I met John and his wife in real time in 1993 in Cedar Key Florida, he had a full head of snow white wavey hair and wore squarish gold framed eye glasses.
John had served in World War Two and was an American participant in the liberation of the Nazi Death Camps.
He his wife and I were sitting out on the deck of his house over looking the sea having a drinky… he jumped up and said I will be right back, I want to show you something…. he returned a few moments later holding a tattered original print of a photo, handing it to me he said do you know what this is? I studied it briefly and turned to him and said yes, it appears to be a pile of dead human bodies, John said, yes that is correct. John went on to further say “Never let anyone tell you the holocaust did not happen, I was there” that was his closing remark on that subject,
I was digging a rather sizable ditch for a concrete footer beneath his house that was built on old telephone poles out over the water.. the whole affair was quite out of plumb and we put 2″x12″ cross bracing etc… and a retaining wall… I was afraid to tackle nothing in those days. John also had an array of copper plumbing he needed to have sweated together… that turned into a bit of a showering plumbing fiasco.. due to my part, nothing ventured nothing gained…..my version of the little train that could or something…..
John had a boat that hung under the house and at high tide you could simply hit the motor switch and lower the whole rig down into the water. The boat was a 17′ Key West Sea Lion with a 70 h.p. Evinrude, he let me manage his boat and on occasion we would shoot across the flats out towards and sometimes past Sea Horse Island, cut the engine ,trim in up and drift fish across the sea grass flats.. and catch and release hordes of sail cat fish after sail cat fish.. and some days keep a nice pile of Sea Trout if they were running.. were they ever good fried light… and the full eggs sacks of the females were delicious with scrambled eggs for a fine breakfast…
John was in my dreams last night where two of my daughters Kelsey and Jane were playing near an open deep uncovered well, he was abrupt with me for talking to much to soon and interrupting him, he said to me in my dream ‘You were to young to have served in Viet Nam weren’t you?” My response was yes by about 5 years.
He seemed to be angry at me for being stupid…..
I suspect if I had gone to Viet Nam I would have stood up at some bad time and been shot immediately.
There was a litter of kittens milling about under his house, he was bitching, I picked one up on two different occasions, both times the kitten sunk its claws and teeth deep into the flesh of my hand. One more thing I recall that he said was, the living interred in the death camp were very happy to see him. Yes, John Holiday.