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Places I Have Been, (Mom's Camera)

Story ID:6419
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Year:1940
Person:Photo takin Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Places I Have Been, (Mom's Camera)

Places I Have Been, (Mom's Camera)

Places I Have Been

(Momís 116 Kodak)

I started in Fairview, Oklahoma
Back in ď25Ē
Carried to Chelsea, Kansas
Was a long and dusty drive.

Settled on a farm
North of El Dorado, out on route three
Survived a cyclone and Tornado.
I was scared as could be

I lay on the shelf
In a closet, until
I went to El Dorado, Junior High
So Monte could take a still

Shot of the gym class
He shook
The picture was blurred
The one he took

I moved to Texas
In 1945
Camp Fannin
In a footlocker I did survive.

Into a barracks bag
Took a train to Alabama
Packed with the socks
And a leg of Monteís pajama.

Was packed again
Headed for Oregon State
Stuffed in with smelly socks
I made the trip just great.

I was moved to
Fort Lewis Washington
Went aboard a troop ship
Was lost in the hold, thot I was gone.

Passed by Pearl Harbor
And Eniwetok
31 days later
The ship docked.

At the Isle of Okinawa
I was dropped forty feet to the deck
Of the landing barge below, when I hit the bottom,
I thot Iíd broke my neck.

I was packed deep
In scads of dirty clothes
This is the only way I survived
As only Monte knows.

I survived a Typhoon on Okinawa
Everything got soaking wet
I was packed in a poncho
Under an Army cot, no need to fret.

I got on an LST
Was again thrown into a watery hold
Four days of swinging and swaying
I was dragged out into the cold

Of Inchon Harbor
In November, looked like rain
My film was cold and brittle
My focus hard to maintain.

Then I moved into a Quonset
Warmed by a diesel stove
In that warm footlocker
I didnít want to move.

I took many photos
Of Korea and the country side
Monte bought a Mercury II
I could have cried

After all Iíd been through
Nary a scratch or tear
To be replaced by a ď35Ē mm
Was more than I could bear.

So I am retired
Here in Hemet town
High up on a shelf
Above the shirts and gowns.

I know that I was loved
For those many years
Donít feel sorry for me
And donít shed any tears.

I no longer have to worry
About being hurt scratched or maimed
Iím happy
Just the same.

My photo days are over
Iím resting here in peace
What a life Iíve had
Iíve found the ďGolden FleeceĒ

Monte L. Manka 10-18-10