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Friday, August 23, 2013

Story of an Old Man

THE OLD MAN WAS SITTING IN HIS CAR OUTSIDE A LOCAL CLUB WHERE HE OFTEN WENT TO RELAX AND TALK ABOUT DAYS GONE BY WITH PEOPLE  HIS OWN AGE, ACTUALLY MOST WERE YOUNGER.  HE WAS WAITING FOR A LADY JUST TO GIVE HER A RIDE HOME IN WHAT HAD BECOME A SOMEWHAT DANGEROUS NEIGHBORHOOD RESULTING FROM THE URBAN SPRAWL OF HIS ONCE PEACEFUL CITY.  AS HE SET, HE REFLECTED ON HIS MANY YEARS, AS MOST OLDER CITIZENS OFTEN DO.  HE REMEMBER HOW AS A YOUNG MAN  HE USED TO DOUBT THE WISDOM OF WHAT HIS FATHER SAID, ONLY TO REALIZE SOME YEARS LATER OF ITS TRUTH.  HE LOOKED AT HIS WATCH AND WONDERED HOW MUCH LONGER THE LADY HE WAS WAITING FOR WOULD BE.  THEN AGAIN HE REFLECTED ON HIS YOUTH AND THE TIME HE SPENT IN THE SERVICE.  THOSE LONG DAYS AT SEA BEFORE REACHING AN ISLAND (OKINAWA), A NAME HE COULDN'T PRONOUNCE AND A PLACE HE CERTAINLY DIDN'T KNOW.  HE RECALLED THE FEAR HE FELT WHILE BOARDING THE LANDING CRAFT THAT WOULD TAKE HIM TO THE BEACH.  A BEACH THAT LOOKED SO FAR AWAY AND AT THE SAME TIME TO CLOSE.  HE REMEMBERED HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS LYING ON THE BLOOD SOAKED SANDS AND HOW HE WONDERED IF HE WOULD EVER SEE HOME AGAIN OR FEEL THE WARMTH AND LOVE OF HIS MOTHER.  A MOTHER WHO DEPARTED MANY YEARS AGO, BUT ONE WHO WOULD ALWAYS REMAIN IN HIS THOUGHTS.  THE OLD MAN LOOKED AT HIS WATCH AGAIN AND AGAIN WONDER HOW MUCH LONGER HE WOULD HAVE TO WAIT.  BUT TIME, WELL TIME WAS NOT WHAT IT ONCE WAS, SO HIS CONCERNS QUICKLY PASTED AS THE OLD MEMORIES FLOODED HIS MIND.  A MIND THAT WAS STILL SHARP DESPITE HIS MANY YEARS.  AND THEN WITH LITTLE WARNING HE HEARD A SOUND, A SOUND THAT WOULD NEVER BE REMEMBERED FOR IT WOULD BE THE LAST THING HE WOULD EVER HERE AS HIS BRAINS WERE BASHED OUT BY TWO BLACK THUGS OUT TO ROB HIM.  THE OLD MAN'S NAME WAS DELBERT BELTON, A 88 YEAR OLD WWII VETERAN, AND THE TOWN SPOKANE, WASH.  THIS IS TODAY'S AMERICA AND TODAYS SHAME.
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