Sunday, April 28, 2013

South Central was Burning

For a few moments this afternoon, I traveled back to April of 1992. 

I was listening to music via a random shuffle today, and I was treated to a tune that I listened to repeatedly when I first arrived at the Presidio of Monterey to attend the Defense Language Institute Korean language course.  Before Lori came out to join me, I lived in the barracks for a few weeks.  Especially at night, I listened to the same two or three CDs over and over, when I crawled in my bunk.  Now those songs are perpetually bonded to that brief time.

The Alpha Company barracks were near the highest point of the Presidio, affording a nice view of the bay.  My roommate was a Mandarin student with only a couple of weeks remaining before graduation.  While I was there, he got his orders to Hawaii.

After I found a place for us to live, Lori was moving out from El Paso (where she’d stayed while I was at basic training). 

We had to postpone the move, because my flight from Monterey Municipal Airport was canceled.  It connected through LAX, and the Rodney King riots were in full conflagration that weekend, with smoke from all the fires preventing incoming flights to LAX.  Usually, a big news item like that was something on TV or a newspaper headline.  But, the unchecked mayhem, vandalism, and violence boiling in South Central required us to alter our plans for reuniting.

The following weekend, Lori drove west from El Paso to Phoenix with her Aunt Patty. Meanwhile, I would fly to Phoenix, where they’d pick me up from Sky Harbor, and Patty would fly back to El Paso. Then, I drove with Lori to our new life on the west coast.

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