Colors Of My Life

The melody of a song kept going through my mind yesterday. I could remember none of the words or the title of the song so it was impossible to search for the it on the Internet. The only words I thought might be from a line in the song were “something …of my life”. After a lot of searching that fragment, I discovered the melody was from Judith Durham’s Colors Of My Life. I had been recently pondering writing a memoir so perhaps my subconscious was working on a title.

I have no idea what I will call a memoir, but I am sure after writing it something will come to mind. Perhaps, Recovery From Propaganda and Brainwashing would be good or I could rip-off the title of a Paul Gauguin painting: D’où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous ( Where Do We Come From / What Are We / Where Are We Going ). That might be fitting since my ambition at seventeen was to run away to the Marquesas Islands in the south Pacific and paint nude Polynesian women.

Where Do We Come From / What Are We / Where are We Going by Paul Gauguin

By eighteen, this had morphed into a desire to join the navy and be an engineman on a gunboat like Steve McQueen in the 1966 movie The Sand Pebbles. Sadly, the Yangtse Patrol—a prolonged naval operation by the United States Navy’s East India and Asiatic Squadrons, which began in 1854 to protect American interests in the Yangtze River’s treaty ports, ended the year I was born when Mao and the Communists came to power. The old adage be careful what you wish for seem to apply when I joined the navy and ended up on a river boat in Vietnam’s I-Corps when I was twenty.

Ten years later, still in the navy, I was sent to Taipei for a three-year-tour, which was cut short because Carter abrogated the mutual defense treaty with The Republic of China ( Taiwan ), closed the Naval Support Activity, Taiwan, and established diplomatic relations with the mainland commies. ( Can you say at the behest of globalists who wanted cheap labor? ) At the time, I had no idea that much of the The Sand Pebbles was filmed in Taipei—some scenes were shot on Yangmingshan ( Grass Mountain ) where I lived. It seems Steve and I even drank at the same bar—The China Seas Club on Bei-an Road—where I met Wu Yu Tze in December, 1978 (but that is a story for another time).