Monday, December 4, 2017

Musical Monday - There Won't Be No Country Music by C.W. McCall

I think about my paternal grandfather a lot these days.

When he was young, fresh out of college, having returned from serving in World War II and gotten married, he moved to Montana. This was long before I was born, before even my father was born, but I've seen pictures of him and my grandmother there. He fell in love with Montana, fell in love with the American West, a love that stayed with him for the rest of his life. I still have some of the Charlie Russell prints that his house was decorated with. He loved the wild open spaces. He loved the natural beauty of the unspoiled places of the world. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from camping trips I went on with him in the Rocky Mountains or the Shenandoah, fishing in cold streams or hiking just to see what there was to see.

My grandfather was a fairly conservative man. He served in the Army Air Corps in World War II, went to college after he returned, worked as a civilian for a while, and then reentered the service for the Korean War. He was one of the pilots who was in Florida ready to fly over Cuba as part of an anticipated invasion during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he flew during Vietnam. All of my memories of him were of him as an Air Force officer or a retired Air Force officer. I have it on good authority that he wasn't real fond of John F. Kennedy, and voted for conservative politicians on a regular basis. Anyone who would think of him as a bleeding heart liberal is simply dead wrong. He simply came from a generation in which conservative thought wasn't incompatible with preserving some part of the country as unspoiled wilderness to be passed on to later generations.

My grandfather is long gone now, and to be perfectly honest, I'm glad for his sake that he didn't live long enough to see the conservative movement in the U.S. turn into what it has turned into now. I'm glad he isn't around to see the GOP set about dismantling the protections that were put in place to preserve the American West that he loved - that were put into place to preserve the wild and free places all over the country. The rapacious political cabal that has seized control of our government is trading away our descendants' inheritance for some transitory commercial gain, and that is an intergenerational crime of epic proportions. Once these places are mined and exploited, what made them a source of wonder is probably never coming back. I'm glad he was spared the realization that while he was able to share these places with his grandchildren, the way things are going, I will never be able to share them with mine.

I miss him every day. And yet I'm glad he didn't live to see what is happening now.

Previous Musical Monday: O Holy Night by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Previous Musical Monday: Christmas Canon Rock by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

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