Got home today and learned that the world has lost a great and wonderful man. At 19 a sailor fighting for our country on the USS North Carolina, and later in life a NYC police officer and father. Mike, you were like another grandfather to me. So many hours spent sitting and talking, singing and laughing. I am going to miss you so much.
Mathew, some of us cannot download videos due to slow internet connections; a name and some other info would be nice.
His name was Mike Murgalo. Born February 5th, 1922. Enlisted in the Navy the Day after Pearl Harbor. spent WWII in the Pacific as a gunner in (I think) forward turret of USS North Carolina. Fought in every major Pacific Naval Battle of WWII and his ship supported all the major landings and provided fire support for the marines. After the war married and had 2 sons and 2 daughters, one of which is my neighbor. Spent 30 years as a New York city police officer. He used to stop in at a place called "Eisenhower's" to get his morning meal before the beat in the morning. His daughter is my neighbor who lives in NYC but has a camp next to us so I grew up as a kid essentially having him as an extended grandfather. He played guitar and we'd sing together, though any music after the 1950's he didn't usually know haha. He spent Winters in Florida near Coco beach I believe. I got home today and our neighbor had called and told us he passed last week and she'd just now been able begin to phone and tell us (I can't blame her, shes very broken up). His heart failed, he passed out and never woke up so he didn't feel it. I'm told he was given full military honors and services, including pall bearers. Mike was a kind and gentle man. He told me though he fought one of the happiest moments he recollects on was at one reunion with his shipmates, the Japanese sub crew that had torpedoed their ship (it survived the hit) had miraculously survived the war too. They were invited and they gave them a piece of their torpedo embedded in the hull back as a gift. "We were all just kids, doing what we had to" he told me. He laughed kindly at me when he saw my wreck of model T parts I was slowly putting together. He grew up as a kid in them and after the war his first car was a 1930 Model A roadster so we'd talk cars. I was going to surprise him with a ride in my grandfather's roaster this summer since he planned on coming back up by train (his vision had been failing the past couple years). And we were going to sing Sinatra. He will be dearly missed.
May he rest in peace. Yet another WWII vet gone on to heaven.Not many of those left. We all need to remember these and all vets for their service to keep us safe and enjoying life as we know it. Today's generation (for the most part) hasn't a clue of the importance of what these vets did for us and in many case a care of the same. Only worried about how much money they can make, how fancy a house they can have as quick as they can, and how many BMW's they can park in their garage.
Sounds like a life well lived. Can't do better than that. I too recently lost my "Father"-like friend and mentor.
He got off the bus at 86. I find myself constantly wanting to call him and shoot the breeze like we did for 40
years. I have a vacuous hole in my life with him gone. This getting old sh!t sucks. :-P
Mathew, thank you for the background. My Dad has been gone 4 years now, still miss him; went in on D-day +4 but luckily spent the rest of the war working in a resupply depot just south of Paris. One of his best events was taking my Mom back there about 10 years ago and meeting the family he befriended then. They had a baby picture of my oldest brother on their hearth!
Burger, yes, getting old is not for sissies, but staying young has its drawbacks too!
Let me keep my "wisdom", but could I please have my "vim and vigor" back, please ???