Friday, April 27, 2012
Ray Comfort's Blog
Thursday, April 26, 2012
In February of 1946, Connie returned from a routine visit to the doctor. Her face glowed as she drove the flatbed and parked it by the barn. Jerry came out of the barn holding a shovel in his hand, and as he opened the truck door he asked,
"Well, what's the verdict?" She beamed from ear to ear and said in her broad accent,
"Doctor says there's a bun in the oven; you are going to be a father!"
Some time later the "bun" was almost baked, and as Connie emerged from a checkup at the clinic she met an old school friend. During her school years she had had a crush on him and even dated him once or twice, but in just ten years he had changed. He had lost a little hair, and working for the local newspaper at a desk job coupled with good home baking had given him a pot belly. Connie smiled as she thought that she must look the same to him, but her belly wasn't the result of lack of exercise.
As they stood by her truck, he quizzed her on what she had been doing since the war. It took about ten minutes to fill him in on her new life. When she let slip that Jerry was with the French Resistance for four years, he raised his eyebrows and said,
"I would love to do a story about you two; nothing sensational, just a local human interest story. What do you say?" Connie knew that Jerry didn't like to boast about the war, so she smiled and said she would talk it over with him, and they agreed that he would phone her the next day.
Two weeks later, a half‑page article appeared in the local newspaper. Jerry had agreed to the story, as long as the reporter put emphasis on the fact that he was an American who had married a local girl, and not on the war. If any mention was made that he was a freedom fighter for the Resistance, people may begin thinking that he was some sort of war hero. To him the real heroes were men like Jacques and the Allied soldiers who lay dead on the beaches of Normandy.
To be continued...
Posted by Ray Comfort on 4/26/2012 06:15:00 AM
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Chapter Eleven: A Faithful Friend
When Connie's aunt became ill with tuberculosis they moved to Otley to nurse her. Two months later, she tragically died, and left her cottage to Connie. They sold the property and with the proceeds together with a bank loan, purchased a sheep farm just north of Otley.
Jerry loved the green countryside. Parts of it reminded him of France, especially around the Oradour‑sur‑Glane district. The two of them would arise in the cool of each morning at six o'clock and begin the many duties around the farm. They had two sheep dogs that Jerry purchased to help round up the sheep. One of them was a pure breed border collie that he named "Faithful." The other was a cross he purchased very cheaply from the local pound. Both dogs were instinctive when it came to rounding up sheep, but Faithful was particularly intelligent. Jerry gave the animal that name because of the character of the breed.
Connie and Jerry loved walking together to the barn and unleashing the dogs first thing in the morning. The animals would yelp with excitement, wag their tails and almost choke themselves on their leashes as they pulled at the ropes that restrained them. As soon as they were released, Faithful would run around in circles of delight, at the prospect of getting onto the back of the truck. Both dogs would stand right on the edge of the flatbed and lean into the wind, their eyes scouring the horizon of the fields as though they had never seen the countryside before.
Rarely did the Adamsons leave the farm. They saved every penny and purchased a small herd of milking cows, and the milking was a twice-daily happening. Even if one of them went into Otley for supplies, it was never for more than half a day.
To be continued...
Posted by Ray Comfort on 4/25/2012 06:15:00 AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Friends at work would often encourage Jerry to join them and play darts at a local pub. It was at the pub that he met Connie, a quiet lass with a strong Yorkshire accent. One day, he noticed that she was watching his every move as he played darts with a friend, so he offered to buy her a drink. She accepted and it wasn't long before they had established a friendship.
Connie was petite, very pretty, had warm brown eyes, blondish natural curly hair, and a typical light British complexion. She had been moved from London to the small town of Otley at the outbreak of the war when she was fourteen years old. Her parents sent her to live with an aunt for safekeeping. Both her parents were killed in the bombing raids and their bodies were never recovered. The first time they sat together and ate fish and chips, he asked her about her past and she wept openly as she spoke of her folks. There were a lot of tears in London.
Jerry fell deeply in love with this soft‑spoken young lady. He loved everything about her, including her strong accent. She was different from the confident girls he grew up with back home. She was very reserved, and because of the loss of her parents he felt an empathy with her. When he put a comforting arm around her as she wept, it made him feel good. It uncovered a tenderness he had forgotten that he possessed. He loved the fact that she listened to him when he spoke, and he would often catch her staring at him for no reason as they ate lunch together. They were married in a small Anglican church not too far from Jerry's apartment.
To be continued...
Posted by Ray Comfort on 4/24/2012 10:50:00 AM
Monday, April 23, 2012
Chapter Ten: Liberation!
London was in ruins. Hitler had terrorized the residents with his "miracle weapon"—the V‑1. The pilotless, jet‑propelled bomber carried over a ton of explosives and flew at a speed of 370 m.p.h. After one raid, Winston Churchill had the unenviable task of announcing to Parliament that the weapon had taken 2,752 British lives. However, the great statesman was confident that Germany would never conquer Britain.
In a broadcast via the BBC to the French, he said,
"We are waiting for the long‑promised invasion. So are the fishes."
A short time after the V‑1 attacks, despite the massive loss of life on the beachfront, the Allies drove back the Germans from the shores of Normandy and took out the launching pads for the V‑I rockets. The battles had raged from June 6 through June 27, and at times the German defense seemed almost invincible. They had stationed a row of four "pillboxes" which stopped the Allies in their tracks.
Finally at the end of June, soldiers were able to advance close enough to destroy them by tossing grenades through their ventilators. The two freedom fighters joined themselves to allied forces and discovered a tunnel in the southern quarter of Cherbourg. When smoke from Nazi gunfire spewed out, the Americans decided that they would blast the tunnel open.
Just as they decided to do that, a private emerged holding onto a white flag. He told one of the American commanders that General Carl von Schlieben was within the tunnel and wished to surrender. Jerry watched in delight as 800 soldiers emerged from the tunnel. A total of 30,000 German soldiers surrendered to the Allies at Cherbourg.
Even as the Allies advanced across Europe, Hitler continued bombarding London using V‑2 rockets. These carried the same amount of explosives as the V‑1, but they were faster and deadlier. They traveled at the speed of sound and it was almost impossible to detect their approach.
Before taking his leave of France, Jerry decided to backtrack with the Allies to enjoy the sweetness of taking Paris back from the Germans. The liberation began on August 25, 1944, when General Charles de Gaulle led a tumultuous parade through the streets of Paris, and that night church bells rang all over the city.
Despite the devastation Jerry found in London, he liked being in England. The British made a "Yank" feel special.
After the war ended he decided he would try and recapture his lost youth. He was still in his twenties and as far as he could see, he had two options. He could either return to Texas and join his mother on the farm, or he could begin a new life in England. He had reestablished contact with his mom and she was doing fine. The friend his father left managing the farm had been able to get it on its feet financially, and it was drawing a healthy wage for both himself and Jerry's mom. So, he decided that he would try living in England and if it didn't work out, he would return to the U.S.
After he had made his decision to stay, he applied for a job with a government construction company in London. There was no shortage of work, as London had to be rebuilt. It was physically hard work but the pay was good, and because he was single he was able to save most of his paycheck. It wasn't long before he had his own car and had moved to a better apartment in Wembley, on the outskirts of London.
To be continued...
Posted by Brad Clarke at 9:37 PM