Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Memories - George Brown

Five years ago I met George Brown (right) and his friend.  Calvin, Abe, Grace, and I were in Washington, D.C. at the World War II Memorial.

We first saw the World War II memorial late at night.  It is an impressive memorial of stone and cement, but it wasn't my favorite of all the soldier memorials.  That is until we went the next morning in the daylight and it was filled with World War II veterans.  They gave the memorial soul and beauty.  

I saw George and his comrade sitting on the bench and asked if I could take their picture.  They granted permission and after I took the picture I offered to send them a copy.  George gave me his e-mail address.  I thanked the men for their military service and George winked and said, "We'd fight for you any day, ma'am."  Chivalry.  Pure chivalry.

Two weeks later I sent George this e-mail:

Dear George,

I took this picture of you a couple of weeks ago at the WW II memorial. I just love it. Every time I see it, it makes me smile. Thank you for letting me take it and thank you for serving all of us in the military.

Best wishes to you always,

Jane Payne

This was George's response:

Dear Jane:You made me a winner..As soon as you took our photo, my friend said:"you will never get that picture". I told him I was positive I will get that picture. so,I am going to send him a copy and I am certain there will be some grovelling on his part.Thank you. I am sorry we are a continent apart; I would love to take you to dinner. You are a different breed!With gratitude, George Brown

George and I have corresponded each Veteran's Day for the last five years.  Until last year.  I didn't get a response from him.  I supposed he had died.  A couple of days after Veteran's Day I sent him one last e-mail recounting our meeting, in case his mind was no longer alert or his family opened the e-mail of the deceased.

Good morning George and a belated Happy Veteran's Day to you.

I hope this e-mail finds you happy and healthy. I think of you every year, especially about this time, and meeting you at the World War II memorial in Washington D.C. You were there with your friend and you obliged me by letting me take your picture. As I recall you won a steak dinner betting your friend I'd send the picture and him betting I wouldn't! I have enjoyed our correspondence over the last few years and want you to know I appreciate it.

I hope today you are doing well and enjoying the things that you so self-lessly offered to protect for the rest of us. Thank you for your service . . . and friendship.

Our family is doing well. Our two sons are still serving in the military. Both are officers. One flies planes, the other commands tanks.

Much appreciation to you George.

Jane Payne

Guess what I got in my box this morning?  You guessed it.  Something from George:

WOW! A voice - A-welcome voice- from the recent past-

How can it be that Father time is so swift in His appearings?

It is really good to hear from you and about your sons in 

My friend who lost the dinner to me died last summer-  I turned 90 last June-

My wife is 89,sufferd a broken shoulder last March and struggled thru a 6 months recovery.


I hope you have been well, still traveling and meeting the world on your own terms.  On the whole , life is still overflowing and wonderful

love your messages.  George

Long live George.  Long live e-mail.  Long live new friends.  Long live good memories.

1 comment:

Ande said...

I love that you make friends wherever you go. You are so great at making others feel special. A different breed indeed.