In 2004 I wrote about my wife’s ‘Grampy’, World War II hero Stoughton Atwood and the magic tricks he used to do in his later years, in an article about Greenspan’s predicament at the time: It’s Magic
Well, quite by accident last week we found out that Grampy’s Navy dress uniform, medals and flight logs had been sold on eBay. We had been watching Oliver Stone’s new series on Showtime documenting some lesser known aspects of WWII era American history and my wife said “oh the Enola Gay, that’s the plane Grampy shot down” and I’m like, ‘no honey it wasn’t’.
She Googled and It turned out to be a Japanese Emily, and I guess it was a fairly significant battle in the Pacific theater. Anyway, while Googling, Grampy’s items showed up on eBay as having been sold (long story). We were mortified.
I contacted the buyer and asked if he would sell them back to us. He responded that he’d be happy to send the items back home where they belong with a mention that he is in the Navy and he bought the items because he is from a Navy family and collected the WWII era stuff.
I thought ‘what a nice kid; this is what I’d have expected from a stand up service member’. Turns out this nice kid is a Vice Admiral in the Navy. With respect to Grampy, a story that had a sad beginning had an ending that was fitting. His memories were being held in trust by a career Navy man until they could be returned home again.
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