My dad, William Hutchison Muir Jr. was a World War II Veteran. As a kid, I remember him telling me two general stories, one short and silly, the other silly and dangerous – yet remarkably miraculous – otherwise I wouldn’t be here and you would not be here reading this.
The first, was a small scar on his face in the lower jaw that was circular in view. He said he “got shot once and spit out the bullet.” That was his explanation. As I grew up, my skepticism increased, but the fun-ness that was my dad still remains.
The second story, as I recollect (and please feel free to correct my memory drifts or embellishments, you know me…) happened during the war somewhere in France and probably closer to the border of Germany. Dad was among those responsible for clearing mines in advance for troops to follow.
Camped out in a wilderness area, some locals along the way mentioned an inn, possibly abandoned, that had plenty of wine just for the taking. It was some miles from camp but Dad and a few of his buddies decided to make the trek in the disguise of evening light.
They traversed the miles slowly and methodically finally arriving to the place, it looked more like a house – wherein they found plenty of wine. And hours and hours later, after drinking lots of wine, they stumbled and crawled their way back to the camp.
The next morning they had difficulty making the call, but they did – and when they got their orders to inspect certain land areas – they really lucked out because it was the exact area they had so recently traversed. And when they began the work of clearing the assigned “familiar” area they discovered what was so unusual about last night’s trek and drinking party: The area they were inspecting was heavily laden with land mines all the way.