Even though Vietnam started affecting the United States in 1955, it wasn’t until years later that it really took its toll. I remember when they brought back the lottery for the draft and it was my birthday that was the first date pulled, except that is was two years too early. I also remember how we all had to go to the Selective Service Administration and fill out the paperwork, so that on our eighteenth birthday we would be ready, if called. I remember that I started college prior to my age of majority and I was assigned a Classification of 1H, for holding, and as long as I kept my grades up, the odds were that I would maintain that classification. I know that card is somewhere, but I think that I should no longer be worrying about being called now.
I am sure that some people see the world “wall” and in today’s heightened environment of political tension, the wall I am referring to is the travelling version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. I read that this version has motorcyclists that accompany the display from location to location. The whole park had a solemn air to it, and there was a tacit aura of patriotism as one looked at the layout of the area. There were displays, a labyrinth for prayers and solitude and plenty of volunteers. There were plenty of Veterans present helping out, and just like at the original wall, there are people that will make a tracing of a family member or friend that was lost during the war. I think I heard that they had volunteers to read each and every name on the wall, and the memorial would be open for three days, around the clock, so that all schedules of people could be accommodated. It was strange to see, but I guess nowadays, signs discussing the etiquette of proper mourning behavior, and while we were there, there were no protests, and the grounds were beautiful, not the typical messes left by crowds of people. My Bride and I had a nice leisurely five or six mile walk to see the Wall and we were just in awe of the solemnity that we were a part of.
As we were walking home, my Bride had informed me, that she had not pulled anything out from the freezer, so nothing would be ready for cooking and she asked if we should go out. I suggested that we have something easy and American for dinner, so we had Kosher hot dogs and pork and beans, usually food that we have ready for the odd time that we have fussy children at the house, as they always seem eager to have that, no matter what tempting dish we may be serving. To top off the dinner, I grabbed a bottle of bubbly from the refrigerator. The sparkling wine was one of our favorites from Michigan, M.Lawrence Sandpiper NV. L. Mawby Vineyards is a serious winemaker, and one of the wineries that my Bride would never forgive me, if we didn’t go there on the trip to Suttons Bay. This winery only makes sparkling wine and notice that I did not say Champagne or even American Champagne, since there is almost a universal trade agreement that only allows Champagne from the Champagne district in France to be called it, though there are a few wineries that are “grandfathered” in that can still label their wine as “American Champagne.” Even though the winemaker is very serious, the winery is a fun place, and we had just visited them again during our last trip up north. They produce quite a bit of bubbly and the winery has two labels to differentiate the winemaking process that they use. The M. Lawrence line is division is made using the bulk process, also referred to a “cuvee close” or the “Charmat Process.”. Sandpiper is a Semi-Dry wine that is a proprietary blend and that is all I was told. These wines are made in small batches and fermented in the “cuvee close method” as indicated on the label. I prefer a little more sweetness myself in this type of wine, as I am always afraid that extra dry can have little nuance. I am happy to say that I could taste some fruit which made it more appealing. All I can say is if you are a Veteran, “thank you for your service.”
I remember the time of the “Draft” very well. Especially when my boyfriend at the time got the letter to go. It destroyed a future that could have been. Did this event happen a while back, John? I would have loved to see it.