Dorsey Daniel lives in Oxford. He’ll be 91 next month. When I worked at the newspaper there, he was a bellicose, belligerent kind of guy. He could also be a teddy bear.
He was a U.S. Navy veteran. He was a proud member of the Oxford American Legion Post 90.
He would bring me stories to put in the paper about Veterans Day and Memorial Day services. He also brought me stories about Boys State and who from the town of Oxford was going that year.
Without fail, when I would put one of those stories in the paper, he’d be in my office the next day, yelling and screaming and cussing like, well, like a sailor because he didn’t like the way I had worded something.
Later that afternoon, his wife would call me and apologize for her husband and the way he acted. The day after that, he’d come back into my office and apologize in person. It was those visits I used to really look forward to. He would sit in my office and talk about American Legion , Tar Heel Boys State – which he served as chairman at the time, and World War II. You could just tell that his whole life had been shaped by his military experience. He wasn’t a career sailor. He joined the Navy at the beginning of World War II and got out right after the war. But his life had been forever changed.
I learned a lot from Dorsey Daniel. Here are the three things that still stick with me today:
So here’s my final plea: On Sunday, American Legion Post 48 will host a Memorial Day observance beginning at 5 p.m. at the American Post Home on Wendell Boulevard. Take an hour to join the celebration. It will be worth your time.