By Bible Bill
After the grandparents (who were the sole reason my parents moved to Mississippi) moved to Texas, my parents have come around to the idea of moving back to Virginia to be close to my brother and the grandchildren. I have no grandchildren to offer, so they are definitely not moving to Denver. And, since I have no grandchildren to offer, I am the son who flies across the country for a weekend to help the parents get ready to move. My brother has the grandchildren, so he gets a pass on these endeavors. It’s a fair trade. As we were sorting through things, seeing what needs to make the trek across the country, we found buried treasure. I’m not sure what I am most excited about having discovered. There was Leo’s class ring from the Naval Academy. The tape of him telling the story of crashing in the Pacific, which Ryan is working on retelling for us. We have had transcript for some time, but the tape seemed to have disappeared. Finally, we found a folder full of odds and ends, for lack of a better description. We are still working on sorting through them and seeing what we have, but two things immediately jumped out.
First, a letter from Charles, Leo’s younger brother. The family order was Sylvan, Leo, Allan, Charles, Margery, and finally Erma. This letter is nothing earth shattering, but it hints at a story that piqued our curiosity. Charles talks about a farm that keeps being vandalized and has cost him at least $40,000 in repairs to date at the time of writing. I want to know what farm this was, because neither Charles nor Leo are close enough to keep an eye on the farm as Charles is asking the local police to begin patrolling the area. Where is this farm? Who did it belong to? What happened? His daughter, Tamara, is mentioned in the letter, maybe we can find her and she’ll have some answers for us.
Secondly, and far more exciting, a letter from Royce Hall, who flew with Leo at some point in his career. From the letter, we know that they flew together at the end of Leo’s career. They took Leo’s last flight together. And this is where the mystery begins. Royce mentions offhand that to celebrate Leo’s final flight with the Navy they flew into an active volcano. That is it. There is nothing more to the story included. Leo, a stickler for rules, did not want this event talked about as it broke the rules, so Royce was happy to pretend that it never happened as well. That is all he wrote. Royce’s address and phone number were included in the letterhead, so our first attempt was to call Royce. We left a message and have not heard back yet. Next I will write him a letter and see what response we get. If neither of those attempts prove successful, maybe Royce’s kids, if he had any, are still alive and they know the story of the volcano.
Let’s see where the road takes us.
PS Aunty J is on her way to Denver. We’ll keep you posted.