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#293407 by MikeTalbot
Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:38 am
Funny how stuff sticks in your heart...

There is a special place in my heart for an NCO called Clarence van der Walt. Yeah...I used him in a new book. Who could do better than him?

I rarely use real people in my books, usually; but i loved that guy. He'd been shot up, badly, early on. But he took us out into the Indian country, and conducted himself as a soldier.

To me, the writer, he conducted himself in some ways, as much more than that;, it was his boys that mattered to him. It has been my fortune to meet men like him, and to honor them.

We'd been defending what was left of an armored car after it hit a a boosted Soviet anti-tank mine. It was supposed to be recovered the next day, and so it was. It was a long time to the next day and the night was full of gremlins.
---------------------------------------------------------
I awakened after a long night of sentry duty, behind a machine gun. The dream of terrorists jumping upon me as I slept has never left me. I l sleep with my knife to this day. Maybe I'll get over that, but it's no big deal. Most folks sleep with their knives, don't they?

Yet that morning when Sgt Clarence van der Walt sat up on our possy, and sang this song to us, his boys, I will remember this forever. I loved him then, and I always will. Because in the horror of war, he loved us. Clarence, God bless you, my friend..

And ind the beauty of an African morning, he sang this to us.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDtJctcarBk

Talbot
#293411 by GuitarMikeB
Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:37 pm
Never knew Wakeman did the piano.
#293415 by MikeTalbot
Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:01 pm
I saw a concert of Cat Stevens with an orchestra on TV in the seventies where he played the piano. He was good but Wakeman is in a class of his own.

Talbot
#293428 by Planetguy
Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:11 pm
thanks for sharing that story, MT. I always enjoy your writing.

i too had no idea that was Wakeman tickling the ivories on that tune. I liked Cat Stevens back in the day, right up to the "Catch Bull At Four" album, but that stuff doesn't hold up for me at this point.
#293444 by Cajundaddy
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:19 pm
Talbot you have lived a wild and full life. Thanks for sharing.

I was an early Cat Stevens fan and did not understand when he converted to Islam and left music behind. How does one just leave music behind? It seems he lived a mostly philanthropic life in London and encouraged peace instead of radicalism. His brother had converted to Judaism so it must have been interesting over the holidays.
#293453 by MikeTalbot
Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:06 am
CJ

The muslim thing never made sense to me either. Not after Tea for the Tillerman.

I wonder if he and his brother exchanged presents at Christmas? That could have been a wacky scene. Yet oddly enough Islam and Judaism are actually not so very far apart. When you think how easy it should be for peace to reign but I guess it's harder than it looks.

Merry Christmas!

Talbot

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