The View from the Dumpster—No players, no Game
The View from the Dumpster, About Clotilda, and My Original Intent
When I was about eight-years-old, I was still living in Germany. My uncle took me to see a military parade in our town. That was almost 60 years ago. I don’t remember what the occasion was, and it likely doesn’t matter. What I do remember is something that has been with me all of these years. I didn’t know then exactly what all of those machines and men with guns did but I knew that they could hurt you. I remember fear. I remember the absolute fear that those machines instilled in me. I saw massive pieces of iron rolling along. I closed my eyes and could hear the roar of the engines and the gnawing of the cleats, the stomp of the boots. When I opened my eyes, they were still there steadily rolling on in what seemed like an endless line. We left the parade, but I could still hear the sounds of the military might grinding and pounding away. And today, I can still hear them.
When Dad came back from Viet Nam we were stationed in PA at a now long gone Air Force base (Olmsted closed in 1969). There were many things about him that were different, but it was something that we never discussed. It was about this time that he became a member of the VFW, the Highspire post. In those days the post was very active and had frequent events which we would attend as a family. We were frequent visitors there. It was the normal routine for us on a Sunday afternoon. I went because that’s what my choice was, it was very simple; we were going and that was the end of the discussion. I had become a regular, the bartender knew how to deal with me. I was particular even then. My “Shirley Temple” was always served in a tall frosted glass and never stirred. I would sit there and sip on those and eat Slim Jims, while the grownups sat and drank and talked. They talked quietly, occasionally laughed, but mostly just talked amongst themselves and drank. Old men (compared to me) telling war stories. Reliving the horrors, trying to make sense of it all. The occasional smile and good-natured backslap was the distraction from what those hollow eyes were seeing once again. Most of those events have passed from my memory, but one thing did linger, one very simple thing.
We are all aware of the Great Wall of China in terms of its historical significance and its significant size. Rightfully so, the Chinese people are very proud of this structure. Despite its magnificence it has absolutely no impact on those of us who reside in other countries, such as the United States. But there is another wall that the Chinese have put in place, one that most people have not heard of. It is that wall that has an impact on our lives. You likely won’t read about it, unless you follow industry news for waste and recycling.