Mr. R. is an 86 year old with a remarkable history.
He had a 12 year career in the ARMY from 1944-1956.
When I asked how he choose the ARMY he replied it was "easy." "I get sick with high altitudes (Air Force was out), can't drink all that water (NAVY was out), and I don't like staying in one place for too long (the Marines were out). The ARMY was always on the move-I liked that."
He had two children, by two different women, before he got married for the first time. "You know how it is, some times you just go walking around and you run into someone-that's how both women got pregnant."
While stationed in Germany he had a relationship with "a Fraulein (an unmarried German woman) for about a year and a half. Those were some amazing years. I still smile every time I think about her."
After active duty he owned a portrait studio for many years and then worked as a cook at a local country club.
"It was a rich man's country club but that didn't keep a lot of the women from hitting on me when their husbands weren't looking (he laughs)."
He divorced after 26 years of marriage. He does acknowledge that he was to blame.
He became legally blind a couple of years ago.
He reported that he loves to socialize, talk and meet new people and to sing Karaoke.
I pointed out that maybe he should just go walking around again and see what happens, like he did in his younger days.
He laughed while reminding me that he "would love to go walking around again but then I would have no idea where I was and how to get home because I'm blind."
He laughed again when I acknowledged it was a pretty stupid statement to make on my behalf.
"Thanks for seeing me today and thanks for letting me talk about my past a little...it seems like it was just yesterday."