Today I've had my dad, Jack Edwards, on my mind. He would have been 97 years old today. A voracious reader and student of history, he was our family's own Google when I was growing up. I thought he knew the answer to everything. That reading influence rubbed off on all three of us kids, who all enjoy a good book.
He was a staff sergeant in the 8th Air Force during World War II. During one run, his plane was shot up and the pilot killed. He refused a Purple Heart because he felt his injuries were nothing compared to the pilot's sacrifice. I remember him telling about the delicious black bread he ate in Russia and how frustrated he was in France when he wanted to talk with some French men, but he didn't speak French.
Daddy was a terrific vegetable gardener. Each year he put in a huge vegetable garden from which Mom produced row upon row of canned goods. My sibs and I spent many an hour helping tend his gardens and helping prep the veggies Mom canned. All three of us enjoy gardening, but my brother is the only one of us to put out a really big vegetable garden.
He was a printer by trade, working in the composing room for the Tulsa Tribune. When I traveled out of state, I always brought back to him a copy of the local paper from where I had been. He loved to see how different newspapers were laid out. To this day I have the urge to buy a paper for him when I travel.
We lost Dad suddenly in 1985. He never got to meet his grandkids' spouses or see his two great-grandsons It took me a long time to get over his passing, but I still have a big hole in my heart. Miss you Daddy.