Thomas Wictor has a cool memorial to the father he never knew.
“Although I knew of my father for fifty years, I didn’t know him at all. He will always remain a mystery to me, which is what he wanted.”
Mine too, apparently. Pop (which I never called him but seems appropriate now) was an enigma to me for at least 44 years . For a dozen or so of those years he told me he had joined the Army Air Corps to learn to fly.
I found out reading his Air Force flight records that he knew how to fly BEFORE he joined the military. Flew a light, single engine plane made by Aeronca from a little airport near the town where he was born in Mississippi.
Seems strange Pop would lie about something so simple. But Pop lied a lot. His last lie was to assure me that I had to come to his second wedding (after mother had died) because I would be his best man. When I got there and asked him what a best man was supposed to do, Pop said flatly “There will be no best man.”
Turned out he just wanted me to put in an appearance so it wouldn’t look to his colleagues and friends like his children had bailed on him. In the end only one of the three did.
Wictor’s father-he-never-knew left him a ton of money “that allows me complete freedom for the rest of my life.” Pop didn’t. He left me an old serving platter allegedly belonging to my ggggrandfather. Who’s to say if it’s true.
Not me. I knew Pop that well, anyhow.