One warm summer weekend as Vicky Amendolera, who tended bar at the VFW on Sundays, kept our glasses topped with ice cold draft beer I asked Grumpy how he came to acquire his curmudgeonly nickname. "I have no idea! People have always told me that I'm grumpy but, for Christ's sake, it's not like I have spent my life walking around poking children in the eye. Well, not very small ones, anyway." Before I could say anything, Vicky started laughing and said "Don't believe a word that this ill tempered old goat tells you! One look at his glasses and it should be real clear who gets poked in the eye!"
I visited Grumpy at St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway some years back where he was, as he put it, in for his annual tune up! During the course of my visit our conversation turned towards Grumpy's service in Korea as a young soldier back in the early 50's. I asked him why that conflict was often referred to as the Forgotten War. He sat up in his bed and removed his reading glasses and began cleaning its one intact lens with a tissue and said, "Korea happened so soon after WWII but did not involve as many troops or combat deaths. In WWII the entire country got behind the war effort and supported the GI's but the early 50's saw most Americans at home enjoying the domestic benefits of the post WWII boom. It was like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan today. Unless you have someone you are related to or personally know serving, most people didn't pay too much attention. It is really a shame. Keep in mind though that for those of us who served in Korea, that war is anything but forgotten."
Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?