Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Enlisted Men's Revenge

 got home after the War in August of 1946. The following is from "Grandpa's Stories":
                      THE ENLISTED MEN'S REVENGE
Shortly after I got home (as a Captain) and when all the happy greetings had subsided, Dick (a T-4 in the Army) and John (a Gunner's Mate in the Navy) took me out in the field east of the house. There they took me down and pounded on me as surrogate for all the chicken-shit officers who had ever given them a hard time. They announced that the pounding was also punishmment for all the chicken-shit things that I might have visited on GIs during my service as an officer
That was on a Saturday I believe. Among other things I remember from that day was Dick's announcement that "I'm going to marry Mary Ryan". A surprise since I don't remember even knowing that she and Dick were dating. Anyway my next vivid memory was of going to Crystal Palace, splendid in in my summer officer's dress uniform with shiny Captain's bars on my shoulders, and the first people to greet me were Alice and Loretta, Mary's sisters. The last time those two had confronted me was when I was late in picking up Mary to go to her high school prom years before (another story). This time they were friendly. I don't remember if Dick and Mary were there but Alice and Loretta and I had a good time and of course there was all sorts of other meeting and greeting of people I hadn't seen for years. Since I had last seen her Loretta had grown into an attractive young woman, a veritable "dish" in my view. (I didn't pay much attention to Alice). Thus it came to pass that my first post-war girl was my younger brother's fiance's younger sister. We didn't really date per se but had fun canoeing, swimming, going to the beach and fooling around at the cottage (the center of actvities then as I assume it still is). September came around and the Ryans went back to Chicago (I don't remember anything about little brother Pat). I don't know whether Mary was at Western or what but she must have stayed in Michigan. John went to Shurtliff College in Alton, Illinois on the GI Bill and in October Dick and I and Dad went pheasant hunting in South Dakota. Come November it came deer-hunting time and contrary to Dad in 1926 (See "Dad the Deer Hunter") Dick went too  We did come home early so that Dick could marry Mary on Novmber 30. Apparently there was some church rule against getting married in December or we could have finished the whole season. As it turned out we Protestants couldn't attend the marriage ceremony anyway (another church rule of the time) and had to wait in an anteroom. In January I was off to Colorado to finish college at Mines and the next December here came Patty. Dad broke the rules by eavesdropping on the goings on in the delivery room (fathers weren"t allowed in there in those days) thus was the first to know when and what kind Patty was. I understand he tried to pull the same stunt with subseqent grandchild deliveries. (May 18, 2008)

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