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11th September 2009

Alastair McIntyreElectric Scotland's Weekly Email Newsletter

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Dear Friend

It's your Electric Scotland newsletter meaning the weekend is nearly here :-)

You can view what's new this week on Electric Scotland at  and you can unsubscribe to this newsletter by clicking on the link at the foot of this newsletter. In the event the link is not clickable simply copy and paste the link into your browser.

See o
ur Calendar of Scottish Events around the world and add your own at

Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
Books of John McDougall
Clans and Families
Poetry and Stories
Book of Scottish Story
Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Robert Burns Lives!
Oor Mither Tongue
John's Scottish Sing-Along
Songs of Lowland Scotland
"Curdies" a Glasgow Sketch Book
The Life and Public Services of Henry Wilson
Journal of a Lady of Quality (New Book)
Recollections of Marshall Macdonald, Duke of Tarentum (New Book)
Stirling County Rugby Football Club (1904-1980)
Scotland's Status as a Nation
The Old Man

On the domestic front seeing as my porch is now finished I have turned my attention to the back porch to give it a fresh coat of paint and I have decided to turn the rather unattractive back yard into grass. And so hired the machine to turn over the sod, bought fertiliser and special grass seed. The grass seed was developed for the Niagra escarpment where they wanted to grow grass under the trees. I'm told that this way the grass will come through within 3 weeks and that this is the ideal time to sow it.

Also had to purchase a new lawn mower as my one had given up... they say this one could last me 20 years so we'll see how that goes :-)


If you check out the Internet Archive you'll find a book "A Minstrel in France" by Harry Lauder. I am going to put this up on our site as it's a fantastic read. I got in an email with the book attached as a pdf file at around 2.15am just as I was finishing for the night. I opened it up and started reading and finished it at 6.45am. It was that good.

Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's New" section or on our site menu.

This weeks issue was compiled by Jamie Hepburn. This week he has done a large article on Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.

You can read the Flag at

Christina McKelvie MSP's Weekly diary is not available although she seems to be back at work so we'll see if we get in a new diary next week.

Books of John McDougall
We've now added more chapters to the first book, Forest, Lake and Prairie...

Chapter XXVIII
Bear hunt - Big grizzlies - Surfeit of fat meat.

Chapter XXIX
The first buffalo - Father excited - Mr. Woolsey lost - Strike trail of big camp - Indians dash at us - Meet Maskepetoon.

Chapter XXX
Large camp - Meet Mr. Steinhauer - Witness process of making provisions - Strange life.

Chapter XXXI
Great meeting—Conjurers and medicine-men look on under protest - Father prophesies - Peter waxes eloquent as interpreter - I find a friend.

Chapter XXXII.
The big hunt - Buffalo by the thousand - I kill my first buffalo - Wonderful scene.

Chapter XXXIII
Another big meeting - Move camp - Sunday service all day.

Chapter XXXIV
Great horse-race - "Blackfoot," "Moose Hair," and others - No gambling - How "Blackfoot" was captured.

Here is how chapter XXVIII starts...

IN accord with the plan mentioned in last chapter, Peter and I saddled up sooner than the rest, and rode on. I will never forget that afternoon. I was in perfect health. My diet for the last few weeks forbade anything like dyspepsia—the horseback travel, the constant change, the newness of my surroundings, this beautiful and wonderful country. Oh, how sweet life was to me! Then the day was superb—bright sunshine, fleecy clouds, and intensely exhilarating atmosphere; everywhere, above and around us, and before and beneath us, a rich and lovely country—quietly sloping plains, nicely rounded knolls, big hills on whose terraced heights woodland and prairie seemed to have scrambled for space, and someone, with wonderful artistic taste, had decided for them, and placed them as they were; lakelets at different altitudes glistening with sun rays, and that quiet afternoon sleeping as they shone; the early autumn tinting the now full-grown grass and foliage with colors the painter might well covet. As I rode in silence behind my guide, my eyes feasted on these panoramic views, and yet I was sharply and keenly looking for some game that might serve the purpose of our quest.

When suddenly I saw a dark object in the distance, seeming to come out of a bluff of poplars on to the plain, I checked my horse and watched intently for a little and saw it move. I whistled to Peter, and he said, "What is it ?" and I pointed out to him what I saw. Said he, "It is a buffalo." Ah! how my hunting instincts moved at those words. A buffalo on his native heath! Even the sight of him was something to be proud of. The plain this animal was crossing was on the farther side of a lake, and at the foot of a range of hills, the highest of which was called "Sickness Hill."

It may have been about four or five miles from us to the spot where I had seen the dark object moving.

After riding some distance, we came upon a ridge which enabled Peter to make up his mind that what he now saw was a bear and not a buffalo. This was to both of us somewhat of a disappointment, as it was food more than sport we wanted.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The book index page where you can get to the other chapters is at

Clans and Families
Got in the Leslie Society of Australia and New Zealand Oct, Nov, Dec 2009 newsletter which you can read at

We got in the September/October 2009 Newsletter from the Utley Family which you can read at

Poetry and Stories
John Henderson has continued his Recounting Blessings series about him being brought up in Scotland. He has added chapter 71 and you can see the whole series at

We added more of William Miller nursery rhymes and poems which you can read at

Got a lot of stories up in the article service from Donna this week.

Got in the 2009 newsletter of the Banffshire Maritime and Heritage Association which you can read at

You can also read stories in our Article Service and even add your own at

Book of Scottish Story
Thanks to John Henderson for sending this book into us.

This week he's sent in a new story "The Grave-Digger's Tale".

Here is how it starts...

It was one cold November morning, on the day of an intended voyage, when Mrs M‘Cosey, my landlady, tapped at my bed-chamber door, informing me that it was "braid day light;” but on reaching the caller air I found, by my watch and the light of the moon, that I had full two hours to spare for such sublunary delights as such a circumstance might create. A traveller, when he has once taken his leave, and rung the changes of "farewell,” "adieu,” "good-bye,” and "God bless you,” on the connubial and domestic harmonies of his last lodgings, will rather hazard his health by an exposure to the "pelting of the pitiless storm," for a handful of hours, than try an experiment on his landlady’s sincerity a second time, within the short space of the same moon. If casualty should force him to make an abrupt return, enviable must be his feelings if they withstand the cold unfriendly welcome of "Ye’re no awa yet!” delivered by some quivering Abigail, in sylvan equipment, like one of Dian’s foresters, as she slowly and uninvitingly opens the creaking door—a commentary on the forbidding salute. He enters, and the strong. caloric now beginning to thaw his sensibilities, he makes for his room, which lie forgets is no longer ‘his’; when, though he be still in the dark, he has no need of a candle to enable him to discover that some kind remembrancer has already been rummaging his corner cupboard, making lawful seizure and removal ("‘convey’ the wise it call”) of the contents of his tea-caddy, butter-kit, sugar-bowl, and "comforter;” to which he had looked forward, on his return, as a small solace for the disappointment of the morning, affording him the means of knocking up a comfortable "check,” without again distressing the exchequer.

I had therefore determined not to return to Mrs M‘Cosey’s; for "frailty, thy name is woman;” and I felt myself getting into a sad frame of mind, as I involuntarily strolled a considerable distance along the high road, pondering on the best means of walking "out of the air,” as Hamlet says, when, as the moon receded behind a black cloud, my head came full butt against a wall; the concussion making it ring, till I actually imagined I could distinguish something like a tune from my brain. Surely, said I, this is no melody of my making; as I now heard, like two voices trolling a merry stave--

“Duncan’s comin', Donald’s comin’, &c.”

Turning round to the direction from whence the sound seemed to proceed, I perceived I was in the neighbourhood of the "Auld Kirk Yard;” where, by the light from his lantern, I could discover the old grave-digger at work--his bald head, with single white and silvery-crisped forelock, making transits over the dark line of the grave, like a white-crested dove, or a sea-gull, flaunting over the yawning gulf.

One stride, and I had cleared the wall of the Auld Kirk Yard.

The can read the rest of this chapter at

All the other stories can be read at

Biographical Record of the County of Kent, Ontario
Our thanks to Nola Crewe for sending these into us.

BROUGHTON McDONALD, a retired farmer and prominent resident of Ridgetown, County of Kent, Ontario, was born in Utica, New York, in 1830, a son of William and Margaret McDonald.

William and Margaret McDonald were natives of Scotland, who, in 1730, emigrated to New York State, where they resided for three years, the father following his trade of a weaver. The family then came to the Dominion. Mr. McDonald purchasing 100 acres in Howard township from the government at $2.50 per acre. this land was situated in the woods, and these worthy people suffered many hardships during their pioneer life. As the sons grew to manhood's estate, the work of clearing the land and cultivating it was turned over to them, and the father spent his time weaving and spinning flax for the neighbours who gradually took up land about the McDonald property. The father lived a useful and happy life, dying in 1869, on this farm, his wife surviving him until 1878, when she, too, passed away, in Ridgetown. These two most excellent people became the parents of eight sons and one daughter: Donald died on his farm in Howard township; John, born in Scotland, settled in the County of Kent, where he died, leaving a family; William, born in Scotland settled in Orford, County Kent, where he died; Isabel, born in Scotland, is the wife of Alexander McKinney, of Howard, and has a family; Robert is a farmer in Howard township, and the father of a son, William; Broughton; James, a farmer of Orford, County Kent, has a large family; Hugh, born in the Dominion, died in 1896 , in Ridgetown, where he was engaged as a hardware merchant (he left no family); and Alexander, born at the homestead in Howard township, purchased a farm in Orford, where he died in 1896, leaving no family.

You can read the rest of this bio at

Robert Burns Lives!
By Frank Shaw

I’ve introduced Dr. Kenneth Simpson to you on several occasions, but you probably are not aware that Ken retired a few years back, and I’ll leave it to you to decide if that description fits after reading more about him. For instance, this fall he becomes the first BARD Visiting Professor of Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow’s Dumfries Campus. He was one of the featured speakers at the Dumfries Burns Conference in July and will speak at the approaching Burns series to be held at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow. Professor Simpson is co-editor of a forthcoming collection, Robert Burns and Friends, of newly-written essays honoring Dr. G. Ross Roy of the University of South Carolina. Ken is also collaborating with Dr. Roy on editing the letters written to Robert Burns, a long-term project now to be included in the new Glasgow/Clarendon collected edition of Burns. Articles like this one are constantly popping up all over the place. Does this sound to you like a man who is retired? My thanks to Dr. Patrick Scott from the University of South Carolina for updating me on Dr. Simpson’s current activities.

Co-author Dr. Lorna Ewan is new to the pages of Robert Burns Lives! and is currently Head of Interpretation for Historic Scotland. She runs a team responsible for interpreting 345 Properties in Care which include prehistoric sites like Skara Brae in Orkney, Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle and the Border Abbeys. She has a particular interest in Burns which has evolved over the past 25 years as part of her career in the interpretation of sites and subjects throughout Scotland, the rest of Britain and further afield. Specific Burns projects have included the scripting and production of audio visual programs about Burns for the National Museums of Scotland and the implementation of interpretative displays at Burns Cottage in Alloway, as well as a range of research projects relating to the poet and his work. It is an honor to have Dr. Ewan as a guest.

Credit is given to Crown Copyright Historic Scotland (  in association with this article written for the Friends Magazine as well as to publisher Think Scotland, Glasgow. My deepest appreciation to Sean Conlon, Assistant Photographic Librarian of Historic Scotland, for his assistance. (FRS: 09.10.09)

All Hail Thy Palaces and Towers
By Drs. Kenneth Simpson and Lorna Ewan

You can read the rest of this article at

Oor Mither Tongue
An Anthology of Scots Vernacular Verse by Ninian Macwhannell (1938) and our thanks to John Henderson for sending this into us.

We have new poems up this week by...

Sair Warks nae Easy
The Puddock
Fats the Eese

which you can read at

John's Scottish Sing-Along
Provided by John Henderson

This week we've added...

Come By The Hills
Keep Right On To The End Of The Road
A Wee Deoch an Doris

You can find these songs at

Songs of Lowland Scotland
From the times of James V, King of Scots, A book of c. 600 pages of songs published in Scotland in 1870, and arranged in episodic form by John Henderson.

We've added a further 30 or so pages this week, Pages 162 - 190, as a pdf file which you can get to at

"Curdies" a Glasgow Sketch Book
By Hugh S. Roberton

We've added another chapter this week...

Chapter XII - For Talkin's Sake

These are all pdf files and I have to say I'm really enjoying these stories and getting a good chuckle at the same time :-)

You can read these at

The Life and Public Services of Henry Wilson
The Late Vice President of the United States by Rev. Elias Nason and Hon Thomas Russell (1876)

We have now completed this book

Here is how Chapter XXI starts...

COMMANDING in person, quick in perception, and well versed in parliamentary practice, Mr. Wilson presided with dignity and great acceptance over the Senate; and his decisions were respected by the members of both parties. his earnest desire, expressed on every suitable occasion, was conciliation between the factions in the Republican party, and the restoration of fraternity and friendliness between the North and South.

Although his elevation to the office of vice-president lessened his senatorial labors, he still allowed himself no rest. Every leisure moment was devoted to the cornposition of his great work on "The Rise and Fall of the Slave-Power in America," for which the consultation of numberless authorities, and an extensive correspondence, were demanded. His arduous labors were often extended late into the night; and he observed to a friend, at this period, that he seldom laid aside his pen until the clock struck two in the morning. "My mail comes in late," he said; "the journals must be read; my letters must be looked over, some of them answered; and so I am obliged to steal an hour or two from the coming day before retiring."

But though strictly temperate, and early inured to toil, his constitution was not adequate to the strain of such incessant industry. his health began to yield to this habitual transgression of hygienic law. His first fearful warning was a sudden, but only partial, paralysis of a facial nerve, in 1873, by which his countenance was slightly altered, and his utterance somewhat impaired. The usual remedies were prescribed; and, above all, the physicians imperatively enjoined repose from labor: but how could a mind of such intense activity obey the injunction? This very monition of the uncertainty of life incited the desire in the Vice-President to complete his book, which he considered the most valuable legacy he could leave to his countrymen. He, however, yielded somewhat to his medical advisers, and spent the summer, —some time at the house of his friend, ex-Gov. Claffin, some time at his home in Natick, some time in profound retirement, endeavoring to rest from labor, and to recuperate his health. On one occasion, a friend, calling at thin house where the Vice. President was living very quietly, inquired of the servant for Mr. Wilson; when she replied to him, "There's no such person here: I never heard of such a man." On being further questioned, she responded, "Yes, sir, there is an invalid stopping here; but I don't know who he is, and he is out to-day." She reported this to her mistress, and was not a little surprised to learn from her, that, for several weeks, she had been waiting on the Vice-President of the United States.

You can read the rest of this chapter at

The rest of the chapters can be read at

Journal of a Lady of Quality
Being the Narrative of a Journey from Scotland to the West Indies, North Carolina and Portugal in the Years 1774 to 1776

I gave you a wee intro to this in the last newsletter so here is a bit from the first chapter for you to read.

Burnt Island Road on board the Jamaica Packet
9 o'Clock Evening 25th Oct 1774.

[Burntisland is a seaport of county Fife, on the north side of the Firth of Forth, five miles across from Leith and Edinburgh. As there was a ferry from Leith, it is quite probable that Miss Schaw and her party drove to Leith in carriages and there boarded the ferryboat for Burntisland. The seaport has an excellent harbour and was a favorite anchorage for vessels entering or leaving the firth, but the fact that the owner of the vessel lived at Burntisland may furnish an additional reason for the place of departure. Some of the Scottish regiments serving in the Revolutionary War sailed from this port, and as early as 1627 we meet with a vessel called the Blessing of Burntisland.]

WE are now got on Board, heartily fatigued, yet not likely to sleep very sound in our new apartments, which I am afraid will not prove either very agreeable or commodious; nor, from what I can see, will our Ship be an exception to the reflections thrown on Scotch Vessels in general, as indeed, nothing can be less cleanly than our Cabin, unless it be its Commander, and his friend and bedfellow the Supercargo. I hinted to the Captain that I thought our Cabin rather dirty. He assured me every Vessel was so 'till they got out to Sea, but that as soon as we were under way, he wou'd stow away the things that were lumbering about, and then all wou'd be neat during the Voyage. I appear to believe him; it were in vain to dispute; here we are, and here we must be for sometime. My brother has laid in store of whatever may render our Situation agreeable, and I have laid in a store of resolution to be easy, not to be sick if I can help it, and to keep good humour, whatever I lose; and this I propose to do by considering it, what it is, merely a Voyage.

As we have no passengers but those of our own family, we will have all the accommodation the Vessel is capable of affording, and we can expect no more.

My Brother has not yet got on Board, I dare say he will be sadly fatigued with the business lie has had to go thro'. I will send this on shore with the boat that brings him off.

I propose writing you every day, but you must not expect a regular Journal. I will not fail to write whatever can amuse myself; and whether you find it entertaining or not, I know you will not refuse it a reading, as every subject will be guided by my own immediate feelings. My opinions and descriptions will depend on the health and the humour of the Moment, in which I write; from which cause my Sentiments will often appear to differ on the same subject. Let this therefore serve as a general Apology for whatever you observe to do so thro' my future Letters.

I am just now contemplating the various Sensations our intended Voyage and its destination produce in the little Group around me. [Miss Schaw was accompanied by her brother, Alexander, and by the three children of John Rutherfurd, of North Carolina—Fanny, aged eighteen or nineteen, John Jr., aged eleven, and William Gordon, aged nine, all of whom, though born in North Carolina, had been sent to Scotland in 1767 for their education.] The two young Rutherfurds have not the most distant remembrance of their Father, yet such is the power of natural affection on their little hearts, that they are transported with the Idea of seeing him, and were they to draw his Portrait I dare say it wou'd be the most charming picture in the world; as the three people they love best are with them, they have nothing to damp their pleasure. The case however is different with their Sister, she perfectly remembers her Father, and tho' she is equally rejoiced at the hopes of being once more clasped to the bosom of a fond Parent, yet her satisfaction is check'd by various considerations. In the first place, her Modesty makes her afraid he has drawn a picture of her person in his own Imagination, to which she will by no means come up, and her diffidence of her own attainments makes her fear he will not find her so accomplished as he has reason to expect. I believe she may make herself easy as to these, for few Fathers ever had better reason to be satisfied.

You can read this and the other chapters already up at

Recollections of Marshall Macdonald, Duke of Tarentum
Edited by Camille Rousset, Translated by Stephen Louis Simeon (1893)

Again I introduced you to this book in the last newsletter so here is a bit from Chapter 1 of the book...

Courcelles-le-Roi, May 16, 1825

The idea has occurred to me, my son, of beginning this sketch of my life for you, without caring to know when it will be finished, nevertheless, I set to work, having for guide and assistance nothing but my memory. Let my pen travel on and write these lines, as you will observe, in the simplest and most familiar style possible. Truth needs no adornment, and, moreover, I am not writing for the public; these lines are not intended for the light of day. I write in haste from a habit of never leaving anything till to-morrow; besides, my return to Paris cannot long be postponed and once there, I shall have no time to continue this work, as I am contemplating a journey of six weeks or two months, in order to see the three kingdoms of the British Empire, with which I am unacquainted, and to visit my father's birthplace in the Hebrides.

Paris, June 5, 1825.

You and my family will probably be surprised, and justly, at finding among my papers as yet no special recital of my campaigns, not even a diary; I owe you some explanation upon this point.

Twenty years ago I had ample leisure, as I was not being employed, [After the trial of Moreau, in which a futile and unjust attempt was made to implicate Macdonald, he remained five years in disgrace, and was not recalled to service until 1809.] but I had recently acquired Courcelles. it was the first time that I had owned an estate, and it was but natural that I should wish to enjoy all its pleasures. Surrounded with books on agriculture, I discovered attractions hitherto unknown to me. I forgot the papers locked up in my chest, and all my fine schemes for writing my military life were temporarily abandoned. If Heaven prolongs my desolate existence, [He had just lost his third wife, mother of the son to whom these recollections are addressed. She was Mademoiselle de Bourgoing, and had previously married her cousin, Baron de Bourgoing. She had two children by the Marshal: this son, Alexander, afterwards Duke of Tarentum, and a daughter who died in infancy.- Translator.] I will include in this narrative an account of my military career, and of the different ranks that I have held. As for events, they are written in every history of the time but beware of them, especially upon any subject connected with me, for histories, narratives, and biographical notices must be affected by our recent troubles, and consequently by the passions of men and by party spirit; however, impartial history will some day avenge those who have fallen victims.

I have never had reason to reproach myself, nor have I ever had to blush for any circumstance in my life. I received an untarnished name. I transmit it to you, feeling sure that you will keep it pure. My conscience during a long and active life has nothing to reproach me, because I always followed three safe guides: Honour, Fidelity, and Disinterestedness; and I like to beileve that my guides will be yours also.

Courcelles-le-Roi, August 6, 1825.

My rapid journey has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion. The coast of France looked to be like the Promised Land. I have once more seen France, my beloved country! This is the first anniversary of your birth. What joy and happiness that event caused us! Then, alas! how many regrets and painful memories have come since!

I ought to tell you something about your family upon your father's side. I alone can give you details, which I knew but imperfectly, but which, in the course of my travels, I collected on the spot. Your paternal grandfather was born in 1719, in the parish of Coubry, or Boubry, in South Uist, one of the Hebrides. [I learn from Mr. John Macdonald, of Glenaladale, whose father accompanied the Duke on his journey to the Hebrides, that the district in which the Marshal's father was born was that of Houghbeag. See also note on next page.—Translator.] He was educated in France at the Scotch College at Douai, and was probably destined for an ecclesiastical career. I know not what were his tastes, or wishes, but I do know that, after completing a brilliant course of study, he returned to the place of his birth. Thence he was summoned by Prince Charles [Edward] Stuart, styled the Pretender.

Throughout the disastrous expedition of 1745 my father attached himself to the good and bad fortune of the Prince, like a loyal Scotsman. The cup of their common misfortunes, and of so many others besides, was filled by the loss of the battle of Culloden, near Inverness, in 1746. The details of this disastrous event are written in history, and it would be superfluous to repeat them here; but what are less known are the results that this unhappy affair had upon the life of the Prince, who was compelled for several months to seek shelter in caves and barns, in order to save his head, Upon which a price had been set. He wandered from island to island, guided by my father, until at last a heroine, Flora Macdonald, of the Isle of Skye, succeeded in baffling their pursuers, and exposed herself in order to assist their flight on board a French man-of-war. Miraculously saved, they reached France.

You can read more of this and the other chapters we have up at

Stirling County Rugby Football Club (1904-1980)
75th Anniversary Magazine.

John Henderson was the editor for this special issue and he's sent us in a copy for you to read which you can get to at

Scotland's Status as a Nation
This statement was originally prepared for use within the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international organisations when the question of Scotland’s exercise of the right to self-determination was raised there. Scotland’s status as a nation is one of the key aspects to be considered by the national and international authorities, who are generally not very well informed on the subject, when the question arises of diplomatic recognition of an autonomous Scottish state. It is therefore written with a foreign readership in mind, and it emphasises the points that will make the Scottish case in international diplomatic circles.

You can read this at

The Old Man
I got sent in this story in an email and thought it would be a good way to finish the newsletter...

The Old Man...

As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.

The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car and continued to watch the Old gentleman from about twenty five feet away

I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm, walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too and took a few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something.
The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade and then turn back to the old man and I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying, 'You shouldn't even be allowed to drive a car at your age.' And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.

I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine.

He then went to his wife and spoke with her and appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight and as I got near him I said, 'Looks like you're having a problem.'

He smiled sheepishly and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around I saw a gas station up the road and told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside and saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them and related the problem the old man had with his car and offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.

The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine) I spoke with the old gentleman.

When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, 'What outfit did you serve with?'

He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal.

He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me and I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card.

He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around again and I said my goodbye's to his wife.

I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me.

One of them pulled out a card from his pocket looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then, that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.

For some reason I had gone about two blocks when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name...... 'Congressional Medal of Honor Society.'

I sat there motionless looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together, because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage and an honor to have been in his presence. Remember, OLD men like him gave you FREEDOM for America. Thanks to those who served...& those who supported them.

And that's it for now and hope you all have a good weekend :-)


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