“LIFE IS FULL OF ADJUSTMENTS”
On December 21st, 2017 a very special person passed on to his next journey. Of course, being Irish he had to go at Winter Solstice for the magic it holds for Gaelic People. As my mentor, my pal, and my adopted father figure I sorely miss him but wish him God Speed.
Dick was busy at taking care of his personal business and concerns for all veterans and especially POWs. One of his last engagements, Farmington Schools where he was invited to give his WWII experience, 700 young people had the experience of learning how “life is full of Adjustments”. Perhaps this was his last opportunity to speak to a group and he was excited to do it.
Dick always started his time reciting an incident that happened while co-pilot of a B24 Bomber of the 15th Air Force flying out of Italy. As they flew in formation the plane next to them was hit and blew up. A young man was blown out of the plane toward Dick’s plane. His chute was on fire and so when he pulled the rip cord nothing happened. Dick would then say to the audience “SO WHAT WOULD YOU THINK ABOUT IN THE APPROXIMATE 2 ½ MINUTES THAT IT WOULD TAKE FOR YOU TO GET TO MOTHER EARTH”.
Needless to say, he had their attention.
26,835 days. A 7mm Mauser round that was shot into Dick July 2, 1944 continued in motion with his heart where it lodged. A long time for a bullet to fly. Of course, it also travelled with him everywhere he went as it beat in rhythm with his heart. A very good heart.
David D Claypool