Thursday, May 12, 2016

My thanks to the girl at the USO

It's a Friday night in 1972, and I'm a broke 19 year old PFC in downtown San Antonio. There are lots of things to do in San Antonio if you have money, but if you don't options are really limited.
I don't remember how I found the USO, there may have been a fellow medic trainee with me, but find it I did, and it was a great place to go. Not much in terms of privacy, but some really great home made pound cake.
And girls.
Forget the scenes in the WWII movies about the jumpin' band rocking the place; I don't remember there being any music at all.
But there was a girl. neatly attired in a very modest and patched dress, who came up to me, and asked me if I would like to talk. Well, yeah.
I poured my heart out to her, giving her my tale of woe, and she listened respectfully. At that point of my life, I didn't HAVE a plan, I was in the hands of the Army for the next three years, and I just had to deal with it. I felt trapped and pitiful, and I told her all about it.
As for what she was doing? She was there with some other girls from her church, to provide a friendly face to whatever lonesome troops showed up.
And on the next Sunday, she was very surprised and happy when I showed up with a friend at her church service.
And that's the end of the story. After church was over, I rode the bus back to base, and met a different girl, and she was interested in fooling around. So I never saw the girl from the USO again.
But 44 years later, wherever you are, thanks. And if you ever happen to visit San Antonio, and see a pleasant lady about age 63 or so: would you smile at them for me?