Thursday, August 1, 2013
Close to Nowhere
From kids to elderly
I have always been interested in, fascinated with, concerned about — I’m not sure of the correct wording — veterans. I’m a huge history buff and war plays a major role in all history.
My father-in-law was a veteran of World War II. He was an Army cook on a ship — I guess a Navy ship, but he was in the Army. He was my first exposure to real patriotism.
Every Memorial Day, as a family, we went to the ceremonies at the National Cemetery in Memphis, Tenn. Clifford was a dedicated member of the VFW, always with a position of some sort and he always worked hard.
Often, Pop and I would go with Clifford and Jimmie (Pop’s mom) to spaghetti suppers on Sunday afternoon at the Frayser VFW and we spent a lot of time there talking with all the veterans. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
After coming to Holly Springs and the newspaper, I found myself doing stories with the VFW here and the veterans and became inordinately fond of many of them.
I still have a poppy on the mirror in my car — I got it from Bill Janssen and Joe Ridgway. I think it was the last time Joe was able to go around and sell the poppies. The poem, “In Flander’s Field,” about the poppies and the war, is very emotional and Clifford and Joe always come to mind when I read it.
I think that’s the biggest reason I’m so excited about daughter Dana’s change of jobs. She’s worked for 20-plus years at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, driving 60-plus miles one way. She loved LeBonheur and the kids, but in January, she hit a deer on the way to work at 4:30 in the morning and her car was in the body shop for nearly two weeks.
In late May, again at 4:30ish in the morning, she swerved to avoid another deer (deer are rampant around Wall Doxey State Park) and her car rolled twice down the embankment. Thank you, God, for seat belts; she was mostly OK. As OK as you can be after an experience of that sort.
Monday of this week she began a new job that doesn’t require her to drive past Wall Doxey at 4:30 a.m.
She is now driving only 20 miles to Oxford and is a nurse at the North Mississippi State Veterans Home.
She’s very excited — she also is very patriotic and gets along extremely well with elderly folks. Kids and “old folks” are right up her alley!
One of the things she’s most excited about is that dogs are very welcome at the Veterans home. I suspect ours are going to become frequent visitors.
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