November 10th, 2002

dangerous, bebop

saving the private

I went to go see Saving Private Ryan when it first came out. I can remember noticing when the film stopped no one talked. No one gave the usual commentary on what they just saw. They were just deathly quietly. I remember crying at the end watching the old man ask his wife if he had been a good man, essentially was he worth the price that was paid for him. I remember the first sequence made me feel undefinable ill. I hadn't watched it since. Some films you watch over and over. Some you watch once.

ABC showed it tonight with out editing for content. I say bravo to that. Though they did put commercials in which was a bit jarring at times I must admit. I chose to watch it and I have to admit it did the same to me as last time. I cant help but think of my grandpa who is now dead. he fought in Europe as well. I know he was at the bulge. I know he liberated a camp. I know he would never talk about any of it. He had a chest of stuff he had from back then. We were never supposed to go through it. The only reason I knew anything about his experience was through my dad and it was sparse knowledge at that. Grandpa died a year or two before Saving Private Ryan came out. I always wondered what he would have thought of it or even if he could have stood to watch it.

My other grandfather, a taciturn and somewhat bitter man, was in china during the war. He has told me of some of his experiences. He built radio towers and air strips while there. Apparently they put up the engineers in a hotel in town when there was an incident in the barracks involving sappers. He has things he had gotten then still. A beautiful robe of silk. I silver ornate and complex pipe which he swears he only smoked tobacco, though it was meant for other things. He has pictures he took of the forbidden city and the army manual for speaking the language. His experience I guess was less traumatic. He was not in combat. He did not have to see the ultimate cruelty of man. Though he had his pains earlier in life. I know he was abused. I know he parents died when he was young and lived with foster parents. He is not a pleasant man. He was abusive in words and sometimes in actions. I love him though. It is like having Hemingway as your grandfather. If you catch him in the right mood you can hear such stories. Him living in New Orleans and going out on a pirot with a cajun weekend to go fishing. Working for the NRC. Working on the Apollo project. Building one of the early portable dialysis machines for a sick friend. He had a hell of a life.

I will often lamented the fact that I will never be as interesting as the people in my family. I have always been something of a disappointment. I had potential unfulfilled. It was never a matter of being incapable of doing better merely that I did not.

Well I suppose that is rambling enough.

Night folks.

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