Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend

While all over America citizens are bumper to bumper on clogged roads, this citizen is once again staying home and enjoying the old car show here on the grounds (see June 7, 2013 blog). This year I hope to coax some of the proud vintage car owners to tell their stories.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning these days I go to Heart Works for cardio rehab. It is a good program, populated mostly by old men, usually with zipper scars down their chests from bypass surgery, and round tummies (I should talk). The thing that distinguishes them the most, however, is their constant telling of war stories. We are not allowed to read while working out, so I guess that gives the veterans among us full permission to recount their personal experiences in war. I get pretty exasperated waiting for a treadmill while two old codgers, feet not moving,  try to outdo one another with their personal horror stories. This week, however, I found myself listening  patiently, even genuinely, to some of their stories, and feeling gratitude for their sacrifices.
My maternal grandfather whom I adored, at sixteen lied about his age and after enlistment was sent from England to Africa. He never talked about it, nor did he talk about being wounded in France, and a victim of mustard gas. I remember sitting on his knee and saying "Grandpa, tell me about the war..." He would always reply, " I fought in three wars: the Boer War, the first World War, and the war with grandma, and the hardest of the three was the war with grandma!"  I would giggle, and beg him to tell me the same story over and over. I just loved it.
Below are pictures from last year's vintage car show here. I note with regret I

never got around to painting any of them. Hope I do better this year.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Perhaps the old guys at the gym need reminding that the war for civil rights continues in many areas.... and that many hard battles have been fought for incremental gains. I'm not at all diminishing the veterans' experience; I have tremendous respect for their service. Still, wouldn't their jaws drop in amazement at some of YOUR best stories??? Tee hee