Submitted by JustJim.
We first met Bob and Else when my spouse and I bought the house next door to them in October of 1992. As we were preparing to sign the house purchase papers, Bob beckoned me over to the fence. He informed me that the back of the house was still operating off of a septic tank system. Clearly illegal, he said.
We signed the papers and then insured the house got hooked up to the sewer system. In the ensuing 29 years, we have had many enjoyable experiences with our aging neighbors. Many of them have been in their living room, listening to stories from these two private folks.
Bob is a retired Army veteran. He was in charge of the mess hall at the VA for many years, procuring food and serving thousands of soldiers meals. During WWII he participated in the allied forces landing at Normandy, the largest seaborne invasion in history. On a subsequent return to Germany, Bob was in charge of an officers’ club.
It was there that he met Else. She was a bar maid. The first two English words she learned were scotch and whiskey. They got married and came home, Bob as a returner and Else for the very first time. They have been living in their Lakewood house since the 1950s.
Last month on the 4th, my spouse and I went next door with a decorated, colorful muffin that we presented to Bob on the occasion of his 98th birthday. Today, the first of April, Else turns 100 years old. By the way, the two of them still live independently.