05
Sep
10

Alaska: The Other End of ‘Paradise’

The other day, I was killing time between appointments and stopped off at a restaurant for a cup. As I approached the entry way there was a car in the disabled parking spot and jumping out at me was the decal affixed to the side of the car.

A pretty prominent display of veteran’s status, of the Aleutians, and it resonated with me because as I have written here once before, my dad was an Army vet that hunkered down for close to a year in the bleak hell of Attu, Shemya and Kiska (Aleutian Islands). He was proud of that part of his life, but never talked about it..never once remarked about that time in Alaska. He deflected all mention of it toward his exploits and pride in also being a part of the Al-Can Hiway’s Construction.

As a boy, I recall my dad hated being cold. Little bothered my dad: he didn’t like rats (he lost an older brother to a rat bite), he didn’t like spiders and he did not like the cold.

As, I entered the restaurant, I sat near the door. I looked about the tables and booths and there was not one elderly male (late 80’s/90’s) nor female (spouse) that could have fit the bill. No one came out of the restrooms. I spent almost an hour waiting for someone to settle up a tab and head for the car with the Aleutians vet decal. I wanted to briefly say hello and relay my connection.

Jim Muncy

But, the car did remind me of my dad, his stoic life and resolve. This Winter as I complain about my frozen toes and numb hands and nose, I will remember my cold does not equal his cold. The saving grace is my dad loved to camp and gave me that…I have passed it on.

https://swittersb.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/alcan-higway-my-fathers-passed-ona-roadtrip-for-him/


3 Responses to “Alaska: The Other End of ‘Paradise’”


  1. 1 Bob Hendry
    September 5, 2010 at 12:37

    Oops! Forgot to subscribe.

    Like

  2. 2 Bob Hendry
    September 5, 2010 at 12:37

    Come on now. I’m only in my mid-sixties. I served a short (12 months) tour on Shemya with the Army Security Agency in the late 60’s. You shoulda been lookin’ fer a young fellow . . .

    One thing is for sure: that place puts new meaning in the word COLD!

    Cheers!

    Like

    • 3 SwittersB
      September 5, 2010 at 14:30

      Well, that raises a point I didn’t consider….a more recent deployment. Not up on campaign ribbons etc. Would you receive a ribbon of sorts for a 60’s deployment? Maybe that was it. Or, someone was driving their dad’s car…heck, I don’t know. Was nice to see. Thanks for dropping by for sure.

      Gary

      Like


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