Sunday, August 30, 2020

My dad would have loved Emmett Love

(My dad is in the top row 4th from the left)

 My Dad passed away 29 years ago this past summer and my memories of him are starting to get frayed around the edges.  I do remember that he was a very heroic guy who loved other heroes!

Like many from his generation he went to sign up for WW II.  When rejected by the Army for flat feet he was devastated. I never realized how much this devastated him until I saw the movie Hacksaw Ridge where Desmond T. Doss testified that several people in his home town committed suicide when they were found to be 4F, unqualified for service. My Dad went to the Army Air Corp recruiter the next day and the first question he was asked was whether or not he had been rejected by any other service.  My Dad hung his head and admitted that the Army had rejected him for flat feet.  The Army Air Corp recruiter smiled and said, “Come on in boy, we don’t do any marching in the Air Corp!” My Dad then enlisted in the Army Air Corps and ended up as a waist gunner in a photographic B-29 Superfortress  in the South Pacific.

On the morning of August 6th, 1945 he and his crew took off from the island of Guam to make a photographic damage assessment over Japan.  The crew picked this mission to bring along a real-to-real recorder in order to record their in-plane conversations to send home to the folks.

Little did they know that on this same morning the Enola Gay took off from the same island for their rendezvous with the city of Hiroshima.  In a typical military SNAFU, my Dad's airplane was never meant to take off that eventful day.  Once they found out, the decision was made to let them go; they couldn't very well get on the radios and recall them telling them they were dropping the big one today!

 My Dad's crew members were speaking very professional knowing that they were being recorded; they had brought a real to real onboard to tape their mission to send home to the folks. "Pilot to Bombardier.  Roger Pilot, this is the Bombardier."  Then the bomb "Little Boy" reached its target and it looked like a star had exploded.   "Roger Bombardier, this is the pilot.  How far ... What the fudge is that?"  Only they didn't use the word fudge.

The crew members of the Enola gay commanded by Paul Tibbets were dressed in radiation suits with leaded goggles to protect them from the blast.  My Dad's crew members were wearing their usual T-shirts and sun glasses.

After they returned to base they were severely debriefed and their real-to-real recording was confiscated.  No one knows to this day where that recording is; probably in some warehouse in Washington next to the Arc of the Covenant!

What a hero, but if you could ask him today, he would say he was born 60 years too late; he really wanted to be a cowboy.  He would have been a regular at the Lucky Spur in Dodge City, he would have fallen in love with Gentry and he would have backed Emmett Love up whenever he needed it.

How do I know this, well as a child I watched every John Wayne western ever made with my Dad, not to mention every episode of Bonanza and Gun Smoke at least 2-3 times.  My Dad loved the allure of the Wild West and I know he would have loved to have been a bronco-buster back then.  I can picture my Dad escorting a wagon train or going into a saloon for a drink, a game of stud poker or some other pleasures.

If my Dad was still alive he would have devoured every word of "Follow the Stone" and "Don't Poke the Bear" and then would have moved on to all the Donavan Creed novels. 

How do I know he would have loved Donovan Creed?  Well, there was that time he decided to live in the attic for 6 months!

I can't write intriguing stories like John Locke can.  But, I am a Christian and I like to share my faith.


If you liked this blog post I know you will love my Hating God Trilogy. Please go to Amazon where you can read for free “Hating God”, “Ignoring God”, and “Loving God” if you subscribe to Kindleunlimited.



Friday, August 14, 2020

The Americans with Disabilities Act


My Libertarian leanings have always made me lean towards having less Federal government. I never agreed with The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that required handicap bathrooms, handicap access and handicap parking spaces for private businesses (public buildings are a different matter). I always felt that a private business shouldn’t be forced to make these accommodations; that they should be willing to make them on their own out of altruistic feelings or to attract more business. 

When I started writing my Hating God Trilogy, I chose Carl Spenser as one of my main characters who had lost both of his feet in Afghanistan serving in the Army. In “Hating God”, the first book of the trilogy he spent the entire book using a wheel chair. In “Ignoring God”, the second book of the trilogy he visits Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Inc. in Manchester, New Hampshire to get fitted for a snazzy set of prosthetic feet and lower legs featuring the stars and stripes. He acclimates to these prosthetics fast and actually skis on them in “Loving God”, the final book of the trilogy. 

I had to do a lot of research about people in wheel chairs to write that first book. I had to think about how a person saddled with a wheel chair handled many things that we walkers take for granted. What type of bathroom set-up is conducive to a wheelchair bound person and how does the procedure even work? How hard is it to maneuver a wheel chair in inclement weather; forget about wheeling on ice or snow? How does a wheelchair bound person use a handicap bathroom stall? What kind of Olympic Gymnastic move is required to use a bathroom stall that is not handicap accessible? How hard is it to cook your own food? 

The more I researched how wheelchair bound people accomplished even the simplest actions, the more I empathized with them. I actually went through a major back surgery during this period and the thought of having to use a wheel chair for the rest of my life became more than just a thought exercise, but a distinct possibility. 

Political philosophies many times don’t stand up when they collide with the harsh realities of life. I must say that I am leaning more towards the ADA giving more benefit to mankind than it takes away. I must say that my dander still pops up when I drive by a strip mall and all four of the handicap parking spaces are always empty outside the martial arts studio. 


If you liked this blog post I know you will love my Hating God Trilogy. Please go to Amazon where you can read for free “Hating God”, “Ignoring God”, and “Loving God” if you subscribe to Kindleunlimited.