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At Make-Do Mondays, we discuss how we’re simplifying, downsizing, repurposing, buying used, and using what we’ve got.It’s a carnival celebrating creative problem-solving, contentment, patience and ingenuity.Mr. Linky isn’t working.To participate, write up a Make-Do Mondays post at your blog, then return here to include the link in the comments. I’ll try to pop back in and update the post by hand with your links.Make-Do Mondays Participants
Make-Do Mondays with AnnThis post is a bit of a departure from the practical suggestions that usually mark my Mondays.I hope that in a small way, sharing this family story will serve as a kind of decoration on Memorial Day by remembering publically a family member who served in WWI.This is not a story of great valor or sacrifice—in fact, it’s rather lighthearted, and I hope that it doesn’t in any way diminish the solemnity of Memorial Day, which is set apart to commemorate those who have given their lives in service to our country.Perhaps today part of showing our respect, admiration and gratitude can include the sharing of war stories of all kinds, even those that make us smile.On our brief trip to Washington, D.C., we ran over to the World War I memorial to gain shelter from a downpour during our rainy tour of the monuments. While huddled under the small structure, I asked the kids, “You know that both of your great-grandfathers on my side of the family were in World War I, don’t you?””Really?””Really! And there’s a pretty good family story about your grandma’s dad. He passed away when I was little, so I never knew him. But I’ve heard the story many times.”This is the story:My grandfather joined the Army in 1917 and was overseas with the Motor Transport Corps in France doing a lot of convoy work.One assignment was to transport to Paris some high-powered Cadillac and Buick cars for General Pershing’s staff, and my grandfather was in charge of assigning the drivers. He decided it would be nice to see Paris, so he assigned himself to drive one of the cars—one version of the story has Grandpa driving Pershing’s personal vehicle.Well, the convoy was flying down the road at top speed, and Grandpa had never driven a fast car like that. He had trouble keeping up.Speeding down a hill, he suddenly saw that the entire convoy had stopped for some trucks to pass.”I knew I couldn’t stop in time and had just about decided to ram the rear truck,” Grandpa explained one time (adding that he probably would never get out of the guardhouse for wrecking Pershing’s car), “when I spotted a possible way out. Just before I crashed into the convoy, I veered to the side, careened along the convoy and ran upon a pile of cinders that had been left by the roadside for winter emergencies.”The soft landing left the Cadillac undamaged, wheels spinning as it perched atop the heap.When Grandpa got out, the convoy leader ran up, shook his hand and said, “That was one swell piece of driving!”Grandpa was too weak to answer, but said he was thinking, “You mean that was one swell piece of luck!”Behold the man who very nearly crashed General Pershing’s car. (I apologize for the low quality. It’s scanned from a newsprint copy of the original, which was taken in France.)Thank you to all who have served or are serving in our armed forces. Share your stories with someone today.
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