Now he sells insurance on the side
Griffith was at her best as a story-teller, a teller of tales both fact and fiction. “The Loving Kind” fits in that tradition. So, too, does another one of her songs. It has nothing to do with Virginia, or the South, or small towns, subjects that fascinated Griffith to the end. However, it’s a song that resonates with us so permit us this digression. Her 2001 song “A Pearl’s Eye View” is about Georgette “Dickey” Chappelle, a photojournalist from Wisconsin who became a war correspondent during World War II, a profession she pursued over three decades — always sporting an Australian bush hat and pearl earrings, hence the title of the song. Chappelle was with the Marines during the Battle of Iwo Jima. She was jailed for seven weeks by the communists for her coverage of the Hungarian revolution of 1956. She learned to jump out of airplanes with paratroopers. When fighting escalated in Vietnam, she showed up there. And it was there, on patrol with Marines in November 1965, that she died when a piece of shrapnel severed her carotid artery. She was the first American female journalist killed in action. Griffith captured Chappelle’s story poignantly, singing:
And now, we trace her wings
In her footsteps without fear
Now, sadly, we trace Griffith’s wings, as well.
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!
Originally Appeared Here