Sandy at Fort Dix
Sandy – Hukbalahap Rebellion
Musty in World War I
Musty – World War I

In Service to America


Nicholas

Nicholas the Elder has passed.  Blessed was the life he led for over 90 years, first as a renowned baseball player, second as a soldier (appreciated personally by his Commander in Chief, General Eisenhower); then as a loving and caring father, then as a farmer, deigned to carry-on the tradition of his grandfather Alessandro, tilling the rich soil of Concord, to produce vegetables unexcelled in their perfection.  There are many stories to be told about Old Nick.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the lives of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children... this is not a way of life in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
My Commander-in-Chief

Peace and Prosperity medal with image of D.D. Eisenhower

Nick was a remarkable athlete as well as being a skilled mechanic. As a youth, he hit the ball so viciously its skin would tear off… thus his nickname, “Buster”. After joining the army at the beginning of World War II, he was attached to Armor where his job was to go in early and supervise the setting-up of motor pools that serviced tanks and other armored vehicles. He rose quickly to the rank of Master Sergeant. When he was allowed time, he played baseball on General Patton’s prize winning team. Patton awarded him a gold wrist watch for his prowess with glove and bat. Nick always regretted losing that watch… up by Middlesex school while picking blueberries.

One day after the invasion of Normandy a high ranking officer appeared at his motor pool and ordered Nick into his command car. Nick had no idea what was up. He was sure it had something to do with some infraction of the rules, as he was wont to run his shop with complete autonomy (make that read Macone). After a long drive to Cherbourg they pulled into the mansion that was headquarters for the Allied Central Command. Nick was sure he was going to be shot.

They hustled up the stairs and into a large foyer where it seemed that every bit of polished brass of the highest level (U.S. and otherwise) was scurrying about planning the battle for France. The officer that had brought him motioned to a door where two MP’s stood at guard “Go in there!” he ordered.

Cap in hand, Nick entered. There behind a very large desk sat General Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander. After a few pleasantries, Ike said he had heard about Sgt Macone’s skill with a wrench, and told him the following story: It seems that Ike had secured a big touring car in the States that he intended to use as his command car in the European campaign. The car was in a ship that got sunk in Cherbourg Harbor. It had been salvaged, and now laid in a sad state of disrepair. He asked Nick if he could fix it. Nick replied, “Yes Sir!”

It took a while, but before long Nick had it running again (he couldn’t remember if it was a Packard or a Buick). Before he gave the touring car back to Ike, he took it for a spin to make sure everything was working right. At a very high rate of speed, he was run down by a couple of military police vehicles. The MPs wanted to know where in hell this “dog face” ever got hold of a big touring car like that, and why wasn’t he where he was supposed to be. “Don’t you know there is a war going on?” Before long the story was checked-out with headquarters and the MPs were quite impressed that the little sergeant knew ““The Boss”.

Years later, when Ike became President of The United States, a military vehicle pulled-up in the front yard of Nick’s farm on the Cambridge Turnpike. An officer stepped forth with a personal note and commendation from the White House. Ike hadn’t forgotten Nick Macone… nor will any of us.

That’s just one of the many accomplishments that rarely got mentioned by Nick. He was that kind of a guy.