This novel contains many experiences of Nam Vets about their time in service, and their reception coming home.
By the late 1960's. The challenge that invigorated early attitudes, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country", seemed to have been long forgotten. Letters from Nam, returning soldiers, and a war that appeared to have no end, had shifted public opinion. "Hell No! We Won't Go!" was the reply by the end of the decade. Music would swing from doo wop to acid rock. Hair grew from duck tails, to mop tops, ratted and teased, to flowers and beads. This novel is about relationships between people, and the effect that pop culture, and historical events had upon their lives. You know these people, they are your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and associates. every day, ordinary people. As the trilogy comes to it's conclusion, Turn on, tune in, drop out.
Jason sat between his grandparents in the terminal of the nearby airport. His lip began to quiver when he realized that each happy face that passed by was not the face of either one of his parents.
"Whatís the matter Jason? You know your Dad and Mom are going to be real happy to see you again, donít you? Your daddy will be so surprised to see how big youíve gotten in a year, and how much youíve grown up. It wonít be long now." Nancy comforted him as she stroked her grandsonís long dark curls.
"Nana, you sure they coming back?" Jason looked doubtful.
"Yes, for sure Jason. Their plane is due to land in fifteen more minutes. Hereís a tissue. Letís blow that nose and dry up those eyes. Come on honey, turn that frown upside down."
"Papa Jack, you were in the war, did Unca John cry when you came home?" Jason wondered.
"John didnít know me when I came home, Jason. I was gone when he was born, and didnít meet him until I got back from the War. He screamed when he saw me, and hugged your Nanaís neck. You donít want to have your Dad thinking that you forgot him do you?"
"Nope," Jason smiled. "Papa Jack, where were ya in the war, aní did ya get hurt?"
Jack gave a big belly laugh, "I was in Leyte. Thatís in the Philippines. And, you might say I suffered an injury. We were in a rest area, and we were playing ball. I hit the ball, and it landed in the top of a thirty foot coconut tree. Since it was the only ball we had, I had to climb up the tree to get it. I threw it down, then I grabbed a rotten branch, and fell down thirty feet. I landed in such a way that I relaxed, and rolled with it. But as I did, I rolled over the bat and broke my arm. I was evacíed to Hollandia, New Guinea." Jack continued to laugh at the memory.
Jason was still laughing with his Papa Jack when he looked up and met the adoring gaze of his beloved father, as he and his mommy were walking toward them.
Jeff was semi-shocked at the sight of Jason from a distance when he and Beth entered the terminal. He hadnít forgotten that he had approved of Jason growing his hair long like the other boys, but he never expected it to be down to his shoulders. He spoke to Beth, between his teeth, "I know I said it was okay for Jason to grow his hair, but I didnít expect it to be girly long. He looks worse than Buster Brown with all those curls."
"But, I still think he looks sooo cute." Was Bethís only reply.
If Jeff heard what she said, he didnít acknowledge it because he had scooped up his laughing, crying little boy, and was holding him to his heart.
Jason hugged his fathers neck, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" Jason repeated over and over as Jeff kept saying, "Jason, Jason, Jason."
As soon as the little guy took a breath, he asked his dad, "Ya promised tuh take me fishiní when ya got back, Dad. We gonna go soon as we get back tuh Nanaís aní Papa Jackís?"
Jeff laughed, and hated saying no to his doting son. He explained it would be rude for him not to spend time with the whole family his first day back.
"Tomorrow Jase. Just you and me will have our little manís picnic exactly like I promised."