If you have been paying attention, I haven’t been writing that much other than a post a day (maybe two from time to time) and that has been I have been devoted to cleaning the garage which I thought would only take a week and it has turned into two weeks. We a have accumulated a lot of crap over the many years we have not cleaned it. I took sixteen 33 gallon bags to the dump last Saturday and I am pretty much looking at much the same this next Saturday. In the midst of all this I found something that was old, a little rusty and beat up but definitely not junk, at least to me.
It was my Grandfather’s old Army Air Corp trunk from World War Two where he was a B-17 pilot from Spring 1944 till the end of the war in Europe. You can see that it belonged to someone before him and so he wrote in big letters to make sure the people who handled would know it was his. It also has the stamp that shows he shipped out of New York on the other side. It really is all I have left of him other than a few photographs and to be honest I didn’t know him as well as I would have liked. I was nine when he died and all I remember of him was that he was a strong and powerful man who was a fantastic business man. He ended his life owning three businesses (a Standard station, a mobile home dealership and a farm). I never heard him complain about anything and he certainly did not let me complain about anything. My grandmother donated all of his stuff from the war to a local museum somewhere and she never told us where. Just the trunk remains in my possession.
Truth is though he is not my biological grandfather but then again I never even met once my biological grandfather and he lived longer than Edward William Raby who was more of a grandfather in the short time I had him than the biological guy who abandoned his children and wife and never once saw me. It is a hole in my history but if I choose to fill it with Grandpa Raby who was a strong successful man who was also a hero. He would have never claimed that title but I saw the medals. Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross (my dad told me grandpa called it a distinguished crashing cross because that is how he got it) and a tour of duty that was almost 50 missions long and shot down twice but walked away from one and parachuted from another. The trunk says Lieutenant Raby but he ended the war as a Captain and was the commander of his own plane. I go to airshows from time to time and if the have a B-17 of any type I try to put my hand on it. “My Grandfather flew one of these in the War” I think to myself. I suppose in someway it keeps him alive in my mind and reminds me that even though I am not a Raby by blood, I wear the name proudly because of him. His legacy lives in me if nothing else because of the lessons he taught me.
The only real mystery about the man is what was his plane’s name and did it have any nose art. Dad told me he never talked about it and that leads me to believe that it might have been a little racy. He didn’t meet gram until after the war so he was a happy bachelor at the time so…
The Soul Rundown:
Reading: Been working but I have plans to spend the rest of August reading something probably Atlas Shrugged once the garage it truly finished.
Writing: Doing what I do at least once a day
Finances: Should here sometime this weekend if I am going to school or not. The people at FSU told me all my stuff is in so it is up to the committee.
Blessings and Cheers!!!