Uncle Bob had an ever present twitch of his head and neck. He would go into rages at sudden unexpected sounds and loud noises. Anything loud, even the tv or the record player. You had to be quiet and soft-spoken.
|Uncle Bob playing with my Brother Lewis,|
who was born in August of 1945.
|Uncle Bob and Aunt Lorraine|
on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ.
My father built his own house, and we moved in about a month before my eighth birthday. In this photo, I'm 9 years old standing in front of the garage at Dad's house. The area just beyond the garage shows Lake Narraticon.
One day, not long after I turned 11, I was visiting with Uncle Bob and Aunt Lorraine. When I went into his office, Uncle Bob was at work. There were papers and notes everywhere. He told me that he was writing about his experiences in the army, and asked me to not mention it to anyone. And I never did - until now.
|Uncle Bob's army photograph.|
I was surprised that Uncle Bob was able to get thru all the war noises without going off. On the way back home, he told me that as a young soldier he had landed at Omaha beach. He also let it slip that he had, at one point, been a prisoner of the Germans. He never mentioned any of it to me again.
|Uncle Bob by his portrait painted in France during the War.|
At his funeral, one speaker mentioned that Uncle Bob had started telling his war stories to my cousin Michael. I wish I could have heard them.
He had grown old gracefully, and with his dash of style.
Before he passed away, Uncle Bob took a trip with Aunt Lorraine to show her the battlefields and towns he'd been in during the war. On June 6th, 1994, he took part in the 50th anniversary ceremonies at Omaha beach.
Not long after, while visiting for the holidays, I noticed that he had a VHS copy of "Saving Private Ryan". I think it was the only video he ever bought. He told me that it was the only WWII movie that had gotten everything right. Even the sounds of the German tanks.