Just a Sad G.I. is the title of a poem written by my brother, PFC Robert Dale Martin, a few days before he was killed in the WWII Battle of the Bulge on the Belgium/German border in 1944. He was the driver of a personnel carrier, and was sitting in his vehicle with other young, cold, homesick, young men when this poem was written. It was a few days before Christmas, and his date of death is Dec. 21. Below is his poem typed, then a photo of his handwritten version on a 5×7 yellow tablet page:  Continue reading



(This story was written in July 2016. Bob Hancock and John Bynum have since passed on.)

Ninety-year-old friends are in a class by themselves. I am a few years short of ninety but am privileged to be friends with some of these older folks. Ninety-year-olds have learned what is most important, namely friendships. I am privileged to have six such friendships, three with men and three with women. Continue reading


Carter Parker’s 1941 Tennessee license plates have been in the devoted care of his younger brother, Dudley Parker, all these years. Carter died November 12, 1944, during World War II, in the long and bloody infantry battle of Hürtgen Forest in Germany. His grieving parents, Mr. Crockett and “Miss Ethel” Parker had been sheltering his 1933 Chevrolet four-door sedan, expecting that Carter would return home from war and drive it again. But that was not to be. Continue reading


WenXia (pronounced wen-sha) is my Chinese friend. My longtime woman friend, Pat Spencer, got us together. Pat and I have attended the same Gentle Motions exercise class every Thursday morning for several years. Each week Pat convenes spouses of University of Florida students and visiting scholars from around the world so they can practice speaking English. I was so impressed by her stories of this international group that I finally said I would like to do that, but on a smaller scale, with one woman, preferably from China, who could meet me in my home. Pat wisely matched me with WenXia and arranged for us to meet. Continue reading