20 June 2010
Father's Day without my father
Rocky served in the Navy at the end of WWII in the Pacific theatre and was trained on the fly to be a cook (they weren't putting a whole lot of people through cooks school by that time). He was chief cook on an LST even though he never held the correct rank for that position on the ship. A couple of years back an LST that was being refurbished came to the Mass Maritime Academy and I brought my Dad to see it. He had a wicked time going up the gang plank but when the guys on board found out he was a veteran who had served on an LST they treated him like royalty. We got a special tour and he got to go hang out in the galley for a while. Here is a great picture I got from that day:
Dad LOVED trains - model trains sure but mostly REAL trains and especially stream trains. My Grandfather worked for the NYNH railroad and their house was right by the tracks. For Dad's 75 birthday - he had just had bi-pass surgery the year before - his youngest sister Vera (aka Rinkie) and I came up with a plan for him and I to go see her that fall after his birthday where she has lived most of her life . . . Scotland! I had been over a few times but Dad had never been over there. We planned a trip around trains. We went from Edinburgh to Glasgow by train and then went up through the Western Highlands. We had sunshine the whole trip - a rare event in the fall - and it was too beautiful for words! Then we stayed at Fort William at the base of Ben Nevis, where the next day we went on the steam train The Jacobite, which is the sister train to the one they used in the Harry Potter movies. He loved the trip. When we got back to Edinburgh my Uncle Bill, who had just returned from a trip to South Africa, arranged for us to go to a railroad museum. It was suppose to be closed that day but he had called and arranged for us to be able to see it anyway - a private tour! There were people there because they were open to train some new engineers. We thought it was for their steam train . . . nope, it was for the Virgin Atlantic (tm) high speed rail. They let us tour the engine and let Dad sit at the controls:
Happy memories far out weigh the sadness of his last few months. Chauncey and I miss him every day. Happy Father's Day Dad!