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21-Love Letters from Vietnam: Last Day of Woodstock Without Us

Updated on August 18, 2016

Note from Kate

To read the Tim and Kate Letters from the beginning, click here.

On this day in August, 1969, while Tim was in Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Gordon, GA, and I was getting ready to start my second year teaching deaf students in Milwaukee, Jimi Hendrix was singing at the unofficial last day of Woodstock. Forty years later, what I miss most about not having been to Woodstock is hearing Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Joan Baez. The first clips to the right is listed on youtube as "Joan Baez, Woodstock". Ms. Baez has been a peace advocate throughout her career and the third video on this hub is her lovely present day tribute to the people of Iran. Although the video of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez singing "Blowin' in the Wind' is from the mid 70's rather than from Woodstock, I chose it because if any song represents the fervor of the movement for peace during the Vietnam era, it was this song.

Joan Baez - "We Shall Overcome" (with lyrics in Farsi for people of Iran)

18 August, 1969

Dear Kate,

I see from my calendar watch, it's the 19th, Tuesday. The week has been the usual routine except that the C.O. feels that Bravo Company needs a lesson in discipline. He had us out on the parade field pulling up weeds all afternoon. According to Army reasoning, pulling weeds makes men better soldiers. if this is so, by the time I leave Fort Gordon, I'm going to be a steel-nerved, highly efficeint killing machine. At least as far as weeds are concerned.

In class we're still going over basic electron theory and also methodical procedures for troubleshooting defective radio equipment. The troubleshooting procedures are new to me and invite my interest. Perhaps i shouldn't be so smug. It may turn out that when it comes to practical electronics, I'm a total idiot.

I've got sad news. They've extended my course three weeks. They've given me three more weeks of loneliness and emptiness. Damn Army.

Thanks for the article on autism. Although I must say it raised more questions in my mind than it answered.

How have you been, Kate? What are you doing now that Camp has ended? Could it be that you go to the bank three times a week now to count your money? I hope you're successful in your attempt to urge mother to see a doctor and that it's nothing serious. Well, I'd better close now before the fellows turn the lights out on me.




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