July 2011 Archives

Some memories are never lost, but are sometimes placed so deep you remember them often. Such is the case with David Wayne Parker. It had been a while since I thought of him until today when my father forwarded me email with a link to the Vietnam Virtual Wall and I looked him up. To the best of knowledge, I never met him; I don't think I ever even met his parents but I did see them.

I was eight years old at the time, living in Stone Mountain, Georgia and playing in the front year when I remember seeing the green Army sedan pull into a the driveway across the street. My father was in the National Guard, I was an eight year old boy who loved to play Army, so I thought it was really neat to see a real Army car in the neighborhood. I was soon to learn that it was not cool, in fact it was sight many people around the nation feared seeing.

The Army had come to tell our neighbors that their son was missing in Vietnam. As it shows on his profile, David Wayne Parker drowned in South Vietnam and his body was not recovered. The profile also lists his death as non-hostile but I remember at the time being told they were uncertain. David was with his patrol crossing a river and was not with the group when they got to the other side. It appears that he may have slipped into a rapid current and the weight of his pack and gear kept him from swimming to shore. I remember they looked for his body but were never able to recover him.

The staff car made several trips to the house over the course of the following days. I sensed a veil of sadness across the neighborhood during that time. I was only eight so I understood very little. I did love to play Army, and I continued to do so but from that day on I knew that "Army" was more than a game or play. People were dying in the war, people who lived near me. I did not become anti-war, (how could an eight year old be anti-anything?) but I did realize that I really wanted to war to end so everyone could come home safely. This is why the taxi scene in We Were Soldiers is one of the most moving I have even seen.

I do wish I had known David personally or even had known his parents. The neighborhood was changing, most everyone was the age of my parents with children my age or younger. David's parents were obviously a little older and did travel in the same circles are my and my friends' parents traveled.

David Wayne Parker touched my life even I didn't know him well. How else can I explain that some 42 years after his death I still remember and looked him up within minutes of having link to Virtual Wall sent to me.

Coffee

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I found this over at Abu Muqawama and liked it.



My preferences are simple: I like Starbucks, bold, prefer Sumatra, black, in my stainless steel blue Starbucks tumbler that I travel with. It makes it very convenient to get a cup in an airport and then carry it on the plane.

I really liked the fact that there were so many Starbucks in Vancouver when I was there. Made it very convenient to stay tanked up since the conference did not provide coffee (one of my very few complaints). I mostly frequented the Manulife store there.

My favorite place to get a cup of Starbucks is of course the store in the Colvard Student Union on the Mississippi State University campus. The people there are outrageously friendly and helpful.

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