Thursday, April 20, 2006

Phone Call From Iraq

I got a phone call this morning from Jason, who is in Iraq. Jason is my son's best friend. Jason had a less than idea upbringing and spent lots and lots of time here and when he basically constructed his own new family in his teens, we were a significant part of it. I have explained to him that as far as I'm concerned, he's not in Fallujah, Iraq, he's in Iowa. Iraq, Iowa, they both being with 'I'. I'm willing to believe there is a Fallujah, Iowa. There's a Paris, Texas. A Versailles, Indiana. A Cairo, Illinois.

It was great to hear from him. Last time he called (about a week ago) he had just been in his first firefight (which he did not tell me--Jason is very protective.) But this time he was just calling to give me his address. Since I sent him a package yesterday, the fact that he has a different address is a trifle distressing, but he promised me that stuff sent to the old address will find him.

It turns out that much of what he is doing is talking to Iraqi civilians in the countryside villages. He's meeting goatherders and really getting a chance to get a sense of the people and the place. This is not without danger--they were pinned down by machine guns that one time. A since then, a roadside bomb meant for them was accidently detonated by the person setting the bomb.

But I intend to blissfully picture him in his fatigues, talking to goatherders in Iowa, surrounded by cornfields, while the goatherder explains the economics of making organic chevre for the California market.


Blogger Responsible Artist said...

The poor baby. Several of Slayer's friends have been over, and a neice and her husband as well. My wish is for the safe return of all the troops and some sort of resolution that does the least harm possible.

April 21, 2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please tell him we're all pulling for him and hope he returns safely and soon.

April 22, 2006 2:15 PM  
Blogger Hal said...

I can only imagine what this must be like for you. I pray that he and everyone comes home safely soon, and that serious lessons will be learned from this lousy war.

On a completely different note, as you may know, Ohio has some towns named after some famous European cities - Lima, Toledo, Dublin, Athens, to name but four.

April 22, 2006 3:05 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Hal, I went to school in Athens. I love the optimism of those names. There's also a New Paris, Ohio (where the Christmas Carol "Up on the Rooftop" was written) Moscow, Ohio (where there was a nuclear power plant) as well as Troy, London, Lebanon, Rome, and my favorite, the generic Orient Ohio, where for a long time there was a prison. Used to be a sign on I 71 that said "exit to Orient".

I think of the people who pushed across the Cumberland Gap and came up through Kentucky to found those towns and what high hopes they must have had. Athens was the site of one of the first colleges west of the Appalachians. Obviously, somewhere along the line, things did not blossom quite as expected.

April 23, 2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger Ted said...

How long after its founding did it take for Athens, Greece to become a great city? Maybe it's too soon to make a final judgement on Athens, Ohio. Maybe, after the eastern seaboard is submerged by the rising sea level, Ohio will become the new intellectual and cultural center of North America. Maybe Athens' greatest days are ahead of it.

April 24, 2006 3:24 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Ted, you oughta be a science fiction writer or something.

April 24, 2006 9:18 AM  
Blogger . said...


July 01, 2006 7:03 PM  

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