World Traveler

In addition to being a ladies man, my Dad is a world traveler. He claims he's done so much traveling he prefers to stay home. Although he hails from a small West Virginia coal mining town, my Dad has journeyed to Turkey, Greece, Palau, Guam, Truk, Chuuk, and the Isle of Capri. Most international travel was a result of his service in the Navy. Stationed on the USS Independence my Dad spent four years in the service. Following his four-year stint he became a reservist in the Seabees. The Seabees are one of the toughest units in the armed forces. Their motto is, "we build, we fight, we serve." I always admired that. They are the engineers, electricians, architects, etc. out there with a hammer in one hand and a weapon in the other. John Wayne starred in a movie about the Seabees once. I think everyone should see it at least once. That and the Quiet Man. John Wayne has never looked so good.
Although he never saw action my father served during the Vietnam War. In fact, most of the males on my father's side of the family have served in the armed forces. My Uncle Jimmy served three tours in Vietnam, my Uncle Clyde was in the Marines and my Grandpa Kidd was a cook in the Army.

Keeping with tradition my father was a typical sailor; he drank, smoked, partied, boxed and wrote letters home to his parents and girlfriends. I love both of these photos. I wish the latter weren't bent but you can still see that signature feature most of the Kidd's have; the nose. It's not a bad nose but it's such a consistent characteristic in our family that it makes me smile.
The first photo shows off my Dad's ears. He thinks they were big but I think it's cute and often are attracted to men with large ears. It gives them a sense of vulnerability and imperfection that I find comforting. He also looks a little lonely and uncertain in the photo. You almost want to put your arms around him and say, "Hang in there. Life will probably not turn out the way you want it to but you will marry a beautiful woman, who will turn out to be a pain in the choo-choo train, have a great career, and have two terrific children who will love you forever. At times your life will be challenging but you will have a lot of good memories to reflect upon in your latter years." Sometimes, I look at this photo of my Dad with his hat in hand and it seems as if the image reflects the way I often feel; especially at this time in life when the future is so uncertain and I have no idea if I am making the right choices or if I should be doing something or living somewhere completely different. I only hope one day, after I have traveled the world, I can look back on my life and feel like I have accomplished much of what he has achieved, i.e. raise great children, have a great career and be comfortable in my own skin. Thanks Dad being a man who tries to keep it real.

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Stephanie said...

He should be our tour guide!! To heck with home! let's get on the road again!

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