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Story ID:9633
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Unknown Texas USA
Person:Old Man and Michael Barry
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By Fred Wickert

On April 4, 2014 a man, 93 years of age passed away. Normally one would not think much of that. Most folks will say, at 93 years of age, he lived a long life. Yes, he did live a long life.

That particular man last year in January 2013, lost his wife of more than sixty years. He was a quiet and unassuming man. His neighbors saw him out and about every day. He was always pleasant and spoke to those who spoke to him. He had served in the Marines in WWII and was wounded twice, but it didnít show and he never talked about it.

Two weeks after his wife passed away the man had a doctorís appointment. It was just a routine check up and nothing serious. When the time came he got in his car and drove to the doctorís office. Thatís right, still driving at age 92, and doing it well I might add.

What a blessing it was that the man was at the doctorís office. Had he been home there is no telling what might have happened to him. While he was at the doctorís office someone broke in to his house and destroyed it. They smashed big holes in the walls. They destroyed his furniture. They spray painted the floors, walls, ceilings and all the furniture and appliances. Nothing in the house was left intact or untouched. When he came home and saw the damage he said he couldnít understand why anyone could do such a thing. He declared that he didnít have an enemy in the world.

The old manís son took him to some sort of rest home to stay for a while. He was there about two weeks and while he was there he enjoyed himself so much talking to the other elderly gentlemen there and swapping stories with them. When he left he told his son he almost didnít want to leave because they were so nice o him there and he was having such a good time.

A radio talk show host named Michael Barry learned of what had happened and he began talking about it on his evening radio show. The response of the public was enormous. One man called in and said he was a contractor. He said he wanted to paint the old manís house free of charge. Another man called in and said he wanted to give his entire pay check. A woman called in and she told Michael Barry, ďMy husband said he wants to donate $5,000 dollars. Another contractor called and said he wanted to build a new deck on the back of the house so the old man could enjoy sitting outside in the evening.

A U.S. Marine base was about ten miles outside of town. A group of Marines came to the house on the weekend and cleaned the entire yard and everything around the house that needed cleaning. Someone else erected a flag pole in the front yard and donated an American flag to fly on it. The response of the people had been overwhelming. After two weeks the house was ready for the old man to return home.

When his son brought him home and he entered the house he was overwhelmed. The house was spotless. The walls were new and the paint was new and the furniture, appliances and carpeting were all new. He was speechless. There was even a new deck on the back of the house that had not been there before. His community had taken good care of him. The bad and pure meanness of some people had been answered by the pure hearts and goodness of other people.

Michael Barry opened his radio show tonight, April 4, 2014 with a salute to the old man who at the age of 93, passed away this day. Michael Barry announced he will be flying his flag at half-mast tomorrow to salute the old man.

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