Tulsa, OK. Big city, much activity, scant parking available at the truck stops. :-(
The good thing is I was able to visit with an old friend and his son (as pictured below).
It was a very nice visit, and we had some good conversation. Earlier today, we spoke about a variety of things on the phone, and even arriving at the same conclusion regarding history: to read about certain historical events is one thing, but to hear of that event from a firsthand source brings the event into a different level of understanding. This came up because I was sharing with him of an audiobook I am currently listening to. I pointed out that the author, though he includes a multitude of historical data, appears to have written the book from a first person perspective (i.e. a witness of the unfolding events). How does all this tie in? Read on...
Many years ago, during my days as a young Marine, I was stationed in Guam, during which time I became involved in a local production of Fiddler On The Roof. For those even vaguely familiar with this musical, it is one of a small Jewish community, set in the Russian Czarist controlled town of Anatevka (one of the few musicals with a sad ending). Here's where it gets funny: a Jewish musical, with a predominately Chammoran (or Guamanian) cast, and produced/presented by an all girl Catholic school (I told you it would be funny). Anyway... two final shows on a Sunday: matinee & evening. During our break between performances, during our closing night meal, I was gently touched on the elbow by one of the nuns (who wad also the chaperones). She told me, "many of our younger generation Chammorans do not like Marines," to which I expressed my knowledge of this.
She continued... "but to the older generation, Marines are greatly loved and adored, because of World War II," (this was also something I had knowledge of - if only on a basic level). "I am one of those that are forever grateful for The Liberation of Guam, because I was a little girl then," she now has my full attention, and a peaked curiosity. "when Guam was controlled by the Japanese, it was the Marines that liberated us... freed us! The day we had a parade to celebrate, all the Marine units were marching down the street, all of Guam lined both sides. Everybody was cheering, celebrating. One Marine stepped out of his formation and walked over to the crowd, bent over and picked me up. He put me on his shoulder and continued marching in the parade with me there." Needless to say, I was speechless (for those that know me personally, this is not an easy task).
I share this because, as I mentioned earlier, to hear of an historical event from a firsthand witness, makes that event so much more meaningful - so real!
"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it"
- George Santayana
- George Santayana