Edward Dixon

The yearning to find my home, yet a longing to finally settle down. Two separate feelings in conflict with each other. A deep-down aching for a home that no longer exists. Childhood friends that have been forgotten. Blissfully unaware of the protests taking place just outside the entrance to Naha AB, Okinawa. An unspoiled paradise which yielded countless adventures for a young boy. Memories that are hazy, almost like a dream. My very first crush was my babysitter, Wanda Jean. She would take me to see the new Elvis movies. While mind cannot recollect most of my experiences on Okinawa, my heart remembers fondly. Old photographs validate this place that filled my life with joy and wonder.

One of my favorite memories is of our friend and housekeeper, Hatsuko Teruya. She made the best fried rice I have ever tasted, even to this day. She also saved me from numerous spankings and other various punishments. Our two families would often celebrate holidays together. I also remember exploring the caves, both on-base and off. It was a time when kids could venture out on their own, without the fear of strangers. My favorite song was “Lola” by the Kinks. It wasn’t until years later that I would understand the twist ending of the song! Year after year, I would tell my parents that we would make the trip back to Okinawa, to visit our old “stomping grounds.” Dad passed away in 2012, putting an abrupt end to that dream. Maybe it’s just as well. I don’t think I would care to see the “progress” that’s taken place over the past 45 years…