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View Diary: My Dad and Cancer (88 comments)

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  •  Have him write info... (9+ / 0-)

    You mentioned your father has a computer.

    Ask him all the important questions as though you're a genealogist.

    Full birth names, dates & locations of birth (and death & burial locations, where applicable) of his parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles (some info can be verified by birth/death, marriage, or other documents, census data, deeds, probates, other genealogy info online - I found four extra elder siblings of my father's after the birth info went online, and no one knew about them; they were stillborn or only lived hours, days, weeks).  Dates married, divorced (that info can also be verified in county records).

    Names and years of schools he attended (ditto for his parents, grandparents, if he knows); degrees achieved.  Names of schools where he taught.  Awards received.

    Any other medical history should be noted.  Some things are hereditary (tendency to allergies, arthritis, etc.).

    Military service?  Or was he exempt because he'd had polio as a kid?  What about his father, grandfathers, gr-grandfathers?  (WWI & WWII draft registration cards are online, dates of birth and addresses can be verified on them.)

    Go through your photos.  If there's someone you don't know in them, scan them and send them to your dad and ask him who is in the photos.

    Ask any other questions that you want the answers to....

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:55:25 PM PST

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    •  We sort of did this... (10+ / 0-)

      Not for him, but for my grandpa, his dad.

      Earlier this year, this happened (from a facebook post I made)

      Here is some really cool Kaelin family news.

      My grandfather, Edward Kaelin, will be honored August 24th, 2012 at North Decatur County High School near Greensburg, Indiana.

      ‘How?’ you might ask. Well…they’re only going to name a football field after him.

      In 1977 (the year I was born), my grandfather and grandmother (Dorothy) moved to Indiana from Cincinnati, Ohio. While in the Queen City, Ed ha
      d worked as a milkman for decades after returning from duty in World War II as a halftrack driver. The man was in the Battle of the Bulge. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Then say a quiet ‘Thank you’ for all the men who did what they did over there.

      Once he and grandma got settled at Lake Santee, he walked into the nearby high school and asked if they needed any help. They hired him as a custodian on the spot. For the next 15+ years, Ed showed up nearly every day, doing whatever was required to keep the school running.

      Every day, for 15 years, he was the first soul to arrive North Decatur High. He would open the building and raise the American flag high, up the tall, silver pole that stood before the school. Everyone—and I mean everyone—appreciated his hard work. From the superintendent, the board of education, staff, and—yes—even the 14-18 year old kids.

      One of his favorite things to do? Maintain the football field.

      Ed would meticulously cut and trim every blade of grass. He would line the field, mark the yard numbers, chase away the beetles. Okay, that last one might have been an exaggeration. Suffice it to say, Grandpa loved that field.

      When he died in 2001, several of the school’s staff members came to his funeral and shared their memories of Ed. How much he was liked and respected. How, one day, they hoped to do something to honor him.

      It took 10+ years, but they came through.

      A couple of weeks ago, my Uncle Ray received a rather surprising phone call from the current Assistant Superintendent of North Decatur. The man on the other end of the line told Uncle Ray that the high school was preparing to unveil their new football field, bleachers, and press box this fall. The surprising part? The Board of Education had voted to name the new complex “Ed Kaelin Field.”

      My uncle was blown away. As was my father, Tom, and my other uncle, Larry. None of the three brothers could believe that after 10+ years, enough people were still around who remembered my grandfather so fondly that they would make such a wonderful gesture.

      So, on August 24th, 2012, I will be taking my wife, my son (Nikalys, who is 8), and my daughter (Kennedy, who is 5) to Ed Kaelin Field, where I can tell them all about the summers I spent with my grandpa, puttering around on his lawnmower as he cut the grass for North Decatur High.

      I can’t wait.

      Love ya, Grandpa. You were a wonderful, patient, caring, and fearless man. I miss you.

      That little post went semi-viral around the community of which my grandpa was a part.

      I mentioned this in my post, but I'm attempting to write fiction. Here's my first book. And second. I'm indie now, but that might not last long. I have a few offers from agents, but am holding out for one in particular.

      Anyway, after that post, my dad and started compiling info on my grandpa. The man had a very compelling life himself. Maybe I need to expand the scope some and make it a story about a father and his son...

      Why has gov't been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint. --A. Hamilton

      by bobcatgrad on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:05:37 PM PST

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