Friday, February 03, 2006

Groundhog Day in the Waiting Room

Today was another 45 minutes in the waiting room of the physical therapy clinic.

When I sat down there were three of us. One very graceful and pretty woman who looked to be in her 40s or early 50s but I deducted from things she said she was in her early 70s. The other man was a neatnik, who wouldn’t look comfortable wearing jeans. He had on a Georgia Tech jacket. He, in due time said he was 81, and that looked about right, but he said he looked much younger.

Somehow we got into a discussion of Iraq. The 81 year old man said the U.S. should not allow all these people speak against the war, it is bad for morale and the enemy will think we are weak. I said that is just the curse of freedom, if you going to have Freedom of Speech, then you have to put up with what you disagree with too.

The dyed black haired lady was also shoveling thoughts into the conversation and was agreeing with what I was saying.

The man said his mother had seven boys and all seven boys went into WWII and all seven came out of it alive. He said one brother kept going to different schools offered in the service and never saw any combat time but because of all the education he soaked up, he became an officer.

He asked me did I go into the service. I said yep, in the Navy, I enlisted after Kennedy gave his TV speech about missiles in Cuba.

Then we talked about how the county has grown in the past twenty or so years. I asked him was he born in Cobb County and he said yes. I asked him his name and he said, something Bramlett. The name didn’t ring a bell.

Then, he said his mother had seven sons and all of them went to war and they all came back alive, and one son went to one school after the another in the service and saw no combat time, but was commissioned and officer because of the schooling they kept sending him to. Then he asked me did I go into the service.

I looked at the lady puzzled. She said, “Dejivu?”*
I said, “Ground Hog Day?” She got it and laughed.
The poor old gent apparently was had Alzheimer’s disease. I would have never known.

I replied, “The Navy.”

He said, “Did you carry me over the ocean in World War II?”
“No, my Navy time was in the 60s”.

He said his mother had seven sons and all seven went to war, and all came back alive, and so on….. and did I go into the service?

The lady and I both were communicating with our eyes and body language on how to knock that record off its track. She and I started talking about history in general – it came out that she has very recently found history fascinating and was very good at it. We converse about the Civil War locally and different battles, and other historical things.

The man kept interrupting us to tell us his mother had seven sons who went to war… and what branch of service was I in…. finally, we steered him off the subject of his war and talked about Viet Nam. Which we all agreed, that it was a useless war.

I have about 35 pages to go before I finished my book, I was hoping to finish it in the waiting room, but I didn’t get any read. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.

As my sister and I walked out she asked me who was that man was and I said he last name was Bramlett. She said that was right, she remembered him. He used to be our parents’ plumber. That guy a plumber? It is hard to picture that guy, in his neat knit clothes with shit up to his elbows.

* Deji-vu – OK, I know it is misspelled but I couldn’t find anything in the dictionary resembling it and my spell check made a few worthless attempts.

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