This will probably be the last Thanksgiving for an old Tennessee friend of mine. He is 88, a veteran of WWII who spent three tours in the Pacific fighting so you and I are able to enjoy all of the freedoms we often take for granted, but which we should be thankful for every day.
When I first met him about 6 years ago, his son told me not to encourage his Dad to talk because he would 'talk my ear off'. Mr. Ed did like to talk to me, but I liked to listen. He was interesting and if I heard a story twice or three times, that was okay. Mr. Ed was a wealth of information about a plethora of subjects and he told me all about it.
He used to tell me stories about Sam Houston , who lived in Gallatin, Tennessee, experienced a brief unhappy marriage and was the governor of the state before he moved to Texas where he ended up beating Santa Anna, securing independance for Texas and became the Governor of Texas. Who knew? Mr.Ed did and he used to tell me all about it.
He met some German prisoners during the war and picked up a bit of their language. He used to greet me each morning at breakfast with 'Gutten Morgen'. That would be followed by a story about the German prisoners and what good, hardworking folks they were. He used to tell me all about it.
There were stories about coaching baseball and his son who won an appointment to the Naval Academy courtesy of hard work and Senator Al Gore, Sr. Stories about his eldest daughter, an accomplished artist whose paintings hung in the Vice Presidential residence when Gore, Jr was living there....stories about his youngest child, a miracle daughter who arrived long after he came home from the war and whose childhood was the only one of his three children that he was there for from the beginning. More stories about local politicians. Even more stories about the many pets he had over the years. He used to tell me all about it.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to have known Mr. Ed and to have been someone with whom he felt comfortable sharing his stories. During this Thanksgiving visit, it has been difficult for him to talk. His health is failing rapidly and his family is doing everything possible to make his last days comfortable. He is proud of his family and told me a couple of days ago that he tried to live his life in a way that he was a good example for his children and grandchildren. He told me all about it.
He has indeed been a good example for his family and I'm blessed to have been a part of his life. This seemed like a good place to tell someone else all about it.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and thanks to Mr. Ed for his service to our country. That's the one thing he didn't ever tell anyone all about.