Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Dustoff Requested... I think

After more than two decades of fighting the Communists, the South Vietnamese army collapsed quickly in early 1975, setting in motion chaotic evacuations like this one from a rooftop in Saigon.I am sitting outside in a nameless* suburb of Baton Rouge just after midnight on New Year's Eve. Frankly, over the past six hours since the sun set I have been subjected to more ordinance than I have experienced since the Fall of Saigon. The air reeks of cordite; the smoke is as thick as the early morning fog along the Mississippi River this time of year. The denizens have fired off everything from M-80's, bottle rockets to some of the biggest mortar rounds one can purchase without a Federal ATF license. Literally, I haven't heard and felt this many shots since Viet Nam. I've dropped to the deck at least three times I can remember to hunker down through incoming. Scary folks ... these middle class dudes are armed to the teeth and aren't afraid to let you know it, while their richer counterparts, white and black, hide inside their gated communities, hoping the next off-color visitor to their door won't rob them blind or worse.

This isn't Maine anymore, Dorothy...

I am sated on hamburgers, hot dogs, smoked beef sausage, baked beans and cheese grits. The weather warns of a hard freeze tomorrow (Tuesday) night, although it's a balmy 54 degrees F. right now.

It's hard to comprehend that my friends in the North Country are shoveling out from under a 10" snowfall with another half a foot forecast for tomorrow night.

We sure picked a good winter to be stranded in the South.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2008. The year just past has been a rough one for us on many levels, so I'm hoping things change in the near future.

Love to you all.


(* "nameless" to protect the guilty -- this subdivision is full of Baton Rouge and other parish's cops, firefighters, paramedics and active duty military troops and their families)


Donna said...

Hey Wil, an old journal buddy of ours, Anna, wants you to "friend" her on myspace, and she needs to know your last name to do so. I gave her this link, so maybe she'll leave a comment here.

Team Gherkin said...

Here's to your 2008 being your best New Year yet, matey!
Mal :)

Chris said...

It was relatively calm here last night, but that's because the aforementioned cold snap is already here!

We had a whole bag of ordinance ourselves, but we ended up only setting off a dozen bottle rockets and a pack of firecrackers around 9pm. Neighbor to the left of us has skitish cats and the one to the right has an ill elderly husband, so it wouldn't have been real neighborly to keep it up all night.

Glad you are enjoying being stranded! Happy New Year, Wil

Janet said...

You sure DID pick a good time! Enjoy the warmth and don't come back til April!!!

Happy New Year!

loisontheweb said...

I'VE BEEN WAITING TO HEAR IF YOU EVER GOT "UNstranded". Put your imagination to work & try to convince the locals there that "back-home" ... people are out fishing ON THE ICE ... driving their trucks out there, building fires ON THE ICE!

threecollie said...

Happy New Year...you are certainly right if you had to be stranded down south this is the year...back to back snow storms and howling winds. Bah! lol