The Billings Outpost

Don’t cry for dead

Growing up back East, city bus transportation was both necessity and education. Once, when I was going home, an attractive older lady with a younger caretaker boarded. Whether standing or sitting, the older woman continually screamed, jerked and twitched as if she was being poked unmercifully from many directions with hot irons. There were no Lithium or Prozac medications in those days.

After a while, some of the other passengers began to mockingly imitate her. The noise level grew as the bus progressed on its route. Then the younger lady pulled the stop cord and the two disembarked, older first. While the driver leaned over the door control handle, the younger woman stopped silently in the stairwell and stared back into the eyes of the mockers until all the passengers grew silent.

Then she raised her voice so all could hear, stating simply as she stepped to the curb, “She ... was a nurse ... on Corregidor.” At least until my mom and I disembarked several blocks later, the only sound to be heard was that of the engine changing pitch as the driver ran through its gears.

Off the bus, I asked mom what a Corregidor was. She replied that if I still wanted to know when I was 18, she would tell me then.

George S. Patton was reported to have said something about, Don’t cry for the dead, but rejoice in your own living.

Bill Moser


Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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