I remember my dad telling me how glad he was to come home from the war. Dad served in the Pacific Theater during the Second World War. Divine Spirit blessed him to return home, safe and sound, to his hometown of Lincoln Park.
Dad returned to the home that he was born and raised in. When I say that my father was born in his home, he was actually born in the home and not in a hospital. My dad grew up in the very home that his father built. Dad’s family home was at the end of the country lane that was named after his family, Mabey Lane.
I remember my father telling me that it was a strange thing to return home. He told me that he never got over it, how some of his buddies in the Army Air Corps were killed in action. My father was a deeply patriotic man, but he truly despised war.
Shortly after returning home from the war, Dad started a trucking company along with his brother Edward and his father, Watson. Their office and truck terminal was first located in the neighboring town of Fairfield and then was later relocated to Paterson.
I remember my dad telling me that it was shortly after he came home from the war that he began building this very elaborate train setup. Somewhere, in Dad’s photo albums, there are pictures of my father’s train village.
Apparently, there was a large open-spaced hall area on the second floor of his family home. Dad built this large table for his train village. I still have one of the scale-sized street lamps that was part of my dad’s train setup. I have it on my bookshelf. It is a cherished memento.
In the back woods, behind Dad’s family’s home, was a majestic maple tree. Simply put, it was an incredibly wide and tall tree. I remember one Sunday afternoon, when I was in high school, Dad and I took a walk through those woods to the old Morris Canal. Dad pointed out the majestic maple and told me that he remembered climbing it as a kid. I remember how my heart stopped for a moment, because that was the very tree that I loved to climb as a young child.
My dad never talked much about being in the war. After he went Home to be with the Lord, we found an article that was written about Dad in the newspaper that was published by the Seventh Army Air Corps. My father had received an award for outstanding service, above and beyond the call of duty. Dad had never said one word about it, ever.
I’ve attached a photo that was taken of my dad and his mom, upon his homecoming from the war.
I miss my dad. It’s been nearly six years since he went Home to be with the Lord. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about him, remembered something he had told me, thought about some of the things we did together.