Thursday, September 22, 2005

In Memory of John Lester, Jr.

John Lester, Jr.

April 30, 1930 -- September 23, 2001

It was four years ago today that my father lost his battle with cancer, less than two weeks after 9/11 -- events of which I am glad he was unaware. According to his stories, he and his buddies thought for sure they were headed to Korea when they boarded the train east, and were quite surprised (though I'm sure very relieved) when they heard they were bound for Germany.

Dad with his rig. His brother had tought him how to drive semi back home, so when he heard they were looking for drivers, he signed right up. They didn't think a young "kid" like him could handle such a big truck, but naturally he aced the test. He used to talk about the long supply runs they would send them on, and how they would heat tins of sausages and sardines by placing the tins next to the engine.

This picture was taken a few years after the war, in 1957. He was an avid fisherman, often playing hookey as a young boy to go fishing with his buddies, and also won a father/son tournament. Growing up in the 1930s and '40s, he and his father would catch a mess of fish which they would then sell to the Italian housewives in the old Greenbush section of town, which is, sadly, largely commercial now. It was the Depression era, and sometimes the sale of those fish might be the only money coming in.

When my sisters and I were little, he bought us each our own fishing pole and would often take us out with him on weekends - before we lost interest. Spending a day with slimy worms and fish wasn't as appealing as staying home with a good book or meeting friends at the Rollerdrome. It didn't stop him from going, though he rarely got out at all during the last decade of his life.

This one I took fall of 1992. The horse was a present from family friends to my niece Elizabeth, and naturally "Bompa" had to test the springs once he had it put together.


Jana said...

(((Heather))) Sounds like your dad was an awesome man and lived a full and happy life. Whenever someone leaves behind such beautiful memories, I think it speaks well of them and how they lived their life. Many hugs to you on this anniversary. My thoughts and prayers of comfort are with you today, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Heather, I am so sorry to hear about your father's death. Having just gone through that myself, I know what a terrible loss it is for you. Keep sharing your memories. Lucinda

Heather said...

Thanks, Jana and Lucinda! Your thoughs are appreciated. ~H.

Anonymous said...

Sending cyber hugs to you on this day.--Rae