Mar 8, 2009

My old dad would have been 85 today. He died in 2005, from lung cancer, ironically, 25 years after he quit smoking. I guess the damage was already done. This is a photo of Mom and Dad taken in 1948. They were probably 25 when this picture was taken and I'm fairly sure it was before they were married. My dad served in the Navy during WWII. He was discharged at the war's end in 1945 in Los Angeles, as the story goes. He told us that he attended college there for a time. With my old man, there was never telling whether he was making stuff up or not. Unlike me, he issued no disclaimers on his stories. In 1947 the Department of the Air Force was created and the old man, a kid of 23, decided to go back into the military. He reentered with the rank of E-5 (Staff Sergeant), apparently the same rank that he had achieved in the Navy. My dad was stationed at MacDill AFB, in Tampa, Florida, when he met my mom, who was a waitress and living with her sister. My mom was one of seven sisters. Dad is a Staff Sergeant in the photo. He eventually reached the rank of E-8, Senior Master Sergeant, in 1959, but his career stalled after that. He drank too much and pissed the wrong people off. As I have posted many times, my dad was a hard guy to be around until he quit drinking in his fifties. After that you couldn't find a better man. I'm glad my kids only knew the better man. I miss the old guy. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

10 comments:

Barbara said...

My father died in 1999, also of lung cancer. He smoked his entire life, so it's actually fairly amazing that he lived to be 86. He only drank coffee, but lots of it every day. I miss him terribly, especially when I need a novel way to fix something. Some of his favorite materials included toothpicks, paper clips, and Vaseline. His #1 goal in life was not to spend a dime he didn't have to spend. He loved hardware stores.

Coffee Messiah said...

Great photo, cute couple and nice memories mixed in there too.

; )

Steve said...

It's amazing the difference alcohol can make in a person's personality.

My Dad has had a bout with lung cancer too -- but he's still smoking, at 71. Go figure.

Nan Patience said...

It's a wonder that citizens are permitted to use their own judgment with alcohol. We should need prescriptions. Either that, or legalize all the rest of it, too.

It's nice that you and your family got to experience your father after he quit drinking.

Eighty-six is a good long life, don't you think, considering.

Avid Reader said...

Your mother ~ so beautiful. In this pic she has a fresh cheerful quality that reminds me of the actress Theresa Wright (who played Gary's Cooper's wife in Pride of the Yankees) and also starred in Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt"

Avid Reader said...

There is an old rose called seven sisters, because of how the blossoms evolve, looking so many different shades of pink at various times.

e said...

Hi Merle,

Your parents make a nice looking couple. As Avid said, your mother looks very pretty and fresh-faced. I'm sorry about your father's drinking. That is difficult to deal with, and at least he spent the last part of his life as a better person. Goes to the point that much of life is about hard choices--both those that are difficult to make and others that are difficult to live with afterward...

My stepdad whom I called Dad was a tough military officer. Like yours, I could never know if he was completely truthful. He fortunately did not have a drinking problem, but others in my family have. I know what it's like to hope that someone I love can get it together and be the best person and the pain of frustration when they didn't even try. You were lucky and so were your kids. Alcohol abuse and smoking are among our largest problems as a nation.

Hooterville sounds like an interesting place, bigger than I thought.

Annie Ha said...

I love these old pictures (including the ones in your previous posts, which I have been reading despite my lack of commenting).

bella rum said...

Your Dad looks like Robert De Niro in that photo. Your mom is very cute. Love her shoes.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

glad your kids only knew the better man and not the bitter man.

hugs to you. rest in peace sneed senior - he made it to 81 that is something!!!