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Goin Home at Last

Story ID:6716
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Year:1946
Person:Happy Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Going Home at Last

Mustered out in December-46
With wages and back pay
I had four hundred bucks or more
In my pocket on that day.

We departed from Camp Beal, Ca.
After two years overseas
Jr. Mahan and I took the Greyhound bus to El Dorado
Two happy ex-soldiers if you please.

We were still in Uniform
In our Class “A’s”
Had not purchased any “civvy’s”
To wear yet today.

We decided to stop off in Rock Springs
After several hours on the bus
A little town in Wyoming
A soft bed, hot bath and fresh grooming for us.

After a good meal
We thought we’d take a chance
Go to the local movie in town, but
Went to the service center to dance

We found a table
Ordered a couple brews
Looked around at the ladies
And a couple girls Jr. did choose.

We asked them to dance
We danced a few times that night
As we sat one dance “out”
I got a weird feeling, something wasn’t right.

The girls suggested we get a taxi
And go to a nightclub called “Bucket of Blood”
10 miles out of town
Up a poorly paved bumpy secondary road.

When the taxi arrived
The girls knew the burly driver and his friend
All the way to the club
They were talking to the two of them,

Got to the “Bucket of Blood”
Stepped in through the door
Music so loud
All you could hear was a roar

We were the only “whitie’s”
Everyone else was black
Made me nervous
I said let’s go back

Stepped outside the “Bucket of Blood”
The same taxi was waiting
Same two guys in the front
Was this a robbery in the making?

On the way back to Rock Springs
On this lonely road
The taxi ran out of gas
I was ready to unload

Jr. and I had almost a thousand bucks
Between he and I
Had my hand on the door latch
I was ready to fly

The girl I was with
Through the moonlit window shown
I saw reach deep into her purse
She took out something shiny, was this a gun?

I had never had 4 hundred dollars
Before in my born days
I did not want some thief
To take it away.

Two high beam headlights
Approached us from behind
Was a gasoline tanker
Got gas for the taxi and I started to unwind

The girls wanted to go to the “Purple Sage”
On the other side of town
Paid the taxi drivers 40 bucks
Went in and sat down

The only two uniformed soldiers
In the “Purple Sage”
As dancers danced by
Rude remarks at us were made

A fight broke out
Jr. and I went outside to watch and talk
We decided to leave
Head on down to town if we had to walk.

We thought that wouldn’t be right
We went back to our booth
The girls ordered steaks
We’d lost our appetites, that’s the truth

We called the taxi this time
Took the girls home
On the way back to the hotel
The taxi driver said did you know

Your dates were married women
Not far from Rock Springs
Their husbands are working in the oilfields
The girls wore no rings

When we reached our room
Jr. called the bus depot
There was a bus leaving in twenty minutes
We were on it don’t you know

As we hurriedly packed our barracks bags
Jr. said to me
Were you worried about what happened tonight?
Frustration on his face I could plainly see

The same thoughts
Had crossed his mind
He bent over the bed
Said “go ahead kick my behind.”


Were we suffering from paranoia?
Were the two taxi drivers looking to rob us?
Was the taxi really out of gas?
No more taking the “Greyhound Bus.”

Monte L. Manka 1-19-2011