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In Memory of My Father: 1920 to 2009

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Bloviating Zeppelin: In Memory of My Father: 1920 to 2009

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In Memory of My Father: 1920 to 2009

We received the call at 3:33 this morning, Wednesday, February 11th, 2009.

You know, instinctively, that an early morning phone call is no good. It was my eldest brother saying that our other brother had gotten a phone call from the hospital. Our father had just passed away.

My father, Richard, was 88 years old. He had survived a world war, Korea, Vietnam. He was a US Army Air Corps bomber pilot. He trained aviators in the B-25 Mitchell at Mather Air Field, east of Sacramento. He married his sweetheart; they eloped to Reno for marriage. They had three children, including myself -- Baby Boomers from the Greatest Generation. He made full bird Colonel in the United States Air Force. If it had rivets, he could fly it.

His wife, my mother, passed away on May 14th of 2002. She had COPD from smoking. Everyone smoked back then. She had just observed her 80th birthday at the time, and her anniversary of April 24th, 1942 -- their 60th.

Dad was two months shy of his 89th birthday, April 13th of 1920.

I called my father's brother at their Highland Park, Texas home early this morning. I woke up my Aunt Gloria.

Dad once told me: "All I want to do is be older than my father when he died." His father was 80 when he died. He was in the front yard of their Texas home. He had a heart attack and fell dead. You made it, Dad. You beat him.

There is so much to do. So much to do.

Blogging may be sporadic. Or I may redouble my efforts. I can't say.

I'll bet my Dad's flying high above the earth right now, in an open cockpit Consolidated Vultee BT-13, canopy slided back, where the skies are blue, the weather fair, and he's young, strong and free. So free.



Blogger A Jacksonian said...

My condolences to you, Mr. Z and may he Rest In Peace.

His good works will not be forgotten.

Wed Feb 11, 12:24:00 PM PST  
Blogger Rustmeister said...

Condolences to you and your family, and congratulations to your father on a life well lived.

Wed Feb 11, 12:29:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences to you and your family. You will always remember him and the things he taught you will become clearer. Your pride of your dad will become greater and greater as the years pass.

Wed Feb 11, 12:32:00 PM PST  
Blogger Ranando said...

My thoughts are with you and your family.

Sorry to hear the news.

Stay well.

Wed Feb 11, 12:39:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Thank you indeed for your kind words. He was a military man from The Greatest Generation. And they really were the greatest.


Wed Feb 11, 12:40:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

02 11 09

Condolences BZ. Your dad sounded like a real badass and I always admired the stories you told about him. He must have been a good Dad to raise you and a Patriot as well, he left a great legacy. RIP.

Wed Feb 11, 02:27:00 PM PST  
Blogger TexasFred said...

All the best BZ.

Mr. BZ Sr. Rest in Peace Sir, you have earned it!

Wed Feb 11, 03:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger deMontjoie said...

God bless to you and yours. NOT condolences -- since those are wholly inappropriate for recognition of a life well-lived.

The greatest generation is leaving us just when it looks like we'll be needing them most.

Wed Feb 11, 04:30:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BZ...I hope you and your family find comfort in knowing the love and pride that comes from being the offspring of the Greatest Generation.

From what you have written, he was an unsung hero. God Bless...and I hope y'all heal from this loss soon.

Wed Feb 11, 05:01:00 PM PST  
Blogger Greywolfe said...

God bless you and yours BZ. He had a helluva good run, and at least one great American son to carry on. He flies with Eagle's wings now. Thank you and again, God bless.

Wed Feb 11, 06:21:00 PM PST  
Blogger Isaac said...

Another hero passes into the arms of the Lord. I'm sure he is in peace now. His loyal service speaks volumes about every other man who has volunteered to serve.

Wed Feb 11, 07:45:00 PM PST  
Blogger valerie said...

I seen the name of this post on another blog I follow, so forgive me for posting without knowing you, but for moments like yours one can never have enough prayers

May God grant you and your family mercy at this time, it is the living we cry for, your father has gone home

Wed Feb 11, 07:48:00 PM PST  
Blogger Mike Pittman said...


My condolences and sympathies. God bless you and your family. Your Dad is indeed free. My prayers are with you and your family.


Wed Feb 11, 08:05:00 PM PST  
Blogger shoprat said...

My condolences and prayers.

Wed Feb 11, 08:07:00 PM PST  
Blogger sandy said...

Thankfully we had Dads like yours and mine to teach us honor and courage in the face of our enemy s. They just didn't know the enemy would be in the Congress and White House.
I'm sorry for your loss BZ.

Wed Feb 11, 08:43:00 PM PST  
Blogger Z said...

"Blogging may be sporadic. Or I may redouble my efforts. I can't say."

You're a very wise man saying that, BZ...take it what feels right.

Mr. and Mrs. Z send our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to you and your family. What a beautiful tribute this was. May he rest in peace and may he live forever in the hearts and minds of those who loved him.

I'm really so sorry. xxxx

Wed Feb 11, 08:58:00 PM PST  
Blogger Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

That was a fine tribute. I lost my dad last year. My heart goes out to you. Your blogosphere buddies are on watch.

Wed Feb 11, 09:10:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

PCC and all: my brothers, wife and I stood in Dad's room very early this morning, reminiscing. We told some good stories. The oxygen was still flowing to his mask. His hands were warm. The nurse came in and gave us an amazing piece of information; it solved a mystery. I will write of this later. I want to find older photographs of my father and let my readers see a completely unsung, amazingly strong, incomplete, reticent, capable, quiet but loved American hero.

We all clustered about that same bed the night before. He was struggling for every breath. My wife bent over and kissed his forehead. Kissed him goodbye. I didn't. My brothers didn't. My wife said, "you might want to kiss him goodnight." I didn't think a thing of it. He'd beaten so many other major ailments; he was built of armor. We said, "we'll be back tomorrow, you'll be walking around the hall." He said "I sure hope so."

My final chance to see my Dad alive, to tell him what I felt. To give him his final kiss from me whilst alive. I missed it.

I missed it.

Before we left the room early this morning, the oxygen still hissing in his mask, I bent over and kissed him then.

"Goodbye buddy," I said.

What a terrible, terrible, terrible mistake I made.


Wed Feb 11, 09:35:00 PM PST  
Blogger Average American said...

BZ, words can't express the feeling in the heart of those trying to console in times like this. Just know that we all feel your pain. Time will soften the pain. I lost both my parents and I know it is tough, but your dad lived a good life and he left a great legacy in you and your siblings. God bless you and your family.

Wed Feb 11, 11:38:00 PM PST  
Blogger Alaska Steve said...

BZ, I'm so sorry to hear this . . . he sounds like an amazing man - if you want to want to get your thoughts out and tell us stories, we'll listen; if you need a break, we'll miss you buddy and we'll be here when you get back . . . . be well, dear friend.

Thu Feb 12, 12:39:00 AM PST  
Blogger Rivka said...

My condolences are also with you and your siblings as you go through this.

Your dad was a true hero and I am thankful for his sacrifice for our country.

Thu Feb 12, 08:21:00 AM PST  
Blogger Jennifer McKenzie said...

My thoughts are with you. I remember when my Dad died in August 2002 that I had the feeling I "should" be okay. After all, he was seventy and I was in my thirties. I "should" have expected. It didn't help. I still miss him to this day.
Your Dad sounds like he was a wonderful man.

Thu Feb 12, 08:47:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If if be possible, let this cup pass my lips, but not my will, your will be done." The agony in the garden.

You, BZ, family and commenters, are in my prayers.


P.S. I used anon because I have intarweb homework to do.

Thu Feb 12, 09:14:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Steve and All: you know what? When I get back to my cabin (it's snowed-in with icy Global Warming right now; I'm staying at my wife's house in the valley) I AM going to tell stories, I think; stories with pictures. Dave, thanks so much for dropping by. Hope is all doing well. Yes, I'm still wearing it every day. That was a gift beyond measure.


Thu Feb 12, 11:02:00 AM PST  
Blogger cary said...

You have our prayers and condolences, BZ.

The loss of your father is immeasurable. May he rest in Peace, and may you and your family have the peace and strength of the Father.

Thu Feb 12, 12:36:00 PM PST  
Blogger USA_Admiral said...

You have my sincerest condolences and prayers for you and your family.

Thu Feb 12, 03:41:00 PM PST  
Blogger LoneRider said...

My condolences to you and your family, no matter how and where it is never easy to loose someone you love.


Thu Feb 12, 06:03:00 PM PST  
Blogger David Wyatt said...


I pray for you & your family. I know this is hard for you, but what a man he was! I feel like I almost knew him, through your precious descriptions of him. what a generation was his as well. How we need more like him today! God Bless you sir.

Thu Feb 12, 06:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

What a great tribute to your father, bz. My condolence for the loss. It sounds like he lived a fine life and was someone who made a difference for the better. God bless him for his service to our country and for bringing you into the world.

Thu Feb 12, 09:54:00 PM PST  
Blogger mamawas said...

God grant the family strength peace and optimism in the next days.

Sat Feb 14, 12:44:00 PM PST  
Blogger countrylover said...

Your dad was a great man I loved him dearly as I have only known him for 7 great but I surely was not ready to say see ya later. Wow what a powerful man and a great mentor to many. My condolences are with you and your brothers. I do know your dad thought the world of you he talked about you and your hard work often (he was very proud). Yes he almost made his B-Day I will miss that this year as we always celebrated together. We were both stubborn Germans and also Aries which are perceived as strong minded people. Anyways I could keep going but I won't bore you. Take care you are a great prodigy of your great father

Wed Feb 18, 09:00:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings Mr. Z,

What a life worth living--thanks for sharing this wonderful story with the rest of us.

Tue Mar 24, 07:52:00 AM PDT  

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