The Ardennes
August 3 2013

My dearest Old Bold, family and friends,

From the chapel at the American cemetery in the Ardennes, in Belgium. Today I visited three of the crew members of TROUBLE shot down on January 7, 1944, and laid flowers on their graves with the help of the Assistant Director of the cemetery, who used Omaha Beach sand to fill in their engraved names.

This cemetery is smaller and quieter than the one in Normandy. It is less plagued by rampant tourists, actors, and curious and impolite onlookers. It is also far less visited. Yet individual Belgians and Dutch have remedied that potentially sad state of affairs by adopting over half of the graves here, laying flowers, and considering that serviceman a part of their family.

After an explanation and tour of the memorial chapel, I am choosing to sit in silence here under the impressive relief maps of the European battlefield and by the altar which is used when burying the American soldiers still being found throughout the countryside of Europe.

The summer has been jam packed with work, interviews, and research; old and new friends, allies, neutrals, and enemies; happiness, joy, trust, friendly communion, healing, understanding, reconciliation, confusion, misunderstandings, sabotage, and betrayal; all mixed together and conducted in foreign lands, in semi-familiar tongues, and sometimes with inexplicable chasms in customs and thought processes. With the constant to-and-fro, intermittent theatrics, and a great deal of enjoyable moments, there has been little time for silent reflection.

Now as I sit I wonder...what whirlwind of fate decided that my heart should beat in my chest for over 40 years, and they should be gone at age 19 or 21 or 25, their remains buried under the immaculate rows of crosses in a vast green field?

Have I truly appreciated their sacrifice by living my life in a manner that takes into account the high price they paid to afford it to me?

Can a few flowers really adequately reflect the gratitude I feel for what for them must have been a very terrifying and painful death?

How will I convey the depth and breadth of the vibrations of their lives in small black symbols inked on pieces of paper?

To have the privilege to be here, momentarily outside the rush rush of everyday life, is to recognize my small self in a huge ocean of surrounding greatness.

Sending all my love to you all,




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