I have written down much of my mother's story, but nothing as personal as Mark's father's. Mostly the record of the deportation to the Soviet Union mentioned earlier. She is 90 now and lives in Canada while I am in France, but I should try to get a bit more from her before she dies. Unfortunately, every time I ask her for information, she says 1) she can't write any more 2) her life is not interesting.
Great story, Mark, but I completely understand why your father had nothing left to say about life after settling down. Life must have seemed so 'ordinary' after his marriage, although raising you must have been a handful. My (step)father was full of amazing tales of his Navy days in Hawaii, Japan, China, Morocco, Brazil, or the bars of Long Beach, California, but he basically had nothing to tell about most of his life after leaving the military. The excitement was finished.
I am always intrigued by places mentioned, so I found a photo of the interior of Delmonico's complete with starry sky, circa 1947.
mossie, I am always interested in your time as a navigator, your interruption is a welcome addition, so no problem.
htmb, my father stopped eventually with the brylcreem but not until he was in his sixties. I think he had trouble finding it in the supermarket then.
questa, I'm sure we all have interesting times in our life and it isn't until the onset of technology that I've taken to writing a few things down in the way of the trip reports I attempt. I spent ten years as a mechanic and I'm sure any person in any job could easily write a wealth of anecdotes about their time at work and it be interesting. Ten years in the Police then gave me plenty of ammunition, but it is now so long ago I wouldn't be accurate in my recall. Besides, it's been done to death and at one time or another virtually all in that job end up with the same experiences. Then I'd like to say ten years to give it balance but closer to eight in reality, I spent leading expeditions in Africa and Asia. That and nagging from Mrs M prompted me to write about some of it and make it into a short book for our kids as a bit of a legacy for information when they are older. The last fifteen years I've been a travelling spouse doing the trip reports plus the story of the house in Spain. So I've made an attempt but generally it is done for the family rather than being aimed elsewhere. I did write another book aimed at small kids as at the time my brother had three small ones and was bemoaning that he had little of interest to him to read to them. He was happy when I gave him that but again it wasn't done for monetary reasons, just something to keep me occupied.
bjd, it always seems our parents/grandparents lived in more interesting times than we did/do. Certainly world wars play a factor in that.
k2, well done with the photo. Never even thought about it. The extract from the story in case anyone is interested, reads, "The first night I hired a taxi and asked the driver to take me to the hottest place in town where I could find plenty of action. He dropped me outside ‘Del Monico’s’ a circular-shaped neon lit dance hall cum café bar. When I got inside I gazed up astonished at stars glimmering through misty, slow-moving clouds. I nipped outside again when I thought no one was looking and the sky was covered by thick grey cloud. It was only then I realised that the place had a solid roof with a night sky effect that was brilliantly done."
I know my father spent time in Egypt and training Ghurkha paratroopers in northern India but little if anything is related about this. Can't really ask him about it now though.
To sort of finally finish of, a photo of my parents on their wedding day, February 1947. My mother had long blond hair all the way down to her waist. It must have taken her days to get this hairstyle sorted -