Farmer Mac is alive and well this year, we are very glad to report. He's not doing much with the retail side of blueberries these days, but he does find time and energy to weed a few rows and tend chickens.
For the Memorial Day part, I should say Farmer Mac is a World War II veteran.
His mom didn't want him to volunteer for service, but he did it anyway. He was, and still is, a smallish, light-framed lad. He was in formation waiting to see what branch he would be selected for and compared to the farm raised boys to his left and his right, about 1600 in total, he felt like a shrimp. They first selected for the Army and he said about 800 boys were called but not him. Then they selected the Navy and he just knew that's where he was going. They selected about 600 of them for that, but he was left standing. Well, there you have it, I'm a Marine! But no. About 150 went to that group. What remained were the Army Air Corps and that's where he went.
He was a meteorologist (or the Army Air Corps version of one) stationed in Okinawa. He said he was issued only a handgun and he wasn't allowed to use it on the job. His main job was to go up to the roof of the building they were in to float air balloons and take measurements. Some days, that was accompanied by bullets whizzing past and he would dodge and run to get where he needed to be. Sometimes the balloons wouldn't cooperate and he would have to do several before he could decipher what he needed to know.
Are you wondering why he didn't continue to be a meteorologist when he got home? They wanted him to be. Some news station offered him a good job but he turned them down flat. Would have had to go to meteorology school and the only one in the country at that time was in West Virginia. No girls. After being overseas for the best of his teenage years, he had no interest in holing up on the top of a mountain in the middle of the sticks for a couple more years learning about the weather.
I do want to thank him and all of the men and women who have so selflessly given of their lives and their bodies to provide us the freedoms and abilities that we have available to us today. This includes those of the Greatest Generation and those who have served since then.
I think tomorrow I'll write about the Greatest Generation because I have something to say about that too!
I have already had someone ask me what the Army Air Corps was. The Air Force had not been created at the time of WWII so the air power that we had was attached to the Army. This was called the Army Air Corps that later became the Air Force. At least, that's how I understand it.