Papa and Gramma Findley used to have neighbors dropping by all the time. One of those neighbors was Mr. Micky and his wife, Miss LouLou. (In Alabama, people always call women, “Miss.” Even if they are married.)
I remember Papa and Mr. Micky sitting around reminiscing about World War II. One of them would tell a story, and then they would both roar out laughing. I don’t think either of them actually saw combat. Papa stayed in the states and guarded German prisoners at Pocatello, Idaho. The German soldiers must have been brought to the United States so they could be guarded.
As the prisoners dug potatoes, Papa would hitch ride a on a truck, where he would ride from one potato row to the next. The Alabama native was so very cold. The Germans couldn’t get away, anyway, because they were in the states.
The staff sergeant of Papa’s unit had snow white hair. Everyone in his unit called the man “White Christmas” behind his back.
Sgt. White Christmas one day asked Papa a question. While answering, Papa allegedly slipped up and accidentally called him “White Christmas” to the man’s face.
“What did you say to me, Private?” the sergeant bellowed.
“Well, sir, that’s what everyone calls you to his face,” Papa replied, honestly.
Papa got potato-peeling detail for that slip-up!
Another time, a ranking official came by and asked if any of the troops wanted to go anywhere. Papa promptly raised his hand. He didn’t know where they were going, but he thought that anywhere would be better than freezing in Idaho. So they sent him to Phoenix, AZ, where it was warm. Later, they sent him to Millington, TN. He was stationed there when my mom was born.
One day, an official came by and was talking to Papa about serving in the army.
“What do you want out of the army, Findley?” the officer asked.
Papa answered, “A discharge.”
Happily, this got him sent back home to Gihon Springs.
With an honorable discharge.