Thursday, July 14, 2005

Georgian Soldier Story

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Photo: The Georgian - Shortly Before Demolition - Springfield, Illinois

Jim Leach has posted an article on the pending demise of The Georgian.
Here's a memory I have of a dinner there in the early 1970's.

A conversation with a soldier just home from basic training, on his way to Vietnam..

The soldier was a friend of my parents.

Setting: The Georgian.

Me (young boy): What are those, dog tags?

Soldier: They're for Identification purposes.

Me: Can I look at them, they're not like my dad's WWII dog tags.

Soldier: Sure, you can look at them.

Me: Why is this side blank?

Soldier: To help Identify you.

Me: But it's blank?

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Photo: The Georgian - 9th & Jefferson - Springfield, Illinois - 07.2005

Soldier: Well they put it into your mouth between your upper, and lower teeth to get the impression of your teeth.

Me: Wow! I hope I can go to Vietnam too when I grow up!

Soldier: Right.

Me: But how does your teeth make marks on this metal?

Soldier: You have to kick the lower jaw.

Me: But wouldn't that hurt?

Soldier: No.

Me: But why not?

Soldier: Son, when they use this on you, you're not feeling anything.

Me: But why not?

Soldier: Cause Your Already Dead. (echoes: DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD).

Me: Oh.

He got lucky, and ended up in Germany.

I took some photos of The Georgian. The lot there will soon be part of a strip mall - or so a local business employee told me. The lot just south of The Georgian has already been cleared. And as you can see a crane has already been moved into position for The Georgian.

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Photo: The Georgian - Springfield, Illinois - July, 2005

2 comments:

Christopher Trottier said...

I wonder how many people went AWOL after biting on the dog collar.

Marie said...

A lot of compassion and anger, heartache and heartbreak, understanding and incredulity, love and hate, gets filtered through the generations. That one put a lump in my throat.

email jp

  • jeromeprophet@gmail.com

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