July 7 – 2011 – (9/28/38)…. Remembering Pappy – Friend, and so much more….

July 7 – 2011 – (9/18/38)…. Remembering Pappy – Friend, and so much more….

Pappy… Bob to most… a veteran country music backup singer, and flat out best guitarist I’ve heard.. Electric, steel and bass…got me from southern rock deep into country music, and I did have he rare opportunity to meet some of the best in the undustry over the following decades…

When I met him 35+ years ago I remember we just hit it off immediately – and what a friend indeed, he became… The nickname goes back to that WWII dog fighting show show that highlighted the P-51 / P-109’s – and several others – Pappy was the leader of the Pap – and based on a real character that had more take downs from a P-51/E09 – he was an excellent, affable, strong character, and outstanding integrity – LEADER – and then some. So when I named him – I explained why – he was a bit modest – but allowed it to stick – and for 35+ years, Pappy was my father, my granfather, my ally in life more than any other real family member had been, save Uncle Jim, Uncle Tom (especially) and a couple other extended family.

My wife and  had 8 more children after he came to be much more involved in our lives. We’d choke about the number of divorces he had because his last ‘wife-to-be’ – Glender May – was 17+ years in the Queen’s Seat – and they never got married.

Payppy was 2 years Navy SIGINT, European Theater – and loved it. He really got heavy into the guitard then. His farther, JOseph – was in Pearl Harbor, and was coming to port on a Destroyer and saw the BLACK filled skies of zeros – a decent aircraft – but they were headed to Pearl Harbor. Joseph did CW code that reached Washintong to let them know – and from there – hell broke lose. We did get ours back – to a degree. That Theater saw a ton of the A series jets come in as diversion aircrafft, takeo out the SAM’s – and lay the playing field for our bombers. As the movies conveyed – we really did do a hard last stand – more than once in that Theater.

He then wants to change his MOS like mine in the ROTC training I originally had – intelligence engineering – and so it is – he jumps into the Army Security Agency – did two years in the Aleutians – which SUCKED – and could hardly wait to get back home.

Shemya

A stretch aout 2.3 miles long – with a runway that could handle a C-130 or other larger aircraft… >This was an experience that broke Pappy from flying… THe windws were horrible depending on the time of year there – you’d have a 80mph – cross win… The huge air craft would be low enough – get just right – drop and switch hard right 45 degrees roughly – and slam down. It would wake you up…

Shemya-Payppy-Last Station in the Alutians...

Shemya-Pappy-Last Station in the Aleutians…

This island still has remnants of some of our – then – largest radar arrays – in place. Just an hour off Russia – never quite froze over but got damned cold – he hated hit. In some ways – it was just an old base – or maybe even an old college campus – or NOT – and he stayed pretty busy…

As he moved into retirement – Michele, here – as well as all of my children, just loved him so very much…

Pappy and Michele - Memories of another day...

Pappy and Michele – Memories of another day…

His passion? Radio Announcer and flat out picking a mean guitar and singing Country Swing, Blue Grass, and Classic 50’s vintage country. He was EXCELLENT in all that he did – and I enjoyed so many years with him.

As John Wayne or Clint Eastwood may be referred to – Pap was a man’s man – very bit of it. Nothing scared him – he did not stand for bullies – and he loved the life he lived, and lived the life he loved. I do believe that last tidbit was our endearment to one another. As I lived the life I loved, and loved the life I lived.

We hunted small and medium game… We fished our ass off. We loved camping, cruising between clubs on the weekends – and playing in front of 1,200 to 10,000 people – depending on the show we wee opening for. No better high did I know – save the physical nature between a man and woman, which I won’t mention here – but it was a close call – 🙂 (Big Smile)…

I remember one year Pap says, “hey… you want to go back to school??? We could earn a degree and play the strip???)… We were in Tuscaloosa, Alabama – Molly Hatchet loved to come back there and pick – and periodically one of us to play for the door entry fee – a $1.00… but low/behold – there were 2,500 students come through!!!@ SHOOT DOGGY – we ere rich… It was a blast… We each got an initial 2 year degree and had a blast doing it…. Then I moved on for undergraduate\ work – eventually my Criminal Justice Degree Works at Stratford through Distance Learning – and I’m looking at getting my Bachelor’s in that now – if my not Masters… Shoot – I’m an old may – what else can I do – PI? Forensics? And I’m doing a ton in the unmanned drone space and search and rescue – so I could come out of this – albeit it still disabled – but earning a living. Thee government doesn’t pay us much – and we could do better – if I can get my mind around it and just DO IT. As Pap would say.

A few years after Pappy left us – I contracted a radical blood disease that damn near killed me. I was traveling back to Penn State – the Navel Research Laboratories – I was working on a SharePoint Enterprise Portal for them – and my 4th month into it – I had a cut on my right heal that festered in 72 hours – and I was in ICU awaiting my foot to be cut off… Then see what happens from there… Well, they saved my foot -but I’ve been through hell for 3+ years – and no one cares but me…. So it’s a little difficult for me these days… Pap is gone… I have my children and my wife – but there is not super close association there like there used to be. I’d simply spent too much time on the road – away from home – and alienated myself from my family. So – today??? I’m not sure how I’ll pull this off… I’ve taken some steps to engage a potential CFO/COO and other executive personnel with a small S-Corp – to see if I can stir up the interest and get this business launched. Then it won’t matter what the government pays me – I’ll be on a steady income – which I definitely need.

Pappy always loved bragging on me and Microsoft – as if I was doing some heavy lifting and some significant work that’s worth noting. In truth – not really. Just a super mile income – and praying for more…

Finally – you read where I mentioned Jesse James – the James Gang…. Well, believe it or not, Pappy James was one generation removed from Jesse (I beleive it was one).

He would tell me about his Dad – Joseph – being in the Navy, Uncle Frank – who mom told them to just stay away from – there there is Jesse.  I guess no one said to stay away from him – so they all saw each other, each year. Mother James lived/died up here about 5-7 miles  outside of Stanton, Michigan – a school teacher and solid people. Jese, we all heard about him and Frank and other family. But Joseph – U.S. Navy for years, Pappy, gave them some good years, and turn out to be a super solid friend, man, and legacy of love and fun and laughs… For over 3.5 decades with my family… I miss yu old man… I love you… You go in Peace, and may God keep you and take care of you for eternity. I look forward to seeing you again.

Thanks for enjoying this Evening Cup with me…. I have truly enjoyed it- especially the memories of Pappy…

Take care…

This entry was posted in Almost Heaven, Beautfy in Nature, CHildren, Country Living, Criminal Justice Forensics Science, Distance Learning, God, Grace, Living the Life I love, Loving the Life I live, Mercy, Mother Melba, Nature, Owls, Paradise in Summary, Prayer, School, U.S. Army, U.S. Army Security Agency, U.S. Navy, Veteran and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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