26 Pickup—The Half Ton:
It might be interesting for Walt and/or Henry to get involved in something if they visited either one of their alma maters.
Oddly enough, I’ve been giving that some thought since visiting Walt’s stomping grounds at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books which was held on the grounds of the University of Southern California last month. Interestingly enough, both of them got football scholarships and ended up in California. I guess that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise in that it was the sixties and California was where everyone wanted to go.
I can see either of them being called back for some kind of alumnus celebration, but I’m always thinking of something that might tie-in with the past… Henry’s Berkeley Bears weren’t as fortunate as Walt’s Trojans that collegiate football season, but anything after the Rose Bowl, January 1st in 1963 would be game. I see the both of them finishing out the scholastic year, but then, after graduating and being notified of their eligibility from the draft board, they would’ve only had a certain amount of time to show up for bootcamp. Walt would’ve likely been looking at a trip across country to Parris Island, South Carolinaand Henry would’ve likely been sent to Fort Benning, Georgia. Sounds like a Route 66, cross country road trip to me.
They would’ve likely gone back to Wyoming/Montana for a brief goodbye, but the truck Walt inherited from the family ranch would’ve likely stayed in Los Angeles, giving the guys the opportunity to take one, last, transcontinental jaunt together—unless they drove north and then angled southeast.
There are a lot of questions at this point–what was their mindset as they set off to war, what would they have taken with them, would the 1960 pickup make the trip easily? Then there’s the year itself, which was something of an upheaval with the assassination of President Kennedy, the Civil Rights protests, Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the Space Race… To say the least, there was a lot going on.
One point of interest is that the Great Cheyenne Nation itself is divided into two major parts—the Northern Cheyenne in Montana, and the Southern Cheyenne in Oklahoma… Would the Bear have responsibilities there, family he needed to see as he passed through? Would there be problems with a white and a Native traveling together in that period?
They would’ve both been in their absolute physical prime and feeling as if they had nothing to lose considering what they were confronting in their young lives… Yep, it sounds kind of interesting to me.
See you on the trail,