Class of ’68

 

I'll be reading the following tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Bridgman Public Library in Bridgman, Michigan.

I’ll be reading the following tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Bridgman Public Library in Bridgman, Michigan.

To go or not to go.

That was the question facing the class of ’68. Wage peace, or be a cog in McNamara’s war machine.

What’s it gonna be, brother?

Can you spare a dime?

You like a pig, but you ain’t got no gun—can you dig?

Got some time? Two years will do. That’s your due. Take a trip down yonder to Vietnam. A tour or two will do. Come home in a body bag. All expenses paid by Uncle Sam. He needs a few good men, and you’re selected for service. Stay in touch. Let your draft board know where you are at all times, so when—when your time comes—you can go and serve your time way down yonder in Vietnam where Uncle’s got hisself in a terrible jam.

To go or not to go?

Let your conscience be your guide. Let that little cartoon cricket who has been on your shoulder since you got hooked on Walt Disney and his animated wonders way back when yeah, baby—let little Jiminy Cricket be your guide. Let an anthropomorphic insect steer your star and guide your fate, and—hey, don’t be late, because Uncle’s leavin’ soon. Real soon!

To go or not to go?

Question or answer?

Really?

Yeah, really.

You ready?

All righty then: Count to ten, and let’s do it again.

To go or not to go?

Let that little cartoon cricket on your shoulder tell you what to do, and you better do it soon, because graduation day is just days away, and your draft board knows damn well where you live, and old LBJ wants to send you on your way, way down yonder in Vietnam where there’s a sharpened punji stake with your name on it. A feces-smeared stake to make you quake. You can go, or you can stay—you who turns 18 in May.

But whatever you do—young man of the class of ‘68—it’s gonna haunt you for the rest of your days.

To go or not to go?

Sleep on it.

Every night:

To go or not to go? To go or not to go? To go or not to go?

Sweet dreams.

Every night:

To go or not to go? To go or not to go? To go or not to go?

10/16/15

 

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About charleymckelvy

Charles McKelvy lives and writes in southwest Michigan with his wife and fellow writer, Natalie McKelvy. They established the Dunery Press in 1988 in order to publish their own fiction. They continue to do so to this day. Charles McKelvy is an Eagle Scout.
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