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This is an autobiography of a truck farmer's son who went from not quite rags to not quite riches. He was told he would never amount to anything after his father died at the age of 15. At that age, he had to take over the family truck farming business since all of his older brothers had long since left the farmhouse. It is apparent that the early responsibility affected him for the rest of his life. He went from a one-room schoolhouse in the early 1900s to college in the 1920s. Through much struggle and hardship, he made it through Purdue University to obtain a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering in 1929 just before the crash. He was able to survive the depression by being extremely economically prudent. Commonwealth Edison Company was his only employer except for the United States Army. He started as a trainee going from job to job until he was assigned to an electrical generating power plant. During the depths of the depression, he was demoted to working as an operator in the power plant for 3 years. In the middle of this period, he got married and they had their first child in 1935. It is this son that became a military brat in World War II and has now edited his autobiography. However, he did not feel secure as an operator so he entered the University of Chicago and obtained a master degree in education with the goal to become a teacher in case the engineering career did not materialize. When the economy began to improve he got his old job back as a mechanical engineer.
The autobiography is almost entirely in his own words, warts and all, which are contained in a 233-page book that he wrote in the 1970s for distribution among his relatives. His son edited out sections that did not seem to have wide appeal. As the title suggests, it contains intimate details of his frustrating experience as a Captain in the 95th Infantry Division during World War II. He kept meticulous records of his time in the Army. The book includes photos that he took in the 20s and 30s during his ROTC and Army Reserves' encampments.
The book spans the time from when he saw Haley's Comet in 1910 and then again in 1985. The book will be of interest to those who have ever struggled to get a college education, served in the military, or are interested in early American history.
He was a man who really loved his family of 2 sons and a daughter. He also loved to travel in the United States and camped in many of the National Parks. The biggest trip of his life was to China in the 1970s after Pres. Nixon established relations with that country. He was an avid stamp collector. He spent most of his retirement in Tucson, Arizona where he volunteered as an archaeological assistant at the University of Tucson digs, a treasurer of the local Indian tribe as well as to take part in many other activities.