As a young man who grew up in the upper mid west, he did very well for himself. His father was a machinist and his mother worked as a clerk at the local general store. A wonderful place that was; nothing like the Superstores we are subjected to now. My Dad knew what is is to work. Even his mother worked at home canning various foods for storage against hard times that eventually come to pass. My father went to the Air Force and was a fighter pilot. In his F-86 Sabre he chased the Mig-15s back over the line while never having to shoot at another pilot, just doing his job. While having been trained to kill, he never found a justified reason to do so. The years that followed found him in Viet Nam, and there he served our people well. I remember the art and woodworks he brought back from the far east. Beautiful. I was just a small child then, and perhaps that is why the impression is so great upon me. Asian food, chop sticks and spices. Not fried chicken or pot pies. Fresh fish caught in a stream, wilted lettuce in bacon grease. My father is many things, foremost, he is a father. A wonderful cook, never too much garlic or lemon. I have been blessed to be his son. His passion for cooking good food surpassed any rush to the fork and knife. I gladly awaited the fine, fine result of my father’s cooking. How he learned to cook so well, I do not know. I just know that the old man could fly a fighter and cook a fine meal. What more could any kid ask of his Dad? I have been blessed to be his son. In another chapter, I will relate my times and experiences as a pilot. I cook too, but not as well as Dad. Dad served two “tours” in Viet Nam. Calling it a “tour” gives it the sound of a vacation. Far from that. Viet Nam in 1968-1969 was no garden party. I’ve never heard much from him about those years. He did tell me of the mortar fire and sleeping with an M-16 at his bedside. He also said the food there was great. Not the G.I. stuff, the real food from the local places. There comes my love for Asian food. He never made me eat with chop sticks, but he did, and I finally mastered them. It is a part of the experience of eating Asian food. A fork just can’t get you there. If you can, find a Vietnamese soup restaurant, and order the Pho with thin sliced beef. Tear up all the herbs and spices, bean sprouts, and mix it up. Somewhere in that bowl you will find an experience of a man not yet thirty. A man in combat. A man resolved to duty and family….My Father. I have known many great men, but my Dad tops them all. I wish I could have been more like him, and less like my Mother.