These are glorious Toledo! Thank you for indulging me and sharing. I don't know how anyone could get through what he did without a sense of humor, so that is absolutely a testament to his strength.ToledoCat#2 wrote: ↑October 11th, 2018, 8:37 amUncle Ellwyn laughed and smiled a lot during his life. Perhaps, it was because he was grateful to have survived WWII, when so many thousands of his peers did not.
I recall two stories about Uncle Ellwyn’s recovery from his grievous war wound. First one, when he was in a body cast from head to toe, the military transferred him back to the states for treatment. However, it insisted on following military protocol that every transported veteran had to wear a parachute on the trip across the Atlantic. Uncle Ellwyn wryly commented that, if his plane crashed, a parachute would make no difference at all because he was headed to the deep briny bottom like a body cast sinker.
The second story I recall happened during his rehab. In trying to find enough of his own skin to cover his leg wound, one step was to grow one arm to a roll of skin on his belly. He wuz mobile during that time and he and my aunt and my mother were eating at a diner in Kansas City when a dear old lady hobbled up to my uncle, who looked like he had his arm in a sling, and wondered aloud to my uncle how he got his obvious war injury.
As the family narrative goes, without a sign of humor crossing his face, my uncle patiently related this story: He was assigned to the chaplain service and was responsible for cranking the pipe organ during in-the-field church services. During one service, just as he got the old pipe organ up to full capacity, the engine on it backfired and the crank recoiled and broke my uncle’s arm.
The little old lady replied how terrible that accident was and then thanked my uncle for his service.
I have one more favor to ask....I know, I know....I have no right ask favors. Assuming that you'll be attending the funeral, and assuming there is some sort of memorial gathering, it is my humble opinion that it is your responsibility to share those stories with some of younger people in attendance. Pull them aside, make them shut off their electronics, and regale them with tales of the courage, strength and sacrifice of your Uncle. Again I have no right to ask this of you, and it certainly sounds like I'm being preachy, but it's on US....all of US, to make sure the younger generations know these things. If they didn't have the opportunity to know your Uncle, provide them with the opportunity to know of him, through you.