At a distance I would not have recognized Jon had I passed him on the street, nor he I; forty plus years changes a body! But as I got closer, and the small talk proceeded, I began to notice bits of body language that hadn’t changed. As the memories of that time begat one story and another and another, suddenly there was a thing that touched me: an unmistakable Santa Klaus glint in his eye, a window into the humor and joy that is at the heart of the man; always has been, always will.
I hurried Bob along, holding my oversized chocolate cookie, as the stranger called out “I won’t hurt you!” Suddenly, Bob turned sharply and defensively and soon learned the man was just asking for food. He gave over some of his cookie and the man thanked him. Now I know why we haven’t understood people who we thought were asking for money. I’ve been trying to figure out how people can afford to eat here and now I feel really bad that we’ve been ignoring them.
From supposedly reliable intelligence, Abrams was able to follow the progress of troops and supplies south, and judge where and when the North planned to attack over the border into Vietnam. To paraphrase from A Better War, Lewis Sorley: Troops advanced south in waves 500 to 600, moving at 12.2 kilometers per day, mostly by foot, the trucks saved for supplies and ammunition. We were able to move perhaps 60 Kilometers on the unimproved section, partly because our load was not on our feet, but on our bicycle, and partly because we had no backup supplies; we had to get out of that jungle in short order.
A footprint in sand. Soon to be erased by the breath of time. A mark. An instant. One step of many. Why make it special? Do you note your marks? Do you listen to the sound your foot makes in sand? Do you feel the pressure, the texture, the cool or the heat? Just a thought.