Monday, April 30, 2007

We're OK...

they've finally announced names and Dottie and I don't know any of them...this time...

There's enough meaness to go around in this world between the "real" wars and the "gang" wars and the other forms of hatred and intolerance that abound. We really don't need anyone adding to the mix! We had already had an unusually high number of murders this year related to some kind of gang war, and last month they arrested one of the few women to ever make the F.B.I.'s "Ten Most Wanted" list in connection with those!

I usually try to stay on the "Kansas side" of the border when I can, whether shopping or whatever. The city on the Missouri side is larger and already has a larger tax base; if I can keep most of my money on this side I figure it helps with my property taxes and such. We had been to "Ward Parkway Shopping Center" for the first time in years a few months ago when we were shopping for something for one of the grandkids birthdays that we couldn't find elsewhere. We went on a weekday trying to avoid the crowds, not that that would have made a difference if this turns out to be another mental health incident as they seem to think.

As the noon news plays in the background, they are saying that the man had a history of mental illness, had been cited for the city for the expired tags on his vehicles and that the neighbor he killed had turned him in for not mowing his lawn. They think he killed her, stole a gun from her and her car, and then headed for the mall. He shot a cop at a gas station along the way, pulled into the mall and shot the people who were parking on either side of him, then walked into the mall and opened fire. Responding officers shot him...

Whenever things like this happen I remember a story I was told by an instructor I had 25 years ago in some automotive classes I took preparing myself in case I was laid off and had to go back to work as a mechanic. The teacher was a Korean War veteran, a survivor of the Chosin Reservoir campaign (called "The Frozen Chosin" by those who were there).

He and his buddies had been pinned down by enemy fire for most of a day, trapped in foxholes. The weather had been too bad for air support to come in and take out the sources. After eating the "k-rations" for so long, one of his buddies "had to go" and couldn't wait any longer. He also wasn't going to "go" in the foxhole they might be pinned down in for hours or even days longer. So he jumped out and ran for a rock to squat behind while he "went".

As he settled in behind the rock, an American aircraft came in to napalm the enemy position. For whatever reason, the bomb dropped short and hit the rock George's friend was squatting behind.

The bomb failed to ignite! His buddy came back covered in napalm (jellied gasoline for those who might not know) from head to toe, but alive.

George told us he was convinced then that when it's your time, it's your time, and nothing is going to change it. It won't matter where you are or what you are doing; skydiving or home asleep in your bed...

Of course, I always figured that with my luck, I'd have run back to the foxhole and someone would have been smoking a cigarette!

Yet, when times like this come, somehow that story helps...

Not the post I had planned to write when I got back here!

I'm laid off for a week this week. Dottie has vacation starting tomorrow. If the weather cooperates we plan to spend a lot of time on the water 5 of the next 6 days. In return for which, if the weather doesn't cooperate, Dottie plans on the basement being sorted and vacuumed (that could take a week on it's own). The party for Dillon's birthday is on Saturday...

As you know, Dottie doesn't know I blog so getting here for these next few days will be hard to do, so I hope you all forgive me if you don't hear from me for a bit!

With all that is going on in this world, I keep coming back to the words that Garry Moore used to close "I've Got A Secret" with so many years ago:

"Please be kind to each other!"

alan

13 comments:

Green tea said...

What happened to the young man
covered with napalm?

Why doesn't Dottie know you blog?

My family knows I do, but doubt if any of them check it out.
I am not very computer literate,
so I just use my blog to vent..
Thanks for peeking in..
Have a good week...

alan said...

He jumped back in the foxhole covered in napalm but survived; that was the end of George's story. I'm assuming they figured out some way to clean him up and change his clothes and he came home at the end of his tour. A lot of them didn't; the "Frozen Chosin" was the campaign in Korea when it was so cold that the corpsmen had to cut the ice from the nostrils of the guys so they could breathe. They lashed the bodies of the dead to the tanks to bring them out...

Dottie doesn't believe in this magic window on the world; she doesn't believe anyone should share their lives here; she would go absolutely ballistic if she knew I did.

My sons and their wives and my sister and nephews all know and are oocasional readers; they also know how Dottie feels about things, so it's not mentioned when she's around...

I took 10 years for Dottie to consent to electronic deposit for my check; she still takes hers to the bank each payday. In the last year or so she finally will let me pay a few things on-line instead of writing checks for everything and mailing them.

alan

Rice said...

Alan,
I love the word "ballistic!" As used in your response.

That story provided me with a small amount of peace. It must be true, when it is my time to go, I hope I am brave and courageous.

Thanks for being such a good guy.

robin andrea said...

Such an interesting story about the guy and the napalm. It is all about timing, isn't it?

Von Krankipantzen said...

WOW! I am glad you are ok but hate that we have to worry about such things. Have a great week 'holiday' and we'll see you when you can blog. I had no idea you were doing this on the sly. You have a new aura of mystery about you now.

Heidi said...

Wow..what a story!

Just waving hi to your sons/wives/sister/nephew :)

Enjoy and relax this week.

Blogzie said...

I thought about you when I saw the story on the news.

Really, I did.

But then I think about you all of the time.

Really, I do.

It's too bad that Dottie will never know how truly loved you are out here on these internets.

XX

b o o said...

scary HUGS

Lori said...

I didn't know that Dottie doesn't know you blog. But if she does ever read you here, she will be proud of what you write. My husband knows and occasionally reads mine, but it's not really something he's interested in.

The things that are going on these days...it does give one pause. How do we even go about fixing that? If families did their jobs at home, so much of this would be eliminated. You are right...we all need to be kind to one another. Pay forward all around the world..

Hill said...

Amazing story!
I have a question. Your spouse doesn't know you blog? How do you manage that?!?!?
;-)

Barbara said...

So very glad to hear that it wasn't your time.

kath said...

Wow...

There is so much negative energy in the world these days.. so much anger and frustration and hurt.

We all need to make a true and honest effort to spread the positive energy and light.. and hope it catches on .. you know? we need to spread peace , to think peace.. to pray for peace.. to.. as you say.. love one another.. because after all.. we are all one.

hope you have fun on the water!

ConnieJane said...

Ward Parkway was a blast from the past for me... it's probably been 30 years since I shopped there. Glad you guys are safe and sound.

I haven't shared my blog with hubby either. The only relative I know of that views is RQM and maybe his darling sister. Don't exactly know why exactly... maybe I don't want to have to edit anything to spare feelings.

I deleted a post about work because I had a feeling my boss checked the computer history once when I forgot to purge it. I just had a feeling he'd read it so it was dumped.

One more thing... keep your ruby slippers in the root celler... many big blows out your way this time of year!