One of the first people I met at the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum was volunteer Bob Fielher. At the time, I just thought he was a nice guy who knew a lot about area history.
I wish I had recorded some of this stories. Unfortunately, Bob died of cancer in 2009, and I missed the opportunity. Over the years, I have gotten to know his son Gerard, and Gerard has done a great job of keeping his memories alive.
Gerard tells about a boy who had never been further than St. Louis, who was drafted at 18; drove a tank in the Battle of the Bulge at 19; won a Purple Heart; stayed in Germany as a translator during the Occupation, and then returned to Altenburg to work in the family garage.
“He had lived a whole lifetime …”
“He had lived a whole lifetime by the time he was 20 years old,” Gerard observed.
This is a video worth watching on Veterans Day.