Signposts Along the Way: Signpost 5 – Jim, Dad & The Boss: Part 2 of 3

14 Mar

Dad’s father disapproved of the marriage. He thought that if anything happened to my father during the war that his military death benefit would go to my mom instead of him. He was so against their marriage that he banned his family’s attendance. He even threatened to shoot mom on their wedding day – just to keep things “lively”. Despite the attempts to thwart their plans, they married in May of that year. Mom forgave his father and my parents moved far enough away to keep the peace.

Shortly after they married, dad was re-stationed to Fort Drum military base in northern NY. Mom went with him. Several months into their stay, mom found out that she was pregnant with their first child. They stayed at Fort Drum for one year and then dad was re-stationed to Fort Lewis, in Washington state. Mom decided to return to their hometown to have my sister. Almost three years later, I was born.

My father went away as a devoted husband and came back as a new father. Maybe he never got used to having a family. Maybe he didn’t like sharing my mother. Or maybe he wished that my sister and I were boys. Regardless of what his issues were, my sister and I never had a close relationship with our dad.

After his discharge from the Army, dad volunteered to apprentice – unpaid  for two weeks – learning the auto upholstery business. He immersed himself into the craft. Knowing that he would not have an opportunity like this again, he absorbed these new skills like a sponge. Always the astute, sharp businessman, dad opened his own auto upholstery business soon after his apprenticeship ended.

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