Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Archive for the tag “greatest generation”

Something for Dad

I wrote this two years ago. I am re-posting it today because my father’s birthday was yesterday and Fathers’ Day is Sunday, so I am especially thinking of my Dad.

Shootin' the Breeze

We were on the starting blocks.

“Swimmers, take your marks.”

Each assumes the position, poised for the signal.

AAAAAAAAAA.   Rather than a starter’s gun, the signal is an electronic buzz through speakers.  It echoes in the high-ceilinged pool venue.

The swimmers uncoil, fly horizontally for a moment, and angle into the water with momentum pointed toward the other end of the pool.

As soon as the momentum wanes, with arms forward, legs moving together with a rhythmic dolphin kick, I initiate the first arm movement of the butterfly stroke.  The race is on.

In the individual medley (IM) event, all four competitive swimming strokes are employed, in the following order:  butterfly, back stroke, breast stroke, and freestyle.  This was a 200 meter IM in a 25 meter pool, so participants swim 50 meters, i.e., two lengths of the pool, of each stroke.  If it was on a track, the distance is about half-way around a football field.  I don’t…

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Remembering Dad

Yesterday was my father’s birthday.  He would have been 89.  Below is a link to what I wrote about him last year on June 11.  I miss him.

https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/in-remembrance-22-2/

Another link is about how he inspires me still.

https://cowboylawyer.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/something-for-dad/

In Remembrance

Today is my father’s birthday.  He was born in 1924.  In a previous post, Something for Dad, I mentioned that he epitomized The Greatest Generation that Tom Brokaw wrote about.  I also proudly quoted the therapist who told me, “They don’t make guys like that anymore.”  They don’t.

Dad was born at home, in a house by the park in Craig, Nebraska, the youngest of four.  He had one brother and two sisters.  In his family, he was called Johnny.  Craig was a very small town, maybe 300 people.  Johnny’s graduating class was very small, less than 20 as I recall.  He graduated at age 16 because they did not have kindergarten.

He went to college for one year, then worked for the Union Pacific Railroad for a few months until he was old enough to join the Army in WWII.  In 1945, at age 21, he had served in England when it was being bombed, then France after D Day, and Belgium for Battle of the Bulge.  After Germany surrendered that year, he was in California on his way to the Pacific theatre when Japan surrendered, so he got to go home instead.

He went to college at Omaha University on the G.I. Bill.  He graduated in 2  years.  He went to school more than full-time, worked part-time, and even fit in varsity tennis and lettered.  He met my mother at O.U. and they married in March 1948, before he turned 24. 

The yearbook in 1948 included the goals of each senior.  Most wrote about career plans.  Johnny wrote something about being a good husband and father.  He fulfilled both.  Actually, he exceeded his goals.  He was great, not just good.  He was the best.

His first job out of college he stuck with for 35 years.  He worked at a bank, starting as a teller and rising to V.P. and Trust Officer.

He was married to my mother for the rest of his life, from 1948 until 2003.  They got to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Without describing the many events during those many years, I ask you to use your imagination.  What you imagine about a devoted family man is likely true of my Dad.

It was a privilege to be his son.  

Happy Birthday, Dad!  I love you — always!

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