All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


GFF-Old Marine Edition

This story happened last Friday, but I wasn't able to get it typed up for you.  As I've mentioned my folks made a visit out for a couple of weeks.  Last Friday they were getting ready to head back home.

I had gotten a screw in the front tire of the truck and had run it to town to get the flat repaired.  Dad took me back to pick up the truck and went to get the bugs washed off his car and gas up so they could leave the next morning.

My dad drove around town till he found a tunnel style car wash that he could drive through.  He pulled up and paid the guy running it.  Dad said that the car wash guy was a ragged hippy looking sort with lots of tats and piercings.  I'm sure dad was thrilled to make his acquaintance.  Anyway dad paid.

Dad has taken to decorating everything with USMC paraphilia.  This had made gift buying for him much easier.  We are preferred customers now with Sgt. Grit. Among dad's Marine accoutrements is a Vietnam Vets ball cap with his ribbons sewn into it and a USMC license plate holder.  The car wash hippie asked him about the cap.  Dad replied that yes, it was his.

I don't think he thought too much about the exchange.  When the car came out the other side of the wash, the car wash guy had him roll down his window.  Then he counted back dad's money to him.  Dad was told that his car wash was free and thanked for his service to his country.  Then the lady who was drying cars stuck her head in the window and thanked him for his service too.

When my father came back from Vietnam they were advising service men to change out of their uniforms into civilian cloths because people were spitting on them and calling them baby killers at the airports.  Dad said that since he got home in 1969 no one had ever randomly thanked him for his service or comp'd him.  Then this hippie went and gave him a free car wash and thanked him for his service.

GFF, even a long haired, tattoo freak with face and body piercings can be a first rate human being.  My dad never had a random thank you for Vietnam.  One day, 46 years latter, he got it form the last person he expected, a hippie.  Good on you car wash guy!


  1. Susan9:52 AM

    The younger generation did not have to suffer through the lies and agitprop of the likes of Fonda and Kerry. Thanks to the internet, the younger generation like the 2 hippie types realize that the military as a whole was not the horrible monster that the liars of the 60's and 70's made it out to be.

    Plus you live in a state where the population of youth has been reared just a little better than the urban crowd in other more populated states. That makes a big difference.

    It is surprising what you find when you get the chance to scratch beneath the surface isn't it?

  2. I had another conversation with a Marine form the same era this last week. I told him about dad's experience. He said it was about time. He told me about how they got spit on when they returned state side and how guys who never went to Vietnam but were in uniform were mistreated just because they were in the service.

    Then there is the flip side of the coin. I dated a USN LtCmdr's daughter. When I was asked if anyone in my family had been in the service, I replied yes and rattled off some of the highlights going back a couple of generations. Of course dad's service and medevac out of Vietnam was in the list. It was funny to listen to her expound on how her husband was a Vietnam Era veteran and how he "could" have gone because he was in the service.

    Some folks do what they can with where they find themselves and wish that they could have done more. That's the car wash guy. He might never do more than hand out a free car wash to a vet. But what he did was appreciated more than any ticker tape parade.

  3. I don't think most people understand how far a little gratitude goes. Great way to top off your Dad's visit. How appropriate. Though the odds of it are problem pretty slim, if I ever get to meet him, I will be sure to thank him as well.

  4. Well tell him thanks from me too.