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Chapter Ten: Those Country Boys


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#1 homefront41

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 06:38 PM

On Thursday, I’d spent some time visiting with Earl and Shifty. Popeye was a part of that bunch too and I missed having him there to help paint the pictures. I heard about them off chasing women here and there before D-Day. To hear Earl tell it, Shifty was the draw. They would front him and it worked every time. I have to say there is certainly something irresistible in that soft-spoken, open and guileless man and goodness knows, they were a fine looking bunch in their Class As and shiny jump boots.

Darrell C. "Shifty" Powers, shiny new paratrooper

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#2 homefront41

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 06:56 PM

When they weren’t reliving their girl-catching adventures, Shifty and Earl each love to sing the praises of the other for their woodsman skills. Shifty attributes Earl’s sixth and seventh (apparently) senses to his Native American heritage. For some reason, I thought Earl was from the eastern mountain regions, but he hails from eastern Washington State and just knows what he knows. His uncanny abilities in the field are legendary among the men. Shifty runs him a close second, but Shifty will quickly tell you Earl’s the man.

Shifty and me -- I really enjoyed my visits with him.

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#3 homefront41

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 07:09 PM

Their stories may have touched on setting up the situation wherein one or the other of them made the decision to do this or that, but the specifics were stripped of the violence of battle. And, by the way, Carwood Lipton did not make a target of himself for Shifty in that scene, “Don’t miss, Shifty.” He didn’t have to – Shifty had the man in his sights. One shot, one kill. Shifty enjoys persuading people to his view by pointing to the spot between his eyes and nodding. It’s pretty funny to see.

What’s not funny is that his eyesight is deteriorating at a pretty good clip from a degenerative disorder that is closing his vision in each eye to a tunnel like area. He’s had some laser surgery on both, but “my shootin’ eye” is still workin’.” “And, I still drive … “ My jaw dropped. “But Shifty, that’s really dangerous!” “Well, it’s okay as long as I stay in the county where I know all the roads.” “Yipes!” I said. “’Course at night, it’s really hard.” And I’m thinking, “What are you … crazy, BK? What are you gonna tell this guy about dangerous?”

And that is one of the most poignant things about my visit to the Reunion … I found it so easy to talk to these fellas and their wives that I had to stop now and then and remind myself of who they were. And the next thought had to be … how many men in that age range, 15-20 years older than I, have I spoken with over the years and never knew really that they probably had a part in all that too? We were just so accustomed to honor their wishes and not ask.

Darrell C. Powers Family

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#4 bamapt

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 08:23 PM

I would love to be a fly on the wall for one of their conversations!

Did you tell him to buckle up when he drives? :D

Thanks for the posts!

michelle

#5 VanessaBinder

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 09:52 PM

Excellent Post, loved the pictures and the memories. Thanks BK!!!

Vanessa

#6 Vicky

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Posted 19 April 2004 - 03:44 PM

What’s not funny is that his eyesight is deteriorating at a pretty good clip from a degenerative disorder that is closing his vision in each eye to a tunnel like area. He’s had some laser surgery on both, but “my shootin’ eye” is still workin’.”

That's really sad to hear. It must be so infuriating for someone like Shifty, who was such a crack shot with a rifle, to be losing his sight. I hope that the lazer surgery has made some improvement to his vision.

Vicky

#7 galesport

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 09:04 PM

During Bob, the depiction of Shifty's shooting prowess is outstanding. I expect there were a lot of country boys like him helping to defeat the supposed master race. Was Shifty as naive as he was portrayed ?

#8 appell8

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Posted 01 May 2004 - 10:17 PM

Gale, Shifty is about as sweet a man as he is portrayed. But, as some of us have written elsewhere, Shifty was nobody's fool, and a bit of a rascal in his own right.

If you do a bit of searching, you'll find some bits about Shifty's mischievious side.

But, at the same time, my impression is that he is a genuinely transparent, ingenuous, watcha-see-is-watcha-get human being. And justly celebrated as that in the production.

#9 galesport

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 08:29 PM

Don't get miss interpret what I said. I've known a few of these type fellas and I'd stand with them anytime. There is nothing, but good ol'e common sense and shirt off your back quality that most of those country boys possessed. Thank God !

Geoff

#10 Jiggersfromsphilly

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 03:15 PM

BUMP! Beats arguing over the President !




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