I never was much of a writer when I was younger. But I told myself that I’d stay in touch with my brother, Kenny by writing him often while he was away in Vietnam and also when he was stationed in Germany. Telephone calls were not possible in Vietnam, and much too expensive when he got to Germany.
I would write and tell him what all was going on in my life. I’d tell him about everything crazy happening in Smithwick. There always seemed like something Cec had gotten into that needed to be told. He wrote back to me regularly. The exchange of information went pretty well until one Saturday morning I set down at the kitchen table to write him a letter and discovered I had already said everything that ever needed to be said. There wasn’t one thing that I hadn’t covered before.
So I started telling him about how Madeline and I had made a whole new group of friends and how nice they were. How we had pretty well decided to follow the teachings of this leader and had surrendered all our worldly belongings to him. I described how much peace and tranquillity I was feeling. We would soon be moving to a commune in the Arizona desert. I talked about how when he finished his tour in the Army maybe he and Karen could join us.
I closed with “I have to go. The van is here to get Madeline and Me. We are handing out pamphlets at Burnet Rd & US 183”.
Then there was a postscript.
(On the reverse side of the last page)
“Oh, sorry Ken, all this written in your letter was a bunch of B* S*. Everything is the same now as before. I just couldn’t think of anything to write, so I just wanted to entertain you for a few minutes.
I love you brother, take care.”
Kenny told about laying there on a bunk in Germany feeling sick, thinking he may re-up in the Army and never return home.
Then when he got to the end of the letter he was laughing hysterically with all the other soldiers thinking he’d went off of his rocker.