When I wrote the About section, I mentioned Kate Long’s Root Hog. I had the pleasure of seeing Kate perform at the Appalachian Women’s Alliance’s Ironweed Festival. The gathering was a blessing in so many respects, but it was especially memorable because I heard her perform McNamara’s Tears, a memoir piece about the Vietnam War. Although she’s an icon in these parts, meeting and hearing her at the festival was my first exposure to her music.
The Vietnam War haunts me still. My father, a career Marine, did four tours in that hell hole. He still defends the US’s participation in that mess and can’t fathom my anti-war stance. Hearing McNamara’s Tears was painful, yet cathartic. The song arrived when I was just beginning to sort out my thoughts and feelings over what I had experienced as a military brat surrounded by other brats whose dads were gone, maimed or dying. I sat and listened to Kate while the tears rolled down my face.
I’ve got family members and friends tied up in the current mess. My mind worries and my heart aches. Not too long ago Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale released the Road to Escondido. Aside from my Great Fandom of All Things Clapton, I had to have the album for another reason – the title. I used to live in Escondido during my nomadic brat years. When this War is Over is one of my favorite cuts losing out as #1 in my personal hit parade to Ride the River (I do love a good guitar shuffle).
When this war is over, it will be a better day.