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Gave a guy a ride to the gun show, 90 years old

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Tokugawa, Oct 20, 2005.

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  1. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Member

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    He is unable to drive any more. A very interesting life he has had. He was born in Ireland, and lost seven siblings to the 1918 pandemic. Came to the US at 5 years old. Served thirty some years in the military, airborne and special forces- combat soldier in WW2, Korea and Vietnam. I felt privileged to give him a lift. Interestingly, we must have joined our club at about the same time around 1982, our membership numbers were real close.
     
  2. redloki

    redloki Member

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    I applaud you sir for your kindness and respect for such a man. He sounds like a good man to sit down and have a cup of coffee and a conversation with.
     
  3. dpesec

    dpesec Member

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    Good show. Now, I'd actually ask him if you could record some of his thoughts. Let's face it, we need the wisdom of the elders. The folks who witnessed the birth of flight to the dawn of the space age are rare and are becoming scarcer each day.

    Once he passes, all his experiance, perspective and knowledge will be gone. Just my two cents.
     
  4. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

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    AFS stands up and applaudes your actions.
    Well done sir.

    AFS
     
  5. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'll second that.

    In college, a girl friend's father played a tape his father had recorded some years earlier. The old man couldn't remember the exact year he'd come to America as a teen-ager, but it was, "the same year Tolstoy died."
     
  6. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

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    There has to be some great stories to hear from that Man
    You were very kind to take him
     
  7. Nimitz

    Nimitz Member

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    I had a similar experience a few years ago while vacationing in D.C...

    my mother, my grandmother, and myself were at the Lincoln Memorial...very cool place.:cool:

    I noticed an elderly man waiting by the elevator in a wheel chair with what I assumed to be his wife. on the back of his cap it said "Omaha Beach survivor" or something to the tune of that, along with a few pins on the front... I approached him and said "Sir may I shake your hand?" he must of been hard on hearing and the wife heard me and conveyed the message to him...he didnt say anything...but stood up and shook my hand...I just said "thank you for your serivce to this great country"..both of us choked up a bit...I was very moved.

    only wish I could of sat down and talked to him more...my generation (im 18) have very little appreciation for our Heros of the past...and sadly many dont care and soon will forget all together...I for one will never forget that day in my life.

    [​IMG]

    Chad
     
  8. Stauble

    Stauble Member

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    being from your generation i must sadly agree with you. ill bet 90% of ppl our age dont even know wat happened at omaha beach.
     
  9. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    I talk with my elders quite often in the emergency department. There are some amazing stories to be had. The railroad engineer who started out with coal and drove engines through to diesel/electric. The gentleman who told me about New Years Day, 1900. The tank crewman with Patton's 3rd Army. My chiropractor, Dr. Bentley, who was a pilot on the Ploesti raid in WWII. Justice of the Peace John Teddy Palmer who was a B-25 pilot and German POW. Mr. Mims, service station owner, Army Airborne, Silver Star at Anzio. All you've really got to do is ask and listen.

    Ladies who worked as welders in shipyards in WWII for $14 a week.
     
  10. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

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    It would be really neat to sit with this gentleman and just record his stories. What a shame that 'The Greatest Generation' won't be around in a few more years.
     
  11. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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    Tokugowa, your kindness is its own reward. Hopefully, you made a friend. Showing respect for elders is a noble trait. I sent my father a birthday card earlier this week. He made it to 81, and though I wished him many more, in my heart I know another birthday will be an unexpected milestone. Dad flew 31 missions as a waist gunner aboard a B-17, flying from Foggia, Italy. His education ended at high school, but I've truly never known a man with more plain old common sense. His father was a truck driver, and my dad, at age 16, drove a semi from Omaha to Chicago. Those were different times, but still, quite an accomplishment!

    Working in retail gun stores the past fifteen years, I've had the honor and privilege meeting a good number of my father's generation. I've rarely met one I didn't learn something from. Their passing is a sad thing, and I hope I age with the grace and dignity most of them displayed. And Dad, happy 81st! You, sir, are my personal hero!
     
  12. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    So that was 1940 or 1941. Check out the condition of the roads from Omaha to Nebraska in those years. Then check out the semi rigs available then. Quite an accomplisment is an understatement, considering his age, even more so.

    My grandmother used to drive a five ton truck from Metter, Georgia to Indian River, Florida to pick up fruit to sell-at 86. She was a tough little lady. The family used to worry about her, driving that truck to Florida by herself. We once asked her what she would do if she had a flat tire or broke down. She replied that she'd pull over and stop in the emergency lane and some nice young men would stop and fix things for her. That's exactly what happened when she had a flat. But then, Granny was ready if the not so nice young men stopped.
     
  13. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Member

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    This gentlemans mother died two months after they came to the US. His father, being unable to support him, placed him in an orphanage, where he stayed till he ran away at 12 years of age, to the gulf coast,where he worked in the fishing fleets. Then he caught a ride on a freight train and ended up in Montana, where a rancher took him in and basically treated him like a son. He enlisted in the army in mid July, 1941, just a few months before Pearl Harbor. Fought thru N. Africa, thru Italy, and parachuted into Normandy on D-Day. He made the comment that "Normandy was bad". He was in one of the pathfinder outfits, they came down all over the place due to wind and navigation problems. He landed in a tree and broke his neck. Hung there for days. Was one of two survivors in his outfit. Spent the rest of the war in the US in the hospital, except at the end when he was healed enough to go to Japan, and then the war ended. Fought in Korea at a lot of places I have only heard the names of. "Heartbreak Hill", "Bloody Ridge",etc. Went to Vietnam in 1954 as an advisor to the French Foriegn Legion. , then returned as a Special Forces guy. He retired from the military in the early 70's., then worked as a police officer.
    What a saga......! (and this is only what he told me on a two hour drive...
     
  14. tc300mag1

    tc300mag1 Member

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    My hats off to ya
     
  15. Blue Line

    Blue Line Member

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    my hats of to both of you!

    What a life he led! Give him our Best as he has done for us.
     
  16. joab

    joab Member

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    My 14 year old heard an older friend talking to me about Omaha beach one day.
    After Joe left the kid told me that he must be getting senile cause Nebraska doesn't have any beaches.

    I'm 43 and am constantly amazed at the things that have happened in my lifetime.

    The rise and fall of the communist empire
    The whole space race thing
    From segregation to the hip hop culture of today,
    The junker cars of my youth being considered classic now.

    I love to talk with people who were actually aware of these things as they were going on

    I remember my father boring me when I was younger with his stories of the old days, the same way I do to my sons now.

    Now that his mind is too addled to carry on those conversations now, I wish I had listened better back then
     
  17. MDHunter

    MDHunter Member

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    Well Done, Friend

    Tokugawa,

    Way to pay tribute to a remarkable gentleman, and give a good account of yourself, in the process. I'm sure it made his day, but it sounds like it made yours, as well.

    I'm half Eskimo, born in Alaska in the 60s, and it pains me to see how little respect Eskimo children pay their elders since they've largely adapted to city life. Our elders could survive in the harsh Alaskan climate by eating whatever the land gave them and making all their clothes from the animals they trapped or shot, and yet the youngsters nowadays give them no mind at all.

    Put one of THOSE kids out in the Alaskan wilderness for 2-3 days, and they'd be in danger of starving. It truly is sad to see.

    Our hats off to you,

    Michael
     
  18. Missashot

    Missashot Member

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    Tokugawa,
    You did a very nice and considerate thing. Not only offering the ride, but taking time to listen to his story. A lot of the older vets like to tell their life stories and it really means something to them when someone takes time to really listen and pay attention to what they are saying. I used to work in health care and it seemed to please some of the older vets to just have someone sit and pay attention to their experiences. And I will say that it was very enlightening for myself to listen to these brave folks. And it sounds as if it was enjoyable for you to listen to this gentleman. I commend you for helping him out, and thank him and all the other vets for fighting for this country so that we may call it home.
     
  19. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Back when I was a really little kid, my grandfather lived a very few blocks from the old Confederate Veterans' home in west Austin. (West of Lamar on W. 6th St., a couple of blocks before MoPac, for any Austinites here.)

    Around age six or seven, I guess. I met one gentleman who had gone to war as a teenager, a flag bearer. About all I recall is that he had been very scared; noise, confusion and men around him, some shooting and some dying. That was some 65 years ago, of course, and even my memory isn't perfect. :)

    My mother's father told of being a "horse boy" at age five. The men moved the small herds of cattle to winter graze around Edna, Texas, from Hallettsville. He and other kids handled the remuda, the herd of spare horses. He later became a school teacher--65 years ahead of me in partying at Luckenbach, for one thing. He taught school up in the Texas panhandle, at Farwell. He married into a family of settlers, who'd ranched around Tascosa. The "boys" had cowboyed for the XIT.

    So, "Big Dad" went from horseback to TV and watching men on the moon...

    :), Art
     
  20. DT Guy

    DT Guy Member

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    The living history around us is astounding.

    My gram is fast nearing ninety, and in her life she's gone from nobody EVER seeing a plane fly overhead to landings on Mars.

    From a coal chute and coal burning furnace to Gameboy...

    No wonder she gets addled sometimes-:)


    Larry
     
  21. straightShot

    straightShot Member

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    You do mean pandemic influenza, correct? That brought on more death than all of WWI.
     
  22. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Member

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    Yes, it was the flu.
     
  23. GigaBuist

    GigaBuist Member

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    If he's willing, call the local schools up. See if they want somebody to speak.

    It was either Kintergarden or 1st grade that we had a guy from WWII come in and talk to us. I don't remember much aside from him telling us how he got shot through the neck. That bit stuck with me. Well, I also remember the blue eyes of the pretty girl that sat next to me...

    Still... I remember him, not much of what he said, but something must have stuck.
     
  24. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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    Really remarkable people, I know two such men, both passed on now, one was Merchant Marine during WW2, survived 3 ditchings in the Atlantic, 2 boats torpedoed at totally different times by the same German U-Boat, the other was a British MP in Africa...they were my Grand Fathers...

    Others who have passed on...

    Great Grand Father saved his brother from a firing squad in WW1 by snagging the German sniper that did in his brothers CO, his brother fell asleep on watch...Great Grandmother shipped a Harley Davidson into France, in parts in her steamer trunks...She was 108 when she passed on a few years back.
     
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