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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Correspondence wi' Wee Johnnie McEwan

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 21:43:24 -0500
From: jmcewan
To: dcallum@
Subject: Re: RE: The Black Watch

You are so right about what happened to our forefathers and theirs . I'd better start writing this stuff down .  Every time I'd  ask my Dad about those ribbons and medals on his dress uniform , ribbons I never could figure out , but medals said volumes , the Burma Star , the Battle of Britain medal , South Africa Star , and on and on . He would always say he got them for standing in line waiting for food.! You know , he gave all those medals to a wee boy , named Marvin Lasher, who was a bit older than I , and used to break 78 rpm records in his basement for amusement , I was appalled by this record breaking , and even more appalled by my Dad's gift of "my medal's " to this shitty kid . Many years passed, then my Aunt Margaret died i n '91 , and my Dad came over for his wee sister's funeral .  At the wake , I recognize Marvin's parents , Roy and blah blah Lasher , two prunes from Miami , who then introduce us to Marvin , who is now a gun collector in PA. So in front of my Dad , I ask , "Marvin what ever happened to my Dads medals ?"  
He had no fuckin idea what I was talking about.!  No memory whatsoever of heroes . I tried to bring up the record breaking stuff , which he totally denied , and I was about to kill this lying fuck ,piece of shit c********r , when my Dad pulled me aside , to say " I didnae know those fucking medals meant anything to you."  We had a wee cry about things in general . On the way back to the city , he told me he'd thought I was going tae kill that fool right there and then... and I was.!         
That night ended in Mumbles ( you remember that place.)  picking up a few drinks , and a girl , whom I'd been bamboozling for a while , named Beth. While I went to park the car , he got a hand-job in my place , and told me in the morning , " I havnae had a hard-on for five years." . Where is Beth now.?

From: dcallum
To: jmcewan
Subject: RE: The Black Watch
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2010 15:52:54 -0400

Mumbles?!?!  yeah I remember that place of course and wasn't it funny how it was a great bar when Harty was manning the helm, and it was a great deal less of a bar when he wasn't!!  Why do I recall someone named Beth? I do vaguely you know.

Now me, I would have waited to gub that little baw bag when neither your da nor his wuz lookin',  you know like a leopard or cheetah waits for the weak and the stupid wildebeest to wander off from the herd, the k**t.

My mother's father was known as "Wild" Bill Doran, he served in the first mechanised units of the US Army as a teamster. In fact, he was with Pershing out west when they went after Pancho Villa who was raiding banks across the border to fund the Mexican Revolution.  Well Grandpa also went to Cuba too around 1910 to help sort out some unruliness (probably Cubans wanting their own country, go figure, cheeky bastards) and then went to WWI when the US finally turned up. They lived on Grove Street when me dear ol' ma was born and later moved to Flatbush.
Well years later after he's dead 10 years his baby daughter Bess, my ma, goes and throws out his foot locker containing his uniform (he made bogus lieutenant in the Ardennes) and a lot of other paraphenalia including a spiked German officer's helmet and a Japanese (!?!) flag. She tossed it whilst my dad was at work and my brothers and me were all at school so none of us were there to stop her, even though my grandmother (his wife) lived with us ferfeckssake.

Another day some years later we came home to find his books-a hardcover complete set of Dickens and another set of Classics-Ben Hur, Don Quixote, Moby Dick, LAst of the Mohicans, etc. stacked by the rubbish bins for the next day's collection. My brother Patrick and I looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and gathered them up and carried them right past her to put them back on the shelves in our room where they'd been only our whole entire fucking lives. We wouldn't even entertain a discussion of this matter with dear old ma. Those books are on shelves behind me now as I type this.
I have saved some of his US Army papers which is how I realised he had the same birthday as my son Seán!! My mother NEVER SAID a blessed word and please understand she and my boy were as thick as thieves, or were like bench and batty as they say here in Jamaica, and my mother knew everybody in the family's birthdate, yeah, she was one of those.

Do write them down Johnny, feck put 'em in emails and send 'em to me!!


  1. The best history does not lie in the history books, however is best told by the people that lived it. Human beings will never out live books, however the internet is helping people live on in true form as books and journals did for centuries before. You both should keep track and try to write down as much as possible, who knows what you are actually forgetting and what you might remember from writing a few choice memories down.

  2. I have time now and am trying to do that very thing, though I do best when left completely on my own and have no other influences on my mind's random focus and its fading memory.