Ralph Schmedwick

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The collars on their shirts nicely ironed, their shoes under the chairs acting as a holder for their phones, their team name embroidered in red on the breast pockets of their shirts, and the sound of pins exploding apart all made this the typical Wednesday night for the team. Going around the table, only four of the six actually knew Ralph Schmedwick, but the other two could tell stories about him as if they had known him well.
Andy had been closest to Ralph. They had grown up together. Their parents were close friends, and they would always vacation together. Of the two friends, Ralph was the brave one. He would meet Andy in their joining backyards and they would come up with the craziest plans. Plans to hunt, fish, climb, build, and to ride a train to the circus. All of these plans were carried through, except the last. Andy and Ralph were the kind of friends that when someone said one of their names, the others name was short to follow.

This soon changed. Ralph had gotten drafted for the Vietnam War. His mother cried, and his father just looked on with approval. His father was a veteran who felt it was his son’s time to serve the country. Andy did not question why he hadn’t been drafted, but rather acted as though he wished he were. At age nineteen, Ralph waved goodbye to Andy, his parents, and his hometown, for the last time.

This man was brave in battle, according to James. James served in war with him, and they were soon close friends. He told the story of the two stealing a Jeep
and bribing a ship captain to take it with them over seas. He told how Ralph was so loyal to everyone, even those he didn’t know. He would be put in an ambush group with men he had never spoken too, and forced not to speak, but still risk his life for them in a heartbeat.

Ralph's loyalty had brought these six men together. These six men, with wives and kids, all wished Ralph were still with them. Ralph was the reason that these six men came together every Wednesday night, to drink and bowl their hearts out.

Their favorite memory they would always talk about after the night was over was when someone else in the league would come up to them and ask, “So why are you call the Ralph Schmedwicks?”

The six would take turns answering, but all six had the exact same facial expression and thoughts running through their minds.

One would step up and say, “He was an old buddy of ours that died in Nam.”

The person asking would get a sympathetic look, but the faces of the six did not need sympathy. The six on the team just smiled and sipped their beer, and one would say, “Andy, you’re up.”





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Ayushi_austen said...
Dec. 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

awesome!! loved it!

 

 
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