By JOHN T. WARD
Returning home after a year’s service in Vietnam, Jim Black remembers landing on American soil after midnight. There was no welcoming committee, no formal expression of gratitude. U.S. authorities made sure the repatriations took place under cover of darkness, in part to shield soldiers from war protesters, he said.
It left Black and others other veterans feeling slighted, he said. It wasn’t that he and his fellow soldiers wanted a parade, but “just don’t hate me,” he said, choking up a bit.
That’s why a free art school for military veterans in Red Bank means so much to him: it makes him and other vets feel “welcomed” at last, he told redbankgreen Friday.
It’s being called a “Gallery Gallivant” — the latest in a series of Red Bank art walks hosted by the folks at borough-based Monmouth Arts, and a stimulating little constitutional for anyone who’s itching for something to do on a normally sleepy Tuesday in town.
One of a slate of offerings designed to give arts aficionados a strolling/rolling perspective on what’s happening in and around the “MoCo” (Monmouth County) Arts Corridor — that scintillating strip of station stops along the Matawan-to-Manasquan stretch of the North Jersey Coast Line — the two-hour guided tour sets sail tomorrow evening, April 25, from the organization’s storefront headquarters at 105 Monmouth Street (the western corner of the Count Basie Theatre building).