Chapter 1: Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain
February 01st 2019, Clear Lake Iowa
Chapter 1: Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain
February 01st 2019, Clear Lake Iowa
Everyone in the music scene had listened to Don Mclean’s “the day the music died”. It’s a small tribute to the infamous plane crash where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper perished in the infamous plane crash. It was a day that affected music scene like no other, like the day Patsy Kline’s plane crashed, or when John Denver’s plane crashed.
Our story begins 60 years after the ill-fated plane crash. Our young protagonist, Calvin Bradford had saved enough money to drive from his native Tekemah, Nebraska to Clear Lake Iowa. Calvin stood at 5’10, had strawberry blond hair, light blue eyes, pale white skin and donned a grey tweed suit, with a white button up shirt and a red tie. He also wore glasses that were strikingly similar to Buddy Holly’s glasses. To combat the cold, he also wore a trench coat and had a scarf on.
Calvin was driving a 1955 Nash Metropolitan, which he planned to show off at the winter dance party reunion party. He had got it for a good price which his parents helped by chipping in to help him purchase it back when he turned 16. Now at 22 he thought about all the work he put into the car. The black and white paint job, the new radio, the new automatic transmission and new upholstery.
It was a rainy day in Nebraska. Calvin listened to the Cascades on the radio as they sung about the falling rain. He thought about the three hour trip ahead of him and about that terrible night. He kept thinking about the plane crash wishing someone could have stopped it. He loved their music so much and didn’t want it all to end. It did end though. There was nothing Calvin could do though.
His cellphone alerted him with the “Welcome to Iowa” as he listened to the 50s on Five Channel on the newly installed Sirius XM radio in his car. Suddenly, the sky began to turn red for a brief moment and the radio cut out to silence. He looked out to the frozen corn fields and stopped his car starring at the red sky. The rain began to fall in reverse. He looked to the sun in the sky in amazement as it flew through the sky at an amazing speed, night became day and then night became day. Calvin pulled out his cellphone and began to film the events occurring in front of his eyes. The temperature began to heat up so Calvin took off his trench coat. Finally he stood watching corn sprout up from the ground, quickly to disappear again. Finally it stopped. The bitter cold returned so he put his trench coat back on and got back in the car.
Calvin continued his trip towards Clear Lake Iowa. He was shocked that the radio wasn’t working, he would have to call Sirius XM when he got home. His phone signal was dead too. He wondered why this was, sure coverage would be spotty in rural Iowa but he had absolutely no coverage. He continued his trip until he noticed several cars pulling into a nearby town. These cars were from the 1950s and 1940s. He counted the makes and models. 1954 Studebaker, 1957 Cadillac, 1955 Ford F-100 Truck all pulling into town. Calvin turned into town to figure out what in god’s name was going on, also to see if he could pick up a phone signal.
Chapter 2: This is heavy Doc
Calvin parked his car at the outskirts of town. He had a suspicion that this wasn’t just a classic car meetup judging by the plates. It was still freezing out so he bundled up the best he could and went into town to investigate. The sign outside of town read “Welcome to Onawa, Iowa, population 3,176.” As Calvin walked down the street it was like something out of a movie. People were dressed like it was the 1950s. He held his phone in his pocket knowing if it were scene he was done.
He walked up to a newspaper stand, and held a newspaper. “The Des Moines Register, February 01st 1959.” He quickly put the newspaper back down. He thought he was just like Marty McFly. He was in the 1950s. He also thought for a moment about his trip to clear lake. The band should be arriving in Clear Lake tomorrow. He didn’t have tickets to the event, but he had tickets to the event back in 2019. He also had no money from 1959 and he was going to need gas eventually once he got a little farther.
He looked in his wallet and was shocked to find it filled to the brim of 1950s notes, a 1950s driver’s license, and that his credit card was gone. There was a note in the wallet to. He sat down on a bench and began to read the note.
“You probably don’t know who I am but I’m an alien space bat. I’ve taken the liberty of taking you back to the time period you loved so much. I’ve given you the means to save Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. You still have your phone, which is proof that you are from the future. Other than that, it’s up to you to do what you will in this far gone time. Good luck!”
He wondered what an alien space bat was but he didn’t know. His stomach rumbled. He walked into a diner and sat down. He looked around the diner and thought he really was in the 50s. In his wallet, he noticed he had way than more than enough for at least a few weeks. He rounded off for inflation.
“Hi and what can I get ya to drink?” The waitress asked. As he sat on the red leather upholstery he looked at the menu. “I’ll take a Cherry coke please.” The waitress headed off to get a Cherry coke. Calvin then began to plan out his game plan. He would head to Clear Lake, get tickets to the Surf Ballroom for the winter dance party. When the party was about to end, he would pull up this video on his phone which he had saved in his videos on his phone and show it to Buddy.
The waitress returned with his cherry coke. He examined the pristine glass bottle. It had a paper straw with red stripes on it. Calvin looked at the straw in for a brief second before remembering plastic wouldn't be mainstream for a few years. As he sipped the coke it tasted a hell of a lot better than the soft drinks he had back in 2019. All the preservatives weren’t in it. As he sipped the waitress took her pen and put it to her notebook. “So are you ready to order?” Calvin nodded. I’ll have an order of chicken fried steak.
The waitress nodded and went to the kitchen to put his order in. Calvin looked around the restaurant, it wasn’t a busy day. He thought most people would be in church this morning because it was a Sunday. He never thought of himself as religious but whoever sent him back, and he thought for a moment it most likely was not an “Alien Space Bat” had to be god.
Eventually the waitress came back with his order. After quickly eating, and giving a tip and paying Calvin headed back out to the outskirts of town. He noticed his license plate on his car had changed to match the rest of the cars around him. He was happy he wouldn’t be pulled over any time soon by any law enforcement wondering why his license plate was messed up. Aka 60 years from the future.
Calvin warmed his car up and began to think about his family. He would never see them again. He was shocked that he didn’t think of this sooner. He missed them dearly but he had a mission to do. As the car was warming up in the cold Iowan winter he turned his radio on and switched in back from the satellite radio to AM/FM radio. He heard a station talking about next year’s crop which was obviously a farmer’s station. There wasn’t anything else broadcasting nearby. Finally, Calvin got in his car and headed towards Clear Lake.
Chapter 3: Crying, waiting, hoping
The ride to Clear Lake for the most part was uneventful. Calvin made multiple stops for gasoline but he was happy with the cheap price of gasoline. Just 30 cents a gallon was a bargain! When he adjusted for inflation though he got $2.44. Still, it was a decent price for gasoline. He still had plenty of cash to burn once he got to clear lake.
The tiny little Nash made its way into Clear Lake Iowa on February 01st, 1959 at 2:00 PM. Calvin parked outside a motel and rented a room for three days. He made small talk with the guy behind the counter. “So you from outta town kid?” Calvin nodded. “I’m from Tekemah, Nebraska. I came to see Buddy Holly play tomorrow night.” The guy behind the counter nodded. “We got a few outta town folks that came in to hear them play. I don’t get this whole Rock and Roll thing but I guess you young folks are real into it so I won’t judge. I reckon you need to get some tickets? You better hurry, I heard from one fellow they were almost sold out.” Calvin’s face turned pale.
Calvin quickly drove to the surf ballroom and in a jiffy parked his nash. At the front door he walked up to the ticket man at the front door where a makeshift ticket stand was. The ticket man looked up at Calvin. “You’re in luck kid, just one ticket left.” Calvin quickly pulled out his wallet and was ready to pay. “$1.25 Please.” Calvin chuckled under his breath about the price of the ticket and quickly handed the man his money.
The rest of the day was uneventful for Calvin. He was bored out of his mind in the hotel room waiting for the concert to start. It wouldn’t be for another whole day. His room didn’t even have a TV in it. The TV was downstairs in the lobby. Calvin spent most of the time listening to the radio, walking around town, watching TV in the lobby and talking with people in town. Before he knew it, the concert was about to start.
February 02nd 1959 8:30 PM
Calvin pulled up to the side of the Surf Ballroom parking lot in Clear Lake Iowa that cold winter night. As he exited his Nash Metropolitan he watched as a man tinkered with the radiator on the tour bus. “Ticket’s please.” The ticket man from earlier asked. Calvin gave his ticket and entered the Surf Ballroom. As he stepped in he was truly stepping back in time. People were dancing as Buddy was up on stage. Singing his song “Crying, waiting, hoping.” While he was here he decided to enjoy the party while he could and come up with a plan on how to get back stage to warn Buddy and the rest. He had to stop the horrible tragedy that would unfold.
Chapter 04: Please don’t get on the plane
The party was starting to wind down. Calvin needed to act fast to prevent a tragedy. The crowd was leaving the ballroom as Calvin snuck backstage. Buddy was busy talking to Waylon Jenning’s and Ritchie was on the phone. Calvin waited patiently for Ritchie to get off the phone. “Ok I’ll stick it out. See what you can do about the bus. Ok bye.” Ritchie said on the phone to his manager. After he hung up Ritchie Valens approached Calvin. “What are you doing backstage? The shows over.” Calvin took a deep breath and pulled out his Samsung S7. This may sound crazy but I’m from the future.”
Buddy and the Big Bopper walked up to Calvin. “What do you mean you are from the future?” Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup and Carl Bunch walked in the room while Calvin showed them his phone. “This is my Samsung Galaxy S7. In the year 2019, people have these handheld devices called cellular phones. We can store color movies on them, pictures, music and do a lot on them. I need to show you this video to show you what happens to you guys tonight if you get on that plane.
The video began to play on the phone. “Aware of the changes in the air, Buddy Holly decided to turn his career in a new direction. He left the crickets, got married and moved to New York. He wanted to concentrate on song writing, but preforming was lucrative. So in the winter of 1959 he decided to join newcomers Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper for one more tour.” The video played with a bus going to various destinations throughout the Midwest, as La Bamba played in the background. Ritchie’s face lit up thinking about his music still being so well known in 2019.
All their faces turned white at the end. “Here’s a story from Clear Lake Iowa, three of the nation’s top Rock and Roll singing stars Ritchie Valens, JP The Big Bopper Richardson and Buddy Holly died today with their pilot in the crash of a chartered plane. Following before an appearance before 1,000 fans . . ." the wind in the video obscured the radio announcer while La Bamba played eerily in the background.
“So we all die?” Buddy said with a sad look on his face. “If you don’t get on that plane you won’t. Take the bus, no matter how cold it is.” The room was silent for a minute. Waylon Jennings spoke up. “So how did you get here? To 1959?” Calvin frowned. “It was by accident actually. I was driving to the 60th anniversary reunion at the surf ballroom and this happened. Calvin showed them all the video of the red sky, the corn growing in the winter and the time warp.
Ritchie then spoke up. “So what are you going to do now? We are all going to Fargo North Dakota on the Bus. Calvin frowned. “I’m running low on money actually, and when I came from 2019 I found all my 2019 money was replaced with 1959 money. My driver’s license even changed! Apparently I wasn’t born in 1996 anymore but 1936!
The Big Bopper spoke up. “If I were you, I’d tell the government. You must know about future history? You’d be an asset to the US Government then and could give us a leg up on the Russians!” Calvin thought about it for a second and realized that would be the only thing he could do. Calvin thanked them all and everyone swore not to get on the plane as they boarded the bus to Fargo North Dakota. The winter dance party would continue.
Calvin was going to drive to Des Moines to try and get in touch with someone with the government and convince them he was from the future. Calvin took pride in the fact he stopped one of the biggest tragedies in musical history. Calvin headed back to the Hotel and slept easily that night.
Chapter 5: Uncle Sam Needs Ya Boy
Calvin was running low on cash as he drove towards Des Moines. He would inform the governor he was from the future and that he needed to speak with someone higher up in the government, perhaps someone like President Eisenhower. Calvin already wondered what effects his presence in the past would have on the future. A Nixon victory in 1960? A failed Cuban revolution? Calvin was a history major in his local community college back home, hoping to one day go for his doctorate and become a professor of American History and he wondered how much information he would be able to divulge.
Des Moines was much smaller than he remembered. It wasn’t hard to find the capital building. He didn’t know if the governor would be in town that day but he hoped he would be in luck. He stopped by a newspaper stand to read that Governor Herschel C. Loveless, would be in town that week. He was very lucky. Calvin parked his Nash outside the capital building and walked up the steps. He was very nervous, not knowing how this would turn out.
As Calvin approached the counter, there was a secretary there. “Can I help you sir?” She asked in a flat tone. “This may sound crazy, but I need to speak to the governor. It’s urgent.” She rolled her eyes. “The governor isn’t taking visitors right now, but I might be able to squeeze you in for a few minutes. Please wait a second.” The secretary picked up a phone and began to dial the phone. “Governor Loveless? There’s a young man here to see you, he says it’s urgent. Yes Governor Loveless, only a few minutes, I understand.”
“You got lucky young man, head up the stairs to the third floor, he’s in his office on the right. Be quick though, he is very busy.” Calvin thanked the secretary has he headed up the stairs in a hurry to the governor’s office. Once he opened the door he saw a very upset Governor Loveless. “Well Youngman, this better be important. I have very important business to attend to.” Calvin took a deep breath. “Governor let’s not beat around the bush. I’m from the future.”
“What in god’s name do you mean boy? Are you crazy? I’ll have you locked away if you don’t show me proof right now!” Calvin pulled out his Samsung phone and showed the governor the footage of when he was transported to the past, photos of his family and pictures from 2019. “I’m from the year 2019. In a freak mishap I was sent back in time to 1959. I recently saved three musicians lives from dying in a plane crash. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. I have information about the future that would be critical to our countries role in the cold war. For example, Cuba is on the brink of a communist revolution and if Fidel Castro isn’t dealt with Cuba will remain a communist country all the way until my time in 2019. Batista also has to be dealt with too, he’s not popular either.”
Loveless was shocked. He had seen a lot in his life, working on the railroad as a turbine operator and being mayor of Ottumwa. This however was something he never thought he would see. This was something straight out of Buck Rogers. “Well son, I can’t help ya. I know someone who can.” Loveless said as he put his arm around Calvin in a fatherly gesture. He picked up the phone as quick as he could. “Get me the president.”
Chapter 06: Lonely Tear Drops
February 03rd 1959, Somewhere outside Des Moines Iowa
February 03rd 1959, Somewhere outside Des Moines Iowa
When the president had heard from the governor that there was someone of national importance that needed to be escorted to Washington, he was skeptical at first. However he knew the governor was serious when the Iowa National Guard was summoned to the capital building and escorted a young man to an airport outside Des Moines. A small convoy of military trucks drove out of the city to an undisclosed location, carrying Calvin, and locked away in a safe was the Samsung Galaxy S7 and its charger. Also in the convoy was Calvin’s 1955 Nash Metropolitan, which separated from the convoy to be stored in at Camp Dodge. The Army Corps of engineers took a closer look at his car, examining the radio on the inside which was a modern 2019 radio, examining the modern chassis and several other improvements that were made to the car. The convoy was like Roswell all over again. Public speculation soared over why the National Guard was deployed to the courthouse. Rumors also began to fly about a flying saucer being parked outside the capital building with the 1955 Nash being covered in a tarp. Others speculated about a possible communist saboteur. For years to come this would be known as the Des Moines UFO Incident.
It was 4:00 PM when Calvin reached the airport. Military men with newly issued M14 rifles pointed at Calvin telling him to board the DC-3 to Washington. Calvin had only seen pictures of DC-3’s in history books and was nervous to board but he boarded the plane. “We will be reaching Andrew’s Airforce Base in Washington DC in 2 Hours and 25 minutes. There you will be meeting President Eisenhower. You will be afforded accommodation, and will be given a small stipend while giving information about the future to the president. So long as you remain in line you will be fine.”
The plane took off from outside Des Moines and began its flight to Washington DC. Calvin sat back and twiddled his thumbs. He wondered about his future. He couldn’t work for the government forever. He was only one person. Perhaps if he played it right, provided enough info and was a good enough asset they would provide him with the resources the start a new life in the 50s/60s. He thought about where he would like to go. Calvin always loved Hawaii. He remembered visiting his Grandpa in Oahu. He had fond memories of the island. He began to start thinking about his mother and father.
January 01st 2019
“Happy New Year!” His parents said to him as he woke up to the smell of waffles cooking in the kitchen. “We just wanted to remind you that we are so proud of how well you’ve been doing this semester in school, staying for the winter semester, working at subway and paying half the tuition. We thought we’d surprise you with a new years breakfast!” Calvin smiled. “Thank you so much guys!” Calvin smiled as he sat down to his favorite breakfast meal of Belgian waffles. “We had another surprise lined up for you.” Behind him was his grandfather. “Pop pop!” The old man smiled. “How’s my big man? Pulling good grades I hope? I’m sorry I couldn’t make it for Christmas but flights out of Oahu were hard to get so I came for New Years!” Calvin smiled. “As and Bs Pop pop. Though I still get Cs in math, I’m not the best at it.” The old man looked at Calvin. “I brought you something.” The old man held in his hands a pair of dog tags. “These are my dog tags. I remember when I was a young man the attack on Pearl Harbor. I told you the story time and time again but you know how I enlisted in 44, went to Iwo Jima and was stationed in Japan. I want you to have my dog tags. As a Marine, they ment a lot to me now in my older years I want you to have them. Semper Fi son.”
February 03rd 1959
Calvin pulled the dog tags out of his suit pocket. Tears began to roll down his face. “I miss you guys so much.” He said as he began to cry. One of the soldiers put his rifle down. “Ya miss home kid?” Calvin nodded. “I got the briefing. It must suck being pulled back in time. It’s like one of those books by HG Wells. What was it? The time machine? Think of it like this. You saved those young men’s lives. Now you have a chance to right the wrongs of the past. Your family would be so proud of you. “You think so?” Calvin said. The soldier nodded as he lit up a cigarette. “Want a smoke?” Calvin couldn’t believe that people smoked on planes in the 50s. “Heh, in my time you’d be kicked off the plane for smoking."
Chapter 07: Moonglow
It was 6:27 PM on February 03rd 1959 when the DC-3 landed in the Moonglow of Andrew’s Airforce Base in Washington DC. A black sedan pulled up that had President Eisenhower in it along with some secret service agents. Eisenhower stepped out of the sedan and greeted Calvin. “Welcome to Andrew’s Airforce Base. Please, come with me and my men. We have much to discuss.”
In a dimly lit room a soldier brought in a safe containing the Samsung S7 and opened up the safe. “Care to explain the watch Dick Tracy?” The president joked. Calvin chuckled. “First of all, it’s not a watch. It’s a phone. A cellular phone. In 2019, almost everyone has one. We can access something called the World Wide Web where we can communicate with almost anyone around the world instantly. It makes phone calls, sends text messages which are messages of text, and takes photos and video.”
“We have your car too, we examined the radio and found some parts in it we don’t understand. Care to explain that?” President Eisenhower inquired. “You guys launched explorer 1 last year right? In my time, we have numerous satellites orbiting the earth. These can send radio signals down to earth. That’s how I listened to my radio in my time.” The President nodded. “Finally, what do you know about the future? What should be our most pressing matter?” Calvin looked at the president. “Take out Castro and Batista. Cuba is going to be a HUGE problem for the USA. Castro will make it a communist country which lasts well into my time. Batista is unstable and makes the government unstable.” Eisenhower nodded. “We were aware about Batista but not Castro. We will take steps to make sure that Castro does not get in power. We will have to most likely send agents to assassinate him. Along with Batista.” Eisenhower was in thought for a moment. “We could have that Socarrás fellow take over. We could stage a coup. However we could work with the current administration with Cardona.” Calvin frowned for a moment. “Just be careful. I don’t want to see a repeat of the Bay of Pigs. In my timeline, after Castro took over you tried to oust him with a coup. Just be as careful as possible.”
Eisenhower looked at the young man. “We are the United States government. We will handle this situation as carefully as possible. I’m already working with director J Edgar Hoover on the Cuba situation. I’m going to inform him now about our target Castro. Batista isn’t much of a target anymore as he fled the country in January." Calvin, twiddling his thumbs looked back up at the president. “You are going to have to act quickly about Castro. He is going to be sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba on February 16th." The president looked back at Calvin. “We have agents in Cuba that can easily take him down. For now, I believe our conversation has come to an end. I am entrusting you with my friend here Brigadier General Thompson. I believe you met on the plane correct? Any information you have about the future you are to relay to him. He will relay it to his superiors where it will get to me. If we ever need to meet again, the meetings must be short and infrequent because I am the president of the United States. I would like to ask you one final question. Who wins the 1960 presidential election?” Calvin began to sweat. “John Fitzgerald Kennedy.” The president laughed. “Joe’s son? The senator from Massachusetts? I’ll be damned.”
Chapter 8: La Bayamesa, Democracia, Libertad!
February 10th 1959, Havana Cuba
February 10th 1959, Havana Cuba
John Mason walked the alleyways of Havana with his compatriots Robert Bowman and Jacob Woods. They were CIA agents tasked with orders from the president and J Edgar Hoover. To take out Fidel Castro with any means necessary. They met up with their contact, in the backstreets of Havana. Miguel Rodriguez informed them of the situation. “Castro eats lunch at 12:30 PM at the Havana Hilton hotel. It’s currently 11:50 AM. Mason needs to get in this Chef Outfit, put arsenic in Castro’s French Onion soup and Bam! Señor Castro is dead!"
Mason nodded. Bowman, Woods, you are dismissed. I can do this on my own. John Mason made his way to the Havana Hilton. He navigated the winding alleyways not to be detected. Finally he made his way through the back entrance into the men’s bathrooms, putting on the chef’s outfit holding the arsenic in hand. Mason fumbled as he put the chef's outfit on. Someone knocked on the door of the bathroom. "Is someone in there?" Masons blood turned cold. He stopped moving hoping they would go away. Fortunately they did. Mason then made his way to the kitchen.
In the kitchen he met up with the main chef. “You’re late! By the way, Señor Castro wants his lunch early today! So get to work on the French Onion soup!" Mason began to follow the recipe for the French Onion soup to the best of his ability, and he sprinkled the arsenic in the soup. Just enough to be lethal, but not enough to be detected with the tongue. Mason began to sweat. He hoped that this plan would go off without a hitch. The warmth in the kitchen didn't help at all seeing as the temperature was at an unusual high of 82 for February. Finally the soup was done. The waiter came out and took the soup from under Mason. "I'll take this to Señor Castro."
The waiter brought out the soup and the Cuban sandwich to Castro along with a Cherry Pepsi. Mason waited on the sidelines, hoping not to be noticed. He needed to confirm the kill. Castro sat next to Prime Minister José Miró Cardona. Cardona was the leader that the United States believed that they could work with. If that failed, they believed that Socarrás in Miami could take over. It was working! Castro began to choke and fell off his chair and hit his dead hard on the floor. He began to gurgle as people around began to call for help. Finally, Castro stopped rolling around on the floor. Fidel Castro was dead. Cardona was shocked. “The revolution now falls to you, Cardona.” Someone said to the prime minister.
Chapter 9: Semper Fi
Washington DC, February 12th 1959
Washington DC, February 12th 1959
Calvin had been set up with a comfortable apartment in Washington DC. Next door to his apartment was Brigadier General Thompson of the United States Marines. Calvin had been thinking a lot about of his future. The government had given him a lot. They gave him his old identity but with a new twist. He was still Calvin Bradford, but he was born on June 13th 1936, not June 13th 1996. The government gave him a healthy paycheck every month so long as he continued to give information about the future. He heard that President Eisenhower sent his Samsung S7 to an undisclosed private company to be examined. AMC was examining his Nash. Nash had merged with the Hudson Motor Car Company creating the American Motors Corporation (AMC). He wondered if this would give the American Motors a boost to survive into his time. He doubted it though.
He continued to weigh his options. The government gave him a high school diploma, he could go to university. He could use his future knowledge to eventually run for a government position. Finally, he was thinking of following in his grandfather’s footsteps. He held his grandfather’s dog tags in his pocket. He could enlist in the Marine Corps. He didn’t have much to lose. He was left behind in 1959, and wanted to serve the country that was giving him so much after being stranded here. He decided to enlist. He would have to get permission from the government though.
Calvin left his apartment and went to next door to the apartment of Brigadier General Thompson. “Brigadier General Thompson? I need to talk to you about something. It’s not about the future though.” Thompson opened the door. “Just call me Jack. Come on in Calvin. Do you want some coffee?” Calvin nodded. “Yes please.” Calvin sat down on the couch in the upper class DC apartment. Calvin was still amazed with the décor. Reminding him he really was in the 1950s. “So what is it Calvin?” Jack asked handing him some Coffee. “I want to join the Marine Corps.”
Jack nodded. “You know I’ll have to get permission from the President right?” Calvin nodded. Jack sighed. “It wasn’t easy for me. I’m an older fellow but I was there you know? I was at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Guadalcanal, I saw men die. It’s not pretty. I remember seeing you cry on the plane. I’m not sure if you could handle the job.” Calvin got red in the face. “My grandfather was in the Marine Corps! He was at Iwo Jima too! I know I can handle it because I want to serve my country!” Calvin said with a look of determination in his face. “That’s what I wanted to hear."
Chapter 10: Peggy Sue got Married
February 20th 1959
February 20th 1959
Buddy Holly had finally returned to New York City to see his wife. The plane arrived at La Guardia airport. Buddy was nervous of riding on planes now ever since that young man showed him and the rest of the winter dance performers that chilling video. Buddy already was writing a new song on the plane ride. “I’ll love you today.” He heard that Ritchie Valens dropped a single called “Tomorrow Man”. It was a secret between the three of them during the tour when Ritchie wrote this song on the side that the song was dedicated to Calvin for saving their lives.
The plane landed and Buddy left the terminal and greeted Maria. “Oh Buddy I missed you so much!” Buddy hugged and kissed his wife. “I missed you to Maria.” “How’s the baby?” Buddy asked. Maria smiled. “He’s doing well.” Buddy kept thinking about Calvin and how he saved his life. He thought of another huge way he could pay tribute to Calvin. “Hey Honey, I was thinking of names for the baby, and I thought of one I really liked.” Maria asked him. “What name would that be?” Buddy smiled. “How about Calvin? It just rolls right off the tongue. Calvin Holly.” Maria nodded. “If I don’t think of any other names I’ll consider it.”
The Big Bopper returned to Texas. He was happy to see his wife and daughter. The Big Bopper, was also given a brand new lease on life. He was unusually happy as he pumped out new song after song. Releasing two new singles in record time. The first, he called “Draft Time Blues” about his time in the US Army and his second single titled “Clear Lake Ballad”. Clear Lake Ballad confused most people with its eerie lyrics but it was meant for a small group of people to understand. Like Robert Johnson, the Beatles “Paul is Dead”, Clear Lake Ballad went into the history books as one of the big mysteries of music.
Meanwhile Ritchie returned back to California. He thought about Calvin a lot and the footage he was shown. He had been saved from and early death. Being the shy boy he was, he was quite shook by it. He began to see Donna in secret against Donna’s father’s wishes. Ritchie was still finishing up high school and he was still quite popular with everyone there. Ritchie wanted to go on tour again, so he got in contact with Buddy and the Big Bopper where they planned a big summer tour. This time, they would tour the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska. They called it the “Big 50 Tour.” Ritchie was excited, so was Buddy and the Big Bopper. They had a new lease on life and it was all thanks to Calvin.
Chapter 11: Halls of Montezuma
March 02nd 1959
March 02nd 1959
Calvin was on a bus headed to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. Eisenhower and Jack Thompson had pulled a lot of strings to get Calvin in the marines as quickly as possible. The radio on the bus was playing a rock and roll station. “And now, the newest single by Ritchie Valens, Tomorrow Man!” Calvin tapped his feet on the bus, along with the rest of the recruits. “Future Man, where are you Future Man? From so far away, to a time unknown? Future man, future man, you took the whole darn world by surprise, you made me realize. Future man, future man, you saved me from a perilous deathtrap in the sky? Future man, future man, where are you oh future man?”
The song continued on the radio as the bus driver told the recruits to stop tapping their feet. That they were nearing the recruit depot. The bus came to a screeching halt. A drill instructor came on the bus. “I am drill instructor Brown! You will speak only when spoken to! You will refer to me as Sir!” NOW GET OFF MY BUS!” The Recruits yelled “Sir Yes Sir!” In unison. The recruits stood on the yellow footprints, listened to the instructor and eventually made their way past the doors inside the depot. They were in for a treat.
By mid-day Calvin was feeling exhausted but he pushed on. At lunch time he had an apple, ham sandwich and a glass bottle of milk. Brigadier General Thompson was on base shadowing him and his training. Drill instructor Brown was briefed about the situation with Calvin but that didn’t effect Calvin’s training. Calvin didn’t make any conversation with any of the other marines as he wasn’t allowed to. It was just time to eat and then back to training.
Calvin kept a journal. That night he put his first journal entry. “March 02nd 1959. Today we immediately began with basic strength training, nothing that bad. I never considered myself out of shape but it was challenging. We were taught also how to make our bed, and basically everything we already knew all over again. I wonder if I would be harder in the 2019 marines than the 1959 marines. Drill instructor Brown, is firm but a good drill instructor. I’m sure I’ll do well here in the marines.” Just then he heard “LIGHT’S OUT!” From the Drill instructor.
Chapter 12: The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
February 04th 1959
February 04th 1959
President Eisenhower sat down at his desk holding in his hands the most advanced computing device in the world of 1959. He was terrified of the military finding out about the technology that was held in this tiny little “phone” as Calvin put it. That young man was now in a pushy little DC Apartment with Brigadier General Thompson. As he looked through the phone, he pretty much saw the life of the young man in 2019. Pictures of his family, his car, his college and then something else popped up. “What in god’s name is a dank meme?” He looked at the colorful picture on the screen of a colorful frowning frog on the screen with the caption above saying “>tfw you will never live in the 1950s” He gathered various other “memes” about the 1950s, history and things to come. One was rather tasteless. It was a picture of Joe’s son, saying “God this parade sucks someone shoot me.” With a fellow named Oswald bellow saying “got you fam.”
Eisenhower picked up his rotary phone in the oval office called up Calvin. “Operator, give me Sunnyside Apartments, room number 211.” As the phone began to ring Calvin picked up. “Hello?” Calvin asked. “Calvin, this is the president, I was going through your phone and I found some disturbing content. Can you explain to me what a meme is and why JFK gets shot in a parade?” Calvin rubbed his temples and moaned. It was those stupid memes his friends sent him back in college. “Calvin, are you listening to me?” Calvin sighed. “Yes Mr. President. They are called memes, they are dark humor from my time. My friends sent me these pictures making fun of me for liking this decade. As for JFK, he is assassinated three years into his presidency by Lee Harvey Oswald. A former marine and Marxist. He moved to the soviet union at one point I don’t know when but he eventually returns and kills JFK."
Eisenhower was shocked to say the least. “With this evidence, we have enough to stop Oswald preemptively. Regardless of who wins the election. I’m sending your phone to IBM to be examined. It’s too dangerous to fall into the hands of the military. I’d rather trust the private sector to develop this technology.” Calvin sighed. “Goodbye Mr. President. Have a nice day.” And hung up. “Calvin? Calvin!”
The president held both phones in his hands. One, a product of its time. A bulky cherry red rotary phone, the other a compact Samsung S7 cellular phone. The president took out a pen and parchment and began to write to the CEO of IBM. “Mr. Watson, in this secure box from the government is a cellular phone. It is the only one of its kind in existence. The government of the United States came into contact with a time traveler from 2019 that possessed this phone. In it, are parts that can be hardly comprehended by our minds in 1959. I implore you, as the President of the United States to reverse engineer the technology as best you can for the benefit of the private sector. I must keep this letter brief as I have more pressing matters to attend to. Good luck, and be careful. The phone is highly sensitive.” Signed, President Eisenhower.
The president then took this took this to the white house mail room. “Hey Mr. President, how’s it going?” The president was sweating nervously. “Get this to the desk of the CEO of IBM as quickly as possible. Tell no-one what it is. So help you god you are in deep trouble son.” He told the young man in the mail room handing him the cell phone. “Package it up now!” Ike left the room while the young man looked at the cellphone in his hand. The young man opened up the phone and ended up playing a song by the crystals, “He’s a rebel (1962)”. “I’ve never heard that song before . . .” The young man said as he turned the phone off and package the phone in a brown box and addressed it to IBM. The young man, in fear of retaliation of an angry president kept silent.
Chapter 13: Ever Onward
February 8th 1959
February 8th 1959
Thomas Watson Jr. sat at his desk Armonk, New York. He was signing papers when a courier entered the room. “Official white house correspondence Mr. Watson.” Thomas looked up at the young man standing above him. “What does Ike want with me?” The courier just looked at Thomas Watson Jr. “No Idea Sir. I’m just the courier.” The courier left and gave the package and letter to the CEO. The CEO examined the package in great detail. It had the seal of the president of the United States and was listed with “White House Official White House Correspondence.”
The CEO opened up the letter and began to read. As he read he read in pure disbelief. This had to be a prank of some sort. There was no way this was from the president. He opened up the package and examined the phone. It was real alright. “The boys on the factory floor are going to get a kick out of this . . ." He examined the phone, listened to the music on the phone. He really enjoyed Sheila by Tommy Roe. He looked at the crisp clear pictures on the phone and the clear video.
The phone was sent to the factory floor. A group of IBM engineers put the phone under an X-Ray to examine the inside of the phone. “The camera on this phone is so small!” One of the engineers commented. They continued to examine the parts including the processor, the charger was interesting to the engineers. This whole phone was going to change the course of technological development of the 1960s. Everyone in the company that knew about the phone was very excited.
After examining it under the X-Ray machine the engineers gathered a lot of data about the phone of the future. They learned about how a digital camera works, both filming and photography, advanced charging techniques, data storage techniques and advanced display techniques. Some of the technology could be reverse engineered within about 5 years for the consumer market but others like the internet would take decades to develop properly. Regardless, IBM would now be at the forefront of progress now for years to come.
Chapter 14: Honolulu Rock a Roll-a
May 04th 1959
May 04th 1959
Calvin had finally finished his training with the long 10 mile hike. There he and his fellow marines held the 48 star flag in their hands. “Now men! As part of the completion of your training, you are to raise our nation’s flag!” Calvin nodded and took the flag and began to raise it. It was a chilly spring morning in San Diego, the troops were tired, but they had done it. They had earned the title. They were now United States Marines. Now they headed back to base for graduation. They were all in for a surprise when a special someone came to the base to observe the graduation . . .
“Marines! May I present to you, our commander in chief, the president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower!” Everyone began to clap as Eisenhower approached the podium to give a speech. “My fellow Americans, and my marines. Today you become members of our nation’s most elite fighting force. The United States Marines. I came here from Washington to give you the pleasure of congratulating you for your sacrifices for serving our country. As you may know, I served as a general in the Second World War and over saw allied operations in Europe. I know the struggle that many soldiers go through in their lives. So that’s why I am here today to congratulate all of you for your struggle. Go forward marines and be proud of the title you earned here today!”
The Marines all cheered in a chorus of “Oorahs!” and were ready to receive their first assignments. The president personally gave out awards to the marines and gave them their title of Marine. Calvin was ready to get his first assignment. Brigadier General Thompson walked up to Calvin. “Calvin, you got lucky! You are going to Hawaii! Lucky you! There you are going to continue to train with your rifle skills. You did score best in your unit for marksmanship. Your physical fitness can be improved. I’m still going to shadow you in Hawaii on orders of the president. “
Calvin got a huge smile on his face. “That’s where my grandfather was stationed! Well during WW2, during this time he lives on Maui. He moved back to Oahu in 99.” Thompson looked back at Calvin. “I hope you enjoy your assignment. You ship out in an hour. Dismissed.” Calvin proceeded to board a PAN AM plane from San Diego to Honolulu Hawaii. He was so excited to be returning to Hawaii. He was dressed in his Marine Dress Blues as people in the airport gave him great amounts of respect. After a 6 hour flight he looked out the window of the PAN AM plane and saw the white sands of Waikiki. “I’m home.” He said. “I’m shocked how Waikiki’s changed." Calvin commented looking out the window.
Chapter 15: There’s a place called Oahu
August 21st 1959
August 21st 1959
After touring Alaska, Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens showed up in Hawaii for their Big 50 Tour. The Big Bopper released his newest album “Summertime High” which included the hit song, “Oahu”. In a stunning turn of fortunes, it sounded just like the beach boys Kokomo. Instead of singing about Kokomo it sung about Oahu and the other Hawaiian Islands. “Hawai’i, Maui, Kaua’i, oh I want to take you to Moloka’i, Lana’i, come on pretty mama, Ni’ihau, Nihoa, baby why don't we go oh I want to take you down to Oahu, we'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow That's where we want to go, way down in Oahu.”
The Marine Base on Oahu was ecstatic to see the performers. There was another surprise appearance from none other than the king of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley! The marines on the base went wild at the appearance of the king of Rock and Roll. He performed his infamous hound dog performance and his jailhouse rock performance. Finally he ended it with his own cover of Honolulu Rock a rolla. Calvin was on base for the performance. He was drinking plenty of coconut rum and a Mai Tai. The performers gave him a special backstage pass for saving their lives back in February.
Calvin headed back stage to strike up conversation with the performers after the show. “Hey Elvis can I have your autograph?” The young marine asked. Elvis smiled and gave out his autograph. “Who am I making it out to?” “Just to Calvin.” Calvin replied. Elvis looked at his watch. “It was nice making an autograph for you Calvin, but I gotta swing. See you on the flip side.” Elvis then left the building. It was just Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.
Buddy was the first to speak. “Calvin, thank you for everything in February. I’m surprised to see you here serving our country too. Look at you! A marine!” Calvin gave Buddy a hug. “I thought I’d never see you again. Back in my time your music got me through a lot of hard times in college. People didn’t like me at all.” Ritchie was the next to speak up. “I know how that feels. No one liked me because of my Latino heritage.” Calvin nodded. “It’s not that, I was bullied for liking this time in history. I loved the music, the cars, the easy standard of living compared to my time but there were things I didn’t like. The suffering you face because of your Latino heritage, the fact that you guys can’t perform in the south because of Jim Crow. Nothings ever perfect but I looked to some things in this time as something to strive for.”
The Big Bopper was the next to speak up. “Well you are here now. You have made such a big influence on this time. You saved us, you have served your country too just like I have!” Calvin smiled. “Thanks JP. I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.” Calvin looked at all three and looked at his military watch. “I have to get back to guard duty. It was great seeing you all again. I hope to see you all again.” Calvin left and the three stars left for California to continue planning their futures.
Chapter 16: Dream Lover
December 31st 1959
December 31st 1959
Calvin was off base for the New Years. He was at a local bar in Honolulu for a new year’s party. He ordered his favorite drink, a Mai Tai and sat down at the bar. As it was New Year’s Eve, he was dressed in his marine blues to celebrate the New Year. Across the bar was a Hawaiian girl. He was feeling confident so he walked up to her and sat next to her. “Hey there. My names Calvin. What’s your name?” She looked up at Calvin and smiled. “My names Alani. It’s nice to meet you.” Calvin smiled. “Would you like me to buy you a Mai Tai?” Alani looked at the young marine with a smile on her face. “A lot of haole men have offered me drinks but I feel you are the first to have good mana. I accept your offer.” Alani said.
The two eventually left the bar and walked the sands of Waikiki. They watched the fireworks go off as the year switched to 1960. They talked about their favorite music and foods. The two had hit it off in only a few hours. “Calvin, it was nice talking to you.” Calvin smiled back. “It was great talking to you too.” Alani reached into her purse and pulled out a notebook and a pen and wrote down her number. “This is my number, if you are ever off base we can hang out some time. Don’t hesitate to call me!” Calvin nodded as the two youngsters left. Calvin for his base, and Alani for home.
Alani walked home to her small house on Honolulu. She was a 22 year old Hawaiian girl without any prospects for a future. Her father wanted her to continue the fishing business along with her mother. Her mother was hoping she would find a nice young man to settle down with. “Mom I’m home!” Alani said. “Hi honey! How was your new year party?” Alani smiled. “It was great! I met a nice guy!” Her father smiled. “Is he Hawaiian?” Alani frowned. “No father, he’s an haole. He was very nice though, he bought me a drink!” Her father stomped. “You know how I feel about the haole! They don’t care about our culture!” Alane looked up to her father. “Father please, I’m sure if you met him you would like him. Give him a chance? For me daddy?” The old fisherman looked at his young daughter. “Fine. But if he lies a hand on you it’s over.”
Calvin laid on his cot on base thinking about Alani. He knew that miscegenation laws in Hawaii were only repealed in 1951, and wondered about the public sentiment that would rise against him and his relationship with Alani. He always admired Hawaiian culture. Their tenacity in the face of adversity. He knew that they couldn’t even practice their culture again until the 1970s. He knew he had to do something, he could inform the president and get in touch with the governor of Hawaii and maybe get some civil rights for native Hawaiians early? He pushed his face in the pillow. It was times like this he wished he was still in 2019. The racism of 1959 sucked.
Chapter 17: Nixon Now
July 25th 1960
July 25th 1960
Richard Nixon was at the Chicago 1960 Republican National convention. Nixon had greatly changed his campaign strategy given information from the president. Calvin had even leaked the lyrics of the song “Nixon Now” as a favor to the president. In one of his chats with the president, Calvin wrote down the lyrics and mailed it to the white house from Hawaii. Nixon got Elvis to sing the lyrics to Nixon now and release it on record greatly boosting his popularity and giving him the edge to gain the republican nomination. Which as in our timeline, he did with much more fanfare. As in our timeline, he ran with Henry Cabot Lodge.
Richard Nixon had gained the Republican Nomination. He spent the rest of the summer and fall on a heavy campaign. Having future information about the upcoming first televised presidential debate, he tried his best to conceal his sweat by using talcum powder, heavy makeup and other amenities to make himself look better than Kennedy. It surprisingly worked to his advantage. By the time November rolled around Nixon was trailing Kennedy by 10% in the polls. It looked like Nixon was going to beat Kennedy by most political spectators.
Calvin identified as a conservative, he didn’t particularly like Nixon, but once word got to Nixon about his blunder in 1974 he vowed to Calvin not to mess up like he did in 1974. Calvin didn’t trust him. His other choice was Kennedy. He heard Oswald had been taken out silently on orders of the president. He had no idea what a Kennedy presidency would look like post 1963. He knew Nixon and decided to vote for him. Then again one vote wouldn’t sway an entire election. Then he remembered the butterflies were already flying. Cuba wasn’t a communist country anymore, and had its elections in February of 1960.
As for the butterflies, he noticed in the music scene that Bobby Vee’s career didn’t take off like it did in our timeline because of the day the music died. If anything the music scene was a race between Buddy Holly and Elvis to see who was the best Rock and Roll star. Ritchie Valens had fallen to the sideline along with the Big Bopper but Ritchie remained popular in the Latino scene. Buddy had gotten back with the crickets in November, making up with them and Maria Holly had their baby named Calvin Holly. Things were changing, quickly.
As for technology, IBM had started work on trying to replicate the technology in the Samsung S7. Making small strides. Their first project was a digital color film camera. It was about 10% done and was projected to have a prototype by 1963 and a consumer model for sale by winter of 1964. They also planned for digital music production by 1965. They planned to have a complete cellular phone by 1970. The infrastructure for cell towers laid out by 1975 in some areas of the country.
Chapter 18: Hail to the Chief
November 8th 1960
“The final votes are in ladies and gentleman, the projected winner of the race is Richard Nixon! Our President Elect is Richard Nixon!” The Marines gathered around the television on Oahu. Calvin was nodded. “I voted for the man, I hope he keeps up Ike’s policies.” Another Marine threw his boot at the wall. “Bullshit man. I wanted Jack to win. We are gonna get a nuclear war now. Don’t you get it Calvin?” Calvin frowned at his fellow marine. “Just calm down. “We didn’t have nuclear war under Ike. I doubt we will get it under Nixon. We are gonna be fine. Besides you are forgetting I got promoted. I’m a lance corporal now. You are out of line private.”
The island of Hawaii was mostly saddened at the election of President Nixon, seeing as the state voted for Kennedy. Calvin made sure not to talk about politics to Alani. He was off base to go and see her father again. He remembered meeting him for the first time and actually making a good impression. Even though speaking Hawaiian was technically illegal he was learning the language with Alani and her parents. They have been dating for about a year. Calvin wasn’t sure when he would pop the question but he was going to give it another month. He was saving money for a ring to buy her.
As part of Calvin’s last talk with President Eisenhower he asked to talk to the governor of Hawaii. He rung up the president. “Why do you want to talk to the governor of Hawaii?” Ike asked him. “I want to get the Hawaiian language un banned. I also want to see Hawaiian taught in public schools in Hawaii and at the University.” The president was dumbfounded. Why did Calvin care so much about a dead language? “Why?” He simply asked. “Because my girlfriend is Hawaiian and I care about their culture. How would you feel if English was a dying culture and our way of life was dead?” The president immediately gave him the number of the governor of Hawaii and informed the governor of the situation.
William Quinn was in his office when he got a call from the president. He was informed of a situation about a young man of great importance. He then received a call from said young man. “Governor, I propose to you that you make a bill legalizing the Hawaiian language, implementing it in public schools and universities in Hawaii.” The governor rubbed his temples. “Look, the president told me about you. I won’t make any promises, I can’t draft any bills. You would have to talk to someone in the Hawaii legislature. May I suggest Robert White? He is sympathetic to the interests of native Hawaiians.”
Calvin had forgotten his basic civics lesson. He then contacted Robert White. A senator in the Hawaiian senate. “I propose to you that you make a bill legalizing the Hawaiian language, implementing it in public schools and universities in Hawaii.” The senator lit up on the other side of the phone. “It’s a novel idea, I’ll look into it young man.” Calvin smiled. He did something good for the people of Hawaii. He looked at his watch. “Shit! I’m late for guard duty!”
Chapter 19: Heartbeat
December 01st 1960
December 01st 1960
Calvin had been dating Alani for about a year now. Today was a special day for him. He saved enough money to buy her a diamond ring. He got special permission to let her on base and was dressed in his marine blues. His fellow marines did the same. He drove a jeep to Alani’s house with a ring in the glove box of the military jeep. “Your ride is here my love.” Alani giggled. “Alright military man. Let’s get going.” The two passed the bar where they first met. “Remember when we first met?” Calvin said. “How could I possibly forget?” Alani said. Calvin smiled. “I’ve got something more special planned for tonight. Calvin said to Alani grabbing her hand as they neared the military base.
In the military base, were decorations along with the base commander with everyone in their dress blues. “Calvin, what’s going on?” Alani asked in confusion looking at everyone dressed up in their dress blues. “Alani, will you make me the happiest man on this base and marry me?” The marines all went “Ooooooooo” in unison Alani put her hands on her mouth in shock. Tears went down her face. “Yes Calvin! Yes I will!” The marines all congratulated Calvin on his marriage proposal. They both carried the couple around the base as they put the jukebox on. “Heartbeat” and then “Earth Angel” played.
Calvin was getting married. On their off time the couple planned their wedding. Calvin being a Baptist wanted it at the local Baptist church. Alani wanted it on the beach in a traditional Hawaiian ceremony. Calvin relented for his fiancé. They would have the wedding on the white shores of Waikiki in February of 1961. They planned their Honeymoon. Calvin always wanted to see pre communist Cuba. Alani obliged for her fiancé as well on this and they booked a summer honeymoon in Cuba for 1961. They booked a room with the Hotel Saratoga and reservations for the Tropicana Club at their local travel agency.
The two spent their night watching the stars on the sands of Waikki. It was a dreamlike paradise for Calvin. He was a marine, he had a wife and it was the early 1960s. Nothing could go wrong. Could it? Then he remembered. Images flashed through his head of jungle warfare, crying mothers hearing about their sons being killed in a far off land in the jungles of South East Asia. The song “Have you ever seen the rain” played through his head as images of Vietnam floated through his head. Vietnam was coming. Whether the US would get involved now was a given with Nixon. He would certainly be sent off to war to die in the jungles. Leaving his poor wife here. A tear rolled down his face.
Chapter 20: Cuban Honeymoon
June 11th 1961
June 11th 1961
The ceremony and wedding that Calvin attended was beautiful. The traditional Hawaiian priest initiated the ceremony with blowing into the conch shell. Everyone was dressed in traditional Hawaiian apparel. The couple exchanged Lei, they blessed their wedding rings and finally finished with a dance. They played “Honolulu Rock A Rolla, listened to Ritchie Valen’s Newest Album “Americana”, and listened to “We Belong together” by Ritchie Valens on the record player. They also played “Heartbeat” by Buddy Holly. It was a small request by Calvin to play these songs.
The Cuban get away the two had was a dreamlike state. Calvin was amazed looking at a pre-communist Cuba. He smiled thinking that because of his work, this little island paradise would never be harmed by Castro or Batista and would be a functioning western democracy. The two stayed in the Hotel Saratoga, basking in the glories of early 1960s Cuba. They took in gambling at the casinos as well. Calvin, was a hot hand at blackjack and made off with a couple hundred dollars.
Finally, the two enjoyed the Tropicana Club Cabaret in downtown Havana. This is where Calvin began to think up how to get civil rights legislation passed. It was high time this country lived up to its creed. He also wanted to warn Dr. King of James Earl Ray and for him to beef up his security detail. He also thought about Malcom X, and the possibility of saving him too. The only problem was Calvin forgot how Malcom X was killed. Back at the hotel, he wrote down his plans. He would somehow get Nixon to work with Johnson on civil rights and make it a bi-partisan issue. He would just have to get around the dixiecrats somehow. Johnson could eventually succeed Nixon as the next president. He was just trying to get all his thoughts together. He would have a chat with tricky dick when he got back home.
Chapter 21: We hold these truths to be self-evident
When Calvin got back to base, the first thing he did was call up President Nixon. He was greeted by the gruff voice of the 35th president of the United States. “President Nixon Speaking.” Calvin took a deep breath. “Mr. President, it’s me Calvin. I’m sure your predecessor told you all about me correct?” Nixon looked at the file on his desk. “Ah yes, the time traveling marine from 2019. Your phone is doing a lot for digital film and computing for IBM, since Kodak has the patent for digital photography, the boys at IBM sent some of the details of the digital camera to Kodak. Anyway, what can I do for you, Calvin?” The president asked in a gruff voice.
“It’s high time this country had some civil rights legislation. I know how you feel about the topic and we have some problems to face with Wallace and Barnett.” Nixon sighed. “I’m aware of them. Look Cal, it will be hard to get some bi-partisan civil rights legislation out with the dixiecrats filibustering. I’ll see what I can do but I can’t make any promises. I’ll see what I can do with Senator Johnson. Read my lips Calvin, eventually this country will get civil rights legislation.” Calvin breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you Mr. President."
Excerpt from “America in the 20th Century: A Brief History”
President Richard Nixon, in his two terms, worked with his own party and moderate democrats to secure outstanding civil rights legislation that ultimately culminated with the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and the voting rights act of 1966. Both acts were provided great provisions for civil rights and liberties that banned Jim Crow laws in the south and ended discrimination for the most part in the south. These acts came later due to difficulty from the dixiecrats and Nixon’s difficulty in securing Bi-partisan support for both acts. Both acts however, were needed to stop the growing racial tension in the United States of America. Riots became commonplace throughout the South. Nixon called in the National Guard and military to quell the violence the best he could. Looking back today on this period in history, the Civil Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations. While the voting rights act of 1966 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
Chapter 22: Surf City
June 13th 1963
June 13th 1963
“Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you!” The marines and Alani sang to Calvin on the Hawaiian base. Calvin smiled. He was 27 now, he was starting to feel old now. It felt like just yesterday he arrived in 1959, saved Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. He proceeded to open his presents, he got some new Buddy Holly records and beach boy records. Calvin had also recently received his DD-214 and left the Marine Corps after a four year contact. He kept thinking about Vietnam coming in the future, especially with Nixon in office he was definitely going to send troops to Vietnam to stop the growth of communism. He wondered if he would get re-enlisted into the corps to help stop the spread of communism. His foreknowledge had gotten rusty now with all the butterflies starting to fly.
Calvin had gotten into the fishing business with Alani’s parents and saved enough money to put a down payment on a new house and car. It was a used car however, but it was in good shape for being over 10 years old at this point. He bought a 1949 Packard Station Sedan for him and Alani. “Hey honey is the baby kicking?” Calvin asked Alani. Alani smiled. “The little one is doing well. You can feel if you want.” Calvin reached over the couch to feel the baby kick as the couple sat down to watch television on their brand new color television. The other night they had watched President Nixon give a talk on civil rights. It was just like the speech Kennedy gave in Calvin’s timeline but slightly more aggressive in its tone. Calvin was sipping a cherry Pepsi when he suddenly heard the news broadcaster come on. “There’s just in, from Jackson Mississippi. Local Civil rights activist Medgar Evers just barely escaped with his life following an assassination attempt from the Ku Klux Klan. Evers escaped with his life after being nearly hit with a Klansman’s bullet. His wife, Myrlie was hit by the Klansman’s bullet and has died. We are getting more details as they come on the air.”
Calvin remembered in his timeline Medgar Evers had died on June the 12th, not the 13th and his wife had not died. His presence in the past had caused an innocent woman to be killed. Things were changing so fast for this timeline Calvin was beginning to worry. He remembered the riots from his timeline that happened and he wondered if they could get any worse. Civil Rights needed to come soon or else something bad could happen very quickly. Calvin rose from the couch and turned off the TV and sighed. “Would you like to go to the beach and get our mind off this Alani?” Calvin asked his wife. She nodded and the two left their small home on Oahu and left for the white sands of Waikiki.
Chapter 23: Beatlemania Hits the United States
February 9th 1964
February 9th 1964
Calvin and Alani sat in the living room of their house as the TV was on in the corner. Alani cuddled in her arms, a baby girl. Kalea was only a few days old after they brought her home from the hospital. Calvin was tied to the television as the Edd Sulivan show came on. “I don’t understand why you wanted to skip going to the beach to watch the Edd Sulivan show.” Alani said to her Husband. Calvin continued to stare at the TV. He was watching history unfold in front of his eyes. “Don’t you get it honey? The Beatles are the most popular band in the country right now! They pushed Buddy Holly and Elvis off their pedestals.”
The wooden Crosley TV showed a black and white picture of the Beatles singing their famous “I want to hold your hand.” Alani started to beat her feet to the rhythm of the song. The young couple held hands as they danced in their living room, Alani putting the baby down in her playpen. They were just two of the viewers of the 73 million watching. Calvin couldn’t wait until they released more of their most famous songs. His favorite was Lucy and the sky diamonds. He thought back to High School and his first girlfriend Lucy. It was their song. Now, he had Alani though and that was behind him. Or ahead of him?
Excerpt from “America in the 20th Century: A Brief History”
Music in the 1960s was instrumental with the explosion of the counterculture and of course the civil rights movement. President Richard Nixon’s Strategy was to take in the south by placating them with popular musicians. Musicians like Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper and of course, the brand new band, the Beatles. These musicians refused to perform in front of segregated crowds. In order to get civil rights legislation passed, Nixon tempted the south with these brand new musicians. In a speech alongside Martin Luther King, President Nixon commented “The Beatles aren’t coming to Selma Alabama, unless we have full equality of the races.” (1965) With most civil rights legislation passed by 1966, the Beatles began to tour the deep south. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper also toured the south as well. Along with other up and coming bands in the late 60s such as Jefferson Airplane and Credence Clearwater Revival. Even with the violence that continued in the south such as the Ku Klux Klan insurgency up into the early 70s these bands continued to play in the south. However in September of 1969 one of these concerts would turn deadly . . .
Chapter 24: Tragedy in Atlanta
September 01st 1969
It was an Indian summer in Georgia. The weather was hot and humid, the sun was out, and not a cloud in the sky as the Beatles took the stage. The first song they performed was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. The cameras began to roll for a local Atlanta news station. A large amount of people gathered to listen to the Beatles sing. Song after song, they eventually were singing Hey Jude. Unbeknownst to the Beatles and the crowd, the Klan was on the prowl. A homemade bomb, was planted under the stage and was about to go off.
It was instantaneous. The bomb exploded without a hitch. Killing the Beatles, and killing many in the crowd. There were various screams of terror as the cameras cut rolling at that point, but it was too late. The explosion was broadcast all across the Southern United States. Sirens wailed as the Atlanta PD showed up on the scene, Ambulances and fire trucks showed up to calm the situation.
People were escorted out of the concert area and thing eventually calmed down. The CIA determined that the Ku Klux Klan had set off the bomb killing the Beatles. President Johnson addressed the nation, calling for unity. The bomber was caught. James Earl Ray and other Ku Klux Klan members were involved with the bombing. He was arrested alongside with his fellow Klansmen. The Klan itself was not banned, but was put under heavy government scrutiny for years to come. The nation was rocked to its core. The Beatles became Martyrs for Civil Rights and would never be forgotten.
Excerpt from “America in the 20th Century: A Brief History”
The Death of the Beatles changed public opinion overnight about civil rights. A divided nation came together. The rioting came to a stop, as people embraced each other and their fellow man. It became one of those moments in American History. “Where were you when Pearl Harbor happened? Where were you when man landed on the moon? Where were you when the Beatles died?” In 1990 a statue of the Beatles was erected in the Park where they performed in Atlanta. The inscription read “Four young men from England, which touched the hearts of America, and brought a country together were taken from the world here on September 01st, 1969.”
John Lennon, 9 October 1940 - September 01st 1969
Paul McCartney, 18 June 1942 - September 01st 1969
Ringo Starr, 7 July 1940 - September 01st 1969
George Harrison, 25 February 1943 - September 01st 1969
Also listed were the other 19 victims, totaling 23 total victims including the Beatles.
Chapter 25: On the Eve of Destruction
August 03rd 1964
August 03rd 1964
Calvin was nervous. Very nervous as he stared at the new color TV he bought in the living room. He watched Nixon on the television giving a speech very different than Johnson’s from Calvin’s timeline. He spoke about containing communism in Southeast Asia, defending South Vietnam and avenging our forces lost in the gulf of Tonkin. America was getting involved in Vietnam. It was then when Calvin got a call on the phone. His face turned white instantly. Alani and Kalea looked up at Calvin as he answered the phone. “Calvin, this is the president. I need you in Saigon immediately. I dispatched a jeep to pick you up to take you to the airport. We will remain in contact over radio. Also, as of right now you are now re-enlisted into the United States marines. When your contact arrives at your place of residence, you will sign a document reinstating your service to the Marine Corps. Pack your bags. Also wear your Marine Blues. You are going to be meeting with some important people in Vietnam. Your information will be very useful to us.”
Calvin was escorted in a military jeep to the airport in Honolulu. There he boarded a Douglas C-54 which was labeled “Hang Khong Viet Nam” With a green dragon on the tail of the plane and a small South Vietnamese flag on the plane. On the plane, Calvin realized Nixon wasn’t playing around with the Vietnam situation. He noticed some familiar faces from base on the plane heading off to Vietnam all in combat uniforms. He was in his dress blues which made him stand out against the other combat ready marines from Hawaii. He began to address the situation in Vietnam. Regime change was needed. He knew that Diem was out just like in our timeline but a strong presidential figure and a new democratic government with a new constitution would most likely be needed. The South Vietnamese government would need to rally support under a massive propaganda campaign against the north and communism, showing how freedom of religion, speech and thought would die under a northern regime. Sure these things didn’t exist yet in the south but they were going to. If a free, un-corrupt South Vietnam didn’t come, Calvin was not going to help in a fruitless war.
Chapter 26: Calvin goes to Saigon
Calvin’s plane landed in Saigon. He was shadowed by a Vietnamese man that spoke fluent English and Vietnamese. Calvin knew he was witnessing history as he walked to a 1957 Chevy Bel Air. The driver drove the two men down the streets of Saigon. Calvin saw people going about their day to day business. He knew that if he failed, many of these people would end up dead, or as refugees in many different nations across the world. A broken community for years to come. His head thought about watching footage of the fall of Saigon in history class. Tears went down his eyes. All those people. “Are you ok?” The man asked Calvin in a heavy Vietnamese accent. “You wouldn’t understand . . .” Calvin said. “I think I would.” The man said. “I was informed of the situation by President Nixon and by Dương Văn Minh, chairman of the military council of the situation with you future boy. You are very important for the future of my country. I know you can stop the communists.” He said as he held my hand tightly. “I hope so.” Calvin said. As he wiped the tears from his face as they soiled the top of his dress blues.
The small car approached the Presidential Palace. The gates opened as soldiers marched nearby and did a 180 turn as the gates closed when the car went through. The soldiers were dressed in white. Inside the palace, Calvin sat down at a table with the chairman of the military council of South Vietnam, Dương Văn Minh. There, with his translator Calvin was able to communicate everything he knew about the future. The Tet offensive, unpopularity of the southern regime, why the regime was unpopular and the fall of Saigon. “In short, you need to dissolve the military council and have elections immediately. I would recommend having western observers like the United States and Australia observe the elections in order to have them be free and fair in order to have non corrupt candidates come to power.
Dương Văn Minh didn’t seem convinced at first. “Why should I listen to a low ranking marine such as yourself? Also why would Nixon endanger the relationship of South Vietnam and the United States by suggesting that you are from the future?” Calvin pulled out his Samsung S7. “I’m only able to show this to you in a limited time frame. This is company property right now of IBM. Nixon ordered it confiscated as evidence to show you. In the future . . .” After Calvin finished explaining and showing off the devices various features the chairman of the military council looked at Calvin and nodded his head and called his aid in. “Inform the public of my resignation tomorrow. Until then, get Nixon and Robert Menzies on the horn. We are setting up elections.”
Chapter 27: Charlie Don't Surf
Two critical elections were occurring in 1964. The first was the 1964 South Vietnamese Elections. American and Australian observers along with the United Nations partook in the elections in order to stop fraud and corruption within South Vietnam and to get a real representation of what the people of South Vietnam wanted. The United States imposed a new constitution in South Vietnam that was essentially the same as the United States Constitution with a few modifications for South Vietnam. One of these modifications is the lack of a second amendment which didn’t make sense in South Vietnam. Instead opting for a gun control like program in Japan.
Nguyễn Văn Thiệu was elected president of Vietnam in November of 1965. This time, it was a fair and free election. Nguyễn Văn Thiệu was quite popular with the South Vietnamese people and people believed he would lead them to victory over the communists. Over the coming years, the Viet Cong would lose support in the South, slowly but surely the Vietnam war went in the opposite direction than it did in our timeline. The Tet Offensive of 1968 was crushed with the knowledge that Calvin provided, even with the little knowledge he gave it proved crucial for military advisors to be ready for a sneak attack by Viet Cong insurgents in the South. With the Tet Offensive crushed, the American public gained a fervor to win the Vietnam War. Alternate songs were sung in the 1960s in support of the Vietnam war, one by Buddy Holly called “Goodbye Charlie.” Or Ritchie Valens famous “Hello Hanoi!” By 1973 the Paris Peace accords were signed and this time, the North gave up on its dreams of unifying with the South. With a weak North Vietnam, they were unable to overthrow the Kingdom of Laos. Cambodian history was also altered from this point on, remaining a kingdom, never falling to Pol-Pot or becoming a republic.
The 1964 Election in the United States saw Richard Nixon go against John F Kennedy for the second and final time. In one of the closest elections in American history, by just two electoral votes, Richard Nixon won a second term. At that point, John F Kennedy threw in his hat and gave up his presidential ambitions. Also 1964, Nixon announced his plans to put a man on the moon by 1975. 1964 was a critical year for everyone.
Chapter 28: Summer of 69’
June 01st 1969
June 01st 1969
Calvin remained in Vietnam only taking leave once in a while to check up on Alani and their daughter Kalea. Calvin spent his time in South Vietnam in a luxury apartment, being treated to a very healthy salary by the South Vietnamese government. Advising the president with every move the government should take in building up the fragile democracy. Calvin watched pop culture of the 1960s in front of his eyes. He would import records and TV shows from the United States. He also paid heavy sums of money to the BBC to collect every episode of Doctor Who that would eventually get lost. He preserved these episodes in his apartment. Infamous lost episodes of Doctor Who, such as Marco Polo, the Celestial Toy Maker and other episodes were preserved. Calvin looked around his apartment. It was odd to think how much can change in 10 years. He went from the late 1950s “The Pink and Black Days” to the late 1960s with the psychedelic hippie movement. His apartment had a tiger skin rug, a lava lamp, a Beatles poster, a box full of doctor who tapes, a projector to play them on and a record player with over a 100 records. He looked to the color TV playing local news in Vietnamese. In the past years since arriving in Vietnam he has become fluent in Vietnamese with intense study and no longer needed a translator. He looked on his table and held two passports in his hand. One American, one South Vietnamese. The south Vietnamese being awarded for his service to the Republic of South Vietnam. He looked out the window to the streets of Saigon with the motorbikes roaring down the street, the various honking noises and the sweltering heat along with the rhythm of his record player playing sugar, sugar. Calvin began to slowly loose his mind in the solitude but there was one event coming up that he didn’t want to miss for the world.
“Why Calvin? It’s just some arts festival in New York? Why spend your leave there?” Calvin paced back and forth in his apartment with the phone in his hand. “I have never been to New York. I want to see Janice Joplin preform there. Also I heard the Beatles are going to show up, along with Buddy Holly.” Around this time, Buddy Holly’s style of music, along with Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper had begun to match performers of the time. The Big Bopper moved into country, Buddy moved into mainstream rock and Ritchie moved into the Latin scene.
“Alright Calvin. I’ll get Dad to watch Kalea while we go to Woodstock. I hope we can both enjoy your time on leave.” Calvin smiled. He thanked Alani and hung up the phone. He made the arrangements, go a flight to Hawaii to pick up Alani, and then a flight to Albany and a rental van to drive to Bethel Woods. Ironically the van he rented was a Volkswagen and it was owned by a young hippie couple. It was painted too in a rainbow paint scheme.
Chapter 29: Don’t you need somebody to love?
August 16th 1969
August 16th 1969
“What are you doing here OLD man?” Calvin sighed. He was thinking maybe this was a bad idea. He was 33 and was thinking maybe he was getting to old. Alani and Calvin sat on a rug in front of their rented hippie van on the famous stretch of grass in front of the concert that was beginning to start. It was early morning. Calvin had packed the amenities well, knowing what was in store for him at Woodstock. Plenty of nonperishable food because of the lack of food, and plenty of toilet paper. That’s when the crowd got silent. Jefferson Airplane got up on the stage and began to perform their famous song “don’t you want somebody to love?”
Calvin loved it. He was truly in the moment. Concerts in his day would have hundreds of people with their phones out. The only phone in the world was being studied by IBM and other various tech companies at this point while they tried in vain to replicate it. Meanwhile Calvin and Alani began to dance as they took in the music. It was an amazing experience. Calvin couldn’t believe he was witnessing history. He had changed history, and witnessed it. He was the only person who claim that.
Various other performers took the stage. Credence Clear Water Revival, Janice Joplin and performers that were not there in his timeline like Buddy Holly and the Beatles. His top three performances were Jefferson Airplane, Buddy Holly and the Beatles. Buddy Holly took the stage and locked eyes with Calvin as he and his reunited crickets began to play. Calvin gave Buddy a thumbs up and got a smile in return. Buddy Holly did his own cover of Hey Jude, and his new song “Better Days”. Calvin was able to get Buddy's attention and quickly invited Calvin back stage. Alani was busy looking for a restroom. "Hey Calvin, how have you been? Haven't seen you in years?" Calvin frowned. "I have some more information from the future. We have to get Janice Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix off the drugs. It will eventually kill them." Buddy frowned. "I'm the only sober person here. How are we going to get them off the drugs?" Calvin frowned. "I also don't have my phone to show them."
Calvin and Buddy had a quick sit down with Janice Joplin and Jimmy Hendrix and warned them about the future. Both barely believed them but with two people, including one of their fellow performers saying that they were from the future proved to be barely enough evidence to sway the young Hendrix and Joplin. They gave up the drugs from Woodstock on and promised to go sober. Calvin shook all their hands and was about to jump off the stage when all four of the Beatles showed up. Calvin was shocked. "Can I get everyone's autograph before you guys have to start preforming again?" Calvin said. John, Ringo, Paul and George smiled. Calvin pulled out his barely used South Vietnamese passport and got it signed. "Doin some work for the South Vietnamese eh?" John commented. "Yes, I'm on leave right now but I'm a military adviser to their government. I helped with the Tet Offensive Victory." John frowned. "You know my feelings about the war but I won't let that get between me and a good fan of me and my fellow band members. Rock on Calvin." After getting everyone's autograph on the last page of his passport, Calvin jumped down off the stage and headed back to Alani who was looking for him. "I'm a lucky man right now Alani."
The Beatles took the stage next and Calvin couldn’t get enough of it. He screamed like a young girl as they performed “I wanna hold your hand.” Tears of joy streamed down his face as he watched them preform. He held Alani’s hand tight and embraced her with the biggest kiss he could possibly give. Calvin was at the height of his life. Little did he know, that his whole life was going to come crashing down.
Chapter 30: Let it be
September 01st 1969
September 01st 1969
Calvin had safely returned to South Vietnam where he was in his apartment staring at a map looking at recent communist attacks in the South. The Viet Cong were in retreat but they had increased the ferocity of their attacks knowing they were on a losing streak. Calvin was pretty happy though. Before he returned to South Vietnam he spent some time with his daughter, Kalea who was just five years old. The streets of Saigon outside where the usual with the honking of horns and buzzing motor scooters.
Calvin turned on the TV and watched the South Vietnamese newscasters face turn white. “There’s just in from the United States. An explosion has killed all four members of the Beatles, critically injured Yoko Ono, killed several crowd goers and wounded several others. We will have more information for you on the air as we get it.” Calvin’s right eye began to twitch and he dropped his tea cup which shattered on the floor. “No! It can’t be! Not the Beatles!” Calvin had prevented one tragedy but another had struck in its place. Calvin began to cry as he watched the scene on TV before him. Bodies strung across the ground, a torn banner saying “Welcome to Atlanta!” and other Beatles memorabilia destroyed in the blaze.
Calvin got on the phone with Alani and discussed it with her. He could hardly hold himself together. “We just saw them at Woodstock how could this possibly happen . . .” Calvin said. “Don’t judge yourself Calvin.” Alani said. “There was nothing you could do. I’m sorry.” Calvin thought to the Beatles song “Let it be”. It would probably be released posthumously. Calvin began to play “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. People in the apartment complex noticed the song too. A man shouted in Vietnamese “The world lost four great men today!”
Chapter 31: "Yesterday"“This is the BBC. Today, a Boeing 707 landed at Speke Airport in Liverpool, England. British Bobbies kept crying and sobbing fans at bay as four coffins were removed from the plane draped in the Union Jack. The reaction in the United Kingdom was one of pain and sorrow. Losing a national treasure like this really hurt the United Kingdom and sent the country into a depressed state. The era of the British Invasion was over. The Beatles laid in state at the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool. People are allowed to see the Beatles lay in state for another day before they are to be buried in St James Cemetery. This has been Richard Dimbleby with the BBC.”
September 8th 1969
BBC: The Beatles Funeral
September 8th 1969
BBC: The Beatles Funeral
As the footage of the BBC began to cut out, Calvin was at the Cathedral in Liverpool. He used sick time to go and see the Beatles lie in state and quickly got a flight to Liverpool. He knew it was against government regulations but he was shook to his core. He looked at each Coffin with the Union Jack on it with a little plaque saying each of the Beatles names and began to cry along with the other Beatle fans and family members. He began to sing the song “yesterday” under his breath while he placed a flower on each casket. He left the Cathedral and returned to Vietnam where even more troubles would beset the young marine.
December 31st 1969
December 31st 1969
Calvin sat down in a GI bar in Saigon. It was New Year’s Eve 1969. He could hardly believe in was 10 years ago that he met Alani in a bar in Honolulu. He drank away his sorrows as he got nostalgic for the early 60s and missed the late 50s. He was only there for a little bit but things were simpler back then. He was recently demoted from an adviser and was enlisted back into a fighting division of the marines. This was because of his stunt going to see the Beatles funeral on sick time. He had to clean out his apartment and ship everything he owned back to Hawaii which costed him everything in his savings here in Vietnam. He also wrote a letter to Alani detailing his situation the week before. This is what it said.
“Dear Alani, things have gotten worse for me here in Vietnam. I was demoted because of going to see the Beatles on sick time. I was lucky I wasn’t court martialed! Anyway, I miss you very much and I will see you next year. I hope our beautiful daughter Kalea is ok. Tell her Daddy will come visit for Easter of 1970. I hope the fishing business is doing well down there in Hawaii and everything is ok. You have stuck with me through thick and thin, it seems as though I have been a terrible husband only thinking of myself but I promise to return home and care for you and our daughter. My contract ends this time next year. By 1971 I’ll be free. Let’s just hope because of my demotion I won’t be sent home to you in a body bag. Let’s not think of that now though. I love you honey.” ~Calvin.
Calvin was about to get up when a man approached him. “Rough night Corporal?” Calvin was a Corporal now. The highest he got to was technically a Sergeant but he was a special “Adviser” for South Vietnamese and American Forces operating in Vietnam. Calvin looked at the man’s rank insignia. “Private, you should be back on base right now. We had orders that only Corporals and above could go out and celebrate. Let’s get you back to base.” The two men headed back to base, as they talked about their lives. The young private was named Albert and he was from Alabama. They both loved music and quickly formed a tight bond. The next day, they were ordered to get on a convoy to head north towards the 17th Parallel. Word was the fleeing Viet Cong were about to do one last major push. Calvin never saw open combat but was about to see combat in the green jungles and hills of Vietnam.
Chapter 33: Sweet Home Alabama
Somewhere in the Jungles of South Vietnam . . .
Somewhere in the Jungles of South Vietnam . . .
Calvin had gotten very close to Albert. The two had bonded over their shared love of music and comradeship during this hard time during the war. The city of Hue was unusually humid this time of year. The two men were on patrol, separated from their unit in the urban jungle of Hue. The two men took cover in a café as gunfire erupted from the streets. The VC had tried every trick up their sleeve and were in retreat. That wouldn’t stop one bullet from changing destiny though. One spout of gun fire can take the life of a man. The shot from a mosin nagant rifle was fired, a VC sniper hit Albert in the chest. He began to bleed profusely and there was no medic nearby. Under enemy fire, Calvin did it best to try and stop the wound from getting worse but it just got worse and worse. “No no god damn it not like this! I lost the Beatles now I’m not losing you! You were my only friend in this shithole country!” Albert smiled as he coughed up some blood. “Cal, I can see a light. God’s callin me.” Calvin began to cry profusely. “It ain’t so bad, just let my ma back home know I love her. You know where I live in Mobile. You know what you have to do.”
Calvin closed the young man’s eyes for the last time. He roared in anger as he grabbed his M16. He fired upon the sniper that took his friends life, but didn’t manage to take him out. However, in an incredible display of bravery, that day Calvin earned multiple confirmed kills, carrying multiple men out of the combat zone to the med evac zone. After the battle, Calvin calmed down. He saw to the burying of the dead that were unknown. One man that he buried was VC. He couldn’t have been older than 18. “This war has taken so many lives, I hope it will be over soon.” Calvin had seen the true face of war on that day. Luckily, his time in Vietnam was coming to a close in only a few more months.
Calvin wanted to do the honors so they kept the info from Albert’s parents as long as they could. Dressed in dress blues, Calvin held a folded US Flag and knocked on the door. Mrs. Cooper, Albert’s mother fell to her knees in tears. “Hubert! Hubert come quickly!” A middle aged man looked at the flag and shook his head. “I was at D-Day you know, and now my son is up there with my buddies.” Hubert said putting his hand on Calvin’s shoulder. “Albert talked very highly of you. Take heart that he is in a better place now.” Calvin smiled and wiped a tear from his face. “Thank you for your service Calvin. Now come in, would you like some sweet tea?”
Chapter 34: It doesn’t matter anymore
February 01st 2019
Clear Lake Iowa
February 01st 2019
Clear Lake Iowa
An old and wrinkled Calvin Bradford made his way down the streets of Clear Lake Iowa. “Hey chief are you sure this is the spot?” He asked a local. “The Surf Ballroom got demolished back in 1984. You can enjoy however a coffee here at Dunkin Donuts.” Calvin laughed. So much changed in this timeline, Dunkin Donuts dominated the donuts scene. He never heard of Starbucks since he left 2019. He got out of his cherry red 2018 Ford Thunderbird. He thought back on his life. Sitting there, drinking his mocha latte and eating a cronut. He missed his wife Alani and daughter Kalea dearly. He won’t forget the terrible storm of 1996 in which they got lost at sea.
Calvin looked at a newspaper. “Soviet Premier meets with President in Leningrad. Princess Diana does a tour of Australia and New Zealand.” Calvin laughed. So much had changed. He took out his new IBM Cellular Device and checked Myspace. He was going to meet with some old marine buddies in Hawaii next week but he had to catch a flight back there. After finishing up he checked MySpace messenger once and closed out the rest of his apps. He got up and headed to the door.
Before he could get in his car and leave, three older men approached him. “Mind if we take a seat with you Cal?” Calvin smiled. “Sure Buddy! I’d love it! Also Ritchie and the Big Bopper! I haven’t seen you two since the pink and black days!” The two smiled as they sat down next to Cal. All drinking coffee and talking about the good ole days. “Calvin, we came here the same reason as you. We could have died that night.” Calvin smiled. “But you didn’t? Did you?” They all smiled. “I guess you could say we lived.”