By Julie Titone
When officials around the country designated Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day -- here in Washington state, lawmakers chose March 30 -- they did more than honor combat veterans. They gave us all a chance to reflect upon a time of upheaval, change, controversy. We who lived through the era know the war was formative for both our country and ourselves. Those who weren't born until after 1975, when the United States dramatically pulled its last troops out of Saigon, should understand the history behind the phrase "another Vietnam."
This March 30 will be especially meaningful for me. I've been invited to give a reading that day from "Boocoo Dinky Dow: My short, crazy Vietnam War" at Bellevue Library. The Monday event will start at 3 p.m.
I am co-author and instigator of the book. But it is entirely the story of Grady Myers, a wonderful artist and wry observer of human nature. Grady and I were married during the 1980s; he died in 2011.
In Grady's absence, I often have male readers join me at presentations. In Bellevue, I'll have two guests. Bellevue veteran Bob Shay was a Navy photographer who served in the Pacific during the war and tried his best to get sent into combat (I'll let him tell that story). Charley Blaine is a Woodinville writer and editor. A former colleague of mine and Grady's, Charley is a fine storyteller, too.
After we read some book excerpts, I'll show images of Grady's war-related art.
Coming up: On April 30, the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, I'll present "Boocoo Dinky Dow" at 7 p.m. at Skyway Library.
Julie Titone is co-author of the Grady Myers memoir "Boocoo Dinky Dow: My short, crazy Vietnam War." Grady was an M-60 machine gunner in The U.S. Army's Company C’s 2nd Platoon, 1st Battalion, 8th Regiment, 4th Infantry Division in late 1968 and early 1969. His Charlie Company comrades knew him as Hoss. Thoughts, comments? Send Julie an email.