Sunday, May 27, 2007
Happy Memorial Day!
Here is a little tidbit of McSister family history in honor of Memorial Day (I hope I have this right - though I'm sure one of my sisters will correct me if I'm wrong)
We live on Schofield Barracks, in Hawaii. A long long time ago... before WWII... before my grandpa met my grandmother... before my dad was born... my grandfather, Mark, was station here with the Army Air Corp. Right here on Schofield Barracks. There are some interesting old barracks on this base (some being remodeled, some still housing soldiers) built in the 1920's that I'm sure my grandfather must have lived in.
My memories of my Grandfather mostly consist of visiting their St. George Condo and playing "Oh When the Saints" on the electric keyboard. And my Grandpa turning down his hearing aids when we kids were toooooooo loud (often!) And a song about a Monkey and Diego? But I feel a weird kind of closeness to him here.
I wonder what the island was like when he lived here - was Wahiawa really the pineapple capital of the world? - was he stuck here in the middle of the island, or was he able to go to the beach and learn how to surf? or to the Temple? Did he look rather dapper in his brown uniform? What was his job here? Was he a drill instructor by then, or was he a young recruit? Did he ever see any Hula Dancers in grass skirts? How did a young man from Tooele, Utah end up in the Army in Hawaii?
One thing I do know about grandpa, is that he really wanted to be a pilot, but he was color blind. My sources say that you still cannot fly for the military if you are color blind. So, back in the day, the color blind test was somehow administered with yarn. Grandpa had figured out a way to cheat on the test, and therefore, enter the Army Air Corp and learn how to fly. But just before he was able to take the test, they changed it to the dot test that is still used today.
Grandpa never learned to fly, but he continued to serve in the Army. He was later stationed in Texas where he became a drill instructor, met my grandma, Ella Gant, and the rest is history!
Happy Memorial Day
(p.s. I would love to hear stories about life as a military wife during the forties. Grandma doesn't talk about that much, other than to say that she was always prepared to whip up extras of dinner for anyone my grandpa brought home with him. I imagine her in heels and pearls and a starched apron.)