Thursday, October 29, 2009
Listening to someone talk about events that are now considered history is something that you cannot get from a history book, or even watching a movie. You get a perspective from someone that actually experienced the events themselves.
Last week I found out I had lost an old friend. Gord Parsons lived in Petrolia and we would often meet for coffee and I would listen to him. He would talk about the war, his childhood in Wales, being a radio operator in the war, his hobby of HAM radio, his buddies from the war. Gord liked to talk about the war. Maybe it was therapeutic for him to talk about those horrific experiences all those years ago. Maybe he just wanted someone to listen. But, I enjoyed those times in the coffee shop.
In some ways he reminded me of my grandpa. He was also in the war, but we never really talked much about that. Unfortunately I lost my grandpa before I realized what a treasure of stories he had. I feel like connecting with Gord helped me connect with my Grandad.
Gord was well known in Petrolia. You could often see him peddling his bike around town, sitting in the corner booth at the coffee shop (or The Great Wall when it was still around) and usually with his sketch pad, paints or pencils. Gord was an artist and was often sketching or painting. I would sometimes get little hand painted cards in the mail. Sometimes they'd have a note scrawled on the back, sometimes not.
I will miss bumping into an old friend and getting the occasional card in the mail, but it was nice knowing you Gord.