My dad has this ancient cracker tin that he keeps photos in, and sometime recently my sister Darlene scanned a bunch of the contents. When I was visiting, I copied them onto my mp3 player.
I put a lj-cut on the rest of this, because the pictures might take some time to load, but please take a look, if only to see my dad wearing a beret.
This is my dad doing his best Elmer Fudd impersonation. He was in the army, just after the end of the Korean War. He and his buddy were the only 2 in his bootcamp class to not get shipped over to Korea. He went to Germany instead. Details are fuzzy, but I think he had done something good for the guy who decided the assignments. My dad is always kind of fuzzy on the details of some of his army activities. For instance, I know he used to sell cigarettes to the smokers in the army. Each soldier got issued a ration of cigarettes every month. This was useless to the non-smokers and not nearly enough for the smokers, so my dad set himself up as a middleman. But I suspect it was much more involved than that. One day I'll find out.
Here's my dad, partiallly undressed, wearing a beret in some unknown location in Europe. This is so different from the down-home, country, cow-raising man I know. I like that a lot. My dad has all these facets to him, and I'd really like to learn more about his past. But the immediate question is, who took the picture?
I've always known that my parents were old, compared to me. But I've never really thought about what that means. All those years filled with stuff and experience and life.. It just reminds me that there's no clear way to ever understand someone. When I look at this picture of my mom at age 18, I get a strange sense of vertigo. There she was, just recently married to my dad, riding around in a shiny new car, in 1957.
And let's not forget that my family was a family long before I was born. My brother bobby was in college already when I came into the world. He has friends who's children are the same age as me. My family has a lot of history that I know little to nothing about. And my grandma on my dad's side was dead before I had a chance to meet her. That my family has gone through half a century of living, and has still come out on top as the loud, boisterous, mostly happy clan we are is amazing. Suddenly, looking at these pictures, I want to know it all. The whole story.
Here's to life.