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Old Mr. Wing

Many years ago when I was a little girl, a wizened little old man would come to church on Sundays and sit in the front row.

He was “Old Mr. Wing” and he was a Civil War veteran. I have often thought of the tragedy this old man witnessed during the excesses of that war — the blood, the torn limbs, the broken heads, the bodies ripped apart from the carnage.

Years later, the newspapers told about the mismanagement of the Spanish-American War (Hearst’s War) and the ravages of World War I (“The War to End All Wars”), and I wondered what Old Mr. Wing thought about those, plus all the intervening skirmishes with Indians, Mexicans, Spanish and others who happened to wander by in the interim. He died too soon to witness the Second World War, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and the crowning glories of the Iraq War and that in Afghanistan.



May he rest in peace! Maybe he is glad to be gone!

Shirley Payne




Grass Valley


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