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December 19, 2014

Socks Filled with Ashes

Roy Meachum

Nobody has filled my socks with ashes: Yet. Of course, several nights remain until Christmas. But several Kris Kringle lands haven’t registered with your columnist. I guess it’s property you don’t report


One year I spent time in New Orleans – after Holy Cross; the next found me in Germany.


Spiritually different and generically away at sea, I have a curio in the apartment that shows Hoechst and the countryside. That’s how I felt apart from the Crescent City. We needed coats, not gabardine; hefty material.


Herb Kaplow left behind – on the return from overseas he was getting discharge – all sorts of jackets, including one meant for tank drivers. I didn’t have a clue. Herb did sports on the American Forces Network, for longer than I was in the Army. Along with jackets, I inherited a spot on the news for football.


After the season for pigskins, Bryan Hattersly reported; he seemed comfortable, particularly with the Belgian shepherd – not German – that lolled around the bar; he waited for treats collected by Sgt. Ed Schoening, our chef. Not far away was the Irishman, John Penrose, who fought the British, even in Madrid. From that disparate adventure, he headed housekeeping for the American forces.


Jack R. Manchin, who roomed with me, was particularly nice. I visited him in a Los Angeles suburb. We had dinner when Albert Salmi hung around. The dials-control technician turned actor, we were very familiar with Mr. Salmi. The Finnish guy later killed his wife – and himself in 1990.


Bill Nicholson shacked with us, and the last time I looked he had a very successful electronic business in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The other guy I tracked down in East Lansing, Michigan, a former Marine who made insignificant anyone standing by him. He had a flood of naval gear, especially shirts.


I’m grown older; this is deliberately a memorial of people I don’t expect to see again.


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