Archive for November 12th, 2011
Frankly, one of the underrated American holidays; along with Memorial Day. Yes, we honor and celebrate the commemorations with due and proper respect, but there is also – those days – a different perspective from which we – or I should say as I see behave/react/conduct ourselves that day.
There seems a sense of somberness – which, I feel – is quite appropriate.
I have talked earlier today about my Dad’s dad (C.C. Pritchett ) and his participation in the First World War. Notherdaddy, as the family called him, relayed his full story – for the first time that I am aware – to Mr Joe Web who was compiling an oral history of East Prairie. A volume of work that is central to the documentation of this county. Mr. Webb’s works can be found at the stellar East Prairie Museum in Ep.
Curt’s recollections are part of that book. I don’t’ remember too many people calling him that, but a few did. I won’t bore you with many more details about my beloved grandfather, you can read about them in Mr. Webb’s work, but a couple I’ll leave with you here.
When Mr. Webb did his oral history of Ep; Notherdaddy (My father’s father, C.C. Pritchett) was the oldest surviving WWI vet in the Prairie; I recall a story he told of a German soldier rushing him; his bayonet was hung in the man he just killed and couldn’t remove his weapon; as the other man got closer, he stomped on the chest of the one man – ‘crushing it’ he recalled and was able to get his bayonet up in time to kill the one rushing him; he never told these stories around the family…but for Mr. Webb, he recalled that experience…
Like most Americans, we are honored by the service of our forefathers for the call to duty. I had many relatives who served; a couple come to mind; my cousin ‘Bubby’ (Verlon Pritchett, Jr.) who took a tour with the Army to get out of East Prairie while the getting was good for him at that time – and turned it into a distinguished career eventually leading to teaching US Rangers how jump out the plane at the esteemed Ft. Campbell base in Kentucky.
The Army saved Bubby’s life before his second calling; that as a preacher who has served at our family funerals; he’s quite a man and I respect him immensely.
My mother’s brother Wayne McKinne (RIP) was in Da Nang during the Vietnam War at its apex in the lat 60’s…served as a plan mechanic; he was not – as most vets – very open about his experiences; but as one of his favorite nephews – or annoying – and a budding reporter – there were times I asked; and he told me…
There was a piece of shrapnel my Granny and Grandpa kept atop their refrigerator for some reason in the home they lived just outside of Charleston on the old road to Bertrand. I ‘nipped’ myself a number of times picking it up; it was one of the things Uncle Wayne brought back with him from Nam.
My son Mason’s grandfather was in Nam; in the jungle as a tunnel rat – he brought back shrapnel from the War as well….just not in the form of an detonated grenade…