Letter to the Editor:
It was good of Tony Sheda to explain in his 18 September 2011 Letter to the Editor entitled “Another look at “Lo”” that the change in Lob Chaloupek’s behavior between the 1940s and 1957 when he died at age 70 was likely due to dementia.
But Tony’s letters about Lob are sad also because one finds pathetic the image of a formerly kind and generous old WWI veteran with apparent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and dementia living an impoverished existence in a shack in the timber, reduced to trying to pocket a few eggs for a meal he said he found (quite possibly sincerely thinking so in his mind, especially if they were lying around the chicken yard and not in nests), and being ill-treated for doing so.
It is sad also because every story has two sides and Lob is not alive to defend himself or offer his side of the story and left no children to speak for him. One of several questions that came to my mind in reading Tony’s letters was, why didn’t his father, the owner of a grocery store, simply offer Lob a dozen eggs of his own when he saw Lob wanted some.
In all fairness to Tony's father, nothing was known about PTSD in the 1950s and it has only been in the last 20 years or so that the defining qualities of dementia have really been embedded. But we now know about these problems. Many of our veterans are returning from wars we sent them to with PTSD and we can all get dementia. If there is a moral in all this, it is that we ought to be more forgiving toward our veterans and older people when they have a few problems.