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Tuesday, January 25, 2005 

My middle name OLIVER

My middle name Oliver
My Fathers best friend in the war was a man named Oliver Mendelssohn. They shared a tent for 3½ years. Mendelssohn was from a very small town in Alabama named Pea Ridge. To call Oliver simple was to flatter him greatly. No one ever understood why Oliver was not exempt from military service. He was a natural born coward and profoundly stupid. My Father said he assumed they drafted Oliver in case they ever needed someone to lead a retreat.
However Oliver earned several posthumous medals for services to our county in the Second World War. During his first two weeks in England, prior to D-day, they spent in an air raid shelter. After D-Day they were shipped to Normandy they arrived 2 days after the invasion. Oliver was assigned to drive a truck loaded with food supplies. He was driving along one day in his truck headed to a small town to deliver rations to the troops. He stopped along the road and headed into the woods with a roll of toilet paper and a shovel. He was crouched in the woods astraddle a trench that he had just dug with his drawers around his ankles when he noticed quite a large number of soldiers approaching his truck in a tank. He watched them open his truck and start unloading the rations. He also realized that they were German. He was under more stress that he was used to with his pants down around his ankles in a deep crouch and suddenly without meaning to pass gas. Now Oliver had been eating sauerkraut and sausages for about 4 weeks. Dad had kicked him out of the tent after the second night. The Germans smelled what could only be some sort of gas weapon. They all ran for the ditch on the far side of the road, and put on gas masks. Oliver got up pulled up his pants, threw up his shovel like a rifle and said throw out your weapons or I will shoot. Oliver being an idiot ran to his truck and backed over the Germans by accident overturned his truck in the ditch and was killed then and there. Mom thought anyone who earned as many medals as Oliver couldn’t be all bad, regardless of being an idiot and gave his first name as a middle name.

Snagley Out