Monday, September 1, 2008
Vernon Beasley was a wonderful character to meet on the road. He was gracious, warm, generous, and had a great sense of humor. He was a much decorated fighter pilot in Europe during World War II and had amazing stories to tell. He told me that he flew his P-38 on it's wing through the Arc du Triumph in Paris the day Germany surrendered. He showed me a picture of his squadron one of those long photographs with hundred of people sitting in rows across the photo. The pilots were in the front row. He pointed himself out to me as we were sitting on the couch in his living room and he burst into tears. He cried for a while to the consternation of his wife who had never seen him cry before. He was finally able to clear his thoat and explain to me that he was the only survivor of his squadron and he had suddenly felt the incredible loss he'd been carrying around for 30 years.