Friday, September 11, 2009

Hitler and Grandfather English

I 'm working on a graphic novel about war and how it in all its forms effects a family over many generations.

My Grandfather English is part of this story. A mix of fiction and real life stories (As most of my writing is) this tale at it's midpoint is about two men in World War One.

Both my Grandfather and Hitler were Runners in the first world war.

My Grandfather loved the land and being a farmer was his only dream.

Hitler was a failed artist that twisted politics into his own brand of hell.

My Grandfather was the last man to return home from Germany to his home of Sweet Springs Missouri. He was the only veteran returning from that war that didn't have a band playing for him at the train station.

My Grandfather died in a little house in Kingsville Missouri in 1959. That day he relived every battle of World War One that he had been part of. My mother was alone with him when he took his final breath. I was the only other person in the house. I was a little boy learning to walk with a baby bottle in my mouth.

Hitler wanted the world but my Grandfather English had five grandchildren and seven Great Grandchildren in the web of human life. In the River of Time power is the cowards path.

Living for your family and the power of nature is always the better path.

All through the war my Grandfather carried a pistol but he never fired it. He never killed anyone in that war. When he was issued the gun by the the army he was to test fire it. For what ever reason he didn't get around to test firing the gun until the day he returned it to the army after the war was over.

The gun wouldn't fire. The gun was defective. Through seven battles of world war one my Grandfather English carried a gun that wouldn't fire.


chrome3d said...

That story is hard to believe. What did he do in battles then?

Robert A Vollrath said...

Before radio made communication fast on the battle field, Runners ran messages between command posts.

The USA had very bad hand held weapons in the first world war. It is hard to believe he never test fired the pistol.

This is a second hand story told to me by my mother.

I can't prove the truth of it and it doesn't matter to me if it is true or not. My mother believes it is true so it is part of the mythology of our family.

Désirée said...

Not all people in a war need to kill people, and a runner's major task must have been - except to deliver messages - to avoid the enemy. So it is not that unlikely that your grandfather never used the gun.

Now you have mentioned "graphic novel" in quite a few of your blog entries, but I can't really figure out what that is. Can you please explain.

Robert A Vollrath said...

A graphic novel is a long form comic book. Many movies are based on graphic novel that aren't super hero tales.

The movie 'White Out' is based on a non- super hero graphic novel.

I am trying to create a new form of graphic novel that is more complex than the current type of graphic storytelling.

After talking to my parents about the truth of my grandfather's World War One stories, I now believe he was telling the truth.