My apologies for not writing the past two weeks. Some, now mostly resolved, medical issues got in the way of our regular schedule. But I’m back now.
The journey towards the completion of my script, Clean Dry Socks: Diary of a Doughboy, continues. The script is in what I believe to be the final editing stage.
Last week, due to some work travel, I had the opportunity to journey to Southwest Virginia and take some time to seek out some inspiration. My trip afforded me the opportunity to travel to the small town of Cedar Bluff, Virginia, my grandfather’s home, and where my mother was born and grew up.
It took me a while to find the right route up to College Hill where the house was and where the old school still stands in ruins, but I found it and made the journey up the narrow, winding road.
Before I turned to drive up the hill, I saw a sign that announced the Cedar Bluff Veteran’s Day parade. I wanted to take a picture, but noted that I would miss the parade since it was scheduled for the following day (Saturday).
When I returned from my trip up to the school, I realized I had my dates wrong. As I parked to take the picture of the sign I looked a block away where a policeman had just stopped traffic and I saw the beginning of the parade.
I don’t believe in coincidence. But, here I was in my grandfather’s hometown, one-hundred years after he was drafted for service in World War I, watching the Veteran’s Day parade.
The significance? Although he did not talk about the war, and although his children were forbideen to talk about their history lessons of the war in his presence, every year he would put on his uniform and march in the Veteran’s Day parade, or as it was then called the Armistice Day parade.
This. Very. Same. Parade.
As parades go, this one was far from impressive. A few fire trucks, some marching children, the VFW unit and a few Vietnam veterans.
But I stood watching with tears in my eyes, and knowing this was more confirmation that I must indeed finish and produce this script.
After the parade, and after a few miss-turns I made my way to the cemetery where my grandparents and uncle are buried. It had been some twenty years since last I visited, so finding the grave was a challenge. But I found it.
As I stood there and swept the leaves off of the markers, I knew my grandparents were not there. But I stood there honoring Reese on Veteran’s Day, wanting him to know that I was telling his story, and hoping that I could do it justice.
The journey from Cedar Bluff to the stage continues…