REPOST: From 2003 and 2010. I spent part of yesterday thinking about Bill and his family, times past, and the future. May you do a bit of that too.
I wrote what is below back in 2003. I'm reposting it here today, and will link to some of the other posts going up as I can. Remember them, as individuals and a group. They came in peace.
Darn Sgt. Hook anyway, it's his fault the dust has gotten into my eyes. That's my story and I am sticking to it.
Over at his wonderful site, he has a memorial up, one that I missed. Part of it is my fading memory, and part of it is something else, something deeper that I really don't want to look at too closely.
At this memorial site, to which the good Sgt. sent me, there is a list of names. With trepedation I scrolled down it, and there it was:
Stelpflug, Bill J. USMC LCPL 10/23/1983 AL Auburn, AL
I never really knew Bill, but I knew his family. His mother was a student in the English department where I both studied and dated one of the graduate students/teachers. His sister was a gorgeous creature on whom I had quite a crush, with a wonderful personality and soul to go with the package. His sister even modeled for me when I was learning portrait photography, and I never did have the courage to tell her how badly I screwed up the shots. If they were not perfect, I was not going to show them to her. For her, I was not willing to show or share anything less than the best. Everyone of the family that I was graced to meet were such good people. The kind of people who epitomized not just Southern hospitality, but charity, grace, consideration, and all the other attributes that make up those special, rare, people in the world.
Then came that day. The news filtered out, and then the worst news came. One of Auburn's own was among the dead. Bill, a loving and laughing brother was not coming home. The lights dimmed, but the family did keep plugging away. At least in public, they never lost the core of what made them such good people.
I never did have the words to express my sorrow to them, and I still don't. All I can say is "I remember." And to that, I will add "NEVER AGAIN!"
Damn dust. Need to clean up more in here.
Today, as always on this day, I remember Bill Stelpflug, and I remember his family. My thoughts go out to all those who lost loved ones this day.
Go check out the following (far too few) remembrances as well:
NOTE: Since this is a re-post, if anyone has any current posts they think should be shared, please do put them in the comments.