A lot has happened in the past few days. I may not get to cover all of it the way I’d like to right away. Check back to to see what I might have added.
Today’s Thanks are to my Dad, for:
Teaching me strong ethical values
Teaching me to play baseball and tennis
Bringing me back a 3″ clay Indian figure every time he made a trip to Chicago. The collection is still my my attic. I will get my collection out soon, display it on my mantle, and take a picture of it. Brought brought different special gifts to my brothers.
Becoming an Assistant Scoutmaster in Boys Scouts during the years I was Scouts. I made Eagle Scout, as did both of my brothers.
Being the only one that ever gave me a nickname: Pal. He really did try to be my pal.
Teaching me by his example (and cryptic sayings, like “experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.”) I eventually figured out what that meant.
Dad also carried a lot of baggage from his childhood experiences during the depression. He was the son of an alcoholic, and the oldest of four brothers. Here are some vignettes from his life:
In the mornings before going to school, he would somehow take one egg and turn it into four egg sandwiches, one for each boy.
Growing up, he learned to enjoy “sops” for breakfast. He would have it occasionally has an adult. Sops was essentially boiled bread with a tiny amount of sugar on it. As an adult he was able to have more sugar than he could as a kid.
His house was adjacent to the railyard and rail line. Like many of the folks at that time they used to walk the rails picking up coal that had fallen off the coal-cars. That was illegal! The train companies owned the land; that was their coal. They got one caught one time. The police asked him if his dad had put him up to it and of course he said yes. I think his dad spent the night in the hoosegow over that one.
Dad always did everything by the book. The only exception I ever heard was when they were shipping out of Shemya after the war. His buddy Gordon was very sick and unable to travel. But Dad and his buddy Wally snuck him out of the infirmary and onto the ship for the trip home with them.