I can't believe it's been seven years today since my dad passed away, and I'm still learning new things about him. Like his belonging to the Red Devils. (His obit is on page 4.)
Oh, I knew from photos that he'd been a paratrooper in the Army Air Corps. He never really talked about his days of military service, unless we had the box of family photos out and came across old pictures of him in jump boots, helmet and a 'chute that made him look like a six foot tall Q-Tip that was about 11 months pregnant. I knew he chose to be a 'trooper for the jump pay... NOT for the pleasure of jumping out of an airplane.
My dad was a practical guy. Military service was a route to an education after he lost his scholarship to Bowdoin by getting caught brewing beer in his dorm room. (Yes, he was also a bit of a devil.) Extra pay for jumping out of an airplane? Well, that meant one less night a week he'd have to sling hash once he returned to college.
That was my practical dad who did the job, whatever it took, in order to get ahead.
He had a sentimental side, too, though, which he only let show with immediate family... and I have an ear worm today, because of it. My dad's favorite song ever?
Edelweiss. Sung on every car trip between Cleveland and Boston, Chicago and Cleveland and Chicago and Boston. He'd request it at least once each day.
You'd think by now I'd be sick to death of that song, but no. It just reminds me of Daddy.
I miss my dad today more than ever.