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Journal Writing Project - My Hero

Fri, Jan 28th, 2011
Posted in Journal Student Writing Project

If I were asked to identify one true hero, my answer would be my grandpa, Paul Mathison. My grandpa, has been through a lot in his life and he still stands tall. I love listening to his stories about when he was a child; the great times of radio and games created by imagination. He told me a story about himself and his brother, Curtis, during the time of the Great Depression. They wanted a bicycle real badly, so they asked their dad if he could conjure one up for them. Their dad said they needed to earn the bicycle on their own. Curtis and grandpa Paul trapped gophers and pulled mustard weed out of grain fields to earn money for their bike. The big money they ended up with was $13.67, the bike cost $19.95. Fortunately, their dad chipped in the rest of the money.

Grandpa Paul had a brother named Arlo. During World War II, Arlo ended up getting drafted into the army. In December 1944, he was sent to France because the Army needed reinforcements for the Battle of the Bulge. The reinforcements loaded ship on Christmas Eve and took off to France. They were sailing on the English Channel and were only a few miles from France, when suddenly the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine. About eight hundred men were killed, including Arlo. Today Arlo is buried in France in a cemetery overlooking the English Channel, where grandpa Paul had the opportunity to visit a couple years ago.

Grandpa Paul used to be part of the Minnesota National Guard and had to train for the Korean War in Alabama. He was very fortunate that he didn't have to play a role in the actual war. He returned home from Alabama and heard a rumor that there were "a lot of single nurses in Rochester." He found the best one, my grandma, June Meisner. They married and had three children. "later on they were blessed with five wonderful grandchildren. After fifty years of marriage, my grandma was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. She battled the disease for ten years and passed away last August. Grandpa was always there for her no matter what and loved her unconditionally.

Grandpa Paul has been through good times and very rough times. Yet today he is still living life to the fullest, not letting a minute pass by, and that is why I call him my hero.

Jamie Mathison is a student at Fillmore Central High School. She is one of 10 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its twelfth year.

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