28 April 2008

My Father - - The Army Brat

First row on your far left. My paternal grandfather in WWII. WO-2. Assistant to the 77th Infantry Division G-4. Taken somewhere in the Phillipines circa 1945. Famous for being a great scrounger. Also the guy who figured out gasoline was lighter than water. While everyone wondered how to get gasoline drums to shore, he just kicked them off the ship. They floated.

Reduction in Force after the war saw him reduced in rank to Master Sergeant. A big man of Norwegian descent, he stayed in the Army and was Chief Announcer of the Armed Forces Radio Network in Europe. He retired a Sergeant Major.

I remember a soft spoken man who never swore. Self educated and a three pack a day smoker. Consequently, he had a beautiful deep voice that lingered in the air like smoke. It was thick and stuck to your clothes. Like so many of his time he was a lover of good clothing. I have a tie of his as well as a French beret. He couldn't nail two boards together if his life depended on it. Not a handy man at all. But in 1976, he sent me a encyclopedia of the world's wine and a Zippo my father gave him for his birthday.

Do we skip a generation from our fathers? Except for the swearing I am my Grandfather...less four inches or so. On my first post I mention the desire for an Army Brat of WWII to give me advice and show me the way. Oddly, I forgot that my own father was that man. A Brat himself who spent his childhood growing up with a father at war and moving with his father's career afterwards. Maybe he was giving me lessons - - and I didn't even know it.

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