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Heroes Among Us

I was supposed to be in trial in Chesapeake all week, but the case surprisingly settled. So, I found myself sitting in my “usual back booth” at Bob Evans, for some breakfast yesterday. It’s in my breakfast places- to-go rotation.  Even though their slogan is “Down on the Farm“, I prefer just sitting in that booth and not the farm. Thank you! Although, I do have great memories of being raised on the farm. But I digress!

A man came around the corner, stuck out his hand, and introduced himself. It surprised me, because I was engrossed in my iPad reading ritual. Then, he proceeded to tell me a story that made my morning.

He had been in World War II and had even had the opportunity to meet President Roosevelt at a breakfast. Roosevelt had looked him in the eye and said, “When you come back to D.C., we need to have breakfast again and finish our conversation”. Roosevelt made a lifetime memory for him.

When he came back from the war, he and a friend each put up $2500 to start a contracting business. Now, he is 91-years-old and still works at the business.  He added that he was headed out to do some estimates. He has no plans to retire.

I asked him for his advice for a long life. He gave me the following thoughts:

  1. Stay busy. Which is also why he has continued to work.
  2. Don’t smoke. Before going to war, he worked at Phillip Morris. Even though they would give him free cigarettes, he would just give them away.
  3. Don’t worry. He says that he never thinks about long life. He just enjoys what he is doing.

I thanked him for his military service, his advice, and for making my morning. A true hero… even in attitude!

And for pic o’ day:



Superstition or Good Idea

President Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived at his Hyde Park home to find a young man tutoring the Roosevelt children. At lunch time, the President noticed the young man lighting three cigarettes with one match.

If that were to happen today, I suspect that Roosevelt would lecture him about smoking around his kids, despite his  own reported smoking habits. Roosevelt’s secretary noted in her diary that she recalls the incident as, “one of the few occasions I know of when the President actually reprimanded someone brusquely in public”.

It was assumed that Roosevelt was so bothered by the incident because of some superstition about the number 3. Instead, it is now believed that Roosevelt was only passing on advice to a young man, that was taught in basic training to our U.S. soldiers preparing for World War II.

Soldiers were trained not to use a single match to light a cigarette. The time that it takes to light all three also gives a sniper enough time to accurately target and shoot at the match. At the time, it was considered polite to offer a cigarette to the person on either side of you. Plus, it was expected that a soldier would first light the highest ranking officer of the three. So, more intelligence to the shooter.

Maybe Roosevelt was being superstitious or maybe he was teaching a young man a possible life-saving lesson. Now, we would consider the smoking as dangerous as the lighting of the cigarette.

DID YOU KNOW that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a lifelong hobby of stamp collecting? When he died, his personal stamp collection numbered to over 1.2 million stamps. The collection was sold at a public auction and brought a sum of $228,000.

And for pic o’ day:

hole in yard


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