She Said–Mr. Ryan

There are people who I admire.

There are people who I like.

There are people who I try to like.

There are people who I gave up on the trying part.

There are people who I fall in love with instantly.

And then there are those people who I never meant to fall in love with, but somehow so slowly that I didn’t even realize it, the cord of love started wrapping itself around my heart, and they became bound to my heart.  All without me really realizing what was happening.

Mr. Ryan is one of those people.

There is so much to admire about him.  He is a painter.

He makes the most beautiful saddles I have ever seen.  Here is a work in progress.

This is the leather that he is getting ready to cut out.  I love the scrolled oak leaves.  He is a wood-carver.  Most of his work has been given away, but here is a photo.

He is a fighter.  As a veteran of World War II, he is one of the few survivors of the U.S.S. Longshaw that was destroyed on May 18, 1945.  He had to swim for 12 hours before he was rescued.

He is a peace maker.  He uses his years of wisdom to create peace instead of giving long accounts of all he knows.

He likes my kids and has enough patience to teach them woodcarving, and he lets us catch polywogs in his pond.

He makes the science projects that I use in Homeschooling.

He likes my cooking.  Now since I have four kiddos, and each one has an “I Won’t Eat This Even If I Have to Sit Here Until I Can Drive” list that is three pages long, I greatly appreciate anyone who loves my cooking.

My kids and Hunni are at his place today enjoying themselves.

Thank you, Mr. Ryan.


Do you have a “Mr. Ryan” in your life.  If not, I recommend getting one this Memorial Day weekend. Here are some tips for finding your “Mr. Ryan.”

  •  They can be found hanging around small town airports chatting in groups, at older coffee/doughnut spots, at your local church/meeting, living next door, around the corner, or down the street. 
  • Pick one out, and start-up a conversation (they have lived fascinating lives).
  • Listen, don’t talk, listen.
  • Invite your “Mr. Ryan” to your church/meeting picnic, local parade, backyard BBQ, or out for coffee.
  • Have your kids call him/her “Mr.” or “Mrs.”  to show respect. 
  • But I am warning you.  If you do these things, you might be in mortal danger of falling in love–all without you realizing.  So proceed being fairly warned.

Now if you already have a “Mr. Ryan” tell us about him/her below.  And Mr. Ryan thanks you too.


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2 Responses to She Said–Mr. Ryan

  1. jomama says:

    Was delighted to reconnect with a “Mr. Ryan” this afternoon. Could have spent hours listening to his stories!! Daughter #2 had a history assignment to interview a WW2 veteran, and thanks to Grandma W, we were put in touch with Mr. R… a national treasure with a twinkle in his eye and an uncanny ability to recall events from nearly 70 years ago with crystal clarity. One of D2’s questions: “Did you have a nickname in the service?” Mr.R … with a hint of a smile: “Yes. Yes I did.” The story? When he was newly enlisted, he and another newbie were put through a sort of hazing experience that involved blindfolds, paint cans and brushes, being suspended in the air on something akin to rope swings, with the directive to fling paint on one another. The result being that the paint was removed easier from his hair by shaving his head entirely. Nickname that followed? Egghead. I could have listened to several more hours of stories recounted by this remarkable man. From being on the ship for up to a year at a time, under enemy fire (“you could set your clock by the Japanese bombers, 3:00am, 10:00am, 3:00pm … there they would come, dropping a bomb here and there, strafing the ships, then off they would go”), running out of food on the ship and picking up what was available from an African port (eggplant and rice) and how he no longer can stand eggplant, the storms at sea where if you stood on the back of the ship you could look straight down to see the front of the ship and at that, it was twisted like a rag (a steel Liberty ship! Twisted like a rag!)….. (I would not last on such a ship for 5 minutes). Fascinating stories. A very dear man. A privilege to listen.


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