Archive for Parkinson’s Disease

R.I.P. Maj. Dick Winters, American hero

Posted in Books, History, Movies, TV, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2011 by macmystery

I first learned of Dick Winters’ death from a Facebook post by my friend Chris Otto of the York Daily-Record. He linked to a story Monday night from a Pennsylvania TV station reporting the World War II veteran’s death a week before. Here’s the Washington Post obit.

Winters became widely known, thanks to the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” which followed the E company, second battalion (Easy Company), of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Infantry from their formation through the Normandy invasion and on through Germany’s surrender.

As a history major, I found the book interesting, but honestly, the miniseries, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, is where I, and I’m guessing millions of other Americans, truly came to know about Winters. It’s hands down the best television I’ve ever seen.

The book, culled from interviews with surviving members of Easy Company, is historically accurate, and the miniseries follows the trend of the past 15 years where filmmakers, instead of glorifying war, have tried to accurately portray the horror and savagery of conflict and illustrate the sacrifices of those who risked or lost their lives.

Winters wasn’t originally in command of Easy Company. But just like in so many other situations in the group’s story, Winters took the reins and led by example when he was called to. He was concerned about each and every one of his men. And his men respected him for it and loved him in return.

According to the Washington Post, late in the war, one of Mr. Winters’s soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to the officer from a hospital in Indiana expressing gratitude for his loyalty and leadership.

“You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you,” Talbert wrote to Winters in 1945. “I would follow you into hell.”

We’ve reached a point in our history where the people who risked their lives and served their country are dying off and leaving us at an ever-increasing rate. Soon, what little first-hand knowledge we have of the great sacrifice the men like those of Easy Company made to, not only preserve our freedom, but to defeat the powers of evil, will have gone away.

I’m saddened by Winters’ passing, but I’m thankful he served. He lived to the age of 92 before losing his battle with Parkinson’s Disease. News of his death, more than a week ago, was kept quiet at his request. He didn’t seek glory. He exhibited class, even in death.

Thank you, Dick Winters. Though you may not have chosen the label, there’s no denying you are a hero.

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Random stuff: Someone liked my gas

Posted in History, Humor, Music, Odd, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by macmystery

Yesterday, New Year’s Eve, before Brooke went to work in the morning, she told me there were four pork chops in the refrigerator thawing.

“Cook them anyway you want to,” she said, “and eat one for lunch. You can take another to work for dinner and leave two for us.”

So, after feeding Ella lunch, I took my pork chops, which I had lovingly marinated in Italian dressing, outside to toss them on the grill.

I reached down to crank on the gas … and there was none. I mean none as in someone had stolen the entire tank right off my grill that sits right next to my house.

I think I was a little too shocked to even be angry. I was just flabergasted.

Brooke was more surprised than me when I told her about it. I grilled on Christlas Eve, so someone took the tank in the last week.

I’d like to think someone needed it really badly. For heat. Or money. Or because they had no electricity and needed to cook. But I doubt it. Likely some no good loser (like maybe my neighbor’s adult slacker son … can I say that?) who wants to save the money of buying his or her own tank.

So I guess we’ll refrain from grilling for a while, untile we get a new tank.

By the way, the pork chops were excellent baked.

Thank you, Mr. Pell

Former Democratic Rhode Island senator Claiborne Pell died New Year’s Day at the age of 90 after a long bout with Parkinson’s Disease.

Among Pell’s accomplishments was the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant program, which passed in 1972 and provided direct aid to college students … better known to you and I as Pell Grants.

Millions of low- and middle-income Americans (including this one) were assisted in attending college because of Pell’s grants.

I, for one, would like to say thanks to Mr. Pell and say a prayer for him and his family.

Sharing gas (and other bodily functions) with the ones you love

I came across this story today about how different couples/families are open … or not so open … with each other when it comes to normally private bodily functions.

Enjoy.

“You and me, babe, how about it?”

The radio station I got hooked on this past summer in Reno, Nev., — KTHX 100.1 FM, The X — just played the Indigo Girls’ version of Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet.”

That never happens.

Never.

First time I’ve ever heard it on the radio anywhere.

Remember they said it

MSNBC.com has put together a wrap-up of the five dumbest things said about the economy in the past two years by political and financial leaders.

Interesting.