Following, are some stories and incidences I was to relate to Nora so she could better understand me and the beat goes on!
On the lighter side, after I returned home, I dated Nora and got in at Midnight to sleep in my upper bunk. Ray returned from his date at 12:10 am. As he undressed for bed, he rattled my cage, so I quickly splashed around the bathroom, brushed my hair, and dressed. I reappeared in the bedroom to find Ray tucked in and I was all ready to go at 12:30 am! Is this fair?
My Mom, of course, was like one of us kids on occasion. One night we returned from a movie about midnight. Dad drove up the drive and hesitated just before the final plunge into the garage. Because of this momentary hesitation, all four of us kids jumped out leaving both back car doors open as we hurried to go potty... The doors were hinged at the back. The result was both doors hit the garage opening and were badly sprung, a now permanent feature of the car. Inside the garage, Mom opened her door as my Dad put the car in reverse to back up a bit and assess the damage done to the back doors. While in reverse, Mom's door was equally sprung! alas, the drivers door remained the only one left that could close properly. Mom described the fact that, "Now we can throw out a cat without having to open a door". She was good at analogies.
Dad went shopping at Sears and returned with a new pair of pants. He was anxious to show them to anyone interested. Being close by, I was to feel the quality of the goods and assure him it was a good buy and high test. The zipper in the fly was a minimum of 3 feet long! He bent over double to zip up and next started his "Swedish stuttering", and I quote, "this zipper really grabs me!(he meant gripes me)". Word substitution was ongoing. Who needs a vocabulary?
Dad was a work-a-holic. We did camp out in the Santa Ana Canyon once. Perhaps we were 30 miles from home, by a stream. Several neighbors were there also. Each early a.m., Dad jumped up, and guess what..., he drove to work. You're right, it was the only vacation I remember.
Friday nights were good at home as we made fudge once a week. Imagine, 52 times a year and no batch was like any other, sometimes like sugar cubes, other occasions we each ate the goo with a spoon. We were happy to listen to "Witches Tales" on the radio and the news, "Richfield Reporter", before bedtime.
One night I became "serious" about homework. Art and I were having a tough time with English Class. I cleaned out my walk-in closet (hard to do) and put my desk and chair inside. Art arrived, so we went in the closet, turned on the light, and shut the door. It was quiet, warm, and close. I'm sure, as Art stood over me, that we stared at the book without comprehension for a full 45 minutes. Finally, Art broke silence and said, "hold the paper, I'm going to write". This broke us both up and ended the studying.
I'm reluctant to write one about my Mom. Please understand, Mom had her own charisma and I was always proud of how she carried herself and the dignity she displayed. She also taught us to see humor in everything and make it enjoyable. Without this input, my life would have been miserable. The following is a happening (love you Mom) that only she could relate. I could title this "A quiet bath Saturday afternoon". To have hot water in 1937 was to go to the back porch, strike a match, and light the heater. Next, wait a half hour or so and the water pipes would shutter and shake. A real head of steam built up and made us wonder if the porch would be there before we crawled back (literally) to shut off the gas. Ah, yes, all was ready for Mom's bath and shutting the bathroom door she climbed into the footed tub. Splish, splash, using boo coo (French) soap, all was well. Realizing she had neglected having a towel, it would be natural to callout for, "Flay, bring me a towel". Mom raised her voice loud enough to be heard through the door and the rest of the house. Flay's reply was, a meek, "Whaaat"? The procedure repeated several times and Mom had reason to be furious and let her temper all hang out! It is only fair to tell you, Mom was built like me, 5 X 5. As she climbed up and out of the tub, it was natural to slip and flop on the floor. However, this time it was flip, flop, and she ended up with her arm thrust full length, to the armpit, in the toilet! She quickly got up and took her second bath. Upon getting out this time, she intended to open the door and confront Flay as she stood just outside. Mom's hand slipped and slid back and forth as she tried in vain to twist the unyielding door knob. Eventually, with help from Flay on the other side, the door opened as a surprise to Mom, and the finale happened as Mom sprawled flat on the floor with Flay standing over her. For fun we called Flay, "Flayzee", and without her it would not have had the funny result.
My childhood was over at 17, and when I reflect, I would not change any of it or be willing to trade with anyone else. The Lindberg Family met my needs and instilled some values and characteristics that were to give me strength. It was not coincidence that Dad worked with Jewish people, and Mom taught us about prejudice. To kid around with ethnic slurs was one thing, but prejudice was not tolerated. The midwife that brought Mom into this world was a qualified black lady. The midwife for my aunt was a Chipawa Indian. How could there be prejudice in our family? Thinking about this, as I am, makes me remember that I had learned to pray for the enemy even under fire. As I prayed I couldn't help but think of their families. You would have too. One night our command post was surrounded by the enemy and there was no moonlight. I was stationed on a road leading out of town. There was a curb on one side and bushes and trees on the other. A small stream was running quietly by, parallel to the road. As there was still some daylight, I stood in one spot and memorized the scene, every detail. In the pitch dark, I had a good mind picture. Late, at about midnight, the Germans attacked to my left with machine guns and mortars. I was far enough away so as not to be directly under fire. I could hear as support troops of ours ran up to give reinforcements to our line of defense. I was always glad to be on guard at night while others slept. Remembering my mind picture, I listened carefully and not in vain. Soon I heard an enemy scout on the road coming directly toward me. I could hear him as he went along the curb and then along the street. Not much noise, but enough to alarm me. In the dark I followed the target and as he drew close enough, I squeezed my trigger. The B.A.R. (Browning Automatic Rifle) did not fire! The enemy drew still closer so I squeezed more firmly without any result. Instead of throwing my rifle down, I stooped and carefully lay it down. Returning erect, I was able to grab this man and twist his arm with everything I had. Soon I was behind him and directed him stumbling in front of me as I kept pressure by twisting his arms. Half a block later at the Command Post. I threw him through the door to the surprise of the Commanding Officer (C.O.). Immediately, I returned to my post and was relieved that only one German had passed my way. In an hour or so I was approached by a group of three from my rear. One was the prisoner I had captured. Next was a small woman and the third was a Sergeant escorting them. I was alert as two of them passed and continued out of town. The Sergeant explained that the German had risked his life to try to sneak into town while the fire fight was happening. His goal was to get a midwife and return to a farm house. A child was being born and help was desperately needed. I sighed, and wondered why my rifle failed to fire, but now I knew.
(I told this story on one occasion and it was brought to my attention this child would be over 50 years old now).
Americans are compassionate. It must be that we live free and men with the courage of their convictions are willing to defend and promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity (that's you). Some of this I quote from the Constitution of the United States of America. I vowed to defend it. Do yourself a favor...read it too. I was not a good civics student, but this part I understood.
Returning home, being hospitalized for 9 months, and becoming engaged, I tried to return to civilian life and take up my place where I left off. Mom went with me, at my request, as I intended to enroll at U.C.L.A. and continue my education. As we walked down the mall toward the Administration office, I slowed, then stopped, as I explained to Mom, "I can't do it". No way I would be able to sit in a class with all my nerve endings feeling raw. Mom glanced up at me and nodded her head in agreement. I don't think we conversed as I drove home. It was the first time I admitted that I had suffered emotional damage. Earlier, I was in denial and while at the hospital Captain Dodge tried to help me. Although I respected him and learned to become close to him, he tried in vain to give me a medical discharge. I feel I made a poor choice and Captain Dodge was right. Did I mention, he is Jewish and explained the facts of life to me without mumbling? He also encouraged me to marry Nora. He is a good man.
A favorite mind picture that I carry around is seeing Nora at age 17 walking toward me down the street. She was carrying her books and as we drew closer her face wore a pleasant smile and her eyes were winking and blinking. She forever won my heart. It was grand and I thought a band was playing. At the time, I probably did not show the emotion I felt. I was trying to be composed and display an image of strength. From the beginning Nora would put up with mood changes and share post war life with me. God alone knows how wonderfully well she helped me. She was unselfish and adjusted to every need.
My Father became hospitalized in Palm Springs the fall of 1989. Karen called and we made a quick trip to visit him. In his hospital room there were very many people, doctors, nurses, sister Shirley, and others. I walked down the hall and observed his room with the door opened. Dad raised up on his elbow and looked past everyone as he saw me approach. I could hear him say, "Here comes the Army"! This caused me to stiffen and become erect. I like to think he did understand and knows...the effort and expenditure of strength it took, also the ones that didn't return. Later with Shirley and me visiting him, breakfast was served. Dad insisted on getting out of bed to be seated in a chair. An adjustable tray was positioned too low and we tried to raise it up to a correct height. Alas, Shirley found a button and pressed it. The tray raised to a height of about 8 feet and everyone was startled. Finally, the lid covering the food was lifted. Shirley had changed his order and Dad became very surprised. He held his hands close to his chest and pointed with his fingers to the plate.
A large warmed muffin was there and had the appearance that it had just arrived from a meadow. At this time Dad reached out what seemed five feet and grasped the young Doctor firmly. Pulling him close he said, "You pray"! The next week, in his 95th year, his wish was fulfilled as he joined our Mom, Gladys. (How sweet she is).
It's true at age 19 I felt I had experienced a lifetime. Hopefully you will understand that these happenings were strength and helped me to realize that my belief in God was the one thing that brought me through.
My life was full as I tried to learn my Christian walk and realized that I didn't have a legacy to refer to but could grow and live to see how the Lord is true. Our richest blessing is our offspring. They are as arrows in a quiver.. .I'm being fitted for an oversized quiver.
Please when considering my love of Country and serving it that you understand these four verses of Psalm 22. "For the Kingship and the Kingdom are the Lords, and He is ruler over the Nations. All the mighty ones upon earth shall eat and worship; all they that go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve Him: they shall tell of the Lord to the next generation. They shall come and shall declare His righteousness to a people yet to be born, that he has done it"! (borne our sins, rescued us)!
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