27 Nov Yanks Are Boring
I first saw him literally shuffling into our local market. He was hard to miss; cashmere sport jacket, wool scarf, Stetson hat, white mustache, white hair flowing out from under the hat, bushy eyebrows, glasses on the tip of his nose and a twinkle in his blue eyes. I asked him how he was and I never said another word for the next twenty-five minutes while my wife shopped and then came and pulled me away from him. He was as British as one can be; eighty-eight years old, lonely, a widower for the past two years. I heard all about WWII in London; bomb shelters, Yanks, airmen, uniforms and officers.
I have met others like him. As he spoke of the war there was vibrancy in his eyes. Some men love war. I think they are the ones who never hit the beaches. They are the ones whose lives were full of the adventure of new places, meeting new people, learning new skills and not having to go to a 9 to 5 job. Theodore Roosevelt glamorized war and was continually enamored with it until his son died in combat. Suddenly it wasn’t so wonderful anymore. There is a dear price to pay for the handsome uniforms and the adrenaline rush.
As I left him he said, “You Yanks are really quite boring.” I guess I was. I never said one interesting thing. All I said was “How are you?” and “I have to go.” Truthfully I would like to have listened to more of his stories. People really are the most interesting animal on earth. God must be interesting; after all we are made in His image. He must have some great stories to tell. He knows them all.
Written by Roger Bothwell on November 27, 2010
Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helen, CA 94574