Dad is 92; he was born in 1919 and served in WWII in the Army Air Corps. Every year his squadron still holds a reunion and every year he still wants to go. I think my mother is glad she doesn't have to go any more. Every time I phone him, or see him he always has a story; usually the story is from Australia, where he was stationed. I am fond of these stories, even though I've heard them a hundred and more times. My sister and brothers not so much.
My mind doesn't have a favorite. There's one, though, that I think is his favorite. He tells it over and over. My dad drove a jeep to town every day for supplies. It had more gears than he was familiar with and he would always grind a few for the fellows to eat that night. He was the only one they trusted to go to town for the supplies because he didn't drink and he didn't smoke; a really boring man if you ask me-until he tells the story of the woman with the little girl that called him Daddy! Well, this looks like the makings for a boring story but it is anything but, it goes something like this:
"I was driving to town and had this hill I had to go down to get up the next one. I put my foot to the pedal and went flying down. At the bottom I met another jeep and it was the commander. I was kicking up so much dust and dirt I didn't see who it was, but they sure did see me. I heard about it when I got back to base. By the time I was nearing the top of the next hill I could barely make it. But you you see, when I came back one time it was a good thing because I was dodging a couple of airstrikes; Oh,Yeah; those were the days. But I never did miss a run. And I always got the supplies back on time." Then without skipping a beat he would go right into the next story about stripping the paint from the planes and repainting them so they were lighter and could make it to Japan from the carriers. Or the coral being so white you could see it from the air at night and how they had to take care of that on the landing strip! And yes then there was that Australian school teacher...
"Oh, Yeah" I've heard them all and isn't that beautiful. My dad is still alive at 92 to tell his stories to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and maybe if he lives ...well probably not but I can tell them.
Causes Denise White Supports
MN Public Radio