Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dulcet drips of tenacious time

The year’s end draws closer and I missed my second chance to get a photo of the banner that was hung in Coraopolis this month. It was there last year (for the first time, I think), but I missed that photo-op as well. The Pittsburgh Veterans take a trip to the WWII memorial in DC close to veteran’s day. A very nice idea. The slogan, however, leaves something to be desired in my book.

Here are two links about the “project”:

(1) Pittsburgh WWII Veterans Memorial Trip homepage

(2) Post-Gazette Article from last year

It’s bad enough that I ruminate so much about mortality as it is. I can only imagine what it will be like when I hit my 80’s (assuming I get that far). In fact, I don’t even like those life insurance commercials that try to guilt me into buying or upping my insurance as soon as possible so that my loved ones will enjoy greater comfort once I’m gone! There’s too much of a sense of URGENCY to those commercials. It takes me back to when I was a kid and I thought people in the TV could see me, or knew about me. Remember the birthday list on Romper Room!? Well, when I see that guy dressed in his ready-to-go-to-my-funeral-suit telling me that I could go AT ANY TIME, my paranoia thoughts start churning, “Is he talking to ME? Does he know something I should know?” You get the idea.

So, to think that someday someone might start a slogan to get ME to do something or see something or go somewhere or whatever, (BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!) makes me a bit uncomfortable. That sounds like a fun bus-trip, for sure. Every time I’d look up at the guy in the seat next to mine, I’d wonder, “Hey, that guy looks pretty old; wonder how much longer he’s got?” Of course, that guy’s looking my way and is probably thinking very similar thoughts about my raggedy face.

My neighbor is a WWII veteran (Leo). He loves to tell his war stories. He jumped out of airplanes as a member of the 101st Airborne. Also known as the “Screaming Eagles”. Leo loves to tell his war stories, and Leo was well decorated. In addition to his love of telling war stories, he has a Screaming Eagles baseball cap and it’s decorated with miniatures of his medals (including the Purple Heart). He loves to tell his war stories. Whenever he is in public, the cap goes with him. You can rest assured, Leo will be telling some war stories. I’ve never seen him wear the cap and be ignored. There’s always someone who comments on it, or, thanks him for his service. And Leo is ready with stories to tell. Leo really loves to tell his war stories.

Leo lives right next door with his sister Anne, and they have become like family to us. It’s a nice feeling to see them there, and it’s a comfort to us that we can count on them to check in on our dogs if we need them to do so. I really think that Leo (and maybe his sister) would appreciate a trip to the memorial. We’ll have to set it up for them next year.

Before it’s too late.