Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Birthday and Veterans' Day Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday. I'm not going to tell you how old he is, because first of all, it really doesn't matter. Secondly, he'd wring my neck if I did that! But I AM going to tell you that today is HIS day.

Dad is the oldest of two children. His sister is younger by only 15 months. Rumor has it that they did NOT get along well as children. Their mother, my grandmother is still with us and she and my aunt have shared some tales over the years.

In order to preserve my own future, it would be best if I didn't share those in this forum, but let me just say grandma was one of six. Out of those six children, five got married. Okay, that's pretty "normal" for lack of a better term. Out of those five that got married, ONLY my grandma had children. The other four did not.

When my Uncle Raymond (one of grandma's brothers) passed away over 20 years ago, I just came out and asked her, "Grandma, why do you think that none of your brothers or sisters had any children?"

Without skipping a beat, she simply said, "They all saw how bad my two were and decided that it wasn't for them" and then she laughed.

From what I've heard...that could be true. Not that they were bad, so to speak, but they were just ornery.

There was the fire truck incident...nah, better not share that one.

Then there was the butcher knife episode...nope, that's not one to be shared either.

Of course there's always the story about the...darn, can't tell that one either.

Ironically, when Dad left for the Army, their relationship changed a little, and they became as thick as thieves.

When Dad was 13 he decided that it was time to go out and earn some spending money. He lied about his age so he could get a job working for the railroad. This was just the beginning of his resourcefulness.

While in high school, he was an excellent baseball player, even playing for the local semi-pro team. He played in the outfield, and helped his team win numerous games.

Immediately after he graduated from high school, Harold went to work at a nearby steel mill. When he turned 18 that fall, he was required by law to register for service, and enlisted in the United States Army for one year. Once he returned home, he again worked at the steel mill, until his reserve unit was called back up for the Korean War in 1950. That's when he was sent to Japan. During his two-year stint he suffered from many bouts of tonsillitis and ended up having to have his tonsils removed in an army hospital while in Japan. Now that was definitely NOT fun.

After returning from his two years with the Army Reserves Dad once again returned to work at the steel mill. He was an excellent worker and they kept a job for him each time the Army called him back up.

One day my grandpap saw an ad in the paper for the Ohio State Highway Patrol School, and showed it to Dad. After thinking about it, Dad went to the closest patrol post and filled out the application and took care of the paperwork. In the spring of 1953 Dad entered the academy and the rest is history.

I'm very proud of you Dad...not only have you been an excellent role model for me, but you worked hard for our country, and have always given 110% to everything you've done.

Happy Birthday Dad...and Happy Veterans' Day!


Anonymous said...

I don't know what kind of pictures you have of your dad. But the Ohio State Highway Patrol keeps all kinds of historical pictures. You should contact your local patrol post and ask how to contact the photo lab people in Columbus. At the very minimum they will be able to get you a picture of his graduation.
Take care