I was running a bit late for lunch today so I decided a quick hamburger at Hardees was in order. As usual, I had my current book with me, and planned to read a couple of chapters while I ate. When I take my book into fast food places, especially around here, I tend to stick out. Today not only did I stick out, but I attracted a bit of attention.
First, let me set the stage. I was sitting a small table off to the side. I had glanced out the window and noticed an old Buick with a front license plate commemorating the 147th Field Artillery Brigade from WWII. I noted it briefly, thinking that we had a WWII vet somewhere here in the restaurant, then returned to my reading.
As I read, an older gentleman walked past and asked if I was reading about history. I had John Lane’s Circling Home with me, so I said that the book did cover some history of Spartanburg. The man then asked me if I knew what today was. Having seen the license plate, and having seen a little news blurb online this morning, I put two and two together and quickly replied that it was VE Day. He seemed genuinely pleased that I knew the significance of the date, and then proceeded to tell me about some of his experiences in WWII.
It was obvious that this man really felt the significance of the date, and that he really wanted to share his memories with someone. His tales were laced with cringe-inducing racial epithets, but I listened attentively and respectfully. The whole encounter only lasted a couple of minutes, and I wished I’d had my little field audio recorder with me. I would have gladly put my book aside to listen to more.
[tags]VE Day, veterans, WWI[/tags]