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    The Wide Awakes the moment is a man named Harry. Among the jobs I have, all of which I enjoy, is delivering hay for Harry. Harry is 85 years old, will be 86 this summer, and is still just about as spry and nimble as most people half his age. At 85 he still 'bucks' hay, breaks race horses, (no easy task I can assure you) and team pens, (a horsesport involving cattle), not to mention is up everyday at 5 AM and still works 6 10 hours days a week. Coincidentally he is apparently the oldest team penner in the country and one of the best.

    Harry has had a great life. Born in a sod house outside of Broken Bow, Nebraska all those years ago, his family farmed and raised livestock. He came west at the age of 15, riding the rails like the hobos of the day. He came out west to ride races, and did just that, ending up riding at Santa Anita when Seabiscuit was there and clanking irons with the likes of Johnny Longden, Eddie Arcaro, George "The Iceman" Woolfe and, of course, Red Pollard.

    He was drafted in February, 1942. He was made a flight engineer and gunner on a bomber in the South Pacific, flying on a B-24. His stories are exciting, and sometimes sad and would certainly take up a fair amount of time to write down. I have been doing this over the last two years that I have known Harry. His tales rarely speak of the bad in war, or the hardships. He seldom talks of the fear he must have felt, flying along so high in the sky, watching Japanese Zeros aiming for his plane while his gun and those of his crewmates chattered away at those enemy planes.

    Instead he speaks longingly of the camaraderie and the men he served with. I don't believe he has forgotten one name of the men he flew with. In fact, he kept in touch with those he could, and I believe that there are only two left of that original ten man crew. Harry was assigned to a B-24 that his Captain named "Big Emma". Big Emma ran a small diner just outside the gate of the base Harry deployed from in WW2, and on their final day there Big Emma had his crew over for a farewell breakfast, her treat.

    He flew with Captain Grotke, (tales of him later), and aboard his plane was a man named Charles S. Seaman. It occurs to me only now that I didn't ask Harry where Charles Seaman was from or what rank he held. Charles Seaman was directly behind Harry at induction, and indeed his serial number was one higher than Harrys' serial number. Seaman had just graduated barber college, and if you know anything of those days, a man could make a comfortable living as a barber. Seaman, in fact, would cut the hair of the entire squadron, never taking one penny for it. By Harrys' accounts Seaman was loved by one and all and he never heard one bad thing spoken of him as long as he knew him.

    Seaman was an asst. radio Operator, and of course, a gunner on the Big Emma. On 14th Nov., 1943, in a bombing raid over Rabul Harbor, Seaman was mortally wounded by a Japanese Zero. The crew of the Big Emma was heart-broken over this loss of one of their most beloved Brothers of course, but didn't let that get in the way of the job at hand. History speaks well of Harrys' generation. They unselfishly answered the Call of Duty, and defended Freedom and destroyed the evil of the third reich and the axis powers. Their personal stories are being lost to time and I feel that is sad. If you know one of these brave men, talk to them about there experience. Write it down. Share it. I think it may be one of the most important and fulfilling things you may ever do.

    One of the crew members on Capt. Gotkes' Big Emma was a Sgt. Logan S. Harlow. He was a bit of a poet. When Seaman was killed he wrote a poem about it. Harry still knows that poem all these years later and recites it every once in awhile. I hope you enjoy it.

    In Honor of Charles S. Seaman

    He flew and He fought
    In the clear blue skies
    His face to the burning sun
    He died up there with
    A smile and a sigh
    His hands on a flaming gun
    Many a Zero
    Will pay for his death
    In those same blue skies above
    Many a Jap
    Will draw his last breath
    Revenge for
    The boy we loved
    High in the sky
    A crew says a prayer
    As they fly through flame and lead
    Never for them
    Will there be any rest
    'Til the last damned Jap is dead.
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