Thursday, February 03, 2005

all that you can be

I was talking with my friend Charlie today. He's given his time to many a cause over eight decades -- WW II vet, teacher, union organizer, Bloomsday fundraiser, protector of environments, counselor for those who don't understand their legal rights, and much more I'm sure I don't know about.

I asked him how he got things done, because he always seems to get things done. He said he learned how to do this in the military. It seems he was stationed at Fort Dix in the 40's, and his bride, Lola, was in New York, having just given birth to their daughter. A promised furlough was unexpectedly cancelled for the whole troop -- Charlie had been postponing other chances to get off base in order to use this one to see his new daughter. He asked to see the commanding officer, who he says was an utter incompetent (perhaps like Philip Ober's character in From Here to Eternity).

At that time, Charlie was the guy doing a lot of the paperwork for the CO, having the education, know-how, wits, etc., to get it done.

When he asked why his furlough was cancelled, the CO had no answer. Charlie remembers himself saying, "Well, I'm going anyway. Would you like me to draw up my court martial papers before I leave, or when I come back?"

He got his furlough. And since then, whenever a cause worth fighting for has come along, Charlie fights, and almost always wins.


Post a Comment

<< Home