World War II hero is never on time; his wife hates to be late

By Angela Peacock

Whenever the Reynolds travel Shirley does all the driving due to her husband Homer’s vision disability.

While Homer sits in the passenger seat observing the highways for any potential road hazards he has learned how much better off he’ll be if he remains silent instead of trying to navigate for the woman behind the wheel. Shirley said now that she’s in charge Homer has began to adapt to her style of travel.

“He doesn’t get to complain anymore when I’m driving— he doesn’t fuss or I’ll leave him at home,” Shirley said.

Since Shirley has had a few reminders over the years whenever possible she obeys speed limit signs, unless those limits cause her to get behind schedule, which she said is her biggest pet peeve especially when dealing with her dearly beloved.

“If I’m 15 minutes late I’m on time because he’s never on time,” said Shirley, explaining her hubby’s favorite line to try and excuse himself from his tardiness. “We were supposed to leave today at 8 a.m. and didn’t leave until 8:30 a.m., but Homer finally strolled out with his usual ‘all rise I’m here.’”

During their youth while Homer was serving his country earning two Purple Hearts after being held a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II Shirley was holding down the fort at home raising their children.

Since Homer’s retirement from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway the Amarillo natives have enjoyed visiting different vacation spots in New Mexico, and were passing through Tucumcari Friday on their way to the casinos near Santa Fe. While stopped for donuts and coffee at Love’s Country Store in Tucumcari the Reynolds gave their input about life as an American citizen in the 21st century.

Homer and Shirley agree freedom of religion is their most cherished Constitutional right. Through their spiritual beliefs Shirley has learned how important it is to treat others with respect and Homer said he has come to understand patience and to trust in God.

“After seeing what what’s gone on with the war in Iraq and what their religious beliefs have made them do (Americans) should value freedom of religion even more,” Shirley said.

If Shirley could make one law in America, she said it would be that nobody could use cell phones while driving or inside a congested public facility. Homer didn’t have too much to say about people gabbing on the phone all he asks for is nobody do anything that might get him into a situation where there is arguing because it’s his biggest annoyance.

Though Homer won’t be getting into any heated discussions about American politics he does believe President Bush should have been more aware of what was going to happen after the war in Iraq before he decided to declare war in the Middle East. Shirley agreed and said she wasn’t too sure the president was exactly clear on the cost of such an event.

“Bush didn’t realize the impact of the aftermath of the war; how much it was going to take to establish resettlement in the Middle East,” Homer said.

Before the Reynolds climbed into their car and continued on their voyage Homer, without hesitation, spoke of his family of four children, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and the home he deeply cherishes.

He said it doesn’t even matter to him that one of his daughter’s spends her days in a maximum security Texas facility. As long as Shirley is around to put up with him watching his favorite T.V. show “football,” and there to give him a lift when he needs a ride Homer said he has everything he needs to be content.

“My daughter is in prison,” said Homer chuckling. “She works there.”