Sphynx and Pyramid of Khufu in Giza Egpyt

Sphinx and Pyramid of Khufu in Giza Egypt

Join the Army, they said.  See the world, they said.

When our dad was drafted into WWII, he had not been outside a 50-mile radius of Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.  My guess is that the newly married James W. “J.W.” Smith was in the learning curve of his life – never intending to be anything but a farmer. Like so many, he left the United States of America without really knowing or understanding where he was going. During the war, he was trained as an aircraft mechanic.  When he returned from the war, sharecropping proved to be a poor career choice…so he packed up his family and moved near an air base where he was employed with a civilian contractor.  He worked on planes for the Air Force for the next 50 years.

Our dad on camel in Egypt.  The Sphynx and the Pyramid of Khufu are seen in the background-for a kid from Walnut Ridge Arkansas-this was probably a pretty big deal.

1945 WWII.  Our dad on a camel in Egypt. The Sphinx and the Pyramid of Khufu are seen in the background-for a kid from Walnut Ridge Arkansas-this was probably a pretty big deal.

Our father actually climbed to the top of the pyramids – you can no longer do that!

When Dad sent the picture home to Mom-who was 18, living with her parents and caring for a new baby (a baby Dad had yet to meet)-he included a little silk hanky with gold script which said, "To my Dear Wife."  In the corner of the hanky were drawings of pyramids and a camel.   70 years later the photo and little hanky stand as a witness to the love they shared and their desire to stay connected during the most troubling of times-Dad in sending it and Mom in keeping it tucked away all these years.

When Dad sent the picture home to Mom-who was 18, living with her parents and caring for a new baby (a baby Dad had yet to meet)-he included a little silk hanky with gold script which said, “To my Dear Wife.” In the corner of the hanky were drawings of pyramids and a camel.
70 years later the photo and little hanky stand as a witness to the love they shared and their desire to stay connected during the most troubling of times-Dad in sending it and Mom in keeping it tucked away all these years.

 

YOUR TURN

What incredible events have shaped your family’s history?  Events that set your life on a different path.