I went to Delbert Hopper's funeral today.
He just grew old, tired & was ready.
They say he moved into the neighborhood shortly after WWII. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge (served under General Patton), had a few children, loved his wife and lived a pretty simple life. His generation is slowly slipping away and it's terribly sad. At the service there were pictures of him sitting on military tanks, holding fish with his wife, pulling his kids on water skis behind an old scrappy boat, bbqing...
There were probably a hundred old and faded color snapshots from his past. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about - classic images from the 50's, 60's and 70's.
During the eulogy a woman spoke about how much he enjoyed his friendship with our children - especially with Sam. Since his passing, Sam has been sleeping with a picture of Mr. Hopper from his WWII days. He told me last night that "he was a handsome soldier, dad."
I am becoming a big sap and I blame it on country music. Speaking of... Mr. Hopper loved his country music - and as though the request line was open, they played Willie Nelson's version of Amazing Grace and then wrapped it all up with Alan Jackson's "Small Town Southern Man."
It was quite an afternoon...