Larry Ericksen

Profile Updated: August 2, 2016
Larry Ericksen
Residing In Hot Springs, AR USA
Spouse/Partner Vikki
Occupation Primary Care Giver/ writer/ inventor/ Retired
Children Clinton, August 20, 1970--LEO
Cody, December 7, 1972--SAGITTARIUS
Anthony (Antonio Lexerot/actor/producer) More…May 15,1974--TAURUS
Kenneth (Ken), February 13, 1976--AQUARIUS
Dustin, February 13, 1976--LIBRA
Windy, May 31,1979--GEMINI
Saraswati, June 27, 2001--CANCER
Rachel July19--Cancer(My adopted daughter)
Military Service US Air Force  
Larry Ericksen

Yearbook

Yes! Attending Reunion
School Story

1966
Musing through the extremes, the mixed memories, surrounding 1966 is with varied emotion. When first I came to be at Skyline, it was for my senior year. Previously I attended a small school in central Utah, which gathered students from seven surrounding towns. That graduating class numbered 27 of us, and then at Skyline there were approximately 700 to 800, that graduated in1966. The largest graduating class to that point in time and to me it seemed like 2700!
During my senior year, the teachers that impressed me the most were my English and math teachers. The math teacher was also the teacher/military advisor for the Civil Air Patrol. The English teacher looked beyond the seemingly obvious, looking within me, explaining the why question differently than at the previous school, we adapted with that knowing. The Math teacher would share more than curriculum, sharing wisdom for life that could aid us beyond school.
I remember the school pride in the previous football team’s records at previous state championship games. Then there is also, remembering, the schools disappointment at not taking state in 1966.
I remember the Civil Air Patrol drill team, how we bonded as friends; learned the marching, the drills, and the drill and ceremony, and the teamwork. We only had the hallway in front of the Gym to practice in. Also, I remember the taunting; the jeering of those we passed through in that same hallway. Then there was our first public appearance at a basketball game’s half time… we had to put socks on our shoes to protect the gym floor. With the socks, we looked like Bambi on ice, and quite the disaster and embarrassment. In addition; there was more laughter, more jeering? Our drills required the sharp, precise, footfalls we had learned in that hallway; they required solid, tactile contact with the floor, with the socks, it was not so.
However, I also recall the drill team’s invitation; and our journey to the Sun Bowl Parade in San Antonio Texas. I remember our day trip to Tijuana Mexico, the bullfight, the street venders, and, “do not eat the salad.” On the day of the parade, those small town nerves within me frayed. They positioned the team in the middle of the parade participants, and we waited, and waited. Finally; after the long wait, everything swirled with chaos, and then, rush into action. As we proceeded along the parade route, boxed in the middle for the duration, the team cycled through the various drills we had hard learned. As time passed, the crowd crowded onto the parade route leaving little space for floats or for the others within the parade to perform. One of our drills took an expanded space, at first; it almost did not work out well. Then ahead of us, the crowd began catching glimpses of us doing that drill. The sea of people ahead of us began to part in anticipation, with the expectation of the moment it would happen again close to them. Thus, it continued to the end of the parade. After all was over, the team returned home, and to Skyline, the team received the trophy for “top military honors,” and special recognition of the Grand Marshall, for crowd control, we had parted the sea, controlled the crowd. The Marine Corps Sabers were there, marching bands that performed for presidents and dignitaries, and others equal, were there. Yet the Skyline team brought back the trophy. There was no jeering on our return. Those same drills, teamwork, drill and ceremony did much for my leadership and me later on.
I remember looking from 1966 to the future, seeing dark clouds hovering over an abyss, it was to become a waiting game. The war eventually had this “fair” list for selecting the next of us. The list, was taking many of us kids and… In 1966, I had a girlfriend; surprisingly to me, I did graduate, then I got a job, and began to await the inevitable… I waited for the next thing to come from the abyss. After graduating I thought of the list; I broke up with my fiancée. I did not think it would be fair to her. Fair for her; to be engaged to me, probably alone through high school, alone for her junior and senior proms, just waiting in her own void, not knowing...waiting. Certainly not fare, with that which I saw coming for me with that list. That summer I took off to California with my best friend, we were disappointed. It was cold, barren at the beaches, back to SLC, and more waiting. The war was taking kids, dropping them in a jungle on the other side of the world. Did I say jungle? Well I should have said meat grinder! They sent back the pieces they could find of those kids, sent them back to another meat grinder, one that they had once called home. Ounce returned we were; reviled, spit upon. There was no hero’s welcome, no thank you, and no welcome at all. There was no longer a place for them, except to work for those, which somehow dodged it all, again, why? I had little doubt that I was on that same list with the same outcome. I believe that every person going into a war gives his or her life. Some who return; are still sucking air, others return in boxes, either way, their lives… forever altered. That “best friend” that I mentioned earlier, one day suggested that we join the Air Force together, on the Buddy System. September 11, 1967, we did just that. However, our recruiter called and convinced me to give my enlistment slot to another kid who had received his draft notice and had not opened it; there was that list again, so I did. Ironically, the first letter I received in basic training was my draft notice. That letter confirmed; I was definitely on that list, was it not for my friend, everything about my life would have been very different, was it to be that I would have even had a life. Am I grateful for that, more than can be said with words; thank you Ed! Yes saturated with memories that were 1966; some starker, more vivid, within, and across the abyss, more than can be shared and those which shall not be shared in this forum. From then; across all the abysses, with all the times of bliss, to now and beyond may it be that you are or become happy, healthy, and successful. Continue boldly; find your bliss, live a life filled with bliss.

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Posted on: Aug 02, 2016 at 7:29 PM