A Year Ago Yesterday

       Happy New Year!! We all wonder where 2015 went! 

     It was a year ago yesterday, and the engine light came on just as we made our left into Cracker Swamp Road toward Palatka. We did change the oil in NY..  Should really check it.. maybe later.   Driving past farm after farm we guessed at what they might be growing there in those perfectly straight rows...corn? cabbage? potatoes? We passed the same 2 horses grazing in the woods, the dilapidated trucks parked under a metal half collapsed roof, the shirtless man seated on his deck..Same as before... Drizzle on the windshield and overcast skies contradicted early weather reports as we crossed over the river and turned down St. John's Ave. After our 5 week absence, our mural looked fine, but maybe little faded from the sun?  but the scaffolding was still there, and plenty of parking available.

And so, 4 hours later, here is the start of 'Operation Giant Slingshot', a US Navy effort in 1968 to halt enemy river traffic moving across the border from Cambodia. In this scene, water cannons mounted on patrol boats were used to flush out enemy infiltration on the Vam Co Dong river. Next time I'll paint the Palm trees along the river banks, and detail, but you get the idea.   So much to learn about this war! Every so often a Vietnam Vet will come by to comment and share a personal story or two from their own firsthand experience, memories, heartaches. We're gaining new respect for those unsung soldiers of that much disputed conflict.