A Conversation with Jean – August 21, 2017

“Long Trip.”

“Yeah, I’m still sorting it out. I didn’t know whether I could even handle it, but I went anyway. I went because I needed to go. All these years I’ve been talking about it, but nothing ever came of it. So, when you left, I had to get my life together again, and became able to find time to do it.

The extraordinary part of it all is that you were included, too. Yeah, that’s right, you’re in it, too. Steve McAlpin was my physical partner, but he did what you would have done in the first two places we visited: Dubrovnik and Medjugorje. Especially, when he went up Apparition Hill in Medjugorje. I had to cop out on that one. It was too steep for me to climb, so he went in my place. You’ll see that when you read all the stories I will be writing. They will take me a while, but, I will get them all to you. Hopefully, within the next year or so. They will come in bits and pieces, but Steve and I will be presenting a summary at the 13th Armored Division reunion next October at West Point. That in itself, promises to be memorable. Many amazing things can happen, but I don’t want to talk about them now. Let’s see what actually comes to pass, and go from there. In any event it will assuredly be beyond belief.

Meanwhile, I will outline for you what we plan to write about.

There are two major outlets for the stories. The first, and what I am currently doing, is a Power Point presentation for the 13th Armored Division scheduled for this upcoming October. The other, and far more involved one, is what I plan to both post and publish on Relighting Us. It will involve the entire interests of both me and Steve. Below is the more limited 13th Armored Division presentation.
My aim is to keep it around one-hour long. A lot of our entire journey will not be a part. I plan to relate it in a reverse order than the timeline of its original events. It will be in keeping with the timeline of our trip. It will be the highlights of our re-visitation to the recollections of the key areas of where we were 72 years ago. They are as follows:
• Berg
• Braunau
• Patton
• Siegberg
• Opladen
• Kemper
• Wuppertal
• Mettmann
• Luneville
• Fremenil
• Normandy
• Ireland

The Ireland part was not in our original 1945 journey, but is about a significant memory that relates to what happened then. When I get the presentation organized I will get you a more detailed description. For now, the outline will be sufficient.

When I got home on July 25th I was pooped. It took me about 10 days to get back to normal, but I am back at it now. Taking Annie to lunch on Fridays. Doing Osher classes, helping Kathryn at St. Louis, keeping busy. Especially with the writing. I will soon be posting a lot of stuff on Relighting Us. I already posted a story about Emelienne and will be sending Patty some stuff about Andrew Wakeford.

Andrew did a story on Steve for the National Geographic publication: “Veteran’s Voices.” We met in Luneville and this meeting changed my whole perspective on what our journey was all about. More than just recalling memories. As I get deeper into my writing you will see what I mean. I’m fired up. Hard to believe, but I feel it deeply and I’m going to work on it.

So, as soon as I get stuff together, I’ll let you know.

Talk to you later.”

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One thought on “A Conversation with Jean – August 21, 2017

  1. This is a great story Bob. I love you conversational approach with Jean.. the outline is wonderful and will help me produce more accurate detail in my writing. Talk to you soon buddy.

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