My father passed away many years
ago. Based on the state of the world today, it may have been a blessing that he
did. He would not have been a fan.
Though his life and fortune ebbed and flowed
throughout his time on earth, he always loved to write. As a young lad in the
U.S. Army during World War II, he had his own regular column in an army newspaper.
(I still have the header plate.) He would have despised the wokeness eating
away at today’s military, yet I have been told he was one of the first—if not the
first—to call for complete desegregation of our military forces in a military
journal. (Though that would probably be difficult to verify, especially at this
He was just about to be shipped off
to the Pacific to take part in the invasion of Japan when “The Bombs” dropped
and the war ended. Were it not for “Little Boy” and “Fat Man,” he may not have
lived to have any little boys of his own. I-- and my brothers—were glad that he
did. (Of course, we are just a few of many who can say that.)
A family friend dubbed my dad a
“white knight” for his decency, chivalry, integrity, independence, toughness,
and honesty. He taught me to treat others as I would like to be treated myself.
He instilled in me an appreciation for excellence—and humor. He bid me to be
courageous, courteous, and kind. And to seek the truth, no matter what. He was
a history buff, and stressed how important possessing a firm grasp of history
was to a person’s ability to comprehend, reason, make good decisions…and
understand what the future might bring. I sat with him listening to the
speeches of Churchill and watching The World at War. We discussed the American Revolution
and the Civil War. All at a young age. How fortunate I was that “smart” phones
and TikTok were yet to be invented.
Dad was a bit of a night owl, and
frequently worked late. Before going to bed, I would often leave a newspaper or
magazine article—or a passage in a book—on the kitchen counter for him to read.
Invariably he would leave a note, often lengthy and always handwritten, with
his views on the topic or topics at hand-- and a remark thanking me for sharing
it with him.
How I would love to wake up
tomorrow morning and find, on the kitchen counter, an article with a note on
it, bearing his writing and his perspective.