Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Doppelganger

The term doppelganger is now loosely defined as a person's double.  A German word, it originally referred to an evil look alike.  Dad discovered his double back in 1943.

After he was drafted, he was sent to Ft. Hood, Texas, for boot camp.  He found himself consistently being called by another name, and decided to look up the guy everyone was mistaking him for.  After all these years Mother can't recall his name, but when the two came face to face they discovered that not only did they look very much alike, they were both from Indiana, Daddy from Muncie and his double from somewhere around Seymour.  They exchanged home addresses and after the war ended began to exchange Christmas cards.

We may have met his family early on, but my only remembrance of meeting him was in 1969.  And at all places, at Daddy's funeral.  I vividly remember Mother coming up to me and asking, "Do you know who this is?"  I turned, glanced up, and my heart almost stopped in those seconds it took for my brain to catch up with what I was seeing.  There before me stood someone who looked just like my dad, except he was slightly taller and his hairline had receded just a little more than Daddy's had.  When my already addled mind had processed these variations and recalled the stories of Dad's double, I finally said, "I don't know who this is, but I do know he looks just like my Dad."

It's been over forty years since that afternoon, and although I have no memories of it, I am sure that I wasn't the only person at Roy Stone's funeral who had a heart-stopping moment when they saw Dad's double standing in our midst.

I don't recall seeing a picture of the two together, but if I ever come across one I'll be sure to post it to the blog.

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