This weekend, we remember those who fought and died in the service of our country. Over 70 years ago, I remember a young man who also served his country with the city of Oneonta.
William “Bill” Carson was that young man. Physically challenged with polio at a young age, the military would pass him by. But with his bad arm and leg, he continued to be a patriot and good soldier for his country.
Bill’s job in Oneonta was with the Western Union Telegraph. Though young people might not know this, back in the war years of the ‘40s, most of the notification of death or missing-in-action of our men and women was delivered by telegram. Bill Carson did the delivering. What a heartbreaking effort it must have been for him as he rode his bicycle or walked in the snow to perform his duty.
Bill and his family lived next door to me on Telford Street. Another one of our boys from the neighborhood, Fritz Heck, did not come back from the Pacific. A sniper got him, and I wonder if Bill delivered the telegram.
Bill’s gone now! He was a good guy and one who served Oneonta in a hard task. Let’s remember him also as one who served. Thank you.
Anderson is a 1948 graduate of Oneonta High School.