He could fix anything with his hands, a plumber and worked at the gas company before being drafted into the Army in the 727th Engineering. He was trained at Fort Harrison Indiana and eventually Key Field Mississippi before heading to England. He was a Corporal and maintained the trains going to the front of the Army in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany.
However, I was lucky enough to have him into my mid thirties, but recall on this day how his steel blue eyes would sparkle and turn inward recalling his 33 months of service over seas. Many times growing up he would drag out his old canteen with the places and times engraved. The stories would begin, but I think some of the most memorable for me is the time in Italy where he brought back a rosary touched by the Pope and ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The service and pride displayed in his many recollections of World War ll resonate to this day.
If any of you recall your semi professional boxing Grandfather who got in a fight with a Corporal from Indiana in a pub in England, you can rest assured he taught my Grandfather a lesson. After being disengaged with his four front teeth, at that moment in time, he realized he was a lover not a fighter. Every time he would tell me the story his toothless grin proved it.