memorial day and in the same breath asked why
I neglected posting stuff on my blog for almost a month.
I told him that I was conflicted.
"Great!" he said, "Write about your conflict
and why that is so."
I replied, " I've had many experiences that I
just couldn't write about."
"For instance?" he questioned."
Well, there was a time where I had a detail
to guard a train out of the city of Cherbourg with a load
of cigarettes, to the freight yards of Fontainebleau,
a famous town, outside of Paris.
The train of 12 cars of the infamous 40 N 8ers that were
on a narrow gauge track was to leave at the early hours
of the next morning under great secrecy.
Cigarettes were the foundation of the French monetary system.
Okie, Porter, Lloyd were under my charge to deliver
this most important cargo to all the impoverished
Yanks who would use this booty to finance their Wine, Women
and gambling needs....
Hey, the war was almost over and there were thousands
of GIs on R and R in Paris without any
American issued French Francs.
Cigarettes, when available,were in the PX at the
army price of $1.80 a carton with a 2 carton limit
and could be exchanged in the mainstream civilian population
for $20.00, in French currency.
You did not have to be a smoker to buy at the PX
but you were a fool if you did not make those
two cartons the highest priority of your agenda.
When we entered the rail yards at our destination,
during a brief stop, a First Lt. and two enlisted men
approached me and told me they would take over the train
and we were relieved.
When I asked him for papers after I saluted him smartly,
the Lt .became irate.
Putting his hands on his hips near his holster
he said,"That's an order Sgt."
I turned to look over my shoulder pointing
to the top of the caboose where Okie was sitting
with a 50 Caliber machine gun aiming down at us.
The two enlisted men, turned, and walked away....
the Lt. smiled at me and followed them.
Twenty or so minutes later ,the train went deeper
into the yard and a full chicken Colonel
and Major released us from duty,, with the proper papers.
That's my conflict !
Who's going to believe this experience!
This is not a story!
There have been references to my Blog as a few "stories"
Stories are easily written.....These memories are not easy.
"I may be able to think of some experiences
that are more believable for my Blog later..
so be patient." I explained to my Son,
before I hung up.
After our conversation, which always ends
with, an, "I love you", I thought about the greeting
of "Happy Memorial Day, Dad."
This day is to remember those who never made it home....
Those, whose efforts are keenly remembered by
their immediate Family, Friends and loved ones.
It is a Happy Memorial Day for my Son Phil and I.
We share this moment with you and to remind us of
those that cannot.