View Full Version : Fiddlers Green....

04-15-2008, 04:30 PM
My very first assignment overseas while in the Airforce was to a place Called CutThroat Island, with a gapfiller radar site and troposcatter communications.....approx 40 people on a 2 x 4 island without a single tree.....it was part of the DEW line (Distant Early Warning)....I became a Dewliner....after returning from Africa shortly after Vietnam, I went to work in Alaska on a part of the DEW line for about 6 months, getting my feet wet prior to starting the business.....ran into a lot of old dewliners that had gotten out of the air force and worked as tech reps, also a bunch of them were ex pats from Vietnam, Thailand and other places around the world....ex-pats have a habit of running into each other...
Recently a couple have passed away..all of us are getting on in years....one of the guys wrote the following.....

Over the years, I’ve had occasion to eulogize some of my Dewline comrades and, in doing so, have frequently used the term, “Fiddler’s Green.”

Someone has asked me what is meant by Fiddler’s Green. Well, it has shown up in one shape or form across the centuries. It alludes to a place where the deceased of a special group of folks can gather in order to enjoy company together for eternity. Sailors, soldiers, cavalrymen, and the mariners from Homer’s Odyssey, all have their own special version, to name just a few.

In the cavalry version, the ghosts of departed riders are all camped in a grassy meadow, near a cheery canteen that is always open and always keeps the canteens of the patrons filled with their favorite drink.

In the sailor’s version, it is a pub in an idyllic village, far from the sea, where the mugs of grog never grow empty, no matter how long a draught is taken, the pipe tobacco is always free, and fair maidens dance to the song of a fiddle.

And so I thought it appropriate to have a version applicable to the dear departed members of our own beloved Dewline Clan. But what of the setting for such a group? Coming immediately to mind are the many cheerful memories of the times spent in the Dewline bars, where the drink always flowed in abundance and folks were always laughing in merriment. I can imagine such a merry place where our departed family members continue a perpetual party and, through the windows, the soft luminescence of the Northern Lights can be plainly seen, forever dancing and shimmering.

Here is the Dewliner’s version of Fiddler’s Green:

Halfway down the road to Hell

In a shady meadow green,

Are the souls of dead Dewliners gathered

Near a bar like we’ve all seen,

And this eternal resting place

Is known as Fiddler’s Green.

Marching past, straight through to Hell,

Some natives can be seen,

Accompanied by some Prudhoe folks,

With some military in between,

For none but the likes of Dewliners

Stop off at Fiddler’s Green.

Though some go curving down the road

To seek a warmer scene,

No Dewliner ever gets to Hell

While there’s a bar on which to lean,

So back they turn to drink again

With their friends on Fiddler’s Green.

And so when one of us goes down

From a bug or illness keen,

Or from old age that has just worn us out

No more breath remains to glean,

Just take that turn from the road to Hell

To that bar of high esteem,

And raise your glass and toast your friends

Who are gathered on Fiddler’s Green.

Phillip Allen
04-15-2008, 05:47 PM
Thanks Chuck...though I belong to no special group, I was part of the era and remember it well

Just the word Dewline congers up black and white, grainy pictures showing broad black arrows approaching over the ice cap...and I feel an involuntary clenching

04-15-2008, 09:28 PM
I thought DEW was "Defense Early Warning"