Sometimes, worldly events prompt everyone to remember where they were when the developments happened. That's the way it was in Eureka with the 40th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. On the day of the anniversary of the bombing incident, several local residents reminesced. Leading the way down memory path was one innovative Eurekan whose nickname "Boots" was given to him 87 years ago today when he was born.
, self-proclaimed as The Old Blogger for Eureka-Wildwood Patch, shared many memories over the past year once he started blogging on Patch. No doubt today will be an interesting one for him, as he shares the same birthday date with his older brother, Bud, a former mayor of . Bud will be 93 and George will be 87.
Editor's Note: Not long ago, I had the pleasure of speaking to both Weber brothers at one time, and they certainly are walking, breathing historians and cheerleaders for the local area. Their joint photo accompanies this article.
Truly participating in life is important to George. Just take a look at his many blogs found in the Local Voices section of this Patch site, or some of the events in which he has involved. See related articles:
We appreciate George's insatiable curiosity of things going on around him. His mindset truly is about progress after absorbing new information to apply. From farming and piloting to running businesses and holding elected offices, he even has beaten cancer.
For the Pearl Harbor anniversary, we returned to the same gym he was standing in that day when the news about the attack was given over the radio. This renovated gym now is a large, multipurpose meeting area at in Eureka. He kept envisioning where the basketball hoop had been, as he was center for the team when that building was the Eureka High School.
He graduated high school in 1942. At 17 years old, he participated in the Missouri University ROTC program in Columbia, MO. He said already knowing military drills helped him achieve certain roles later when he became a soldier himself.
George can still recite his military serial number when he was drafted into the Marines in 1944: 981062.
He resisted attending classes to learn Japanese because he said he knew "they would never turn me loose if I learned to speak Japanese."
With orders to kill anybody, he and other Marines executed various types of combat intelligence. "The Japanese soldiers would jump off cliffs rather than surrender," he said.
He did have a near mishap with a grenade, which left him hard of hearing in one ear. "But I didn't get killed by it, so that was good."
Then the "A-Bomb" changed things.
George winces as he remembers the military ordered 500,000 Purple Hearts related to the invasion of Japan. "We weren't supposed to make it," he said. "But I did. And the bomb opened up a new life for me, one of freedom."