Thread: New studio
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:51 AM
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joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Sarzana,Italy
Posts: 637
Default Re: New studio

A Day in the park
There was no one near the swing set as I got him out of his chair, gave him his crutches and managed to put him in a seat and he laughed.
Push me, I what to feel the wind in my face and see over the tree tops.
I pushed and he went higher and higher, laughing louder with every push. I became afraid he would lose his grip or balance, so I let the lost momentum slowly bring him down to the ground. As soon as he stopped, he looked around and panicked.
My cat, where is my cat? Then he saw her half way up a tree stalking a small grey squirrel. He called to her and she obediently came down, waited while I got him back in the wheel chair, then she jumped onto his lap, curled up and began to purr. This was the moment that my plans completely change.
Up to now I had been planning to charge him for everything I had done, the bath, haircut, cutting his beard, even taking him to the park and pushing the swing were all cost tabulated in my mind .
As we rolled along the pathways of the park, he would ask me to stop so he could smell a rose, examine a plant or even listen to the birds chirping in the brush. I suddenly realized that I loved my old, frail uncle. I asked him if he would call me James and stop calling me nephew.
He looked back at me and said, I will if you stop calling me uncle, and start calling me Earl. Now it is past noon, I don’t know about you James, but I am hungry. Where can we find some food? I am ready to eat a hamburger, fries, with a strawberry milkshake. You find them and I will treat.”
That was an easy request; after all, we were in San Francisco where there was a fast food stand on every other street. Yes Sir, hang onto Alice and we will be eating cheese burgers in five minutes. Fifteen minutes later we were sitting in the shade of large white pine tree in the park, Alice was purring and comfortably seated in his lap, and Earl was slowly eating his burger. While he ate he told me the war story that he had invented to impress my friends
A war story
The day Pearl Harbor was bombed I had gotten up early, taken my shower, and was in my skivvies making my bunk when I heard the first flight of bombers pass over me. At first I thought they were ours, then I heard several loud explosions and that made the windows shatter, I ran outside just as a flight of Japanese planes passed fifty yards above me, I could see the insignia of the rising sun painted on their wings and the pilot at the controls. They were coming from the East, and the morning sun was shining brightly behind them. They came with the deadly fury of killer wasps. Their engines shrieking like banshees from Hades. They were strafing and bombing the airfield, smoke and flames were rising from burned out planes, trucks and buildings, oily smoke began to fill the air. I knew that I had to do something.”
He stopped talking, took a drink of his milkshake and gave some of his burger to Alice who had completely given up on squirrels and settled once again on the lap. Then he knocked the doddle from his pipe replenished the tobacco, lit it and puffed away contentedly. I sat impatiently for him to continue.
After another sip of his shake he asked, “Well do you think your friends will believe this fabrication James”?
Wide eyed, I nodded my head and said, “They sure will uncle Earl:” He put away his pipe, petted Alice, smiled at me and said, “In that case I will see how I can end this little fabrication” And he began again. “There was a twenty millimeter Anti aircraft cannon a hundred yard away. Without thinking I ran to it, loaded the first round into the chamber, climbed into the gunner’s seat and began firing. The first tracers were way off target; I adjusted the lead on the next plane that came into view. Still I missed my target, increasing my lead I fired another burst...then I saw flames coming from the cockpit. Not wasting time I aligned my sights up with another, fired a burst at it and it exploded into a huge fire ball. Then a bomb exploded in front of me, the heat and the shock wave was blinding, but I managed to recover and began firing again, my vision was very impaired and I don´t know if I hit my target. There was another explosion near me and I felt my leg being torn from my body. From out of the smoke, dust and fire, someone picked me up from the ground. That is all I remember until I recovered consciousness in the emergency room, looked down and discovered my leg was completely gone. And that is how I received this Purple Heart medal and recommended for the Navy Cross. Now let´s go find your friends and see if I can remember this lie.”
We got to the basket ball court just as the game was ending, I knew every one of the players, and they all came over to find out why I had missed the game. I explained that today I was taking care of my great uncle, saying as I did so that he was a hero in the attack on Pearl Harbor in1941 and that was where he lost his leg, and because of that he had received the Purple Heart medal over fifty years earlier. Then I showed them the blue and gold medal with George Washington s gold portrait centered in a field if cobalt blue silk pinned to his shirt.
To my surprise he removed the medal from his chest, handed to the nearest boy to look at. Then he said, “You may pass this around so everyone can get a good look at it. And I will tell you how I lost my leg and got this medal.
Then he told his war story. I could see the admiring looks my friends gave him. He was no longer an old man without a leg; he had become a man that they would remember for the rest of their lives.
After all had touched and admired his medal , when they gave it back to him, he held it in his shaking hands as tears formed in the corners of the faded blue eyes.
Then he took the presentation case out of his pocket, placed his Purple Heart in it and handed it to me.
I want you to have this. Now take me and Alice home, I am tired. I have had a long day, and tomorrow I want you to take me to town.
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in everything"-Lawrence Sterne
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