I had dinner with my Uncle Robert on Friday. He has spent most of the last 30 years living in France, where he is an assistant professor of Spanish. (Don't worry, I couldn't make sense of that until I was around 16). He is also a history nut and spending his sabbatical writing about the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a group of American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War on behalf of the republic. My uncle is a fascinating guy and offers up a multi-national aura that makes you feel like you are becoming more cultured just by speaking to him.
One of the subjects we discussed was my grandfather, Edmund Star Coale, II. Grand-dad fought in World War II and was seriously injured shortly before the Battle of the Bulge in a little town called Rodalbe, France (then Rodalbe, Germany). Robert brought up the town on Google Earth and narrated how the US soldiers had come in from the North along the rail line. This was later criticized due to the fact that to take the town, US soldiers gave up the high ground and exposed themselves to mortars. Nonethless, Grand-dad was part of the 600 soldiers that were sent to do the job. My grandfather told people that the town didn't feel right, which was later confirmed by the knowledge that there were Germans in the basements of the houses. While the regiment was attempted to dig a perimeter trench (it kept filling with water due to the water table), the town was counter-attacked by a pincher move from the Germans, coming from roads to the Southeast and Northwest.
My Grand-dad was the "runner" and was sent back up the hill to report on what had happened in the town. When he did, the commanding officer told him to go back into the town and tell them to hold for more reinforcements, but by the time he had run back into the battle, there were only 80 of the original 600 men still alive. They retreated up the hill, where my grandfather was sprayed by a German mortar. He lost an eye and had shrapnel along his side that took the next three months to work out. Granddad was awarded the Bronze Star (posthumously) and a Purple Heart for his actions on that day.
What was most chilling about this account was that of the 80 men remaining from his regiment, Granddad was the only reported survivor. The rest died in fighting leading up to and including the Battle of the Bulge. That makes Rodalbe, France a very important place to me.
The O's took 2 of 3 from the Braves, finishing off the series with 20 straight scoreless innings and a near no-hitter on Saturday.
People were waiting in line for yesterday's opening of Wegman's as early as midnight. I hope that those of you who went found it fulfilling.
As many as 2,866 elementary school children will need to be redistricted to new schools for the 2013 school year to ease overcrowding in the northeast. A lot of this has to do with the new opening of Duckett's Lane Elementary in Elkridge, which would seem to provide a good opportunity to do all of the moving that needs to be done for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, this shift only addresses elementary school capacity, with middle (2014) and high (2016) slated for future redistricting over the next few years. We can expect high school redistricting to be the most controversial, as parents see college prospects hanging in the balance.
Baltimore is stripping some stores of their liquor licenses in order to crack down on crime in bad neighborhoods. City officials suggest that they are removing licenses for those that don't meet regulations, but with the quotes provided to the newspaper, litigation seems inevitable.
The pro-bailout New Democracy Party won 30% of the vote in Greek Elections. From my perspective, this is the best possible outcome, but for those looking forward to the crash of the Euro, you will have to wait at least a few more months.
Featured Blog Post of the Day: Duane spent an hour and a half at the new Wegman's on Sunday and shares some pictures of his afternoon. As may be apparent from my posts up to this point, I don't quite get the manic fascination with the new grocery store, but I am happy to see a new merchant bring such happiness to my local friends. I'll probably stop in sometime this week (others were projecting this craziness to last into July), but I will have one objective and one objective only -- a Wegman's sub. Based on my experience with our Williamsport, PA Wegman's during college, the Howard County "Best Sub" debate has been closed. Wegman's wins.
Have a great Monday doing what you love!