Dad’s second from the left, top row. This is the only full Thomas family photo, taken in 1934 when Dad graduated high school.
The 31st of May was my Dad’s birthday. It also used to be Memorial Day till Congress passed a bill making it just one of those three day holidays that now just welcomes in the summer months and is a commercial holiday to sell crap.
Dad was a builder who was so quality-focused there was only a .25 inch/6,35 mm variation from one side of the basement wall to the other. Detail was important to him and he could drive you crazy worrying about something so small no one but he could see it, like how straight drainpipes were hanging from the gutters. That nature was helpful to him in his job as a chief of police.
Dad never missed an election, even voted by absentee ballot his last year of life, 2008, dying, in fact, after elections were done Election Day, in his sleep. Born in 1916, Dad would have been 107 today. Like Mom, he is sorely missed.
Traditional Memorial Day on May 31st, too, is missed. It’s become a sad joke on the memories of those who died for their country.