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Things you never knew....

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  • Things you never knew....

    ...about people who crossed your life.

    I scan the Indianapolis-area obituaries every day in the big Indianapolis Star. I was sure I recognized the name Neal Cobb in today's list, but couldn't place it. So I read the full obituary:

    http://www2.indystar.com/cgi-bin/obi...show&id=118087

    My jaw dropped upon reading of his experiences in WWII; I mean, how many people alive have walked 350 miles in a month, in hostile territory, to reach freedom? How many could?

    Then I got down to the part that said he owned Fairway Auto Parts at one time, and was a member of Hillcrest Country Club. BINGO!

    Not mentioned was that Mr. Cobb, as I knew him, briefly owned a smaller auto parts store in NE Indianapolis, On The Spot Auto Parts, in the mid 1960s. The large NE Indianapolis Shell Service Station where I worked circa 1966-1971 during weekends and summers while at Purdue University, bought most of their parts from On The Spot. Neal Cobb and the station's owner, Carl West, were good friends and played golf together as members of Hillcrest Country Club.

    So I had often talked with Mr. Cobb when he came in Carl West Shell Service, since Carl West was one of On The Spot's bigger accounts. Mr. Cobb, as I properly addressed him because I was his junior, always impressed me as a really nice, soft-spoken guy. He never even razzed me about driving Studebakers, which I did all the time I worked at Carl West; my R2-ized 1960 Lark V-8 with overdrive and, then, my Power Kit / Tahiti Coral 1959 Lark Regal VIII hardtop. (Maybe he figured I was at least one buyer for the few Studebaker parts he stocked.) Never did I have any hint of what he had experienced in the Army Air Corps in WWII, until reading his obituary this morning.

    It's hard to imagine a free country without a core group of people like Mr. Cobb who truly understand the MSRP of that freedom. We could have -or at least should have- learned so much from them.

    RIP, Mr. Cobb. BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    "Here's a toast..." (We call it The Third Verse).

    We had a truism at the VFW bar, that there were two kinds of WWII vets: those who'd won it single-handed, and the other ones who actually saw action. I never even heard that my late podiatrist, Dr. Ed Neuhaus, a mild-mannered and unassuming man I spoke with many times, had been shot down in a B-17 and spent years as a POW--until I read his obituary.

    When George III asked Pitt what Washington would do after winning the Revolution and Pitt said he would go home to his farm, the King said "Why, if he does that, he'll be the greatest man in the world." We've had the privilege of knowing thousands of the greatest men in the world.

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    • #3
      Akso known as the greatest generation, so many men and most are so humble.
      101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

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      • #4
        If you want to know more about the war experiences of the "Greatest" generation, read what he describes as his "4-book trilogy" by my friend, Bill Sloan. His writing is the "can't put it down" type. Amazon will let you read a page or 2 free.

        John

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        • #5
          7 years ago when I had a tumor removed from my paratid glad, my ENT Dr. Jack Summerlin, was 76 years young! When I asked a question, I got a real answer! I met him in his office on a Saturday, years a Saturday, and he mentioned that he was on BB-63 during WWII. Since my father was a Navy veteran, i knew that BB-63 was the USS Missouri, and when I said, Oh, the Missouri! Dr. Summerlin asked how I knew that. After I told him, he told me that he was on the Missouri when Japan surrendered in Tokyo bay.
          What should have been a 10-15 minute visit, turned out to be about 3 hours. The man had some fantastic memories. He has since retired, (only 2 years ago) but that day is one I will remember forever!
          Yes, they ARE the greatest generation!

          Jim
          "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

          We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!


          Indy Honor Flight www.IndyHonorFlight.org

          As of Veterans Day 2017, IHF has flown 2,450 WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans to Washington DC at NO charge! to see
          their Memorials!

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          • #6
            Many WWII vets seem to be reluctant to talk about their experiences. On our spring tour I learned that the dad of one of our members was on a destroyer shelling the beach on D Day. It hit a mine and sank. He was in the cold water for several hours before being rescued by another "tin can" (destroyer in Navy talk). They went right on shelling the beach.
            Then this past week I had to make a quick trip to Kansas for my wife's brother-in-law's funeral. I stopped to see my brother and wife. His father-in-law, 92 years old, is now living with them as he has become too frail to live alone (has outlived two wives and a girlfriend). I found out that he was a WWII Army Air Corps pilot. He didn't see combat, but was used as a ferry pilot. As such he flew all types of planes to many destinations including P-47s, P-51s and C-47s. He said his training for the P-51 was something like "have you ever flown one before?" "no" "well get in, you'll learn". I asked him if he ever had a close call and he said the only one was in a P-47. He was flying up the California mountains from San Diego to San Francisco when the engine quit. He could see any place to land so he was about ready to bail out when the engine re-started. He also talked about flying C-47s to Alaska. No mid air refueling then. He said they just carried a bunch of barrels of gasoline in the passenger compartment.
            Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
            '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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            • #7
              Compare to today's 18-29 (+) year olds that think their daily doings like going to the mall to buy a pair of pants or mugging for the camera is newsworthy enough that they have to post it and everything else they do on Facebook for all the world to see how important they are.

              Maybe a run-on sentence, but you get my point.
              KURTRUK
              (read it backwards)




              Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. -A. Lincoln

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              • #8
                Bob Palma posted an interesting thread regarding veterans. A dear friend who had served in WWII had talked about some of his experiences in the navy. One day he told me he had served on the USS Indianapolis. He talked about his service before and after the sinking of the ship near the end of the war, but didn't have much to say about the tragedy. The ship had 1,196 sailors and marines and was sunk by a Japanese sub. The navy did not know for several days after the incident. The men were floating in the oil slick and debris and sharks were having a frenzy. By the time of rescue there were 317 men left. One day he gave me Doug Stanton's book "IN HARM'S WAY" which tells the story and the part he chose not to discuss.

                I think there is a reunion for survivors next month in Indianapolis and I hope he can make it. He said the city rolls out the red carpet for them at every reunion.

                "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go IN HARM"S WAY." Commodore John Paul Jones
                Last edited by Bob Bryant; 07-10-2010, 07:29 PM.
                "Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional." author unknown

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                • #9
                  My Grandfather was a WWI Veteran. He was gassed in France during the last battle of the war. When he awoke in the Hospital, victory parades were going on in the streets of Paris. He had lost sight in one eye as a result of his wounds. That's all he would share with us, so we understood why he couldn't see us if we snuck up on his left side. The last time I had a chance to talk with him was when I was 12 years old. I often wish I was older and knew more about what to ask when he was alive. But, who knows if he would have talked freely about his experiences. I think of him as today, as I read there is only one US WWI vet left. So much of that history is forever lost.

                  Many of the things that have happened recently have happened because the numbers of these brave WWII souls have dwindled to a significant minority. Its hard to fathom as a child of the 60's and 70's, that now WWII is almost a full four generations removed from current events. The luxury of being able to armchair quarterback and take for granted what they preserved for us is breathtaking. We'll serve them best by holding our end of the bargain and making sure what they did lasts longer than 60 years.

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                  • #10
                    This is a pretty neat veterans YouTube video-
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTb6q...layer_embedded
                    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                    • #11
                      Good stuff, Paul; thanks. BP
                      We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                      Ayn Rand:
                      "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                      G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kurtruk View Post
                        Compare to today's 18-29 (+) year olds that think their daily doings like going to the mall to buy a pair of pants or mugging for the camera is newsworthy enough that they have to post it and everything else they do on Facebook for all the world to see how important they are.

                        Maybe a run-on sentence, but you get my point.
                        I don't entirely disagree....but to feel better, top to go to an open house on a military base. That should help you feel better about our future.
                        Or stop by a Marine recruiting office or Reserve unit.
                        I'm second generation Air Force, but I've never failed to be impressed by a Marine.

                        God bless 'em all, along with all the other soldiers, sailors and airmen.
                        63 Avanti R1 2788
                        1914 Stutz Bearcat
                        (George Barris replica)

                        Washington State

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for posting!
                          Dylan Wills
                          Everett, Wa.


                          1961 Lark 4 door wagon
                          1961 Lark 4 door wagon #2 (Wife's car!)
                          1955 VW Beetle (Went to the dark side)
                          1914 Ford Model T

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