Elder statemen

I consider myself an old soul.
I can go somewhere – anywhere – and within minutes, I fit right in. I know where I’m at, and where to go.
I also fit in with people older than me.
I always have.
And always will.
People who don’t see the benefit and value of hanging out with older people are missing out.
I was getting a haircut on Monday, and in the chair next to me was this very cool older guy with a long Arkansas drawl.
“Think I’m going to go visit Europe again,” he said. “See what’s changed.”
The first time he saw Europe, it was with the U.S. Rangers, part of the third wave on Normandy, France during a little skirmish called D-Day.
“He’s a hero,” my barber leans in and whispers in my ear. “Held off an entire company of Germans single-handed, saved his whole unit.”
And handed me a copy of the story that ran in Stars and Stripes in July of 1944.
The guy picked up the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR, a real piece of killing hardware) of a fallen buddy and killed 13 advancing Germans with it. He kept firing, even after being hit with grenade fragments.
“Shrapnel’s still in me,” he said. “Never did get it all out.”
Thursday, I got up early to meet an old outdoor writer for help with a story I’m working on about turkey hunting.
He had his posse with him, older guys who talked about this, that and the other thing. It was a hoot.
And I just melted into the conversation.
Mostly, I listened.
I watched.
And I consider myself lucky to be an old soul – one who recognizes the benefit of listening to one’s elders.


Anonymous said...

I've always been the same way. It always amazes me the stuff you can learn if you just shut up and listen.