I have spoken of old George before. The guy, about two decades after splitting this planet, still stomps the Terra and impresses me and others that he touched more than we could have apprehended in our younger years.
I really appreciate the opening that you've given me to remember and write about the guy. It's also meaningful that this is was the kind of day when he moved on… chilly, challenging in a physical way. Things seem dreadful to folks that just have to navigate to work or the supermarket. Nonsense.
When George was in 'Nam, I came up for the draft. I was lucky. That year, Nixon probably did the only favor he might have delivered to me. I pulled #13 in the lottery, pretty well first in line, but he stopped the taking of draftees. I never had to go to Canada or Norway, or wherever. I did know that I was not going to go kill people I never met.
George had enlisted, however. He wanted to prove something to his dad. On George's first tour, his dad died. Then, George re-upped… his mom died. George came home to find that his only brother had taken what little the family had for his own. George understood that he had nothing, no family, nobody that knew him, nothing but the mud under his boots.
So, he ran wild with the River Rats up by the Canadian border, and tore up the neighborhood. Eventually, figuring that he was not fit for civilization, he built a shack sheltered from the wind only on the side of Bell Hill. Else wise, you could see the sunlight poke thru the timbers. Out back, there was a pile of old, burnt out tim stoves. He'd go thru about one a month to keep him and his pups warm… sort'a warm.
Still, he made a bed available to anybody that wandered his way, and if that was not sufficient to the dire circumstance, they could hid out under his own. The pups were kept safe.
I cannot say enough in kindness to recommend the memory of George Anderson. He was a Man.