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
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
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
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
Sending all my love to you all,