Friday, November 11, 2005

My father, Veterans Day and good beer.

As most of you know, today is Veterans Day, 2005.

My father, who was born in 1925 and died in 2001, usually had a beer or maybe two (but unlike his son, seldom more) while reminiscing about his military service. During the last decade of his life, his favorite beer was Pilsner Urquell, and he liked it far more on draft than in the bottle. The photo above was taken circa 1952 -- when he wasn't drinking Pilsner Urquell. Oertel's 92, perhaps?

Roger G. Baylor joined the US Marine Corps in 1942 and put in two and a half years as a gun striker and shellman on the 5-inch guns aboard the battleship USS Washington in the Pacific Theater. He was called back to service during the Korean War, but remained stateside.

Not all threats to life and limb came from the enemy. During my father's time on the battleship, it collided with another American ship (ironically, the USS Indiana) and once rode out a major typhoon.

The photo below was taken earlier this week at the Veterans' Plaza on Market Street in New Albany. The memorial is being landscaped and upgraded by volunteers from the community.

The Curmudgeon encourages you to drink a toast to a veteran today. I'll be having a Pilsner Urquell after work.

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