This evening is like a little miracle after the last blog I posted.
Bo is sitting in front of the TV eating his soup and sandwich and watching John Wayne in “The Sands of Iwo Jima.” Does he understand it? I don’t know, but he looks with interest, at least part of the time and for these couple of hours he is awake.
He loved this movie, he loved John Wayne, and he was a World War II aficionado. Loved the battles, the causes, the weapons, the aircraft. Could tell you anything, everything about it.
One of his favorite stories was how he missed a battle when he was a little boy because his mother didn’t awaken him during the fray.
It happened in Aruba on February 16,1942 when Bo was 8 years old. The Axis powers sent U-boats to attack the oil refinery in Aruba, where Bo’s family lived. Torpedoes were fired and hit a couple of tankers that were berthed there, then the German commander told his men to prepare for a naval bombardment of the largest oil tank in view. Miraculously, the crew forgot to remove a water cap from the barrel of the gun so when the commander ordered them to fire, the gun blew up in their faces. When they were unsuccessful at that, they continued firing, but one bullet made a dent in an oil tank and another put a hole in a house. They ceased firing and left for the other end of the island where they again torpedoed but missed a target.
Bo liked to explain that the oil that was refined in Aruba was the fuel for allied airplanes, and if that gunner hadn’t forgotten to uncover the cap, the outcome of the war may have been different. And he slept through all of it. (Their house was on a small hill overlooking the beach and refinery and he could have seen it all.)
And tonight? Could he– just for a moment — have returned to the war with John Wayne? I will never know …. but maybe….