I received a thoughtful note from a “W.W.II Vet, Korea Vet,” no return address, regarding my letter, “Progressive thought and my dad, the fool,” Feb. 20, which deserves clarification.
KV took my use of “fool” regarding my dad as irreverence. My point was quite the opposite.
Recently the government put forth the notion of personal “empowerment.” It was stated that an individual could choose to cut their work hours nearly in half, making purchase of health insurance more financially possible and more time would be possible with their children. An “empowering” choice. The implication implied that you would be a “fool” not to make such a choice.
I wrote that my dad did not finish high school. Following his release from the POW camp and returning home, he married and worked several jobs — operating engineer, service station owner, tire shop owner, fishing bait worm farmer, culminating in ownership of our hometown ambulance company.
Save the last six month of his life (battling cancer) my dad never chose “fewer” work hours to pursue his goals or enhance his family values (more time with his children).
Two of my most memorable summers were spent in Bridge Point several hundred miles from our SoCal home. Our family camped on the East Walker River to be with our dad, an operating engineer at the time, close to his job site. What an adventure.
KV, my use of the word “fool” was intended to show the absurdity of the “empowerment” illustration put forth. The choices my dad made encouraged and enabled all his children to go even further than he had.
This was shown to my dad, in his latter years, in a meaningful way by our younger brother. He pursed his path of Vietnam vet, master’s degree, educator and athletic coach with character nurtured by our dad. One day (during those six months) he showed our dad one of the results of his parentage by driving him across his school’s football field, stopping beneath the score board bearing our family name: Jorgensen Stadium.
Like my brother, KV, I wrote my letter to honor my dad. He was no “fool.”