1957

Kitty Wells – I’ll Always Be Your Fraulein


Jean Shepard & Ferlin Husky – A Dear John Letter

Jean Shepard & Ferlin Husky – Forgive Me, John

Kenny Rogers & The First Edition – Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town

Ballad of the Green Berets – [HD] – – – SSGT Barry SADLER

Johnny Burnette…..God, Country, And My Baby

Merle Travis – Re-Enlistment Blues

Elvis Presley – G.I.Blues

I’m thinking of writing a CW song about GIs sitting around waiting rooms in VA hospitals wearing their VETERAN caps and wondering whether they made the secret lists.

Old Jules


City of Adventure

hydrox june 2014

He’s too old to cut the mustard anymore.

Hi readers.  Thanks for the visit.

Jeanne’s next door neighbor saw us on the back porch the other day:  “Hi.  Is that big, fluffy-looking black and white cat yours?”

Me:  “He came with me from Texas.”  No point giving my cat-ownership philosophy dissertation.

Neighbor grinning:  “We watch television late at night with the front door open.  He comes by every night and sticks his head inside, looks at us a moment, then leaves.  It’s eery when he meets your eye.”

Hydrox is evidently as determined to milk as much living out of this life as I am.  Even if it means spying on the neighbors.  They’re older than him, but barely.

Old Jules

Rally Round the Flag Boys, by Max Shulman

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

1959, 1960, I was reading everything Max Shulman wrote because of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.  In that one he introduced Maynard G. Cribbs of later fame, and gave most people their first look at Beat, Beatniks, and much of the como se llama life outside anything most had considered.  Although Dobie Gillis had a TV series in his name, the Maynard Cribbs character lived longer in another vapid TV series about an Island somewhere.

So when I encountered Rally Round the Flag Boys in a box of books at a garage sale recently I happily paid out a quarter for an unexpected delight far in excess of my memories of the book from 50 years ago.

In a 278 page yarn filled with laughs and poignant human insights Shulman peels away the 21st Century fantasies of how America ‘was’, “Thank you veterans, for your service“, and any lingering thoughts you might have about romance, marriage and the American dream when  the citizenry saw career military men as “too lazy to steal“.

A wonderful, hilarious book before during and after its own time.  Story of a small Yankee town in Connecticut where the US Army needs to place a Nike Missile Site.  A brutally honest story of the wealthy people running the town and why they oppose a sanitary landfill because of the cost, oppose sex education in their public schools because of the danger of KNOWING, oppose anything that stands in the way of development of real estate into more neighborhoods for NYC commuters.  Neighborhoods located in quarries, bogs, swamps, with names like Powderhorn Hill and Patriot Valley.

What a fun book.  I’m finished with it and will happily mail it to you if you’d care to read it.  Contact me by email.

Old Jules

Afterthought note:  This book teeters on the brink of upcoming events, but barely pre-dates them.  No Berlin Wall until 1961, no Cuban Missile Crisis until 19 what?62?, no Vietnam War until 1965, no Kennedys assassinated yet, no Martin Luther King, no Watergate.   No Fidel Castro.   Cuba was still clean sandy beaches for US tourists.  And the book is the “How I view the world” of those US citizens back before things got nasty.  J.