guess most folks think of Memorial Day as the beginning of summer
and a great three-day weekend. It has, as so many holidays, become
nothing but an excuse to get out of work and drink beer. On this day
I often reflect back on some of the times of my life. The good and
the bad ones.
24th, 1966 was a very bad day in my life. I received a phone call
from my mother informing that my best friend during my childhood years,
Richard Currier, had been killed in Viet Nam. My mother also said
that Richie's family had requested that I return home and act as a
pallbearer at the service. I had to decline as I was at that time
stationed in the 282nd Band in Fort Jackson, S.C., and I had just
received my orders to go to the 1st Cavalry Band in Viet Nam. I was
later lucky, and those orders were canceled thanks to my commander.
(I later found that we lost quite a few good musicians over there,
particularly the ones attached to the 1st Calvary Band.)
Currier was my best friend during my early childhood years. We both
lived in the Victoria Park area of Ft. Lauderdale. We spent almost
every day together after school fishing, water skiing and just doing
all the things young boys do to have fun. His father, Dr. Currier,
was my dentist. He was also a second father to me, always making sure
that Richie and I never got into too much trouble.
Currier would have something planned for Richie and I almost every
weekend. We might go out in the boat and fish for Dolphin. (This is
how I learned the difference between Dolphin the fish and Dolphin
the mammal.) If we didn't do that we might go out dove hunting. (This
is when I learned not to pull both triggers at the same time on a
double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun.)
Richie, for all the good times. You'll not be forgotten in my lifetime.