My brother and I were working on a story that we thought would be fun to turn into a screenplay. Of course, every story needs a plot, tension, storyline, and above all a focus. And the cool thing about this story is that it was all TRUE. And it will all be in my new book.
While there are several protagonists, we settled on a hero, a main character of sorts to follow. My brother asked me why he was my hero.
My reply: because he so did not wish to be called one.
He was uncomfortable with the limelight-you could tell that with some of the interviews he did. There was always something higher behind how he conducted himself. Like his lifelong friend Dr. George Gross, the appearance of the Holocaust survivors that they liberated on April 13th 1945, I think profoundly enriched his sunset years. Above all I remember his laugh, his chuckling disdain for fools and his engaging talks to young people about what he saw-and what our responsibility as human beings is.
The last time I was with him we spent 5 hours together on a rainy summer afternoon, ten years nearly to the day after our initial meeting and my seemingly innocuous interview with him. This day he was happy as we sat together. He reminded me that he felt sorry for me as a Yankees fan, then said, do you know I saw Babe Ruth play? With his dad, he would travel to New York City by train on Sunday afternoons to watch his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers play, back in the days when men dressed up for these outings.He popped in a cassette tape that he made-Benny Goodman, I think, closed his eyes and tapped his foot and snapped his fingers to the beat, head bowed,swaying from side to side… “Oh, man”…
My brother said to me- so do you like your main character?
No, I replied. I loved him.
Carrol passed away yesterday, Dec. 17th, 2012, at 6:05 pm at home with his wife of 68 years by his side. He was 91.
In the wake of so much heart breaking tragedy and misery in the world, I am pausing and remembering the actions and life of a single man who would bring to thousands of people so much joy, laughter, and of course life itself, with so much personal humility.
He profoundly altered the course of my own life in the short time I was honored to know him. This CBS News short sums up a lot about the man. And the interview that follows was where I took today’s post title from.
Just listen to him tell a story.
The Story with Dick Gordon- broadcast May 25, 2009
Steve Barry, Holocaust survivor
Carrol Walsh, US Army, liberator
Interviewed by Dick Gordon