My friend Ted Roberts stopped into the office in 1993 and left me several sheets of paper with the note “a little more trivia to keep in your files”.
Far from being trivia, Ted’s short pieces are treasures that over the years I’ve had the privilege of sharing.
He gave me permission, all those years ago, to share his short stories although he wasn’t sure that anyone would want to read them.
Our Caring Friend
It seems such a long time ago since Betty and I met Harold. Yes, it was at the start of the war. We rented a two room flat from his Mother and spent a happy association while there and for years after we moved away.
This particular morning when I came home from night work, Harold called up the stairs and asked – “May I come up and help you with the dishes, Ted?
I answered that I would appreciate his help but secretly it wasn’t needed. Harold was fifteen years old at the time and we were quite fond of him. We would talk about various subjects that interested him.
He asked what kind of work Betty and I did. I told him Betty worked in a branch of the armed services called British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. This was for civilian workers. She was a cable splicer on the Avro Anson plane.
As I was rejected from duty due to an injury, I worked on the Lancaster Bomber repairing and making parts for pneumatic tools.
As I washed dishes, I would hand one down to him to dry and he would put them on the table. Without warning he changed the talk by saying – “It must be awful to be blind, Ted.” I looked down at him and turned away and answered – “Yes, Harold, it must be awful.”
This took me back for a moment, for this fine boy was sitting on the floor for he had no legs. His stumps were so short that he could not wear artificial ones until they were improved in later years.
A freight train ran over his legs while he was playing in the freight yards when he was younger.
Imagine the unselfishness of this young man, caring about the other person’s handicap while ignoring his own. What a lesson we could learn from him when we think we are hard done by. Often wonder if he is still out there somewhere.
If he is, you may rest assured he is spreading happiness to those lucky enough to be around him.
-Debbie MacDonald Moynes