More than five years ago, back while political debates still raged on RedsZone, I started a thread, long vanished after the board crashed, about how all of us were ignorant, just on different subjects. I used as an example a man I called "Howard" to illustrate that while I had more formal education than Howard, he was the wiser and better man. I still have part of that post:
"Howard is a carpenter, a farmer, a mechanic, a builder. He knows so much more about those subjects than me, subjects in which I am ignorant. He is much better read in the Bible than me and has been a superb Sunday School teacher and mentor of younger people for a half century. He has infinitely more knowledge about hunting and fishing and nature than I will ever have. He is an excellent father, successfully raising four childen, while I am a work in progress who needs more work. He is a man of compassion and dedication and I admire him greatly."
"Howard" was a real person--Howard "Arbuckle" Thompson. Yesterday he died at age 87. I have just returned from visitation at the local funeral home. I met with his four children, saw his grandkids, and looked at photographs of his life. I knew he had been a paratrooper, but for the first time I saw photos of him in uniform during WWII. His daughter said he never talked about the war much, but he had once mentioned a jump in which numerous paratroopers landed in water and drowned, which made me wonder if he participated in the jumps during D-Day, because that very thing occurred.
Howard was a member of what Tom Brokaw termed "The Greatest Generation." I don't know if that title is accurate, but Howard himself, with probably little more than an elementary school education, was as great man as I have known.
Excuse me this indulgence. While we do post obits here of the famous, I fully realize that no one else here knew of Howard---but he meant more to me, and was a better person, than many of the rich and famous whose passings we note here.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."