Stuff My Dad Never Told Me
It wasn't until AFTER my Dad passed away that I learned some pretty cool stuff about him.
Dad was a bookkeeper. He was a pretty quiet guy. I guess it was because he was part of that generation that didn't talk about stuff very much.
It wasn't until after he passed away, when Mom, and my wife, Cathy, started going through his stuff, that I learned something pretty cool about him. My dad got a military funeral. I get to see his flag every day. It's on the mantle.
Dad was a sergeant in the Air Force. Communications Officer. He was a radio man. Maybe that's where I got it from. When I started my career in radio, wherever he would go, whether it was stopping in to Great Harvest Bread Company or a grocery store, whenever he would meet people, he would introduce himself as MY dad, and ask folks what radio station they listened to and talk them into listening to the station and the morning show that his SON was on. Mom told me he was doing this. The old man never said anything to me.
After he was gone we found a stack of pictures. Before camera phones, folks took pictures with cameras. They took the roll of film and had the pictures developed from it. The pictures and the negatives would come back in an envelope. I think there may be one or two of the big box stores that might still do this for you. It's kind of old school with camera phones that can take pictures and create photo collages that can be posted right to the interwebs.
Since Dad didn't talk much, he didn't write down a whole lot either. The photographs that we found had some basic captions like the month and year. That was it. I have no idea where he went for basic training. I know he never saw combat. He was lucky enough to serve between World War II and The Korean Conflict. He got to tour the country.
He and Mom were married for 36 years. He died on Mother's Day 2000, from prostate cancer.
My boy, Ethan, wants to be a Marine. Because he wants to help people. I'm not sure what to tell him about his grandpa. Maybe just that he loved his country and always stood for things like honor and duty. And helping people.
Dad's name wasn't Andy. It was Eric. But his nickname (I guess), "Andy" and 4 48 was the caption on this picture.