Every Life is a Story

My Dad 1928 – 2019


Every Life is a Story

There is too much boohooing going on about one thing or another. It’s time to write the wrongs okay? Every family has photos of the good old days when life was great, or so it seems. Well not everything was hunky dory. Some of us had a real hard time and many of us still do.

Have you picked up a newspaper lately? Headlines capture our attention and if we delve into the stories or check out the obituary section those tell stories as well. I remember talking to my dad over a cup of coffee as he picked up the newspaper and opened it up to the obituaries, and then sports. I asked why he went to the obituary and his answer was classic dad – to see if I’m in there. It was no consolation for me being a “junior” because if he wasn’t looking for himself, he had to be looking for me. Well he showed up 6 years ago.

My dad was a hotshot marble champion in his day. He loved playing basketball and rough housing it with his brothers. During WWII he, like many others, headed down to the recruiters office to enlist, only trouble he wasn’t old enough yet. When he did enlist it was during the end of the war and the beginning of atomic bomb testing in the Pacific where he was part of Operation Crossroads in 1945 at a place called the Bikini Atoll. He was part of the fleet of sailors on ships to measure the effect of radiation exposure during an underwater explosion. He was also on a ship that was attacked by a Japanese Zero where they tried to shoot the plane out of the sky. Don’t know if they did, but that would have been his story. After the service he worked the migrant crop harvest of Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon and wherever they found crops to pick. One of the crops dad picked was mom. Together their crops were me, and my brothers Jess, John and Jerry. Our crops were our kids; their crops were their kids and grandkids, etc. Like taters in the field each with a very different story to tell.

Dad’s story didn’t end with us kids, oh no, it barely began with us. We moved around with the migrant crews and dad was a crew boss, but we were all part of the crew too. Just big enough to walk, we walked the fields shaking vines. As we grew we moved to picking spuds and stacking them on the truck, which mom was the driver. Due to a farming incident requiring surgery on dad’s leg we moved into the city and became city kids. Dad was always a hard worker, pushing on when others slacked up, but we were always together as a family. Dad became an ordained minister up until he retired, but always was available for spiritual guidance and weddings. Dad had mobility issues and after mom died 6 years ago, he spent his final 3 years in the Idaho State Veteran’s home in Boise. Now he is buried beside mom, next to John and dad’s sister Loretta. And his story doesn’t stop there as his example continues to live on in our stories to our families.

It’s important not just to live, but to live a life of honor, faithfulness and being a person of trust. We can walk the highway of life and never leave a trail or we can cut a wide swath so that others will know that we unequivocally lived a life to be proud of.

This country we live in was made by men and women like mom and dad who put their family, friends and strangers first by literally giving the coat off their backs to anyone in need. To whom have you told your story? – I am the Real Truckmaster!


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