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GOOD THOUGHTS AND SPECIAL PEOPLE

Explaining Bobbye and David Delgado is like describing a camel to someone who has never seen one. But I will try.

First, I will repeat what I said when fellow members of Amherst Township Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 416 inquired about the couple from Florida. You see, I had asked those veterans about getting a color guard for the Delgados' Oct. 5 reunion.

My answer went something like this: "David Delgado is the personification of the American Dream. He was reared in the Protestant Home for Unprotected Children, on Niagara Street. That is now the Longview Niagara Home. Anyway, he had about $75 in his pocket when he began working in the construction business in Florida. Now he is well-heeled.

"I met him at a Buffalo Night in Florida five years ago, and he said he would like to host a reunion for those who were in the home with him. He asked me to write about his hope and said the respondents should call him collect. So I did.

"Shortly after the first reunion, David Delgado made a quick decision. He decided to invite anyone who had ever been in the Protestant Home to the reunion. And each of the past four reunions has been held in the gymnasium at the Longview Niagara Home.

"Another move followed. Any person who said his budget wouldn't handle a trip to Buffalo is sent a plane ticket.

"David's wife, Bobbye, picks a theme for the reunions, and this time she has picked a military theme. She asked me to get a color guard, and that's where you come in."

Of course, I could have told them about the man from Texas who hadn't seen his sisters and brothers since he joined the Navy in the mid-1950s. He met them at a home reunion after the Delgados sent him a plane ticket.

Or I could have told about the night after the first reception when David saw many nieces and nephews he had never seen before. Bobbye had engaged a photographer, and when each unit was ready, she asked its members to step into an anteroom and have a picture taken.

That was the first time I knew that the little lady who was a non-orphan from Missouri was a master of logistics. Accordingly, I wasn't stunned by what she would do with other reunions. Let's leave that by saying there were some misty eyes at the Oct. 5 reunion. And not all of those eyes belonged to alumni of the Protestant Home.

Of course, I might have told the others at Post 416 that perhaps Bobbye picked the military theme because David had been an Army paratrooper after leaving the Protestant Home in 1951.

But that would have meant that I believed there was a motive behind the move other than the usual one. And I knew that was not the situation.

Yes, a few semesters back Bobby had told me about the "usual reason." When asked why the Delgados do so much for so many people, she gave out with that iridescent smile that meant warm memories were passing through her mind.

Then she said: "This sort of thing makes David happy. And anything that makes David happy makes me happy."

As regular visitors to this corner know, I have a standard answer for those who say that "so-and-so are happily married." It is, "I wasn't born on the Planet Krypton and so can't see through walls."

But people who know about such things have told me that in showing she believed in those words, Bobbye Delgado gave the formula for a happy marriage. And one such person said, "They sound like very special people."

They are that indeed. And I would write more about them except that something odd is happening to my eyes.

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