Monday, February 2, 2009

Such A Name

Seeking new vistas on my territory, I went to Willits Cemetery, on acreage rising from Highway 20 just west of town. My first time here, I wandered a bit to see the names and artful monuments. There were a couple of areas with these standard military veteran's grave markers, with surviving vets and casualties of the 20th century wars indicated on the inscriptions. This one stopped me short.

George J DeBourbon-Habsburg, California, PVT [Private], Army Air Forces, World War II

Notice that he was born in 1901 and died in 1973. That's pretty old to be a lowly soldier in that war. How did someone with such a bombastically historic name from two royal houses of Europe end up in Willits?

I could have held this one back until I could do some more research, but the mystery itself appeals to my inner novelist/screenwriter, and there may be no information to be found. I did check the county phone book, and the names don't appear to continue here. Do any local readers know his real story? Or should I continue to imagine one of my own?


valeria said...

Misterious indeed! Please, go on with your inquiry!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Strange. Born in Europe, perhaps? Such a high-born name in such a lowly position? In his 40's! And how did he end up here, as you ask? I hope the answer arrives.

Stepping off one's regular path always reveals a treasure, doesn't it?

Unknown said...

Rather strange indeed, hope you find the answer.

Saretta said...

I was going to say it might be better if you make up his story, but then on second thought, people usually have such fascinating stories all on their own. Everyone's life could be a novel.

Benjamin Madison said...

Graveyards are almost always interesting and thought-provoking. There were lots of marriages between the Bourbons and the Habsburgs and some of the issue may have adopted the hyphenated last name. (Just a guess - I actually know nothing about this.)

USelaine said...

BM - Wikipedia shows a tangled web of those European royal families. No useful details, however.

I've got the local Post of the American Legion on the case, so we'll see what they come up with.

Thanks everyone!

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm glad you're working on it. I'm subscribed to this post and look forward to what you find out. Thanks.