Posts Tagged ‘Aleutian Islands

19
Jun
11

Happy Father’s Day

This day, to celebrate the father in our life, is worthy from all manner of angles. If you have a good one you are blessed and know it. If you never knew your dad (rambling procreation) or he was more like child than a man, then the celebration is seemingly inappropriate. That is life. No point sugar-coating it. I was fortunate to have an amazing father. As he lay in a hospital bed, chugging out his final breaths from a stroke, I rubbed his forehead and held his hand and told him I loved him as he grew still. My father never told me he loved me. He never gave me a hug. He just crafted an image in my mind of how a caring, enduring father should operate day after day.

He did give me much and I am thankful I saw it, sensed it, early on. He worked from  about 12 y/o until his death in his 70’s. Often he worked two jobs. He never complained, at least so I would hear it. He had his demons and dark side, I know today, yet I never saw it. He worked day in and out and instilled in me a stoic work ethic that coupled with pride I have copied most of my life.

What is most enduring is his love of the outdoors. He loved camping. CAMPING CRAFT GUIDE
The whole process of getting ready for the trip was as important to him as it was to this boy. And once we were at our campground (early on selected for its close proximity to fishing) he shined with such perfection that I have spent my adult life emulating his skills, pace, confidence to provide my family many pleasant, memorable outdoor experiences. He taught me all manner of camp skills that I have passed on and already see my dad’s efforts coming to pass in all my children and their loved ones. He taught me how to BBQ, how to prepare and cook not just camping but at home as well. And he taught me to appreciate funky ‘Hawaiian’ shirts before they, if ever, became popular.

To the quiet, steady man from the hills of West Virginia…who endured the Aleutian Islands of WWII…helped conquer the truly wilds of the Yukon to create the Al-Can Hiway…who worked his rear off at two jobs and provided for me a work ethic, safe home, education and much more….Thank you dad. 

To all the good men who do the good deeds of fatherhood~manhood….cheers to you!

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/




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