My Place in History

It’s funny, the signature moments in a man’s life.  They often seem less than relevant to other people when they hear about them.  One of mine comes from boot camp, way back in 1991.  Every recruit has a cleaning duty assigned to them that they perform every single morning in the barracks, and mine was washing windows.  We did that with left over newspaper and window cleaner, a method I still use to this day.  In the Marine Corps basic training was divided into three phases, and the second phase for those of us going to west coast basic was spent in Camp Pendleton, California.  Just after we got there I was washing windows one morning, and I saw something interesting; someone had scratched into the aluminum window frame, “Jimi Hendrix, the Lady Land still loves you.”  I can only imagine that a fan did this after Hendrix died, but that’s just me imagining.  A few inches to the right of that someone else scratched, “B.O.C.” and the Blue Oyster Cult symbol into the frame.  I figured that was from about a decade later, give or take.  So there I was, a scared recruit in 1991, with a favorite band.  The last I saw there was a pentagram scratched into that window frame and the band name “Slayer” beneath it.  I became a part of some obscure history then.  People don’t seem to care when I relate this story to them, but it sure means a lot to me.  I like to think that there are some new band names scratched in that window frame like Slipknot or Wu-Tang Clan.  It wouldn’t matter what bands, just so long as some scared kid had the balls to put the name of his favorite band there.


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