Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Falling Down

The summer is slowly evaporating, and soon we'll be back to decent weather. Last week I spent Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday and Thursday working with my mentor teacher at Buttress. I helped organize and clean the room, attended two meetings with Mr. Damon, and wrote descriptions of both classes I'll be assistant teaching. U.S. History is taught for four periods, and History of Augusta is taught during one period. After writing the descriptions, I posted them to Mr. Damon's Buttress high school page. I also helped Mr. Damon modify and upload our teaching plans for the first week.

I had planned on seeing my friend Mike Friday evening, but his group had to pick up some gear Saturday morning. I drove down from Augusta, and picked him up a little before noon. We drove back to Atlanta, checked into our hotel, and then looked around for places showing the UFC fight. After visiting the Cracker Barrel, we tooled around for a while until time to hang out at Buffalo Wild Wings Cafe. Good food, entertaining fights and great company helped us have an excellent time.

Sunday we visited Six Flags for a couple of hours before heading back towards Fort Benning. It was a great day for a visit, with only mildly warm weather and almost no long lines. We rode the mine train for a warmup, and then moved straight to Goliath. We probably waited longer to ride Goliath than any of the other rides, and still waited less than 20 minutes. We also rode the Mindbender, Georgia Scorcher, and ended the day with Superman. Superman has the rider hanging horizontally beneath the car, so you look straight down at the ground if level. After we started moving at speed, I really enjoyed it, but couldn't help thinking about how I would choose some other way to die than being slung into the ground at seventy miles an hour. The jostling from Superman seemed to have bothered both Mike and me, as our stomachs were hurting on the drive back to Columbus.

We made a few stops, at Commando's outside Fort Benning and got haircuts from the barber shop nearby, and then went looking for food. We enjoyed some good Chinese food before I took Mike back. I then hit the road for the 270 mile drive back to Augusta.

Mike seems really glad to be back in uniform. It was good to see him, and there wasn't the strangeness or stiffness you might expect when you haven't seen a friend for four years. I'm hoping to see him some more before he ships out. I guess we'll see.

1 comment:

Assrot said...

Man, you just mentioning Ft. Benning really gave me a serious case of Deja Vu just now. I went to Jump School there in the mid 1960s.

It was one of the scariest things I had ever done at the time. Then there was Vietnam which made jump school like a walk in the park.

Those were some good old days. We had some great times and some really bad times.

One of my best friends got killed at Ft. Benning. He dropped a live grenade between his legs and just stood there frozen. I saw what was going on and was too far from him to do anything. I screamed and hollered for him to move his ass but he just stood there.

I was hauling ass in his direction hoping to knock him down or maybe get there in time to throw the grenade. It blew up when I was 50 feet from him.

I just checked the shrapnel scars on my chest and stomach to make sure it really happened. I had a few holes in me but I was the lucky one.

My buddy laid there and bled to death. Both his legs were gone to just below the waist. I couldn't do a damn thing for him but cry and pray.

The crying did no good. I'm hoping the praying helped his soul. He was gone from this earth before the medics got there.

That was nothing compared to what I was about to see at war, but he was a very close friend. It's different when you know somebody that good and watch them die while you lie there helpless.

All part of the cost of freedom I guess. I wonder what Ft. Benning is like these days. I haven't been there since the mid 1970s.

Thanks for waking up the memories in an old man. Some were bad but many were good.