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Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/19/21 1:04 a.m.

New page, old story.  I've mentioned this one in the past, but never told all of it.  It comes from Chuck, my first mentor.

 

Chuck was a former Marine, friend of my father, and the first person to teach me how to handle a wrench.  He is likely the reason I’m an engineer now.  Been a while since I've heard the story, so some details are a little fuzzy.  Anyways.

Chuck lied about his age to join the Marines.  He turned 15 while en route to the Pacific theater at the tail end of the war.  He went on to become a Korean war vet as well.  My favorite story from him is how he met Chesty during Korea.

Chuck was either on leave or R&R in Japan.  He ends up drinking at some bar next to an Army Captain.  As the night goes on Chuck and the Captain get to bullE36 M3ting.  The drunker they get, the more the Captain goes on and on about how much he wished he was a Marine (part of it was the Marine uniform and how it looked so much better than the Army uniform.)  The pair go off with a couple of girls they met, and the Captain magnanimously decides to foot the bill for the hotel rooms for them so they don’t have to deal with getting back on base while drunk and with some girls. 

Chuck wakes up hungover, decides to get dressed and head back to the base to meet up with some friends.  Looks around the room and can’t find his uniform.  Gets a little frantic and realizes that the only thing he can wear is bedsheets, or an Army Captain’s uniform.

Chuck puts on the Army uniform, which fits him decently enough except for the length of the shirt sleeves and pants legs being two or three inches too short.  He makes his way to the base and finds his Lt and explains the situation.  Lt laughs his ass off, then starts escorting him around to get him a proper uniform and get the MPs looking for this Captain (later found trying to get on a flight to Korea to fight alongside Marines.)

While walking through the building they turn a corner and run straight into Chesty.  Lt makes some introductions (again, tickled pink by the whole situation) and makes Chuck tell his story to Chesty.  Chesty himself is amused and invites Chuck and the Lt out to get a beer when Chuck gets his uniform straightened out.  I don't think he had the same problem with Chesty that he did with the Captain.

Chuck passed away almost a decade and a half ago, and not a week goes by that I don't wish I could show him something I am working on.  I miss him.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/19/21 8:29 a.m.

In reply to Teh E36 M3 :

My experience with these people could never diminish my great respect and admiration for the United States Coast Guard.
 

I was in Homer visiting a friend who retired as a Warrant Officer. My best friend's son is now a Chief Petty Officer and just got his first command.

I love my career, and I'm really good at working with animals, but if I had it to do over...

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/19/21 9:22 a.m.

I'll try to make this one shorter.

The Cuban missile crisis led to a surge in Bomb shelter installations here in Florida. During the mid 60s, my family moved into a house that had one in the back yard. It was built of concrete block, with a 4 foot diameter square shaft, dropping down to an 8 x 12' room.

When I was in sixth grade, the school bully and some of his friends came over to my house to "play." Various stupid things occurred, including him pulling the pin on the decommissioned hand grenade that my dad had brought back from the Pacific, and throwing it into the back yard.

Then he spotted the ventilation pipes and entrance shaft to the shelter. Of course, the dumb ass says we've got to get down into it. 
 

Since no one's listening to me, my protests that it's a bad idea are ignored (the theme of the afternoon).

 There's no ladder, we don't have a rope, so he finds an abandoned garden hose, and down we go.
 

Now there's five of us in this pitch dark room, and someone strikes a match so we can see. It was almost empty, except for a privacy screen leaning against the wall in the corner. The wooden frame was three sided, hinged and covered in maroon vinyl held on with decorative brass tacks. One of the kids yelled, "coffin!"
 

Total panic ensues, and it's a race to get to the hose and out of the shelter. I'm last, and as the kid before me climbed over the edge, someone pulled out the hose, leaving me alone at the bottom. I'm 20 feet down with no way out. Not a sound from up top. 
 

I yelled a couple of times, but it was obvious that this was no accident, and I wasn't going to waste my time. I figured that by dinner time my dad was going to miss me and eventually look around outside and start calling me and get me out. I was more concerned about getting in trouble than being stuck.
 

I leaned back against the side of the shaft and planted one foot on the opposite wall. I pushed back, planted the other foot, and with my feet on one wall and my back against the other, I realized I had a way out. 
 

Within no more than a minute of them pulling up the hose I was out. It was a good lesson, and it set the tone for many parts of my life since. When you're in a bad situation, don't lose your cool, figure it out.

A few years later dumb ass thought he would get away with robbing the grocery store where he had worked for a year, since surely no one would recognize him wearing his brother's motorcycle helmet. That didn't work out!

I hope it's OK if I keep adding to this thread. Next: my grandfather's capture of a machine gun crew in WWI. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/21 7:08 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Oh please do, I'm looking forward to the next one!

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/21 7:18 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Oh please do, I'm looking forward to the next one!

Me as well!

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
9/19/21 11:05 p.m.

I own a small biz. Employee buyout deal, so for some time before, I was behind  a desk for much of the day. One of the thorns in my side was the pushiest, rudest, most obnoxious sales"man" I've ever had to deal with. Most times I got rid of him by telling him the owner was out, or we just had done quarterlies or payroll, cuz the feller that was selling me the place didn't wanna talk to him either...  Well, the buyout went through, I ran the joint, and one fine day while I was at the desk, Mr Pushy called. I tried to get rid of him, I forget how, and he laid into me, saying I was a stupid incompetent ass and demanding to talk to the owner so he could sell us his e36m3-ty advertising. I said guess what, shiny happy person, you *are* talking to the owner, who's the stupid incompetent ass now? 

That was decades ago but it's still kinda satisfying. 

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/20/21 1:15 p.m.
Marjorie Suddard said:

This story goes back nearly 30 years, to when I owned my bridgeported first-gen RX-7...

That line is going down in history as the best first sentence a story could possibly have.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/20/21 1:56 p.m.

I don't really have any cool stories of myself in the vein of these, but my grandfather (my father's father) was a pretty awesome guy, in that strong quiet way. Polite, gentlemanly and didn't get angry often, but not to be berkeleyed with either. He grew up on a farm in the Great Depression, pretty much in charge of the place as a child because his father worked for the canal, he would have to drive a Model T pickup from North Bay, NY down to Little Falls, NY at night by himself at the age of 12 to go pick up his father. He served in WWII as a mechanic in the Pacific theater and then came back and worked for Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation as a lineman.

He was on call at night, and in the middle of winter on one of those -20 degree nights he gets a phone call that there is a transformer making a loud humming noise that was called in. He gets bundled up, goes out to the address and gets there and there is no transformer making noise. He knocks on the door and the resident answers the door and is kind of nasty, complaining about the transformer and how it was making noise and he can't sleep. My grandfather points out it isn't making noise now, so they can't verify that it was and they aren't going to replace one on a whim.

The next night, its just as cold, he gets called again and is told they have a call about a transformer making noise, same address as the night before. Again he goes out there, there's no noise. Knocks on the guy's door, the guy answers and is even more rude, cursing and swearing and saying how useless NiMo guys are. My grandfather leaves, goes home.

The next night, another call about a humming transformer, same address as the past two nights. My grandfather again drives out there, and when he gets out, there's no humming transformer but there is an old '60s Valiant sitting in the driveway with the horn blaring away. The cold temperatures were making the horn contacts in button the shrink and bend together and setting the horn off. So he goes up to the door, knocks on the door and the guy answers, has a real attitude and is cursing him out. My grandfather goes "Is that your car in the driveway?" Guy goes "Yep." My grandfather motions for him to follow him out to it. He then opens the door, grabs the steering wheel center with the horn button and yanks it out of the steering wheel with one hand, and then dumps it in the guy's hands and goes "There's your transformer noise" and walks away and gets in his truck.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/20/21 2:42 p.m.

Mark, from TGI Fridays.

So there I was.  Fresh out of the Navy and using the GI bill to get me through college.   Except no one ever told me much about college, or the GI bill really.  Just that I had to go to college to get a "good job", and that I was going to need the GI bill because "college is expensive".

So here I am in San Antonio, Texas and the first thing I learned about college is "out of state tuition is double what it is for a locals".  The second is "the GI bill isn't going to cover rent, gas, and utilities".  For all of that, I'll have to get a job.

See, I've just moved down here on a whim from Washington state with a Navy buddy of mine, and at the moment I've got $107 left in my wallet (the year is 2005) and 3/4 tank of gas in my truck (1977 3/4 ton Chevy Scottsdale 4X4).  School hasn't started yet, but in the couple months I have before it does, I'm going to need to secure steady income and get this apartment unpacked.  As I'm 100% new to the area and know exactly one person (who's also completely new to the area) my job hunting consists mostly of me driving in one direction until I either find something, or I don't.

One application I submitted to HEB (a grocery chain) is getting some attention, and for one hopeful moment there it looks like I'm going to be an overnight stocker as a location just down the road (score!).  Unfortunately that falls through a little later when I disclose my record with the police.

Down to my last half tank, I stumble across a shopping complex on the north east end of town.  In it is a Chick-fil-a, a TGI Fridays, and various other retail locations of strip mall variety.  I apply at the TGI Fridays and they immediately sit me down for a "personality test", which I ace.  This is where Mark comes in.

Having aced the test, Mark is looking over my application.  Two points in particular are the focus of his attention.  The first is the amount I'm asking for per hour ($8.50, as is the norm in Washington state) and the second is that "are you a criminal" box (for which I've checked "yes").

He puts down the application and asks "what if I told you that we pay $4 an hour for bus boys, but you'll take home 2% of the house profits as a cash tipout and that will almost equal your $8.50"

I'm uncertain about the pay, but anything is better than nothing.  I tell him I'll take it, but I'm certain he wont be having me buss tables for long.  He gets a good laugh and hands me a new application "no one's going to check, but no one's going to hire you if you keep putting the X in the yes box.  Fill this out the right way this time, and we'll get you started tomorrow".

Just like that I went from being one of the top dogs in an EA-6B Prowler avionics shop, to clearing dirty dishes off of tables.  But I feel I owe Mark big, so I take every shift he offers and work my butt off non stop.  Things are tight, but I'm making it

Fast forward from July to finals week in December.  I've been at the University of Texas in San Antonio for almost my first whole semester.  To say things are rough doesn't even begin to describe it.  My roommate skipped town with all the furniture in August.   At $840/month we had one of the most expensive apartments the Regatta on Thousand Oaks had to offer.  I was able to talk to the manager though, and move into a cheaper unit that costs only $600 monthly.  I didn't have furniture now either, so the manager and I worked out a deal.  I'd help clean out apartments when I could, and anything left behind I could have.  It netted me a recliner, some end tables, an entertainment center for my TV, and a few other bits and bobs.  The score of the century though was when I found a washer and a dryer by the dumpster.  Nothing was wrong with the washer, but the dryer needed a new belt (easy money).

To help supplement my income, I was donating blood plasma twice a week to the tune of $50 weekly.  All said and done I was in a near constant state of exhaustion but nothing had gone seriously wrong yet so all was as good as it could be.   I went to sleep the night before my first final absolutely beat from just having finished my shift.  I didn't sleep much that night as the anxiety I was feeling about the tests was more than enough to keep sleep at bay, but I also knew I needed 1/4" tank of gas to get to school and back and I knew I had less than an eighth of a tank as indicated by the gauge.  I was hoping against hope that I could at least make it one way, and sort things out from there.  Either way, I figured there were really only two options:
1) Skip school, get my tipout from work, miss the first set of finals, fail those, and hope it doesn't kill my future chances at school.
2) wake up at 4am, drive till the truck died, hoof it from there, and pray the truck didn't get towed.

I chose option 2.  The truck died about 1/2 way to school so I pulled it off to the side of the highway.  I slung my backpack over my shoulders and got a ride not even a mile down the road.  I was able to borrow $10 from a classmate and after my test, I bought a gas can and walked against traffic back to the truck.   I got my tipout from work from the night before, put gas in the tank, and things were back to normal again.

My GPA that semester?  3.6.  Probably the highest I've ever gotten.

But things progress, as they often do.  Mark got a new position at a different location.  I worked my way through hosting, waiting tables, and into bartending at the place I originally bussed tables at.  But after my second year my brain and my body were just about beat to death.  I couldn't keep up with the "work till midnight, wake up at 5:30" anymore so I found a gig in aviation that paid $20 an hour mostly tax free.  I quit school and my job at TGI Fridays and started fresh at San Antonio Aerospace.

With all that money in my pocket, and all the free time I now had, I was living high on the hog!  That is, until aviation nearly came to a standstill in 2008...

First we all agreed to take a $2/hr pay cut so they could keep everyone on.  Next they used their HR department to look for reasons to get rid of people.  Oddly enough, it wasn't the felony they found on my record, but a "driving with a suspended license" ticket I got when I was still in the Navy.  I'd long since paid the ticket that caused it to be suspended, paid the fine for the suspended license, and thought everything was on the up but I guess that particular infraction is classified as a "class-D misdemeanor" and counts as a "criminal record"...

Unemployed, and needing something quick I figure all the other aircraft repair facilities are probably feeling the same squeeze, so my chances there are probably slim to none.  Realizing I need more stable employment, or at least something the world could classify as "normal",  I decide it's time to go back to school and finish my degree.  And if I'm going back to school, I'm going to need a job that works well around school hours.  Swallowing the watermelon sized lump in my throat, I open the door and walk in to a TGI Fridays that sits in a very well to do part of town.

Mark, now a store manager, was standing right up front.  He recognized me immediately and smiles his big friendly grin  "Any position, any shift.  It's yours.  When do you want to start?"

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/20/21 3:23 p.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

I had been discussing this thread and sharing much of it with my wife. I had observed that the stories were about karma, and bad outcomes happening to people who deserved it. My point was that there's other types of karma, and sometimes there are happy endings for everyone, which is something we all need.

I love your story. Thank you for sharing it.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/20/21 3:23 p.m.

Another good one about my grandfather:

He was sawing cherry veneer on his table saw, had the blade adjusted down real low on the table. He dropped something and leaned over to pick it up and subconsciously rested his hand on the table saw to help stand back up. Right on the blade that was still running. So, he bandaged his hand up and went up the road to the old farm vet that lived up the road to get his palm stitched back together. The vet stitches his hand up, without anesthesia, and gets to the last stitch and goes to tighten the stitches up and pulls them all out. So he starts over, gets it stitched right this time, ties them off and goes to my grandfather "You look like you could use a drink." My grandfather says, yeah, he could use a drink after that, expecting a shot of whiskey or something to the effect. The vet goes out into the kitchen and comes back and hands him a glass of water. My grandfather said he took the glass, just stared at it and strongly considered throwing it back in the vet's face.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/21 4:27 p.m.

"The Old Man" was a buddy of my Dad's who ran a foreign car repair shop near where i grew up. On days that Dad picked me up from school, we almost always ended up at The Old Man's shop.  This is late 70s, early 80s.  So one day we're there and this lady drives up to the shop and asks The Old Man if he can replace some specific thing that she knows is wrong with the car.  Now, there are many things The Old Man is good at, and diagnosing problems by ear is one of them.  He doesn't think the problem will be fixed by replacing the specific thing she's asked about, so he says "Sure, babe, it's kinda late today but we'll diagnose it first thing in the morning." The lady insists that she is a Strong Independent Woman who knows a thing or two about automobiles, and that she is not his or anyone else's "babe".

Another thing The Old Man is good at is recognizing what bugs people, and not letting it go. 

"What do you do for a living, sweetheart?" he asks.  Her face reddens slightly and she says she is an Accountant, and that she is not his "sweetheart."

"Accountant?  That's great! How long have you been an Accountant, darlin'?"

Now her head is about to explode.  "I am not your babe.  I am not your sweetheart.  I am not your darlin'!" she fairly shrieks at The Old Man.

"And you're not my customer either, sugar. Now get this piece of E36 M3 off my property before I have it towed."

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/21 6:57 p.m.

I have about three years as a bus driver.  I'm headed from the Bronx to Queens as I do every night, and the bridge we normally take is closed for construction like it's been every night for a month causing a long detour.
 

My regulars know this but I still announce it 7-8 times just in case. I turn off the normal route and some big oaf goes apeE36 M3. I ignore him and he storms up to the front screaming and carrying on like a lunatic. He demands I turn back to the correct route. I answer "Sorry, no hablo". He again tells me to turn the bus around and I again shrug "No Hablo". Keep in mind I'm very pale redhead.  After the third time he goes off on a rant about the city hiring foreigners that can't speak English and how I need to go back where I came from. Then a regular customer offers to translate.  She played along perfectly. She said some long phrase, I nodded "Si". Then she lays into the guy for not paying attention. The rest of the customers are dying laughing.  We make our way around to his stop and he comes back up front and asks if I speak any English at all. I look confused and said adios,  

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/20/21 7:14 p.m.

In reply to Wally (Forum Supporter) :

that's priceless 

 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/20/21 7:16 p.m.

In reply to Wally (Forum Supporter) :

Are you Louie CKs long lost cousin?

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/21 7:34 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

You've heard my planter story too? 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
9/20/21 7:38 p.m.
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to mtn :

You've heard my planter story too? 

No! Tell it!

 

(For those that don't know, Louie CK is a very pale, red headed comedian who also happens to be mexica)

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/20/21 8:03 p.m.

I'm back. Maybe you've read my account of being stuck at the bottom of the bomb shelter, and how instead of getting upset, you should figure out how to deal with a bad situation. Here's my role model. 
 

It's 1917. Don Orr, my grandfather, is 21 years old. He's in St. Catherine, Ontario for the day. Down the street, "with the pipes playing and the kilts swaying," comes the Princess Pat’s Regiment. As the expression goes, "it stirred his blood."

Back home to Buffalo he went, grabbed his older brother, and said, "Come on, we're joining up." 

They both enlisted in the Canadian army, but before they had to report for duty, Congress declared war on Germany. Canada released them from their obligation, and a few months later my grandfather was in Texas for basic training.

When they got their first leave, he instead chose to stay in camp and read the Field Artillery manual, in preparation for the Field Artillery class which was starting the next morning. 
 

When the class started, it was quickly obvious that the officer that was training the class had no familiarity with the material. My grandfather ended up taking over the class. Since it wasn't appropriate for a private to teach the class, he got his first promotion, to corporal. 

I don't know if it's possible to do this today, but he was a sergeant by the time he finished basic training.

I also don't know the history of how he got his commission, but by the time they arrived in France he was a lieutenant in the 32 division. The 32 was called Les Terribles by the French, and they were the first Allied troops to penetrate the Maginot line. 
 

His platoon took casualties from shellfire before they reached the front, and they were across No Man's Land and raiding the German trenches the first night at front.
 

On the day he was wounded, they were advancing on a ridge with a machine gun emplacement. The machine gun had a number of Australian troops pinned down to his left without cover, and was chopping them up. The Americans were continuing to advance, and as my grandfather ran up out of a shell hole, the machine gun put a round through his inner right thigh, and hit his sergeant in the head, making Lieutenant Orr the last survivor of his platoon. 
 

He dropped back into the shell hole, but it offered minimal protection. An American Captain ran past and yelled at him to drop back into the abandoned German trench behind him. The German machine gun had gone back to work on the Aussies, and he was able to scramble into the trench without being hit again. 
 

There were a couple of things that he did that weren't standard. One was that he carried bandage material, so he was able to bandage his wound. Somehow, the bullet had missed his femoral artery, so it was a through and through without any major damage.
 

He used to say that the doctors told him that it didn't get infected, or even bleed that much because the gun had been firing all day and the bullet was red hot, cauterizing the wound. 

The other non-standard thing was that he had picked up a Springfield the first day. Officers were only issued side arms (I have his .45 ACP Colt revolver, his automatic was stolen during the depression). 
 

Once he'd bandaged his wound, he started working his way back and forth in the trench, popping up to send a round into the machine gun emplacement, then dropping down as the gravel sprayed over his head. As he drew their fire, he moved up and down the trench, and then took out their ammunition resupply. 
 

A few minutes later, the machine gun crew surrendered. As he went up to take them prisoner, the Australians came up. One of them was crying, and prepared to bayonet the Germans. That wasn't uncommon at that time; they would capture the officers and kill the enlisted soldiers. 
 

My grandfather took that man's rifle from him, then picked out an older soldier that looked more composed, and told him, "Take these men to the rear, when I get out of the aid station I'm going to come check on them."

Those German soldiers had been trying to kill him, and had killed his sergeant, and the first thing he did was save their lives.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, Karma takes many forms, but the most important thing is to always be true to your principles. He told me once that those Germans were just kids and old men, and at that stage of the war that's highly likely.

I've always done my best to try to live up to the heritage of being Lieutenant Orr's grandson. 

Edit: the ID is after his release from the hospital, before redeployment to the front. He still had that intensity at 100. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/21 8:03 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

I don't have one, but Googling Louis CK planter will explain how he got banished for a while. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/20/21 8:24 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Looking back at them from the modern military, battlefield promotions are a wondrous and horrible thing. 

I've got another story of Chuck's that I will tell later about them.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/21 8:28 p.m.

In reply to Wally (Forum Supporter) :

Where I was working, we had an extremely German older woman running the storefront, a second generation Sicilian running the back, and yours truly, who is a mishmash of every subset to have roamed Eastern Europe, mostly Polish and Romanian, with most of my ancestors who I resemble having come from Vienna.  I had someone tell me I looked just like Penn Jillette, which I hope he meant before he gained like 400 pounds and also not after he lost it all again.  That's the backstory.

Had some guy drive up in a clapped out aircooled VW bus (??? Not sure what universe he warped from) and asked for a valve adjustment.  He was quoted some figure he didn't like, and so he pointed at me and said "That Jerry Garcia looking guy said you'd do it for $80."  I do not in any way, shape, or form resemble Jerry Garcia.  I told them, after the guy left, that if that happened again, Frau should come back and question me in German and I'd respond in the best Austrian-accented conversational German that I could muster...

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/21 9:00 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

That's great

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
9/20/21 11:15 p.m.

Why I don't pray to God anymore. 

In my teens and twenties, I was quite full of myself. Dead sure that God, if she existed at all, never answers prayers,  certainly none of mine. 

Later on, I got more philosophical. What if God was like Spiderman? 

You get one prayer, one really serious one. And she knows that prayer to find missing car keys is BS. 

But where was mine?

Looking back, I found it. In 1986, we were invited to a buddy's 7th birthday.  Chuck E. Cheese. Fun night. Coming back my Mom had the only SUV, a suburban, predating the SUV craze, and even the term itself. Piled full of kids. We have to park across the street at a church when we get back to Frankie's house. Between us was Buffalo Grove rd, a 4 lane street with a concrete median. Busy for a Saturday night, but not impassible.

14 kids line up with a couple of adults sprinkled in. The plan is everyone hold hands run like hell across 2 lanes and stop in the median,  and wait for traffic to clear to do it again. GO! We book it to the middle and stop. All good. Except one of us kept going.  

When you see your 4 year old little brother flying through the air like a sack of potatoes after getting punted by a station wagon, well that makes an impression. Even now, 35 years later, the blood pouring out of his head is clear as day. I lost my mind. My body sat in Frankie's mom's couch,  but I wasn't there. I just saw my brother get killed.  

That night was the first night in my life  I prayed to God.  Please let my brother live? 18 hours of brain surgery.  Please let my brother live? Every night after. For two weeks, he was in a coma. Please...let my brother live?

And he did.

2 weeks and he opened his eyes. 10 days and he remembered how to talk. 10 more to relearn to walk. Total reboot. And...he recovered.  He was Casey again. 

Everybody gets one. I'm not selfish so I don't waste God's time asking for more because the answer is no. I used it early in life on something big. I asked for my brother back. 

 

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
9/21/21 12:27 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

I am not  in any way religious,  but sometimes a feller can only say "whatever works" cuz some effects just dont need to be tied into some causes. Thx for reminding us that it's a minor miracle that any of us survive childhood, and tell Casey the GRM hive sez hi. 

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UltimaDork
9/21/21 8:07 a.m.

Early in my time with the VA I was working in the ER.  Beds one, two and three had patients in them.  I always made it a point to listen to their stories of their service, it seems to be a solid way to remember those who have gone before.

Bed one had some pretty serious stuff going on but told me all about being a waist gunner on a B-17 and getting shot down over Europe resulting in his spending over a year in a German POW camp.

Bed three was likewise a serious case, he told me about being in the Philippines when the Japanese overran their positions capturing all the survivors.  He told me all about the harrowing ordeal of the March to Bataan (some of you may have heard about that fun time).  Apparently once arriving at the camp he got ill and was chained to a tree for several fever haze days until the Japanese doctor was summoned who diagnosed him with a hot appendix.  The camp commandant wouldn't approve any medical supplies be wasted on Americans so the doctor cut out his appendix with a bayonet and cauterized the wound (the scar was amazing!) without anesthesia or antibiotics.  Bed three survived till the end of the war when they were freed three years later.

 

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