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26-Love Letters from Vietnam - Crackdown on E-2 and Sweet Caroline
Neil Diamond "Sweet Caroline"
Sweet Caroline Released on September 16, 1969
"Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond,according to Wikipedia, was officially released on the day after Tim wrote this letter. It was to become our song.
In 2007, Neil Diamond finally revealed that "Caroline" he wrote about was Caroline Kennedy. "Diamond was a "young, broke songwriter" when a photo of the president's daughter in a news magazine caught his eye.
'It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony,' Diamond recalled. 'It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there.'
Years later, holed up in a hotel in Memphis, he would write the words and music in less an hour." The lyrics to "Sweet Caroline" seem timeless - appropo to so many young lovers, as the words were to us in the 60's.
15 September, 1969
For Full List of Letters Go to: 00 Index to Love Letters from Vietnam
This Hub has two letters from Tim.
Please forgive me for sooner, but we've been pretty busy this past week. When I moved into E-2, I found it to be a filthy pest hole. Well, it seems that an inspecting major jumped all over the CO about the condition of the barracks. So the captain passed the buck and had us cleaning the place on our free time. He restricted us to the company area last week and put us on assorted cleaning details from 3pm to 10 pm. So B-7 arrived just in time to clean up E-2's mess. Well at least the place is not fit for human habitation. Excuse me if Isound embittered, but this is just another example of the army's gross inefficiency.
I hope the absence of my letters didn't cause you anguish. I would never intentionally do that. I love you. But if so, I hope the flowers I sent gave you some joy.
It's Sunday evening, the end of another long, lonely weekend without you, my love. I needed you today to take my hand and be at my side.
I spent all of this weekend trying to make up for all the studying I missed during the week - well, not the whole weekend. Saturday night I went to the enlisted men's club to drown my sorrows. It's not much of a place. But the booze is cheap. I'm going to have to find another drinking buddy. O'Brien couldn't quite keep up with me.
How have you been, Kate? Probably very busy trying to find new ways of instilling knowledge in not so eager little minds - a very difficult task, but your equal to it. Are you enjoying working with Mrs. A as much as you thought? Probably so. She seems to be a very nice person. Well, I better close now and let you get to your lesson plans. You're always with me, Kate, in mind and heart. Be happy.
18 September, 1969
This letter was found in October 2009 mixed in with the rest of the October letters. However, since it was dated Thursday, October 18 along with another letter dated Saturday October 18, I decided that Tim had meant to write "Thursday, September 18, 1969". The content indicates that he was awaiting his second leave home at the point of this letter. Hence it came before "October 18." Here it is in all it's romantic essence!
Hello my love. I w2as happy to hear that you enjoyed the flowers I sent. My love was wrapped within that white tissue paper. Thank you for accepting it. The thought that perhaps I may soon be with you has brightened my olive drab week. How I long to walk through the park, your hand in mine, enjoying the warmth of your companionship, the goodness of your gentle heart, and the radiance of your beauty. To barely detect the rush of our waterfall over the clamor of my heart. How I long to, with you at my side, gaze into the timeless waters of our stream and dream into the future of our lives together. To hold you in my arms, caress your lips, and feel the firm softness of your breast against my heart. It is for these things I live.
Well, it's been the same routine here at Fort Gordon. The only change is that I love you a little more than I dfid yesterday. Things aren't too bad here. School is getting more interesting, and it's getting so I can tolerate country western music. By the time I finish school, I may even like it. I can see us twenty years from now huddled around therecord player listening to old Johnny Cash records.
We've got a test on a VHF radio tomorrow. I think I"ll do all right. But just as a precaution, you could put in a good word for me.
Saturday's going to be a big day. We've got a stand-by inspection (we stand by the food of our bunks with our wall locker open while the CO inspects)...as a side thought, please don't send me any pound cakes. Also on Saturday, we've got a brigade parade which is a farce. We pass in review while some general looks over the troops. Since I've been at #-2, my name has stayed off the KP and guard rosters. But I'm afraid the inevitable will soon come. I was complaining about B-7's KP. KP here lasts 19 hours after which we're require to attend school the next day. Well, that's the army.
How have you been, Katy? Busy enlightening little minds during the day, and lesson planning at night. You're proably the best eacher they have there. You're the only one I'd want teaching my children. And you will be!
How are your parents? I'm glad your mother is feeling better now. Give them my regards. Well, I'd better close now and study for the test tomorrow.
Neil Diamond "I Am"
I threw in this video of Neil Diamond singing "I Am" ...just because!
Lyrics to "Sweet Caroline"
"Where it began?
I can't begin to know it,
but then I know it's grownin' strong.
Was in the Spring, then Spring became the Summer,
Who'da believe you'd come along?
Hands touching hands, reachin' out,
Touchin' you touchin' me.
Good times never were so good.
I've been inclined
To believe they never would, but...
Now I look at the night,
And it don't seem so lonely;
We fill it up with only two.
And when I hurt,
Hurting runs off my shoulders.
How can I hurt when holding you?
Warm touchin' warm,
Reachin' out, touchin' me touchin' you....