Stories With My Dad
(c) Leo G Campbell 4/27/2017
Stories With My Dad
– I Hope When He Died – He Was Satisfied & Me –
A. “Tuition Due, For U of P – Dad – in his chair, checkbook in his lap.”
“Is it time to write your tuition check?
No, Dad, I earned an Air Force ROTC, full University Scholarship this year, my Senior. It pays my entire full tuition, all books, all lab, and any other, fees. I get – an entire free ride, til I graduate.
Note, it was 1966, Dad expected to write that check, for up to $1,500, maybe more. In 2017 dollars: at least, $ 10,500.
E. “Drunk On The Porch” I came home, from a college party, pretty smashed. I crawled up the front steps, got to the doorbell on all fours, reached up, pushed the doorbell. It was 2 O’ clock a.m.
Mom was at her hospital, RN night shift. So it would be my Dad, to answer the door. As so, it was. Nothing was said, he gave me a hand inside, helped me stagger to the davenport (couch), I laid down. He came back with a pillow and blanket, tucked me in, on the living room couch. Dad went back to bed, I slept. Next morning, was said, it was, same as always…
E. a. I was visiting at my daughter’s home some 40 years later, sitting at a kitchen table, just talking to her and her husband, my son-in-law. I told them, my story, Drunk On The Porch. I told it briefly, like I wrote it here. As I finished, I glanced up, from staring at the table; neither was frowning, they just had pity and concern, or perhaps embarrassment, written across their faces.
D. Graduation & Officer Commissioning
At the University of Portland, Portland, Oregon. Late May, 1967, I graduated B.A, in Economics, in academic gown & cap & tassel. I shed the gown, now, dressed in USAF Class A, officer’s uniform, it was now legal to wear. I think both my mother and fiance, pinned my gold 2nd lieutenant bars, on.
At later-in-the-day USAF ROTC ceremonies, I stood on stage, a USAF Second Lieutenant, first time in public, in full uniform. The ROTC Detachment USAF officers, awarded me, singly, medals, for various-thing.
I stood at attention, on stage, now alone – in formal uniform, wearing my medals. I looked down, there was, rows of an audience, some parents, families, and friends. I didn’t expect to see anyone I knew.
I was so surprised, in about the second row, right down in the second or third row, sat together/was my two parents – my Mom and Dad, they never spoke, nor talked, at home… ever… But, now, sitting together, smiling beaming, Mom finger waved. I stood on stage, bravely and frankly astonished.