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Taste of 1970

December 31, 2014

My parents dropped me off at Texas Tech University in August, 1969, and were in Bangkok, Thailand a few days later.  So, as a dependent of a military officer stationed overseas, I was eligible for space available travel to join them at the end of the school year.  Consequently, in late May of 1970 I found myself at Travis AFB in California boarding a contract flight to Clark AFB in the Philippines.  There were 8 other college students on the flight with me, and when we got to Clark we had to spend the night before going on.  One of the students was the daughter of a general officer stationed at Clark, and he had us all over for steaks that night.  I don’t remember a lot about that , except that he passed around shots of Grand Marnier liquor.  My family didn’t drink alcohol and I had no idea what it was.

What it was, I discovered, was delicious.  Perhaps that’s why I don’t remember much about that night.  A day or two later I was deported from the Philippines and put aboard a flight for Bangkok.  There weren’t a lot of flights out of Clark which didn’t go to Vietnam, and we students weren’t allowed to go to or over that country.  To get us the priority needed for space available seats, we had to be deported.  I still have the boarding pass which shows this fact.

I went by a liquor store this afternoon, and they were pouring tastes of Grand Marnier.  I don’t believe I tasted that fine liquor between Clark and today.  When it hit my tongue, I was instantly 18 years old and on a patio in the Philippines.

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From → Writing Fiction

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