Monday, May 26, 2014
He was a handsome youngin,' wasn't he?
Here's the abridged story of his enlisting in the Navy, told by a dear friend at Dad's funeral:
His journey into the Navy was prompted by an incident when he was a senior in high school. Periodically Jerry, and a friend named Murphy, would push the family car out of the garage and down an alley and start the engine out of range of Jerry’s sleeping parents.
A block away was a gas station, which always had a little gas left in the hoses. So, the two would drain the hoses into the car for their adventures into Chicago. One night they spilled some gas on the concrete pad near a pump. Murphy decided to clean up the evidence... with a match...just as a squad car came round the corner.
The judge gave Murphy the option of going to reform school or joining the service. Murphy wisely chose the Marines. Jerry could not let his friend go without moral support, so he dropped out of high school & joined the Navy.
When he was discharged after serving 3 years in the South Pacific, he returned to that same school to finish his senior year. A number of other students had also chosen to drop out to serve. As they returned to school, the competitive spirit remained. For example, who could get to school first to claim the principal's parking spot as their own.
They probably provided the other students with an additional course in the experiences of real life - the greatest generation did that and they still do.