Thursday, October 23, 2008

Doyle's D-Day

Terrence M. Doyle, USN (Ret.) and a photo his son took of him
collecting sand on the beaches of Normandy, France

This past weekend, some friends and I went out to Middletown, Maryland, to see the fall colors.* Our wanderings that day took us through Boonsboro and Antietam.** On the way home, we stopped at a produce stand on the outskirts of Boonsboro where we met this man. I was taking a picture of some of the produce and he said to me in passing, "Isn't that produce beautiful? What a country! I love it!" Then he ran off and we continued admiring the apples and squash and gourds.

Not long after that, this same cheery guy came by and we started talking a bit more. His name is Terrence M. Doyle and he's a retired Navy helicopter pilot, Civil War reenactor, and civilian defense employee. Terry is holding a picture his son took of him at Normandy scooping up sand from the beach to bring home as a remembrance.

I only caught fragments of his story and why he was scooping sand at Normandy. I'm confident after he reads this entry, he'll email me more details (and, when I have them, I'll amend this entry), but my understanding is his father participated in the D-Day operations in 1944.

This is the third in my 100 Strangers series.

UPDATE: Terry sent me an email this morning with the specifics about why he was digging sand at Normandy. To read his email, visit Standing Room Only.

* We also met City Daily Photo blogger Bernie of Middletown Daily Photo. Cool guy and very gracious host. I'll post a picture of him next week.

** Or Sharpsburg, depending on which side of the Civil War you fall on.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 10/08


Anonymous said...

Your project is a worthy one. I remember somebody was doing something similar or is still and on this blog network. They were close to their goal of 100. This one is amazing and makes introducing yourself a little less painful. I am doing a series on 100 strangers. Etc.

Lucy said...

I really love stories of people. Sometimes I look at a person on the street...every so often a homeless person that catches my eye. I think of what his/her life was. A little baby, child, went to school, probably married/kids, what happened to get them where they are now....very interesting to me. Makes you want to just stop everybody, take a picture, and have them fill out a life history form just for my curiousity. But I don't do that.

Virginia said...

Look at you getting out there meeting those strangers and getting their photos. I am proud of you. I have gotten lax, need to pick up the pace now that you are breathing down my neck! What a great shot. Oh, I almost forgot..... I am going to Paris in 24 days! Strangers? Piece o cake!
And you KNOW what side of the CW i fall on!

D.C. Confidential said...

Abe: You might be thinking of our dear friend, Virginia. The origin of this project, though, is a Flickr Group. I didn't want to join Flickr, so VJ and I decided to strike out on our own! Glad to hear you're joining the series.

Lucy: I love to hear peoples' stories, too. In fact, I missed an opportunity the other day to take a picture of the docent who led a tour I was on at the National Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Homeless people fascinate me as well in terms of stories, especially because I believe we all live within one or two paychecks of similar circumstances.

Virginia: I thought of you while I was snapping pictures of strangers this weekend. Can't wait to see what you generate in Gay Paree!

And all I can say is, how do you survive in the South supporting "all those wretched Yankees"? Really! I'm surprised they even let you read Southern Living magazine. ;-)

b.c. said...

oh that's a great blog and photo, looking forward to the "amendments"
and the 97 other strangers :)

Anonymous said...

Ah...if you knew TD as I know him... he is a true Sailor (read, a professional Navy warrior) who gave this country a healthy slice of his adult life, for which I am most grateful. TD is also one of the most intelligent, well-read, insightful, articulate and humble men I know -- he'll blush as he reads this. The person who walks the Battlefield at Antietam (or Sharpsburg, depending on your CW politics) with TD at his/her side is in for a treat! TD is a great American, a fine gentleman and a dear friend; I thank God that TD is no stranger to me.

D.C. Confidential said...

B.C.: Thanks! Terry was fun to meet. I've added an update link to this entry. Be sure to check it out and learn more about this friendly guy.

Lancerloid: It was a pleasure to meet TD. He was warm, funny, interesting, and just bubbling with enthusiasm. Based on a mere 10 minutes with him, I can see you're undoubtedly spot on about the kind of man and friend he is. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Maya said...

I love that you are doing this! I really like hearing stories about people and seeing their photos to accompany them is even better. Great post!

D.C. Confidential said...

Maya: It's starting to be kind of fun. Of course, it helps that I had time to hear Terry's story. Most days, I'm running from Point A to Point B and don't have time to stop and find out more about the strangers I pass in my comings and goings.

Professor said...

What a great story!

And I really am enjoying your strangers series. It's such a clever idea.

D.C. Confidential said...

Prof: I have a feeling there are many more stories in Terry! Glad you like this series. You should join us. I'll bet you meet some great characters up in Big Sky country.