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An Airlift, A Fatal Accident and a Non-kiss

The Fall of Saigon

I wept when I saw the newsreels of the Ho-Chi-Minh city airlift. The people trotting beside and behind the planes to get aboard. The images of their fear and desperation was captured by the cameras pointing directly into their faces. Those moving images are etched on my memory forever.

Photo: Unsplash Andrey Larin

Car Crash in Middle America.

Another moment. Also related to Vietnam. An American explains how his father lost control of the family car one afternoon, killing the boy’s mother and sister. The boy lost his respect for authority at that moment. At least, that’s how he explains it in the documentary. He later took on the system and ensured that 20 ring binders of photocopied material were read in the Senate, furthering significantly the cause against the war in Southeast Asia.

The Non-Kiss

The third TV moment was a man reminiscing. As a teenager, he’d sat on a couch with a drunk, pretty girl. He tried to summon up the courage to kiss her. Just as he was about to lean in to kiss her, he lost his nerve.

A few moments later, she threw up.

‘Imagine’, he said, ‘if I’d kissed her and THEN she’d thrown up… I would always have felt that I had repelled her. I would always have wrongly assumed that my kiss caused her to vomit.’

I understand his gratitude so well; as well as his likely tendency to assume that it was all about him.