Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

September 25, 2013

Hero fought against native land

Can’t wait to share a story about a hero this week.

First though, we enjoyed him in July and now Dan Mobley will be leaving our area soon after playing at the K of C hall this Friday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. Pork chop dinner served starting at 5 p.m. Let’s show him we like him!

Norbert “Norb” Meyer shared this remarkable story last week about Alfons J.“Al” Felis, who came from Germany at age 18 in 1926. Joe Meyer, Norbert’s father, had Meyer Grocery at 131 W. Main St. He spoke German so Felis often stopped in Meyer’s Grocery. The two became close friends. Al Felis was a baker by trade and worked in the Kessler Bakery at 421 E. North St. Later he worked at the St. Paul Bakery. Norb said both men loved to fish and he often went with them.

“Both Al and my father loved to play Euchre and both were members of the Eagles where they played regularly. When World War II started one man always chided Al by saying things like ‘Here comes that Dutchman!’ You could see that it bothered him. He was too old to be drafted and he wasn’t even a citizen at the time.”

Norb said one night Al came in his father’s store and said he’d joined the U.S. Army. Then one night he was in the grocery when Al came home from the Army and said, ‘Joe, let’s go to the Eagles.’ Dad always closed the store at 9 p.m. but he closed at 8 p.m. that night. He and Al went to the Eagles and there sat the man that chided Al about being a Dutchman. Al reached in his coat and got out a piece of paper. It was his citizenship paper and he threw it down on the Euchre table. Then he reached in his pockets and got out all of the medals that he’d earned in the war. He threw them down on the table and there were Purple Hearts, Silver Stars and Bronze Stars.”

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