Several months after my grandfather's death in 1973 his mail, which had been forwarded to our address, started to contain Christmas cards and letters from friends who didn't know that he had died. I took on the task of writing and informing them of his demise. As a result I received a number of very nice and sympathetic responses, but the one that stands out in my mind was the reply I received from Louis Goodrich. Here's what he had to say:
Box 75
Olney Springs, Colorado 81062
December 14, 1974

Dear Miss Smythe:

I am enclosing a letter which your grandfather my friend Don Smythe, wrote me in 1972 in the belief that it might contain material he had not shared with his family, and which might be of interest to you. I am also enclosing my Christmas letter for this year not because the contents would hold any interest for you, but because it shows how an old codger of 81 can become so involved that he can put off for a year, answering a letter that should have been answered at once.

Since some of the army "lingo" and other terminology that he uses may be no longer current, I have foot-noted his letter and am enclosing the explanatory notes.

Louis Goodrich

P.S. Don't take too seriously his first paragraph. Ordinarily Don was a pretty truthful guy, but I believe he exaggerated a bit when he said the prune-incident was typical of me. The rest of the letter I believe you may take at face value, as I do.

And enclosed with this note I found a long letter that my grandfather had written to Mr. Goodrich. Amazingly, it turned out to be a synopsis of his adventerous and exciting life. A life about which I knew very little. I don't know what had prompted him to write this letter, but I am thankful that he had and very thankful to Mr. Goodrich for sending it to me. And now, I can share this story with you. I have divided the story into two parts and have added pictures wherever I could that relate to the story. I hope you find it as interesting as I have.

[Part One] [Part Two]

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