Did grandpa love me? Was grandpa excited when I came home? Did grandpa scoop me up when I was a little baby? Did I have a dress on when I met grandpa? He did think I was cute? My grandpa would never abandon me. My grandpa is handsome.
During breakfast, I was checking Facebook and Julia spied a picture of her grandfather, David’s father, that one of her cousins posted on Veterans Day. It unleashed a torrent of questions and ideas that must have been bottled up for sometime.
It was a candid picture of Bob Schanker during his air force days. A half smile, jaunty tilt of the head and obviously happy. He was a navigator during the Second World War and, if his stories were to be believed, he lived some of the best years of his life during that time. He thrived in the company of men from all over the country. He explored outside of his Jersey roots. He was no longer under his mother’s thumb. He saw a little action — I’m not sure how much. Most of his time was spent state side, first learning and honing his skills, and later teaching those navigators who came in behind him. Much later, he would become a favorite and beloved high school business teacher and so I do not doubt that his gifts were put to good use in the service. There are many pictures of the girls and/or women he met during his service time. He had no special girl at home, at least the way he told it, and so flirted and socialized (and took pictures) as he moved from base to base.