Now You Tell Me
By James K. Richardson
Sgt, Co. B, 272nd Infantry Rgt.
Several years after the end of WWII, my family was watching the television news, when a story concerning Walter Bedell Smith was being telecast. It had something to do with his being appointed as ambassador to Russia. General Smith was Ike's Chief of Staff during the war, and was the General who handled most of the discipline of General Patton. I had been a newscaster for several radio stations and had read many stories about him and General Eisenhower, and was not too impressed with the news story on TV until my aunt made the observation, " Why Beetle looks just like Mama, doesn't he?" Now I wondered why she would make an observation like that. So I asked her why he should look like my grandmother. In her Southern East Texas drawl, she said "Why honey, he is your 2nd cousin!" Of course I thought she was pulling my leg, but then I remembered that my grandmother's maiden name was Smith. I said, "This is a heck of a time to be telling me. With that information I could have had a higher rank than Sergeant!" Truth of the matter is if I had that information, I would have probably have been hassled out of my unit for bragging. Now I'm not going to tell you that my Great Grandfather was married to the niece of President U.S. Grant, and since he was a Rebel in the Civil War, she was afraid to tell him...Grandpaw died never knowing that the man he hated most in the world was his uncle by marriage. No, I'm not going to tell that story, you might start doubting my truthfulness.