Kay’s dad was going to have his second eye
surgery on the Friday we were heading to DC. John would get him there and help
him over the weekend and we would return on Monday to help him during the week.
Trip to DC was uneventful. I don’t like wearing my watch when driving so I put
it in my shirt pocket and put the shirt in the backseat. I used to hang the
watch on the shift lever and always forgot it when we went inside. Unloaded the
bags, Kay went in to check in and I parked the truck in the underground parking.
Grabbed the couple of things in the backseat including my shirt. By the time I
got to the room, the watch was gone. Backtracked, but no luck. Fortunately it
was a cheapie Timex. The kind with the large white dial and black numbers so I
can tell time without having to put on my ‘readers’. Oh well.
My guests at the banquet this year were my brother,
Tony, his daughter, Allison, and Allison’s boyfriend Steve. Also our good
friend Nancy Rath (she is the lady that did the search for my birth family) who
had flown in to visit her son CR and his wife Chris. Nancy, CR & Chris
arrived early so we could have time to visit before the banquet. I hadn’t seen
CR in a few years and he has turned out to be a nice, goodlooking young man. And
his wife Chris is just right for him and vice versa.
Guest speaker this year was Jack Smith who was
wounded at LZ ALBANY. He was an ABC news correspondent before retireing. His dad
was Howard K. Smith, a long time ABC correspondent. Jack told us about his
current battle with cancer and we are all praying for his speedy recovery. His
talk about his involvement at ALBANY was very interesting as he told it from
experience and with a touch of ‘correspondent’ thrown in. Good Job Jack!!!
I was looking forward to seeing a couple of the guys
that hadn’t made it the last couple of years as I heard they were coming. One
was Jim Tibbets who made it and the other was Dale Nelson who didn’t. BUT, he
had a good excuse—they were removing one of his legs and maybe both. He has
had lots of problems with them over the years and it finally got to this point. I
have since talked to him by phone and he is doing great and in good spirits.
Oh yeah, they only did one leg, below the knee.
The 1st Cav Color Guard as usual did their
great job of opening and closing the banquet with their posting of the colors.
These guys are very impressive.
Early next AM (Sun) we had our customary gathering at
The Wall at daybreak. The Color Guard was posted on top. We have the ceremony in
front of panel #3 and Gen. Moore & Joe Galloway read the names of the fellow
troopers that we lost in Ia Drang. Tony, Allison & Steve made it over there
and I really appreciate the fact that my family completely supports me with my
‘Nam’ problems and the functions involving Nam.
After the ceremony we went back to the hotel for
breakfast and then packed to head back to Illinois with an afternoon stop at my
sister’s house. Kay went down to settle the bill, guy came up for the luggage,
and I carried my camera and some small items to the underground garage to get
the truck. Got off the elevator, went thru the foyer doors and was looking
around for my normal ’security check’ when I am in an unfamiliar area.
Didn’t notice the single step down as I was looking around and my heel landed
on top of the step and as I moved forward the front part of my foot went down over
the step and I was on my way to meet the concrete. Since my hands were full I
did some quick thinking and used my face to break the fall. Four point facial
landing plus my right knee (the one that causes me the most problems). I am not
sure how long I laid there but finally got up & blood was running all over. Made it
to the truck and drove to street level. Meanwhile Kay was wondering what was
taking me so long and went down to check. Truck was gone so she went back up as
I was pulling up at the door. She came out and it was a shocker. We went inside
and an employee took us to the security room where they tried to find some ice
packs and stuff to clean me up. They had no luck. Now this is a big hotel and
you would think they would be prepared for something like this. Did the best we
could and headed to my sister’s house.
Her family was all there plus Lisa & Greg came
over. I was dingy all afternoon and didn’t even think about taking pics. About
4 hrs later we hit the road. I usually drive straight thru on the way back but
around 8PM I told Kay we needed to find a place to stop as I was getting really
tired. Found a nice little ‘mom & pop’ hotel in MD and that is when I
thought we should document the accident and finally took a pic. 8 hrs after it
day we made it back to Effingham without any problems. I spent the next week
laying around & having headaches until I finally decided to go to the
hospital. They did an MRI & Xrays and the conclusion was I had a concussion.
And this was a week later.
Thanksgiving we met Bill & Peggy Little and went to Danny Maklins place
south of town. Fri nite is fish fry nite and he has excellent fish. Plus
brewskis. About the time we were ready to leave, Danny & a friend (can’t
remember his first name, last—Rhodes) got up on the little stage and started
singing. They had a great selection with lots of humorous songs and had us on
the floor laughing. We ended up staying a couple more hours. Going back there
next time we are in Effingham.
before Thanksgiving I woke up early with a bad toothache--pain & swelling.
Kay called Marion VA and off we went. Ended up pulling the tooth. I’m having a
good November so far.
Thanksgiving Day we went to Kay’s cousins (Bill & Pat Wernsing) for dinner. Lots of family & lots of food.
Mon, Nov 1, we left Effingham heading to SC. Had our
annual appointment at the Freightliner plant in Gaffney for servicing. When we
arrived it started with freezing rain. Not as bad a last year but enough to
think they might not let us come back if we bring this weather every time.
Servicing went fine—no unexpected problems. Then on to Ebenezer Park in Rock
Hill where we stay when we visit my daughter. Stayed there a week with trips to
my daughters house and one trip to Easley to visit PJ & family.
Now Savannah—we arrived on thur & fri morn Kay
& her sister, Clara, headed to Effingham to pick up their dad and bring him
back for the holidays. On sat evening Mike & I went downtown Savannah to the
“Savannah Blues” bar. The only blues bar in Savannah with live music. Two
friends of my nephews bought the place and this was their second night open. The
band was very good but if you go there it might not be the same band as their
contract was up shortly. The owners are Mark & Heidi, a very nice young
couple and they call me Uncle Dick as that’s what my nephews, Jason
& Jared, call me. So, if
you ever go there tell them ‘Uncle Dick’ said hi! Kay, Me, Mike & Clara
went back another night so Kay could see the place & say hi to Mark &
Not much else went on rest of the month except normal
Christmas stuff. Plus everybody at one time or another had the crud (flu or ??)
so no one was moving very much. Even New Years Eve. We didn’t go anywhere or
do anything. First for me in a long time.
We received a call from Bob & Donna, who are
workamping at a Paynes Creek State Park in Bowling Green, Fl. The park just had
an opening for another couple so they called us & we decided to do it for
the next 2 months.
For those that don’t know: Workamping is basically
where you work for a park, campground, etc a certain number of hrs a week and in
return you get a campsite free with hookups. Some places pay for extra hours
worked and some offer different amenities but this gives you an idea. We were
just going to sort of float around Fl for the next 2 months anyway, so what the
heck. Actually, we are looking forward to doing it.
We have made some plans for next year. We are going
to DC on Memorial Day for the dedication of the WWII memorial and taking Kay’s
dad. He is really excited about doing this. Already ordered the tickets but they
don’t let you know if you got them yet.
For more info go to: http://wwiimemorial.com/
You can scroll down to:
“World War II Registry
Honor members of the World War II generation by enrolling
them in the World War II Registry, a list of individual Americans who
participated in the war effort. To search for currently enrolled honorees, or to
enroll a family member or friend.”