My brother Dave has several favorites, as we all do. Some are stories of Daddy’s growing up years; some are stories that show the character and strength of our Daddy. I am going to post the initial thought that Dave gave me now, because it introduces an aspect of Daddy’s life that Nathanael’s favorite story is drawn from. I will post some of Dave’s other favorites another time.
At the time of WWII, Daddy was already married with a child, so did not, of course, get drafted into the service. It bothered him greatly that his baby brother was drafted at barely 18, while Daddy was not yet in his mid-twenties and wouldn’t be drafted because of his family status. So Dad voluntarily joined the navy in 1944, by then having two little girls. During Dad’s term of service, he was in the A & R Division, but his main job was to play on the Navy (A&R Division) softball team. Dad loved softball, but still longed to serve his country in a more direct way, so whenever the list was set out for overseas service, Daddy signed his name. Then, each time, the Athletic Director came through and scratched his name off the list, stating he was needed here. Our Daddy never felt he truly served his country during his years in the Navy, but he had the heart of a true soldier in the willingness, and in the obedience.
“I have a ton of favorite stories. All of his softball ones. But my favorite is when he had told his coach he wasn’t going to play one day because his cousin Martharene and her fiance’ Cody had come to visit. So, Granddad was watching the game from the stands with his street clothes on while his team was getting shut down by the opposing pitcher [there was actually no score- apparently both teams were getting shut down!]. His coach kept yelling at him, ‘Allen! Allen! Come down and play.’ Finally, he came down out of the stands, grabbed a bat, put on some borrowed cleats, and stepped up to the plate. He then proceeded to hit a home run and after circling the bases, walked right back up into the stands and sat down.
I always loved that one.”
That story has always been one of my favorites, too!
I will be getting more stories of Daddy’s childhood up soon – those are the greatest!!
God bless your day!