Got back late Tuesday night from Steeler country and have not had a chance to catch up on the Rams debacle. I did not have an opportunity to see the game, but am sure I will soon be edified by reading through the remarks of our fine blognoscenti.
In the meantime, I’m taking a personal moment to honor a fine gentleman. At the end of WWII, there were approximately 116,000 POW’s freed from incarceration. Today, there are only about 6,000 of them still alive. My Dad is one of them.
He was shot down over Germany on a bombing run and as he floated to earth I guess you could say my existence was hanging by the threads of his parachute. When he hit the ground, he was surrounding by a throng of pitchfork wielding locals. Luckily, he managed to elude them and was later captured by German troops and tossed into Stalag Luft III, about a week after The Great Escape took place. That camp was not nearly as hospitable as is depicted in the movie. It was brutally cold and food was scarce. He weighed 195 when he enlisted and, after fifteen months as a POW and the long march to the French evac camps, he came back home an emaciated 130.
A few years back, a local paper wanted to interview him for a story on WWII heroes, but he turned them down, saying the real heroes were the ones who never came home.
He’s a tough old guy and he and I have butted heads many times over the years. I like to think it’s made us both stronger and broader, but I could be FOS. I do know we’ve come to respect each other over the years, which is all any father and son should hope to achieve.
So, happy 90th birthday to my old man — The Cyclone.