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My heroes of the 140th InfantryPosted Friday, February 11, 2011, at 12:26 PM
Life has it's ways of taking and making its twists and turns.
I have known this most of my life, but as I get older I discover
it even more so. I also learn on a daily basis that it is truly
"a small world after all."
As you know, my office with Dexter Realty and now my little
gift shop are both located in the "old Worley building" on
Walnut Street. Well, Dad had told me several years ago that
he spent his last couple nights in this building before being
sent off to war. Isn't it ironic that I now work in the same building
that he spent time in as a young soldier? I sometimes get chills
of delight and comfort and I feel so close to him.
I wasn't aware until recently that this building was the national
guard armory at that time. Often times I sit in my office and
imagine a group of young soldiers upstairs, one of them my future
father, laughing and cutting up, yet with unspoken fear in their hearts
of what they were about to face in the near future.
Dad had told me he left from this building to go to Little Rock, but
I had never spoken with anyone in detail who was with Dad at that
time until recently.
I spent some time talking with Leo Tibbs and Clyde Vaughn Sr. about
the time they spent with Dad. They both remembered staying in this
old building as young soldiers. They, along with Dad were in the
140th infantry and left from here and went to Little Rock and from there
to California where they eventually were shipped out to different parts
of the world to perform their duties in World War II.
Leo was, I think he called it "first cook." He kept our boys well fed and
later as owner of the renowned Hickory House restaurant, he kept a lot
of us well fed. Remember the pies? Oh, by the way, I worked for Leo
my senior year as hostess at the Hickory House. Thanks Leo for the
opportunity and thanks even more for being a good friend to my precious
dad during a sad time.
I grew up hearing Dad talk about Clyde Vaughn Sr. saving his life in the
Pacific while they were in California. Dad said he got caught in a riptide
and Clyde pulled him out, therefore, according to Dad, saving his life. I
suppose that incident is why Dad always told us kids to "learn to swim
before you go in the water."
I talked with Clyde and he verified this was his job as a life guard. Jesus
knew Mom and us kids would need this most precious man for husband and
father. So, thank you Clyde for helping make this happen.
Another neat thing is that these three men returned to Dexter and had children
who were friends and school mates. Clyde Jr. and I graduated together.
I must insert here that Jesus saved Dad several times for us during that terrible
war. I don't know much about most of them.
I know Dad was in Germany and told the story of walking and climbing a hill
all day. Just as they reached the top he was shot. He spent the next three
months in a hospital. Upon his release he was put on a ship to be sent home.
While on the ship it was torpedoed by an enemy. This torpedo landed right
by Dad's bed. It was a "dud." Miracle? I think yes.
Dad came home in a body cast and that's the way he was when he and Mom met.
They fell in love and were married for sixty years.
I'm sure there are more of you heros who were in the 140th infantry from Dexter
during that time. I would love to know who you are.
Oh yeah. Dad's in Heaven now "waitin' on a woman." (song and video by
Brad Paisley and Andy Griffeth.)
I'm sure you know by now my heros for this column are the men of the 140th infantry
of Dexter during World War II.
See ya next time somewhere in a "korner."
firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-820-2404
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Kathleen is a resident of Dexter. She was born in Indiana, but her parents moved their family back to the Dexter area when she was three. Other than three years she and her husband, Collin, lived in St. Charles, Mo. and ten years in Birmingham, Alabama, she has spent her life in Dexter. As you can tell, Kathleen is a people person and believes in giving credit to whom credit is due. Thus, the reason for her hero/heroine column every other week in Kathleen's Korner. As you can tell, she also like to have fun, most of the time at her own expense. Kathleen (Grubbs) is a 1964 graduate of Dexter High School and invites her friends to her "Korner."