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Tuesday, June 28, 2022



A long, long time ago some wanna be friends ditched the boss at a ball game. It was way below zero and he was a long way from home. His best friend was on a date and had his girl along, but he still came to the rescue and brought him to the bottom of the driveway.

They talked for an hour down there in the cold. Bob was headed for Viet Nam and was leaving right away.

He predicted that they would never meet again.

They didn't.

Two weeks later Bob was another casualty on the terrible lists that were printed every day in local and national newspapers.

Fast forward through a long lifetime here in the states, a family, a farm, plenty of heartbreak and beaucoup de joie..we had the life that Bob was denied and are grateful for it.

We try to visit Bob's grave up in Ephrata at least once every summer. It is a beautiful and solemn place and it means a lot to Ralph to go there.

Knowing this, two young people spent two whole years making a memorial to give Ralph for Father's Day this year. They went to The Wall in Washington, found Bob's name, made rubbings, took photos and saved them all. It took a lot of rubbings to get it right.

They acquired a special flag and had family members fold it appropriately. They got Bob's photo off the Internet, plus the correct badges and patches to honor his sacrifice.

Then they put it all together in a tasteful and beautiful shadow box, which now resides on our mantel.

It moved the boss to helpless tears when they presented it to him, and even though I knew about it all along and followed their progress with my heart, I can say the same right now as I type this. What kind and caring young folks they are!

So thank-you Alan and Amber for the memorial.

And thank-you Robert Smith for your service...you are not forgotten.

And also many thanks for that long ago ride home in the awful cold of a northern winter. It was never forgotten either.


Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Such a heartbreaking loss, of a good man. I am glad to know he still lives in your memory and your hearts.

threecollie said...

Jacqueline, I came into Ralph's life too late to meet him, but I know how much he meant to Ralph, so I mourn him just the same. Thanks

Earl said...

Thanks for this story. I came home but they stole my reason for serving. Nice tribute. Earl

Earl said...

Thanks for the story, nice tribute by the younger set.

threecollie said...

Thanks, Earl, I never met Bob, but I feel as if I know him from all the stories. I was really proud of the way the kids pursued this while keeping quiet about it for two whole years. None of us could wait for Ralph to see it.

dickiebo said...

So touching! Such memories.

threecollie said...

dickiebo, I marvel at it every time I see it on the mantel....so grateful to the kids for taking the time.