RANGER AGAINST WAR: Father's Birthday <

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Father's Birthday

I'm glad it's your birthday

Happy birthday to you

, The Beatles

In a break from our usual programming, Ranger wishes to recognize his father Stephen's 89th birthday, what seems a nice, round year.

As a young man he served in the worthy Civilian Conservation Corps, later working as a loader in the coal mines of Southwest Pennsylvania. He married young and remained married for 70 years, until my mother's death.

He served in the Navy During WW II in the Atlantic Theatre, later returning to the mines. Economic necessity caused him to move to Cleveland where he then entered the world of machine work. Ranger reckons the closest he got to him was in 1965-66 when he worked as
a laborer -- a "chip boy" -- in the same factory as a college summer hire.

He was a skilled machinist, running a turret lathe and working steel to the ten-thousandths of an inch. In those pre-CAD days, manual set up was an exacting business. He worked in the defense and space industry towards the end of his working life.

Beyond these basics he enjoyed cars and automotive mechanical work, one of his favorite pastimes. He has always maintained contact with his Navy brethren, and hopefully this June 4 with the help of my nephew Michael, the old sea dog will once again make the annual pilgrimage to Chicago for the reunion of Task Force 22.3. Hopefully I can stand with them on the deck of the U505.

My birthday present will be an article on his wartime service to be submitted to America in WW II magazine.

Ranger's father always worked, never drank and was not frivolous. He was and is a man of his generation, as Ranger is a representative of his.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers to your father and the rest of his generation that are still doing what they do.

I think I understand the sentiment you are expressing here, but I can't find the words myself; maybe there aren't any.

My father was truly a man of that generation as well. He is 88 (didn't start having children until in his 40s). I suspect he and yours are quite similar in character.

I hope you can make it to Chicago with him this coming summer.

There was an event that my father desperately wanted to attend this past summer. He can't do it alone anymore (though he is definitely capable trying to his certain detriment). My brother and I were both too busy what with the horses and both of us working day jobs as well and living hundreds of miles away. I am still carrying the guilt of not just going ahead and making it happen for him.

By way of a curio, I found this... http://www.cl55.org/bookviewer1.htm picture ... which contains my father as a young Marine. After being WIA and still recuperating he was assigned to a detatchment aboard the USS Clevland toward the end of the war.

It's weird. Fathers. No one has ever been more familiar and yet such a mystery.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 7:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous barcalounger said...

I've got a lot of respect for those old time machinists. It took a lot of skill AND experience to setup and operate those manual machines. Machinists were skilled tradesmen then, not computer geeks and button pushers.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 9:24:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

happy birthday stephen

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 3:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

Great post. Brought back lots of memories. My dad was a draftsman. Got me a summer job in the factory where he worked while I was going to college. He made it to 96. Enjoy um while you got um Ranger !

Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 1:03:00 AM GMT-5  

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