Archive for May 28th, 2006

In The Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening….

Praise the Lord and pass the Freon. We have Air Conditioning at the Smiff House again! Seems the ol A/C had frozen up. I hated to have to shuck out $230 to have it fixed, but, at the same time, it was worth every penny.

Having no air conditioner for a number of days will cause one to lose their sense of humor and it also doesn’t make for a good hair day. I had to go out to the car this morning, after I had dried my hair, to turn the car on to cool off a minute.

In theory, I should wait a long time until I complain about being too cold again, but, chances are, within 24 hours, I will complain about something. Air conditioning is one of those things we most definitely take for granted. I know there are people starving in China and all that, but, Sista Smiff needs her air conditioning. I don’t require much in terms of material things (save getting my nails done) but I am spoiled in the realm of being too cold or too warm.

Mr. Smiff has returned home to the bosom of his family, safe and sound. He had something of a dazed, road weary look on his face upon his arrival. Everybody’s glad to have him back although he will have to be in the studio tomorrow. No matter….I’m parking it at the Y swimming pool, hoping that the pregnant woman won’t be there because she has delivered.

Heroes Proved

Just about everybody has somebody (s) in their family that made the ultimate sacrifice for our security and freedom and my bunch is no exception.

These four boys in this old newspaper clipping from The Alexandria Town Talk in 1944 are my uncles, my mom’s brothers. The article was praising the brothers for all serving overseas at the same time. How my poor grandmother slept a wink during this period, I do not know. I look at this and am just floored with how young they were, not hardly the middle aged and older men I have known.

I only knew three of them, though, because the first one on the left did not make it back from his tour of duty. He was a gunner in the Air Force and was shot down over Italy in 1944, pretty close to his 25th birthday.

The second one on the left is the only one still living. He is 84 and still travels to the get togethers his unit has. I’ve never heard him speak of his experiences in the war, which is pretty typical of war vets. He is in possession of the Purple Heart, though, which he received for his injuries. He still has shrapnel in his head.

The one on the far right suffered emotionally due to his experiences. I’ve always said that three of my uncles survived physically, but, one did not survive emotionally. The military must not have had any resources to help these young guys cope with what they saw and experienced because like a lot of other veterans, he used the bottle to numb his pain, as a result, losing his wife and young boys, never to be part of their lives again.

While I hate war and know the cost pretty close up, I also know that anything worth having is costly. Our family sacrificed much, but, I doubt, if my uncles could talk to us and if the living one would be willing to talk about it, (most of them don’t talk about the war) that they would have done it any different.

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness And every gain divine!

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