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“THE TWIST AND TURNS OF LIFE”
by OPOVV, ©2019
(Feb. 28, 2019) — This takes place in the year 1965.
“So I spent all day at the embassy, in Hong Kong, and I was walking back to my hotel, the Hilton, when I was jumped by two guys who, I don’t know, wanted to converse in English, who knows? Because one had a knife against my throat and the other one was jabbering away, ‘Give me; give me; give me.’ Maybe it was a new hit song from the States; how was I to know? Back then communication was weeks between over here and there, so after I got back I’d hear a song and say, ‘Wow, that’s a neat song,’ and the next thing I’d hear was, ‘Geez, where you been, man?’
“Be My Baby” (2:42)
“Ah, maybe Uncle Sam sent me overseas, flew me from Travis AFB to Tachikawa AFB, as if I was in a hurry – I wasn’t – to get over there and to do my thing. Guess what? I was marooned at the Yokohama Naval Base, in the transit barracks, waiting for a ride to Subic (Bay) when an old Gunny saw that I was bored out of my mind and took pity on me. Yep, it was either that or spend all day reading the Stars and Stripes in the chow hall. Anyway, this Marine taught me Judo because – his words: ‘You never know when you may need it someday and where you’re going. I’d say that “someday” is pretty soon.’”
“Just One Look” (2:28)
“He had me running around the base (cross country) in the morning, we meet for chow, and then he’d teach me how to dispose of the ‘unfriendlies’ (his words) by him attacking me and me paying attention on how not to get hurt. So, anyway, here I was with a knife at my throat, so I disposed of the attackers, in short order, I’m proud to say. I mean, them or me, right? So I went back to the embassy to look up the Marine Sargent who – small world – knew my Judo instructor in Japan.
“Everybody Loves a Lover” (2:43)
“I told him what happened and he told me not to worry; he’d call the British Chief of Police and that was that. So here’s the point of the story: if the Navy didn’t have it in them for me to hurry up and wait, I would never have been stuck in Yokohama for over a month, waiting for a ride to Subic, and never would’ve learned how to survive a knife attack with a knife at my throat from an about-to-retire Marine Gunny. And the only thing that happened to me was a cut on my left forearm that left a scar; how about that?
“Here Comes the Night” (2:49)
“So you say I should’ve given them what they wanted, but maybe they wanted my life’ ever think of that? Well, that’s what I was thinking; that’s ALL I was thinking: I walked away; they didn’t.”
“So I was just sitting here, looking out the window, thinking about the twist and turns of life. Couple of months later I was back in Japan and looked up the old Marine, but he was gone by then and I never did learn where he went. Too bad, because I owed him a cold one, but then I remembered the smile on that Marine Sargent’s face back at the embassy in Hong Kong. I think I know now what happened: I think that embassy Marine called Yokohama and was told to look out for the swabbie.”
“Oh Where Can My Baby Be” (2:27)