Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

I am always amazed at the twist and turns my life takes. Last fall I had visited a grade school classmate of mine and during our visit she told me about the town of Williams, Iowa (where I grew up until I was 10) and the Veteran's Monument the town had erected and celebrated on Memorial Day 2009. Several months after that conversation I had been visiting the farm where I grew up on (taking photos and remembering my jump off the windmill) and I decided to stop in Williams and visit the Monument. While I was sitting on the stone bench reading the names, and at the same time remembering those that I had served with, a gentleman came up to me and introduced himself. He was a WWII Veteran, member of the local American Legion and one of the "shakers and movers" who brought the Monument from idea to reality.

We exchanged stories and he knew my folks when they lived in Williams and after I told him I had served in the Navy for 30 years he said my name should also be on the wall. True to his word he added my name as you can see in the above photo. We attended this year's Memorial Day Services in Williams and then travelled around the area visiting the cemeteries where my grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles are buried.

We stopped by the Boondocks USA for brunch and sat next to a guy who everyone called "Bob". He struck up a conversation and we visited while we ate. It turns out that, "Bob" was the owner of the Boondocks and the hotel and has been since the early 1970s. When I told him my name he asked me who my Dad was and I said, "George Hill".

"Did he work as an accountant at Kramers Corner?" I said that he had indeed worked there for a while after he had sold his farm. Well... he then proceeded to tell me a story about my Dad.

I didn't start the day expecting to hear a story about my Dad from a complete stranger - literally in the Boondocks - but I did and it made for a great Memorial Day 2010.