Friends of Divide Camp came to Headquarters to enjoy some stew and talk about trapping. WWII Marine veteran Van Blaricom has a memory as sharp as, well, a steel trap. He entertained Rod Dearth, also a retired Marine, and Jim Soares, volunteer for DC, with his adventures back in the day. Rod is new to Wallowa County, but held his own at the table with stories of trapping alligators in Florida. Jim updated the two with more recent trapping tales.
This was my first time to make stew, and they seemed to enjoy it. But Van told so many stories his food grew cold and he didn't finish it. This meal was not about the food, though. It's what we do at Divide Camp- bring veterans together.
After Jim returned to work, the conversation soon turned to combat and military life. Rod left a little while later and Van said, "It means a lot to me to tell these stories, because other veterans understand."
A 50-something woman comes home to a place she's never been before.