April 2nd, 1928 was the year my dad was born. Hometown, Winslow Arizona along Route 66. A road that would eventually lead him to the Army Air Corps at 17 [he lied and said he was 18]. Fortunately WW2 would end a few months after he joined. He found himself in Germany and even then new he would return one day.
After arriving home from the war he thought he would suprise his aunt upon returning home and sneak into her house...however what he didn't know was that the room he snuck into was the room my future mother was spending the night in. Startling my mom he apologized and quickly left the room. She eventually inquired about him and the rest as they say....
My dad worked for the famed La Posada hotel in Winslow designed by Mary Coulter for the Harvey House chain. The hotel is STILL operating in Winslow today. Eventually he started his own bar/restaurant called the Desert Winds. The building is still in town today only I think its an auto repair shop now.
After that my dad joined the Army which by then had split from the Army Air Corps, the second half becoming the Air Force.
He had two tour of duties in 'nam. Oh yeah..he has LOTS of stories to tell.
My dad recalls the time he was having a weekend bbq which he did alot. He had invited friends and their families from work, both higher ranking and lower ranking [from what I understand fraternizing among the ranks is frowned upon, my dad having always been an amicable fellow sort of...uh...didn't care..hahaha].
So as the bbq is going on a knock on the door is heard and my mom answers it and says, "Oh, hello Mr. Patton." To which General George Patton Jr says: "Thats GENERAL PATTON to you lady." General Patton Jr was commander of Ft Hood at the time and my dad did all the maintenance on his vehicles personally. After speaking with my dad they leave the bbq and my dad inspects a vehicle for him at which point my dad invites him back to the bbq.
All the soldiers that were there at the time were quite suprised to see their commander joining in to say the least. As my dad tells it General Patton told them all, "he would rather be there at the bbq with his troops then at some stuffy officers club."
General Patton Jr passed away in 2004.
In 1979 my dad retired from the military and we moved to Albuquerque. A a few yars later I left at 22 for Los Angeles. My mom passed away in 1990. In his later years my dad became ill to a point I moved back to Albuquerque from Los Angeles to take care of him, help him with his homebased business and basically spend some quality time with him for how many years he might have left.
Tonight we took him out for his 79th birthday. The whole family together. My brother the baker made this delicious white cake with strawberry and bavarian creme filling. I'm embarrassed to say I had three pieces!!!
It was a good evening.
THREE SLICES!!! What is a fella to do??!!
My neice Veronica and pops.