Monday, August 01, 2005

Searching for "Buddies"

Iowa City -- Two boys barely teenagers, and one young man -- near the end of his teens or the beginning of his twenties—walked slowly through the rows of boots. The older one never looked up. I made eye contact with the younger ones in an offer of help. The scowl made clear they did not want any assistance. They eventually stopped before a pair of boots – not from Iowa. It was clear to me the young man who would not look up was looking for a “buddy.” After pausing for some length of time the three sat down on one of the benches.

A volunteer asked me if I thought he should talk with them. I thought it was perfect – who better to connect with a working class kid returned from war than a labor historian.
Yeah he had lost some buddies. He wants desperately to believe it was for a good cause. Their mom joined the group – after signing the petition calling on the governors to “bring the guard home.”


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