Sunday, June 18, 2006

To the Ace of Spades

I keep the now-sepia-toning picture nearby, all the time, not just on Father's Day.

The four young, grinning men in uniform with their fisted left forearms down in front of them, displaying for the (unknown) picture-taker their 4 Ace-of-Death tattoos, designed by Dad.

He wasn't Dad there, in front of the tents of the embarkation assembly and holding camp in Georgia in WWII, he was just an Army-AirCorps recruit with three other young friends...

Grinning in the face of death.

The little guy, to Dad's right, that's Willie Ferno. He died a few months later in the Bataan Death March... and as much as the other three were glad to be alive, they always grew quiet when his name came up. But they'd laugh about their bruised cheeks and black eyes from the bar-brawl the night before...

There were fewer and fewer meetings as the 40's became the 50's, the 50's segued into the 60's and then the 70's... the remaining three learned that, despite their shared service and survival, they really didn't share that much with the intellectually capable, critical thinker who was my Dad. And their political positions... well, there was that, too.

So here's a chance to salute the Ace of Spades Ace, Dad. Would that all your designs were as elegant...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would that all your designs were as elegant...

Nice. Amazing photo as well. It looks like it could have been taken yesterday going by the look of your dad and the guy on the right.

Cheers for that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 1:59:00 AM  

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