Sunday, February 27, 2011

This gator right here


The above photo is the head of a crocodilian. Crocodilian is Puerto Rican for "el lagarto" (for those of you who don't speak Puerto Rican). The story of how I obtained this head is very interesting. But, before I tell you that story, I have to tell you another story. To provide a segue to the actual story of how I actually obtained the head. Literally.

It all started in May of 1971. The year of the Crocodilian. During Vietnam. I was stationed at Point Yankee, which was right off the coast of 'Nam. Things were seemingly running smooth, seeing as just a year ago, American casualties were less than half of 1969's totals.

Despite the substantial number of people that didn't die that year, I was still feeling down and out. Some of my best friends I made during that war were sent home just a month before. I remember it like it was only forty years ago. My closest Pal, Shticket, came to me on April 15th and told me that the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry would be returning home, along with the 1st Marine Division.

I was devastated, to say the least.

Shticket was my best friend. He showed me the ropes. Shticket taught me the most valuable lesson I ever learned in 'Nam: don't shit standing up. His real name was Harry. He gave himself the nickname Shticket because he said his penis looked "just like a shticket." I had no idea what a Shticket was and unfortunately, I'd never find out. After returning home to the States, Shticket passed away. He tragically fell out of the window of his one-story home in Hoboken. Then, 17 years later, he died of lung cancer.

I attended his funeral, along with a few other vets. I offered to read the eulogy. I told stories about Shticket and 'Nam that I'm sure no one among the audience has heard before. Like the time he saved a 13 year old Vietnamese girl from a burning hut. And the time he molested that same Vietnamese girl fifteen minutes after saving her for "good measure". I also spoke of Shticket's love for the beach. Oh, how he loved to play in the sand on the beaches of 'Nam.

My eulogy had apparently touched one of Shticket's cousin's so goodly, that he came up and spoke to me at the funeral after-party. He also spoke of Shtick's fondness of beaches. Apparently, Shtick loved beaches so much that he had a beach house in Myrtle Beach, in addition to his house in Hoboken. Shticket's cousin said that it was his "summer home."

I was then invited to help Shticket's family clean out his house in Myrtle Beach. I humbly accepted the offer. While there, I found this old Polaroid of Me, Shticket, and two of our negro "friends" from the war:
(From left to right: Really African American, 
Shticket, African American, and I)


Among other relics, I also found the necklace Shticket was wearing in that photo, his helmet, boots, backpack, canteen and his brown leather shoulder holster for the .45 Colt pistols we were issued. Cleaning out Shticket's house was a very bittersweet day in my life. I'll never forget the life of Shticket, and the lives of the other good men we lost in 'Nam. Never Forget.




Oh, and I purchased my alligator head at an alligator exhibit in Myrtle Beach about nine years ago while vacationing with my family.

SEGUE!

57 comments:

  1. A touching story and tour de force segue.

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  2. Seeing the nam picture made me kinda emotional good story man!

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  3. Wow. I would never have thought so much.

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  4. i didnt know you could speak "puerto rican"

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  5. You are truly a funny man.
    Poor old Shticket.

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  6. lol Puerto Rican is now a language.. Sad story though!

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  7. is it just me or was this kinda funny?

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  8. I like that alligator. Dassa nice alligator!

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  9. Ya I went there on a cruise to find one of the natural wonders of the world. We never made it there, instead we set sail to Hawaii and had fun.

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  10. Heh, possession of a crocodile head isn't what most people could be proud of

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  11. @Dwrek: Went to Myrtle Beach on a cruise? ...Or fucking 'Nam?

    @Kris159: I'm prideful of the little things...

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  12. Amazing story, and to top it all off...I live right outside of Myrtle Beach, SC!

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  13. It was kinda funny. the picture is a lil creepy though

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  14. Wait... What Puerto Rican ? Language? When did this happen eh??

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  15. I have a feeling a good majority of the readers who read this took it a little too... seriously.

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  16. I love your blog, I'm totally following!

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  17. Just checkin' in. No new review?
    Keep it up man, seriously.

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  18. There will hopefully be one by the end of this week. I have a very busy week of school work ahead of me :/

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  19. Puerto Rican IS a language of its own; it's almost mutually unintelligible with Spanish!

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  20. cool gator. i grew up in south florida and used to see gators all the time.

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  21. gators are everywhere down here

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  22. worthy intermission. nice head too.

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  23. This... great story!
    feel free to see my blog

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  24. Not sure to hate you or to love you...

    Can we be one of those love-hate relationships?

    Cheers

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  25. this story was really interessting.
    i still can't believe that he saved a children out of a burning hut...

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  26. Cool story, I can't imagine having an alligators head in my room though :D.

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  27. I wish i owned some sort of animal head :[

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  28. Maybe I'll auction it off to the highest bidder. Along with the grapes I talked about in my last post :B

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  29. interesting. I will be following.

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  30. Yikes. Those damn teeth! Howd you like to feel one of those in your leg? >.<

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  31. I wish i had a gator but my cat wouldn't be too happy about it

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  32. Lol, a pet croc would be the best thing ever!

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  33. That story moved me to tears. What a patriot!

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  34. I was reading the story, and I expected an epic story about a battle with an alligator

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