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Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

February 13, 2005

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We crashed coffee and donuts in the rectory hall even though we hadn't bothered to attend the service. We had only come to see if the mission matched the model we were building for Em's 4th grade history project, but the lure of nearly free coffee and donuts on a drizzly morning drew us in. The fellow sitting next to me said he had been stationed at nearby Fort Ord in 1941-42, before shipping out to fight in North Africa, Messina, Anzio and points beyond. "We were the first to Berchesgarten, too. I know in their movie, they say the 101st Airborne got their first, but we beat them by two days!"

On V-J Day, he was on a bus working its way through southern Minnesota towards his fiancee (the woman sitting on his left this morning), but in every town, celebrating crowds blocked the bus' progress. He didn't reach home until well after midnight and couldn't see her until the next day.