Monday, May 29, 2006


It is Memorial Day weekend, and I have been remembering a lot about my favorite veteran, my dad. Dad's family was dirt-poor; they were farmers. His dad immigrated from Serbia around the turn of the century, and married another Serb he met in Chicago. My grandfather Steve served in the cavalry and rode against Pancho Villa. He would tell stories to young Eddie, my father, about his time in the Army. One of his tales included the phrase, "When I was standing in line for my pay..." Little Eddie was so excited! He exclaimed, "You mean they let you be in the Army, and they paid you, too?!"

My dad was too short to enlist. He was 5'1 1/2" tall, and told me how he would hang from tree branches, trying to stretch himself taller (he may have been teasing me - I believed everything he said). When WWII began, he finally was allowed to enlist. He joined the Army and spent the war years in New Guinea. When I asked him what he did in the war, he always told me "I hid behind a tree." I never knew for sure what he did, but when the Army Air Corps broke away and became the Air Force, daddy went with it. He loved planes, became an aircraft electrician, and could always name any plane that flew overhead (my brother still can). Daddy was a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam.

I would be thinking about daddy this weekend, regardless, but it so happens I found a website two days ago that really was exciting to me. In 19534dad got orders to Tripoli, Libya, and we went with him. For 3 years we lived in Tripoli while daddy worked at Wheelus Field. The website? Wheelus Through a Child's Eyes. Here is a link, I was 4. And what memories I have! Thanks to Doug McGuinn, who created the website, I've had a wonderful weekend of remembering -- almost as good as a real visit with my parents who, sadly, are both gone now.

The pictures show my daddy (before I was a twinkle in his eye), probably around 1940, Me climbing on the Roman ruins near Tripoli, and the house we lived in on the economy.


Seeker said...

Nice photos, and story too. I'm going to check the link.

Steve said...

See, everyone got to live somewhere else. You got Tripoli, Dad got Turkey and the Philippines, Bapa got New Guinea, and Grandpa got China.

I got Korea, and Cassie got to grow up with me for a brother. Everyone wins!

Cassie said...

You just can't resist can you Steve?

Mom, I remember looking at that picture of you with Grandma B. and asking her where I was when that picture was taken. I didn't believe her when she said it wasn't me.