At times like this where winter is upon us and there is not much outdoors activities that we can do (well, at least for me), I love to reminisce.
A lot of you probably agree that grandparents are a blessings. I grew up on a farm with my grandparents and, with that said, I have a lot of interesting and fascinating memories of them. One of my favorites is my Lolo (grandfather) telling us kids, his grandchildren, stories about the Japanese war. I am sure that there were a lot of exaggerations in his stories, but, at that time, we couldn't care less ... in fact we even asked him to tell us the same stories over and over because he delivered them with such suspense and excitement! He was a great story teller! Imagine, if you will, this scenario...
After dinner, he usually sat in his favorite rocking chair with his tobacco and try to take a nap (not a good combo) :) But, as a habit, I immediately climbed onto his lap and asked, "Grandpa, tell me a story please." I was probably 5-6 years old at that time.
"Hmmm ... let me see", he would say, as he scratched his head.
"How about the Japanese war you fought in!" I said, all excited.
"Japanese war? ... well, that was a long time ago ... I'm not sure I remember any of them", he teased.
"Oh yes, you do! ... please grandpa?" and I remember giving him that pleading look?
He laughed but at the same time he tried to get comfortable and I knew it then that I was in for a treat!
"One day, our troop was resting along a river", he began. "The Japs were camped across us behind tall trees. Then, suddenly we heard a rustling sound, we scrambled and started to reach for our weapons and positioned ourselves behind the trees. But then, we noticed something, the Japs were waving a white flag!" "Now, why do you supposed they've done that?" he asked.
"To trick you?" I proudly answered. Grandpa laughed!
He continued ...
"Hey, you want to barter?", called one of them.
"Sure come on over", we called back. There were five of them, and they quickly crossed the shallow river and we noticed that one of them was holding a sack.
"Can you guess what was in that sack?" grandpa asked me again.
"ahmmmm ... money?", I replied. Grandpa winked and smiled.
"Cigarettes and candy bars!" he chuckled.
"Now what do you supposed they wanted from us in return?"
This time I was so sure I was right so, exuding enthusiasm, I said, "Money!" again.
Grandpa laughed hard! "No, although that would have been nice, but what they've wanted from us was to give them a haircut!" "Haircut?" says me.
"That's correct, their hair was so long, so they badly needed a haircut."
While giving them a haircut we exchanged family stories. They missed their families in Japan. They don't want to fight in war but they have to do their duties for their country. After a little while, they slipped back across the river in a very good mood.
The next day, we were told that we were going into battle. Now that did not sit well with us. It didn't seem right fighting with the same Japs we'd given the haircuts to.
"So, what do you suppose we should do?", he quizzed.
In deep thought, I said, "Hide?" Grandpa burst into laughter! "Unfortunately, that was not an option" he said, "so we agreed to shoot over their heads!"
Nice guys, huh? :)