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Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Literally Reruns: Oh, the Wounds He Wore, Death His Neighbor (Jimmy the Meterman) by Tom Sheehan

Tom Sheehan has published more stories on LS than any other writer (although it ought to be mentioned that Hugh Cron is keeping pace). A lot of the time I feel that he gets overlooked by the casual, younger reader due to subject matter.

A lot of Mr. Sheehan’s work involves the Second World War and the Korean conflict. The surviving participants from those wars (including Mr. Sheehan and disregarding big boned twelve year olds who got in) are in their eighties and nineties and even higher. The number dwindles every day.

And it seems a damn shame that some people nowadays find the subject antique. That’s hard to support when one considers that World War II remains the ultimate in human history.

Anyway, this particular tale deals with overlooking, albeit on a smaller scale.

Q: Although I have no doubt that such things happened, is Jimmy an actual person you know or a composite of many?

Q: Recently, and deservedly, there’s been much talk about the Afghan War being the longest our nation has ever been involved with. But, in not only a technical sense, isn’t the Korean War still “going,” since there never was any real closure to the event?

Leila Allison

Tom’s responses:

Q:Although I have no doubt that such things happened, is Jimmy an actual
person you know or a composite of many?

Jimmy, in this case as in other war stories, has been drawn from one person,
Richard Frank Parkinson, ‘Parkie, tanker, tiger of Tobruk’; an
ungainly-looking friend, fellow, comrade, pool room buddy after his war and
before mine, who carried the souls of his comrades with him, via stories of
actual events, until his death. He was born in 1924, four years before me,
my worldly elder.

Q: Recently, and deservedly, there’s been much talk about the Afghan War
being the longest our nation has ever been involved with. But, in not only a
technical sense, isn’t the Korean War still “going,” since there never was
any real closure to the event?

No war is ever over, as it resides in its veterans, often as sharp, and hot
and cold, as their war became, as was mine. Parkie never once forgot his
comrades, carrying them on his back until the day he passed on, but a
pool-room buddy day in and day out, delivering chapters of stories of his
war as he prepared to hit the cue ball on the pool table, in the Rat Hole,
our pool parlor below deck (in the cellar of the Pythian Building), where we
congregated, old veterans, like Parkie, kids on their way like me, often
open-mouthed, surprised, pleased at some endings, near tears at other
endings, Frank not an orator but a no-punches-pulled tale teller, believing
what we heard, we would learn from..

***

Oh, the Wounds He Wore, Death His Neighbor (Jimmy the Meterman)

3 thoughts on “Literally Reruns: Oh, the Wounds He Wore, Death His Neighbor (Jimmy the Meterman) by Tom Sheehan”

  1. Thank you for your excellent answers, Tom. By the sheer volume of your work, I’m amazed you can keep track of the little things each new one brings. I hope everyone clicks the link to the story.
    LA

    Like

  2. Tom, as usual, a beautifully written story that packs a wallop. Leila, this is a gem you found in the archives!

    Like

  3. Hi Leila,

    Fine words as an introduction.
    Tom – Thoughtful and respectful sentiments as answers.

    I wish I could say i was keeping pace but Tom is half way from lapping me!!
    The volume of work and the quality is something that no-one will equal!!

    Thanks both!!!
    Hugh

    Like

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