As I recovered at Walter Reed, I worried about the soldiers who pulled me out of my helicopter that Friday afternoon. Would they make it back okay? And what about all the other soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who were also putting their lives on the line every day?
My curiosity was in no way cruel. Deviations from the commonplace attracted me strongly, as they still do; and to me the hermaphrodite and the living skeleton were interesting for the same reason as was Creatore, or the resplendent Guardsmen of the bands because such people did not often come my way, and I hoped that they might impart some great revelation to me, some insight which would help me to a clearer understanding of the world about me.
We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift He could bestow to man while he lived on this earth -freedom. We also believe He gave us another gift nearly as precious - our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines - to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.
John F. Kelly
Granny Trill and Granny Wallon were traditional ancients of a kind we won't see today, the last of that dignity of grandmothers to whom age was its own embellishment. The grandmothers of those days dressed for the part in that curious but endearing uniform which is now known to us only through music-hall. And our two old neighbours, when setting forth on errands, always prepared themselves scrupulously so. They wore high laced boots and long muslin dresses, beaded chokers and candlewick shawls, crowned by tall poke bonnets tied with trailing ribbons and smothered with inky sequins. They looked like starlings, flecked with jet, and they walked in a tinkle of darkness. Those severe and similar old bodies enthralled me when they dressed that way. When I finally became King (I used to think) I would command a parade of grandmas, and drill them, and march them up and down - rank upon rank of hobbling boots, nodding bonnets, flying shawls, and furious chewing faces. They would be gathered from all the towns and villages and brought to my palace in wagon-loads. No more than a monarch's whim, of course, like eating cocoa or drinking jellies; but far more spectacular any day than those usual trudging guardsmen.