Posted May 20, 2015
Photo courtesy Brian Brown/Vanishing South Georgia
The following passage is from my second novel, Johnnie Come Lately. (Reader discretion advised).
Johnnie was about to rave on Granny’s baked beans
when Callie Ann piped up, “Hey, D.J., tell everybody what
happened this morning when you went to buy cigarettes.”
D.J. looked up from his plate. He put his fork down and
cleared his throat.
“So, I’m standing in line at the 7-Eleven. The guy in front
of me pays for his stuff and says to this young female
cashier,‘Happy Memorial Day.’ Man, I thought that chick
was going to come over the counter. She shoves the guy’s change at him and
snarls, ‘What’s so fucking happy about Memorial Day?’ ”
Before anyone could say something, D.J. picked up his
plastic fork and stabbed at a pile of baked beans. “Sorry about
the F-bomb,” he apologized. “I’m just reporting what I heard.”
Johnnie took a deep breath and reached for Brother’s head.
As usual, he was at her side, waiting for a scrap to fall. She
needed to hold onto the one member of the family who wouldn’t judge her.
Wouldn’t judge any of them.
Running her fingers through his soft fur, she said what
needed to be said.
“Well, considering that my father died in war, I have to agree
with that young lady at the 7-Eleven. There’s absolutely nothing
happy about Memorial Day. It’s a day set aside to honor the
Johnnie Come Lately released from Camel Press 2/1/15 and is
represented by Loiacono Literary Agency.
Hugging my youngest son at Fort Hood before he deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.
At the homecoming for my son, former 1st Lt. (P) J.P. Rodgers. My oldest son, Thomas, is to J.P.’s right. In 2012, J.P.’s roommate from Officer Candidate School was killed in action by an IED. Everyday is Memorial Day for the family of 2nd Lt. Travis Morgado. This is why we can never associate the word “happy” with Memorial Day.
“I’m frustrated by people all over the country who view the day as anything but a day to remember our WAR DEAD. I hate hearing “Happy Memorial Day.” Jennie Haskamp, United States Marine Corp Veteran, for Washington Post.