The War Stories

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“Pawpaw, tell me a war story”. These were the words that were often spoken in innocence while sitting my grandfather’s lap. As a child I didn’t really understand the hesitation before he would reply. Forsplit second the look in my grandfather’s eyes would shift into that “Thousand Meter Stare”. He would look down at me and the familiar gentle demeanor would return and the stories would begin.

I was used to the edited for T.V. versions of all the classic World War Two movies and stories. The Big Red 1 comes to mind. There was also reruns of Hogan’s Heroes and we would laugh at Sergeant Shultz as Hogan outsmarted the Nazis again. My grandfather’s war stories were always about the funny things that happened in camp. One that stands out in my memory was about when he was the new guy in the unit. He got into argument with another GI and it escalated into an all out brawl. It was dark and as they fought they fell into a coal shaft. The other men broke up the fight and when everyone calmed down he learned that the man he was fighting with was his new commander. The two men were best friends for the rest of their lives. There was a point in history when the natural outcome of a fight was normally reconciliation and many friendships started with such a story.

I remember another war story about sharing rations with refugees. A young widow with children was given a few canned goods.

One more than one occasion the stories were told while I was setting up toy soldiers. Green plastic army men who would be positioned in formations around the living room as he spoke. I would take time to set them up and make bomb noises as I knocked them all down. Pawpaw never allowed me to see any discomfort in his eyes. He just continued to tell about the friends he made and he focused on what positive stories that he had.

What I didn’t really understand at such a young age was that my sound effects that I made with my mouth were probably making him relive the shelling event that ended his service. He carried the shrapnel in his leg and neck for the rest of his life. In fact as I look back at my memories of pawpaw’s war stories they always included lessons about how precious life is and how blessed we are to have it in the way we did.

June sixth is a special day in history. It’s the day that so many people made the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and freedom of the world. But I fear, that amidst all the ceremonies and fine speeches that we risk turning history into a game played with toy soldiers. Every year we set them up and knock them down. And when the game is over we put them back into their box until the next calibration. These soldiers are not plastic. And every day the box gets a little lighter than the day before. Soon, the box will be completely empty. It’s awesome to set aside special days to honor the things that were done to prevent evil from taking over the globe but these men and women are still with us every day. I have to believe that they have more stories to tell besides the war stories. My grandfather did. I lost my pawpaw in the Fall of 1985. There was so many stories that we could have written together if only we had the chance. By the time this article is published the D Day celebrations will be over. But if you have anyone from that generation make an effort to spend time with them. Even if that person isn’t a veteran they’re going to have something to share. If they’re healthy enough to go outside then help them build a new story. One that lets them know that they still matter. Give them some peace stories to tell.

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Buttercups &Childhood Memories

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Buttercups 51218″and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Like living smiley faces little pops of living sunshine make their appearance in mid May. I remember kids holding the yellow flowers under their chins as test to see who likes butter.

The phrase toughen up buttercup has become a popular way to infer that one is weak but whoever came up with had obviously never attempted to contol buttercups in the yard. No matter how many times I cut them or pull them out they seem to come back stronger. I don’t really mind. There’s a certain amount of innocent joy I get from them growing on the edge of forest. I’m always taken back to my childhood memories of kids holding little yellow flowers under their chins and giggling at who has the yellow reflection.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

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Approaching Thunder Shakes Loose A Childhood Memory

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Thunder Ridge” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I stepped out of the big blue truck and walked just beyond the gate. The scent of the impending rain hangs heavy in the air. The local songbirds are all huddled under the bushes for shelter as thunder rolls across the ridge. The empty roads beckons me to come & explore but the Darkening sky forbids me to walk too far. As I gaze down the road I allow my imagination to wander beneath the approaching thunderheads. My thoughts are interrupted by a different thunder. Its the sound of four large engines turning propellers on the tarmac in the distance. It has the be the 130th Airlift Wing warming up a C-130. The massive aircraft is often seen floating above the Kanawha Valley. It’s truly an awesome sight to see them emerge from the thick clouds on days like today.

When I was 11 years old my Civil Air Patrol group was transported to the Patuxent River Naval Air Test Station by the 130th AW ( the aircraft is a C-130 & the Air National Guard Group that is stationed her happens to also be the 130th group. ) My impression of the C-130 was that it’s the aeronautical version of a four wheel drive SUV. The seating for troop transport in the late 70s & early 80s was an adventure all of it’s own for a farm-boy of my age. Imagine that you’re locked into a tube with woven web lawn chairs hanging from the interior of the tube. They strap you in and taxi to the runway. The 130 is an STOL aircraft. That stands for Short Take Off & Landing which means that its angle on take off is really steep. The woven basket that you’re seated in swings like a pendulum as the plane jumps into the air. The sky on that day was really cloudy like you see in the feature image and it was turbulent. I suppose the resulting ride reminded me of sliding around on a muddy jeep trail which is what makes me think of them in the frame of a four wheel drive. Or, maybe the pilot was just adding a little extra adventure for a cargo load of wide eyed kids but it was like an amusement ride. Once we had reached a certain altitude we were allowed to get up and walk around a bit. everyone rushed towards the windows. For may of us it was first time off the ground. land was also an experience because they reverse the engines to land and its not like a passenger jet. There’s little or no soundproofing in the big green birds and when the propellers start the other direction its quite a racket.

I relive that trip several times a day now when they fly over the office at my day job. They fly really close to this road & if I can ever time it right I should be able to get some good shots of them. Today however, the combination of rain & limited time forced me to climb back into the truck before the C-130 made its appearance. As I rolled the big blue truck back onto the hardtop the large drops of water made contact with the windshield and I knew that today wasn’t the day. That’s okay. It’s an event that occurs on this road every day and I’ll get the shot eventually. It’s just a matter of timing. I do have a decent shot from an earlier flyover to share but I’ll continue to watch the sky for that perfect shot.

psx_20190424_235418-01_1556167837401146147836.jpg
C-130 Hurcules flyover on April 24th 2019

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!