I have been sitting in Kava House for the last few hours listening to two old men wax elegantly about everything from war stories to their favorite toy stores in Brooklyn.
The two old men, one named Hank who was the younger one at 76, did most of the talking. They began by talking about a website that Hank found using Google. The site specialized in lists and documentation of professional athletes that were in WWI and WWII. They talked a lot about a man who played for the St. Louis Browns -
That lead them to talk about their war stories - I recall Hank saying he was in the Navy from '52 - '56. Hank told a story about being in a submarine that began to leak - the power went out and they were forced to find and correct the leak in the dark! A friend of his from childhood was able to find the leak and seal it. Hank and his friend grew up in Brooklyn - not sure where exactly. But this lead to a discussion about TOYS! Hank's favorite toys from the toy store were diecast cars and a piece of rope [damn, the depression must have really been crazy if you were buying rope from a toy store].
Eventually they began talking about contemporary warfare and children and "kicking the bucket". I was able catch a story of Hank's via my computer microphone about his son smuggling a woman out of Bosnia in a duffle bag who now lives on the island that was the birth place of Marco Polo. You can listen to the audio here.
At first I felt kind of voyeuristic, listening to these old dudes and even recording them, but I think that listening to stories like these is SO important. So much can be learned about the history of the world, your locality, philosophy, toys, war, etc if you just turn off your iPod and listen to the rambles.