Til Death Due US Part
Jimmy, Katie and Bobby were cut from the fabric of Americana. They were the three amigos. They were Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Gary Cooper. They were “One for all, and all for one.” They were the Hardy boys meet Shirley Temple. Then they became Americana meets Vietnam.
Til Death Due Us Part takes the reader through the trilogy of dramatic and unsettling contrasts. It begin in the Norman Rockwell tranquility of small-town America complete with all the images one might expect…baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, best buddies, and boy meets girl.
With little forewarning, their story shifts from the idyllic heartland of Middle America to the savagery of war in the jungles of Vietnam. Tranquility meets brutality. Yet, even when the author takes us into the deathly trenches of warfare, he continues to tease us with the anticipation of a heroic happy ending.
Only to then be thrust into equally traumatic tragedy of a post-war transition that rivaled the horrors and dilemmas of war itself. In this spectrum of human emotions, there is no greater contrast than the tranquil setting of small- town America colliding with the horrific struggles of jungle warfare. If there is, it would be the range of emotions experienced when true love is confronted by circumstances that beg for that love to die.
Til Death Due Us Part is a mixture of all of that and more.
The misspelling of the title is not a misprint. It is not the miswording of one of the most well-worn phrases in the English language. Instead, it is an expression of hope, desires, and expectations these high school sweethearts had for each other and for themselves. They were due to reunite and spend their lives together. They were due to know the happiness that everyone around them had anticipated. Given all they had encountered they were due to live happily ever after. Would it happen?
Their due was an expected return to the life they once knew from one of the most horrific interruptions known to mankind.
There is an expression that says “It takes a village.” In this case, the combination of love, tested by the savagery of war, threatened to destroy that village.
Love stories typically have both heroes and villains. They invariably distinguish themselves with white hats and black hats. But, what happens when they don’t wear hats? Or worse, if they change their hats in mid-stream? What happen when life after the war is as horrible and tragic as the war itself?
As for Jimmy, Katie and Bobby, which of them are the winners and who are the losers? Are there really any winners?