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“HIS WORD WAS HIS BOND”

by OPOVV, ©2013

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the Proclamation of War against the Japanese for bombing Pearl Harbor, HI on December 7, 1941

(Oct. 18, 2013) — Living one-cell organisms, able to replicate with the ability to change due to mega-zaps of ultraviolet radiation, or a very large object slamming into the atmosphere of earth at 40,000 mph, all going for a cosmic roller-coaster ride through the solar system, while the Milky Way is doing the same in the Local Group, all the while speeding toward a date with other galaxies that will, some say, eventually end up with all the Black Holes of the universe merging and then, due to unimaginable gravitational forces, shrink down to an infinitesimal point and then, BANG! A Black Hole Supernovae, and a new universe is born. But I’m just an amateur, what do I know?

So we have a one-cell life form, but to make an elephant, for example, many one-cells must merge to emerge as an elephant, or ant, or you or me. So now we have a whole bunch of one-cells getting all together and, go ahead, look in the mirror, and we have… YOU! “Welcome to Earth, Earthling.”

“Take me to your leader.” You’ve got to be kidding, which leads us into the introduction of the story of my once-mentor and best friend: Roy, a child of the Depression.

The day after “A date that will live in infamy,” Roy tried to enlist in the Army, only to be turned down because he was deaf in one ear. He then went on to the other services, only to be told the same thing, and he was mighty disappointed. He found work in a steel mill, saved his money and bought his first car with cash. He married a hometown girl (who was an accountant), bought and paid off their first house in record time (six years) and always paid cash for what he wanted or needed. Not once in his life did Roy pay interest on a loan, for he never borrowed money, except for his first house. But then he never had kids.

“Neither a lender nor borrower be” was the teaching of Poor Richard, but Roy learned the value of money, or something of worth, such as gold, during the 1930’s. Roy lived a few miles from a small town, population 1,500, on a farm, and went to school in town. He said that the kids in town had no lunch at school, because there was no money to buy food, so he and the other kids who lived on the farms surrounding the town would bring extra food.

But that was the story of the whole country, back in the 1930’s, an egalitarian society where the majority lived on farms and could fight off starvation by having a garden. At Christmas Roy and his siblings received an orange from Santa Claus, and they were happy little campers. The toys were all homemade and, as far as Roy could remember, the only three store-bought “toys” he ever had were a ball, bat and glove.

Roy had a .22 rifle when he turned 12, and his job was to augment the dinner table with squirrel meat. When he was 14, his father gave him a 12-gauge and he’d bring home duck and pheasant.

In 1942 an opening at the post office came up, Roy was hired and worked there until he retired and moved to Florida, and that’s how I met him: as my next-door neighbor.

Roy never went to church, but he was more of a Christian than most of the people I’ve met in church. He minded his own business, kept to himself, and his word was his bond.

Just like me, he loved the outdoors. At one time in my life I sold insurance and, even though the money was good, I was going out of my mind working at an inside job, wearing a suit and tie. Through rain, sleet, snow, hot and cold, Roy and I faced the days as they came, as every construction worker and farmer has done since man took his first step, for nothing is built or grown without someone actually doing the planting, cultivating, harvesting, transporting or building.  To look down on the people who feed and house you is to deny the reality of your survival.

Yes, I too studied Adam Smith, but with all the capital and plans, if there’s no one left to do the work, then it’s all a wash, a wasted effort, which is why Roy said that the downfall of the United States started when the government handed out welfare checks and expected nothing in return, and that’s exactly what we get, isn’t it? Nothing.

After Obama was elected was the first time that I heard Roy say that he was glad that he was as old as he was, that he’d die before he witnessed the destruction of the Constitution and the land that he loved. Well, Roy got his wish, and I’m happy for him, but I wish he were still among us, for I loved him and will miss him dearly.

OPOVV

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  1. For those who commented, and for all the others who read my tribute to my best friend, I’d like to offer my sincerest thanks for your kind thoughts and words.
    I’ve had two best male friends in my life, once while in the service and then Roy.
    I’ve cried twice in my life, once when I received a divorce notice and then, just the other day, when I got the news of Roy’s “passing”, and I’m not ashamed of having done so because each time my life became a darker and lonelier place.
    Thank you again for sharing my grief.
    OPOVV

  2. Friendship is a blessing. Roy sounds like quite a good soul. May God rest his soul. My sympathy and prayers are with you. God bless you for having been such a friend to Roy.