A Turtle’s Tribute:
Date:October 30, 2008 8:48:52 PM CDT
Subject: David Rahenkamp
I do not know what led me today to again search for my friend Dave Rahenkamp. Perh…been seriously ill for the last year and something like that always tends to put things in …one think of old friends.
Dave and I graduated together from Seoul American High School in the Republic of Ko…chorus. Dave was one of my best friends and we did a lot of running around together. B…days was something like living in the wild west, except everyone had automatic weapo…get stressful most everyone drank quite a bit and I’m afraid that my buddy Dave and I w…would spend time together at the Eighth Army Officers Club (my Dad is a retired army co…in any number of crazy establishments. In the 70’s in Korea there was a strict curfew fr…from time to time one would find oneself out and about and needing to go to ground so…the local authorities. Dave and I found ourselves in this situation often and ended up bu…house on Post or out on the economy. Dave was welcome in my family’s home and sp…I think that the thing that got Dave and I together in the first place was that we both rea…together. Dave had quite the range and I could sing just about anything with him. If I ha…could always count on Dave to help me through it.
I have spent quite a bit of time outdoors and even though Dave didn’t seem to like it as m…go on a mountain climbing trip. We got caught in a blizzard and had to come down eigh…mountain trail in white-out conditions. We only just made it down to the first village whe…wait out the storm in front of a fire. There was no electricity but we were able to pass th…Korean beverage with an opium base. I remember that and my buddy Dave every time….fingers and toes start to hurt.
Even though I am of the age where most men were taught to dislike anything gay, I wa…that way and came to believe that freedom was being able to do whatever one wanted…infringe on anyone else’s right to do the same. I came to believe that also included bein…then I’ ve come to believe that people don’t choose to be gay, it’s just how some peopl….that Dave didn’t like girls the way I did, we had a blast doing other things together. I think…me well and trusted me, I might have been one of the first persons he came out to. I’m…thought enough of our friendship that he could tell me.
I kept up with Dave in the first part of the 80’s but we lost track of each other after that….family, they told me that they didn’t know where he was either. As the 80’s wore on, an…him I figured that Dave had become a victim of that incredible lack of compassion and f…Reagan Administration; it is still amazing to me that we blew perhaps the on…ly chance
HIV before it mutated beyond anyone’s reckoning because the president thought that it…drug users and gay men.
As I mentioned before, I don’t know why I decided to try and locate my friend Dave tod…think that I would be able to ever speak to him again, to know for sure is a sad thing. Y…good too-and to think about those times, as crazy as things sometimes got has filled m…memories of old friends. I’ll miss Dave
He passed away on December 24, 1992.