To The Daily Sun.
Frank hailed from Kentucky. His family owned an estate there for generations. He was a kind man who rescued Kentucky race horses and gave them a home in Center Harbor. Quite often, if I was not already at his home he would give me a call to "come over, I want to introduce you to someone."
I cannot recall all the people Frank introduced me to but a few come to mind. A sister to his wife from England visited. They talked about their experience in the war. (Probably World War I). Franks wife drove an ambulance. A man who worked at Annalee Dolls. Another man had visited who worked with Frank during World War II.
These and more were wonderful experiences. I am glad that I learned from many who were part of history — Frank included. As a middle teenager I found it more enlightening to learn about history than doing what most teenagers did, chase girls, "vedge" out on music or other wasteful pursuits.
Frank informed me that in some parts of the world a man can marry by simply saying " I marry thee, I marry thee, I marry thee" three times. He also informed me that a divorce is conducted much the same way. " I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee." He mentioned that adoptions could be the same way. So he said to me, "I adopt thee, I adopt thee, I adopt thee." From that point on I addressed Frank as Uncle Frank.
Uncle Frank had a slightly crippled hand. One day I got the courage to ask, "Uncle Frank, what happened to your hand?" He was silent for what seemed like a minute. Staring into what seemed like a void. Then he looked at his hand, eyes becoming moist.
"Well! I was in a trench during World War I." I thought that was going to be his entire comment when he quietly said, "Sitting in the trenches was close to hell, it was musty, fear of death hung over everyone, the thought of poisonous gas was in everyone's mind, I was sitting in the dirt, leaning against the bank " Uncle Frank grew silent. I waited. "And then a shadow overcame me, I looked up as a German soldier was baring down on me with with his bayonet, I had no time but to grab the bayonet. A soldier then shot him." And then Uncle Frank changed the subject. I did not know why, but this was a lesson I would need to learn on my own later in life.
Uncle Frank and I would sit for hours talking about history. He was fortunate to have many old papers and documents to back up his lessons, as I grew to call them. We talked about slavery and its terrible sin on mankind. He showed me some old papers that included names of slaves. His grandfather had inherited these poor humans. According to the documents some were sent to college. One was sent to a university to learn agriculture so he could manage the estate. I did not breach the subject of which side his grandfather fought on during the Civil War. He seemed to understand my hesitance and remarked, "My grandfather was a southern Democrat". This response did not mean much to a young teenager.
"While the French and English were fighting the Germans, President Wilson promised that if he was elected, he would not send our boys to war." Uncle Frank unexpectedly spoke up. My look of "What?" seemed to open the door for another bit of historical truth. "Right after he was elected on that promise he began working on the draft." And not long after my mentor found himself in the trenches in France.
Thinking back of our many visits, I recall how this former dough boy emphatically stated, "None of us wanted to fight, often we would play cards with the Germans in the trenches, our leaders nearly drove us to fight, it started with the civilian leadership and went to the commanding officers."
My thoughts then were "what a chaotic principle." Things were winding down then and suddenly a new force was thrown in on the side of the French and English. The Versailles treaty in its harshness devastated what was left of the German economy. A tangling alliance that benefited no one but the financiers and one-worlders. Most likely, one and the same. From this time onward we disregarded council from our Founding Fathers.
At the time that Hitler was being financed by the West, Uncle Frank was working for General Electric. He was there for quite some time. The subject of spies came up. I was shown a citation from Franklin Delano Roosevelt that was awarded him for assistance in apprehending two soviet agents. This was at a time when agents were flooding the nation in order to steal everything they could on our war technologies. Much of it was given free and clear anyways. And then they used it against us in Korea. The Russian tank was designed from our Caterpillar factory we gave them. Ford truck factory allowed them to build military trucks.
The United Nations was a progressive (Soviet) invention. It aided the Russians and Koreans during the Korean War. The Vietnam War followed suit. At that time it appears that the State Department was crawling with Soviet agents, according to former Under Secretary of State J. Reuben Clarke.
It appears that there is another storm gathering. Much larger than any in history. Warnings from those who man the watchtowers have gone unheeded by those who pull the strings. Or is it part of the plan?
We may very well be under an illusion when we think we have a choice. Wars! Shouldn't we unite and find out where this ideology originates? Or are we under the spell that George Orwell summed up in "1984" perpetual war for perpetual peace."
Gene F. Danforth
- Category: Letters
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