Walking the hump?

The colonel, when he was a cadet, somewhere in the California desert.

The colonel, when he was a cadet, somewhere in the California desert.

I’M WALKING HOME. TAKING A YEAR TO WALK ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BRINGING YOU WITH ME OR MEETING YOU ALONG THE WAY

I think he was 19 when this was taken, somewhere in the California desert, where he was learning how to fly in a Curtis bi-plane. That was 1942. He left the University of Maryland where he was in an engineering program, enlisted in the Army Air Corp and spent the next 35 years in the Air Force. He flew the ‘Hump’ in India, piloted an F86 ‘Shooting Star’ in Korea, was a navigator in the Berlin Airlift, was in a B52 circling the arctic during the Cuban Missile Crisis and volunteered to go to Vietnam in 1973. No wonder he was so annoyed, at times, with my brother and I and our inability to see beyond the present moment. There is so much more to tell. So much more to live up to. He was, is, so human, after all. I have no patience for fabricated holidays. I don’t send cards. The everyday, the slowly unraveling skein of life is so much grander than the petty, calculated way we celebrate the incalculable. A father yes, but so much more.

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