Dark days back in the day

PDN puts out these police cold case articles every so often, which I usually casually peruse as a matter of looking back to whether I was still on Guam as a teen or younger, or where I was when these things happened. Usually, the unsolved crime featured is something I read about from an unconnected bystander perspective if you will.

This article (click on the image to zoom and read it) was on guampdn.com yesterday. It did not strike me from a bystander perspective. I remember Larry Flores. I remember running with him and others in my juvenile years. And I remember when I heard the news covered by this article when it happened. It brings me back to reminiscing of the lost, misguided, and dangerous youthful days of my teenage life at around the high school age… after I got tired of being a straight A bookworm and decided to “live my life on my terms” as if I knew everything. Luckily for me, and with much, much thanks to Lou, I smartened up upon turning 18 and left the island to recover my future. My future, which at that time had all but slipped away.

Reading the article and the suspicions by GPD (DPS back then) as to why Larry was killed by “unknown persons”, I think I could have possibly been in that same boat had I not left and had I not changed my ways. How many other of my “associates” back in those days met similar fates back in the late 70’s/early 80’s? How many others ended up doing time, hard time, because they could not shake the evil after-effects of the smack trail that ran from the fields of Vietnam thru Guam and Hawaii back to mainland USA? Granted there are a few of us who made fateful decisions to change, to get away for awhile via Uncle Sam’s employ. Yes, a few. Not that many.

And when those few of us run into each other these days, in the haze of about a case of beer and talking story about “the old days”, we do take stock in our accomplishments and congratulate each other with “Hey chelu, lanya dude, we made it.” A few of us, when we do get chances to go home on vacation or whatever, and happen to visit Guam Memorial Park, or Pigo, or Togcha, or the other cemeteries, we take a few minutes to walk around and browse the headstones. Invariably, we come across at least one headstone that we find a need to address in prayer or silent “Hafa bro, so here you are.” Sad. But so is life.

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