Richard H. Schiebel’sby
column I wrote for texasescapes for May, 2007 was
about a Korean War hero, Lt. Col. Richard H. Schiebel. If you didn’t read it,
I’d like for you to read it now.|
Korean War Hero Who Swung the Board of Education at Ball High
evening, the 7th of August at 10:00, Schiebel told his stepson, who was holding
his hand, “Jim, I’m leaving now to go to be with Judy.” Within a few moments he
drew his last breath. He was 88.
Judy was Schiebel’s wife and Jim’s mother.
She had died of cancer a number of years before. Thereafter neither Jim nor Schiebel
had ever been the same
of Lieutenant Richard H. Schiebel|
After the Korean
War, Col Schiebel became a coach at Galveston’s
Ball High School. I was a student there at the time, so you’ll both understand
and forgive me for referring to him as Coach throughout the remainder of this
Coach had flown many dangerous missions and had survived a lot of
enemy fire. He even brought his plane in and landed it on an aircraft carrier.
There was a huge hole that had been blown in the plane’s canopy, almost blinding
him as the plastic fell all over him.
In later life, he made it through
two serious cancer operations, and managed to live a productive life for nearly
twenty more years. His brain cells never left him. He was as bright and smart
at 87 as he had been in his twenties.
longtime friend, Ruth Evans Lacquement and her husband Robert went to see Coach
the Friday before he died. Ruth decided to paint a picture of Coach so that they
could give it to him. She told me she had never been able to do anything that
fast and accurately. It took her only two hours. It was the work of God, she assured
Coach was very pleased. Jim taped it to the wall in front of Coach’s
bed so that Coach could see it whenever he wanted.
Robert asked Coach
if he could see his service ribbons and metals. Jim took them out of the nearby
drawer and handed them to Robert. There was an impressive number.
I have one of them to remember you by?” Robert, an ex-Marine, asked.
nothing more than a weak whisper, Coach said, “Sure, pick out any one of them
When Robert found the one he liked best, he began bragging
on the valor that it had taken for Coach to earn it.
Coach whispered again,
“Let me see it.” Robert handed it to him, then Coach stuck it in his own ear.
It was Coach’s way of letting Robert, Ruth and Jim know that being able to receive
those ribbons wasn’t what was important to him. What was important to Coach was
that he had risked his life to protect America from the enemy.
It was time
to leave. Robert touched Coach’s shoulder and told him that he and Ruth would
be back the next Friday. Ruth kissed Coach’s cheek, knowing in her heart that
it would be the last time they would see him. It was the next evening that Coach
Bill Cherry's Galveston
12, 2010 column
Copyright 2010 – William S. Cherry
Cherry's Galveston Memories|