For my Dad November 11, 2006Posted by daveintexas in honor.
Bumped: For Veteran’s Day
Also, as noted in the comments, Myron points out this was probably basic training in San Diego.
Happy Veteran’s Day everybody
This is my pop. He enlisted 10 days after he graduated from high school, just before he turned 19. He’s the guy on the left with the wiry black hair and the taxicab ears.
Hey, he wrote no comment. I won’t comment. Except to say that was written with a fountain pen. In 1950, that was your option.
Dad joined the Navy to play baseball. SUBPAC on their uniforms (Submarine Fleet, Pacific). It was what he loved.
He was kid from south Georgia. Both parents had passed away when he was a boy, his dad before he was 3. He didn’t really know him, he learned about his father from stories told by his family, friends.. his older sister and brother. I’ve heard some of them too.
His mother died when he was nine. Cancer. He knew his mom.
I don’t know why he enlisted (I’ll ask this Sunday). He graduated high school in Albany Georgia. Then he joined the Navy.
Among his small collection of memorabilia (including a submariner’s badge, very tarnished) is a letter from the Dodgers. Inviting him to training camp when he separated from the Navy.
He went to Hawaii. He played ball, managed to avoid trouble (luck played a part there). They sent him to sonar school.
And he went out on patrol on a diesel electric boat during the Korean war. They hit a mine, and he was wounded. His knee.
His baseball days were over.
I should pause here to add, were they not I’d probably not be writing this. Life takes those funny turns.
I’ll also add while I had those taxi-cab door ears as a youngster, my head grew into them later.
Dad came home, went to college, met my mom and married her. Finished his degree. First person in his family to earn a college degree. Together they raised 4 kids (me and my closest sister were born while he was in school). I was their biggest challenge. According to him. And my sisters.
He lost his wife, and we lost our mom, a few years ago. It hasn’t been easy for him. I’m really glad to see him making friends now, getting out, hell, what do you say here? Living.
This Sunday is Father’s Day. It will also be his 75th birthday.
Happy birthday dad. I love you.