Fly Boy

First of all, I am always happily surprised when I open up my blahg in the morning and there’s a post that I did *not* write! 🙂 Well, that is, unless Froggy happens to have been the author. Some of his posts I would really like to delete but, as he has somehow managed to finagle administrative privileges to my blahg, I can’t touch them! But I like what Isa wrote about The Old Coot, aka Grandroobly. Her stories, as she says, are not always exactly correct but that’s the way it goes with Fin Family Moomintroll stories in general. Every single summer since the beginning of time, we seem to have to rehash whether Grandroobly and The Commander got married on July 31st or August 1st. I dunno why I never thought about this before but I suppose we could always just celebrate twice, eh?

Anyway, the story I am going to embellish upon tonight is about when the old boy was a World War II pilot. I’ll probably get some of it wrong and most of the people who were intimately involved are dead. The Commander and Radical Betty probably remember it the best at this point and The Comm will need to comment or post and correct any of my errors. (Hey Mom, do-ya remember how? :twisted:)

My dad and his brother, Jack and Don, were in various stages of college when WWII was going on. Their dad, Donald McKenzie (MacKenzie?) Finlayson, was on the Chippewa County draft board at the time. As Grandroobly told Mouse one time during a phone interview for one of her high school assignments, his dad was having a difficult time sending other people’s sons to war while his own sons were safe at college downstate. So one day he told Jack and Don to get their affairs in order and get their you-know-whats down there to volunteer. And they did. My uncle Don was in medical school at that time, and obtained a medical type of assignment on a destroyer (Tuscon-Utah-Arkansas crew, please correct/embellish this if you want! I don’t know much about it :-)). Grandroobly signed up for the Army Air-Corps. As he told Mouse in the interview, “if you wanted to pick your job, you volunteered.”

So he learned to fly. A few years ago in Kenny’s Pitchen, he talked about those years a bit. He sang the song, “You’re in the Army now. You’re not behind the plow. You’ll never get rich. You son of a bitch. You’re in the Army now.” And then he talked about reveille. “5 AM and bar-rar-rar!” That was boot camp, of course, but he did go on to learn how to fly aero-planes and “the biggest bomber in the world,” as he told Mouse in their phone interview. Biggest bomber in the world, the B29.

As it turned out, he never saw active service. As a “leftenant,” he was a flight instructor and B29 flight engineer. When my parents got married, they expected that he would be sent out to the South Pacific any day. That never happened, because “we” dropped The Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The war was over and my dad eventually migrated home to Sault Ste. Siberia and became a banker, not his first choice of career although he ended up being good at it. But that’s all a long story that I will probably never really know in its entirety. And that’s okay.

I wrote earlier this week about a dreadlock sighting. That was my brother, not my dad. I dreamed that I went over to Metro to pick up Mouse and a Boeing 757 pulled up to the curb. No cops or millions of people or anything. And it looked kind of like a bus. A guy with long blond dreadlocks got off that plane/bus and I looked and I saw my brother smiling at me. And I walked over and we hugged. He was smiling. Real or not, I dunno. Jim went to Jamaica with the MTU jazz band once three times. I can see him with long, dark blond dreadlocks. My dad? Naw. Well, I can’t describe him in just a few words but by the time he died he was quite a bit less “conservative” than he was when I was a kid. If they are traveling together, I *know* Grandroobly is not doing the dreadlock thing. But he *is* having fun and making friends!

4 Responses to “Fly Boy”

  1. Webmomster Says:

    Minor correction to the *last* part of your story … Jim went to Jamaica with the MTU Jazz Lab Band *3* times!! Spring Breaks for Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years.

  2. Webmomster Says:

    …and if J & F *were* to celebrate 2 anniversaries a year, that would mean they’ve been married *twice* as long!!

  3. jane Says:

    Jim with dreadlocks. that WAS a dream. I don’t think he’d look good in dreadlocks. did he look good in the dream? I just can’t picture that at all.

  4. Webmomster Says:

    heehee! Actually…I *can* picture Jim with dreads….and the ol’ dashiki he’d brought back from Jamaica (and actually wore at times ages ago), along with sandals and cargo shorts. And dark sunnies (not the red-lensed Oakleys, either, like the pair that are being worn by Duke in the form of the 18-ft. sturgeon in our Bay).