I just read on the Internet that 2,000 World War II veterans are dying daily. The last time I checked, it was only a thousand.
I plan on being extra careful in the coming days. It sounds to me like they’re getting up a load. I have always said I’m not going anywhere until they get up a load.
On the other hand, if you make a trip to the local VA clinic to see a doctor, you may be forced to sit for as long as two hours. That causes me to wonder if their 2000 a day figure is right. I haven’t noticed anybody missing. If they are getting up a load, it’s not here.
I came in from Wal-Mart rather early one morning where I had been to buy a roll of gauze my lady-friend had ordered to bandage my various injuries I sustained from falling. I found a police car parked in my drive-way. I wondered what I might have done that they were just now finding out about. I also wondered if the statute of limitations may have run out on whatever I did.
The nice policeman asked, “Are you Linda?”
I said, “No, I’m Samantha. Linda lives next door.”
“Well,” he said, “she reported a large dog on her porch that refused to allow her to go to work.”
“The dog lives next door,” I told him. “He also plays loud rock music on his car stereo and eats all my high-priced cat food. I really don’t like cats,” I told him, “but I’m trying to catch them so Animal Control can haul them off.”
“As for the dog,” I said, “you can have him. I don’t want to go to work again — ever.”
Then, we introduced ourselves. In think he had figured out that I wasn’t really Samantha or Linda. I told him that I write a column for the Bulletin and he said, “Wow. Now I know who you are. You’re the cat juggler.”
I said nothing.
Recently a nurse at the VA was taking a sample of my blood. “I read your column every week and I love it,” she told me. Then, she busted my bubble. “Do you ever write about anything but fishing?”
I’m still wondering whose column she reads and in what paper she reads it in.
One of my readers has expressed an interest in World War II bombing missions. That happens to be something I’ve had a lot of experience in. Some of the best times I ever had in Italy were on days when I wasn’t on one.
Since World War II veterans are reported to be dying like flies and B-17 bomber crews might be included on the list, I’ll try to write a column about it sometime before I kick the bucket.
I’ve had some rather exciting times watching those bombs drop. Actually, I know all the answers but nobody has ever asked me the questions.
I was released from the Army Air Corps in 1945 but nobody showed any interest in what I did until 50 years later. One day, a fellow asked me, “What did you do in the war?”
“Well,” I said, “mostly I just chased girls and hung around USO dances.”
“Do you still do that?” he asked.
“No,” I replied. “I can’t do that now. There isn’t a USO within a hundred miles of here.”
Harry Marlin’s column is featured every Tuesday on the Brownwood Bulletin’s Viewpoint page. E-mail him at pilgrimB17@verizon.net.