Friday, April 23, 2010

Thomas and Pat

I haven't been out of this house for the past three days. Between the Benadyrl fun and this cold, I've been content to stay home. Today I watched all day for the tornadoes that were forecast and only a brisk breeze came through. As the afternoon wore on, I couldn't stay in this house any longer. Just a quick little drive to the Seven Eleven for some postage stamps and then back is what I planned. I stopped at Pat's to chat.
I've discovered an interesting couple. I already knew Pat, but recently I have been engaged in conversation with her husband during his lunch hour. He goes home for lunch and occasionally I have been there when he arrives.

Thomas and Pat have been a couple forever. They have two children between them and one from a previous marriage. Their children are grown of course and Thomas continues to work full time at the age of 75? I may be a little too young on that age but I know it's close. Thomas has a full head of beautiful silver hair, his own teeth, doesn't wear glasses and except for a sciatic nerve problem, he is a spry fellow. Tonight we were discussing numerous topics and his military service was one of those topics. Thomas was trained to maintain the bombers, fighters, and any thing that flew for the military. His training took him to military bases from El Paso, San Antonio and points east and north including time spent in Alaska where he flew daily to Japan and back refueling in mid air to make the 16 hr non stop round trip flight.

He tells stories of hunting trips to Argentina that was sponsored by the company that he manages; trips he arranged that included sheriff's, mayors, prosecuting attorneys and other local dignitaries. Much money was spent on these trips and interesting sights he did see and these stories he shares. His gun collection contains a Mauser with bayonet and cartridge carriers, all in excellent condition and used in WWI. My imagination ran wild while holding this weapon. The bolt action was smooth. The stock showed signs of wear and holds much history from those scars. The bayonet slipped into it's slot at the end of the barrel, the sights could be raised easily. I hefted it and held in both hands while rolling it around to see the butt of the gun that had a steel plate, the fine grained wood forming the stock and encasing the lower part of the barrel and getting the feel of the weight of this weapon. History! Ya just gotta love it. You don't have to like what happened in these wars but studying them is a fascinating hobby and one that I've engaged in for years. No matter how much I watch and see on TV about WWII, there is always something else to learn about the different theatre's that were involved. A massive gathering of forces that were attacking, defending or destroying cities, countries and people and all done an ocean away. Occasionally I'm privileged to encounter a veteran of that war and I make time to listen to stories.
As I spend time with this couple, I marvel at all the experiences that they share with stories from their youth and I'm captivated for hours. I've always found the most interesting people that have entered my life are not the young, but the experienced, seasoned adults that don't mind sharing their history. My stop at Pat's house was just what I needed!

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