Wednesday, April 25, 2007

With apologies...

I apologize for the recent emphasis on Father-related posts. I think it's therapeutic.

I know, however, that it's odd to be the guy who has to scrounge through your just-dead father's personal effects looking for things like your mother's death certificate (the one key document we all forgot to locate prior to his death).

I know that's odd.

Still... the stuff you find. Like this shot of him as what? An 18-year old?

Or here, a strapping guy in his 40s or 50s? Look how big his nostrils are.

Or a signed letter from General Douglas MacArthur to his father, my grandfather, which read:
Mr. Allen Raymond
Saturday Evening Post
Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear Mr. Raymond:

It is a real pleasure to me to award you the Asiatic-Pacific Service Ribbon in view of your long and meritorious service in the Southwest Pacific Area with the forces of this command. You have added luster to the difficult, dangerous and arduous profession of War Correspondent.

From what I've heard, it comes as no surprise that MacArthur goes with all caps for his signature line. I remember some years ago watching a documentary on MacArthur's triumphant return to the Philippines. As they often do, they filled the footage gap with a zoom into the front page of The New York Times of the day. As I read the headline about MacArthur famously honoring his "I shall return" pledge, my eyes also caught sight of the byline of the main article's author. It was, in fact, Grandfather.

Which was a kick.

That second photo would make a fun painting, yes?


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