On Feb. 15, Thomas Bruso’s already unpredictable life took an abrupt detour. It was the day he ceased being Thomas Bruso and became Epic Beard Man, Internet sensation.
That day, Bruso pulled on his custom-made “I am a motherfucker” T-shirt, snapped on his fanny pack, and met the pot-smoking buddy he calls Ugly Bob at the bus stop at Fruitvale and MacArthur in Oakland. They boarded a San Francisco–bound AC Transit bus, planning to buy some weed in the city.
“Epic Weird Man”
Jack, your grandfather returned from the war with an almost unbearable burden of grief and anger. It took him years to find his place in the postwar society. His father, who had treated combat neurosis casualties from World War I, advised his son to take joy in good friends, music, and literature, develop a career involving outdoor work, and find a good woman.
Eugene met Jeanne Arceneaux at the wedding of a mutual friend and sparks flew. They were married in 1952 and raised two sons, your Uncle John and your dad. With Jeanne’s encouragement, Eugene earned a doctorate in biology. He became a professor at the University of Montevallo in central Alabama, a secluded place with red-brick streets, towering oak trees, and Civil War-era buildings. He and Jeanne bought a house on two wooded acres and named it “Stillwood.”
As much difficulty as I’m having connecting with “The Pacific,” this letter to the grandson of Eugene “Sledgehammer” Sledge is just incredible. The series has nuance to be discovered, I’m sure, but it’s strength (as with “Band of Brothers”) will always be in it’s characters. Sledge is certainly one of the Old Breed.