From the recording Meeting Stucky At The Gas Station (Outside Eden)
My grandfather told this story. Said there was a spontaneous ceasefire in 1917 on Christmas day, just as there had been in 1914, and that he had wandered off during that time. He didn't see his best army buddy Stucky again until twenty years had passed and he stopped for gas on his way to California with his family when they left the dustbowl.
Another example of "you just can't make this stuff up."
MEETING STUCKY AT THE GAS STATION
Southern California. You can get used to it.
But it’s not the paradise I had expected.
It was a gas station – 1936 – what kind of miracle comes to a place like this?
Oh, we circled around like a couple of sharks, stealing looks as we filled our cars
It took a long time ‘til we both said,
“Jesus Christ, I thought you were dead!”
Twenty years before, it all happened on Christmas
Back in the war, in the stumps of the Argonne forest.
You could call it a hiccup of peace – we thought the war was over
But it was too good to last any more than 24 hours.
Just long enough to shake the hand
Of last night’s target – today’s young man
There was endless mud on foreign land
And light like silver in an angel’s hand.
I was lost from the rest of the men when the shooting started over again
The second touch of God that day was in how in the hell I ever got away…
I haven’t seen you since. I’m not sure I was ready
To see a long dead friend filling up a thirty-four Chevy.
You said, “every year with a bottle of whisky
The boys get together and toast your memory.
But here you are, alive somehow…
What are we gonna drink to now?”
“Come over and meet my wife, don’t ask so many questions.
How many times in your life does a miracle happen