GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY part 2
Daddy's graveside service.
My sister April called him Pop. My brother Doug called him Dad. They both live out west.
Memories from my sister, April Vanscoy;
One of the things I admired about Pop is that he never brought any dishonor to our family. All those decades living in the same community . . . I never heard anyone say anything about being disappointed in his work or in his word. He was dependable, reasonable, realistic and hard working. Also obviously intelligent but one doesn't usually work at intelligence . . . he was born intelligent but used it in a respectable way.
Memories from my brother, Doug Vanscoy:
Dad was named Warren Eugene but folks called him Van as far back as I recall. In the mid-fifties he was the only lineman at the tiny West Ohio Telephone Company in St. Paris and Christiansburg. You'd pick up the phone and an operator would come on, you'd give her the number and she'd say, OK, Doug. Later they went to dial phones, and Dad worked that change-over. Anyway, everyone knew Dad because he installed their phone when they moved in and retrieved it when they left. Heavy, black Stromburg-Carlson phones. I was in the fourth or fifth grade and on special days he would invite me along on his rounds. These trips always included a stop at a general store for a cold soda and a chat with locals. I've watched him strap on leathered spikes and scurry up a telephone pole many times, I can smell the creosote, and I've never seen him happier than in those days.
Dad liked to tell a story about a company in Chicago whose printing press broke. They had to call in a specialist for the repair, and the man inspected the machine for a while, then asked for a heavy hammer. He hit the thing once and it commenced to run fine. The owner received a bill for $1500 and was outraged, requesting an itemized bill. He received one:
$1.00 for striking printing press, $1499 for knowing where to hit it. Dad liked that story a lot.
Joyce: Daddy always said when you have a big decision to make, wait 3 days. But youth has a difficult time doing that. Do you agree?
Here is a story about Daddy's military days in his own condensed words:
The six weeks were up and school was over. Our orders were cut finally to be on our way overseas, destination unknown. At the camp at Goldsboro, N. C. they put us in tents when we arrived at night. We were awakened the next morning by the loudspeaker at the base blasting out "Oh, what a Beautiful Morning". It was pouring down rain - water running through our tent over our shoes.
We were to ship to Newport News, Va. to get on the ship to embark for overseas. The Lieutenant counted the group of 85 to ship out. Guess what? One guy was missing from the lineup. We had been told if we did not show up to ship out we would be charged with desertion and could be shot.
Finally one guy spoke up and said he thought the missing man might be at the Catholic Chapel. He was a devout Catholic and probably was praying. Sure enough, they drug him out of the church and we all got on the train for Newport News.
On April 12, 1944 we arrived at the harbor and were directed to carry our big duffel bag with all our belongings on to the Liberty Ship named Richard Izard. It was a small cargo ship that was used for transporting everything and anything in the war effort. The ship was 500 feet long, carried one 5 inch gun and a couple machine guns. It was able to carry about 100 extra passengers besides the crew.
We were bedded down in the hold below deck for the night. It wasn't long before some of the guys started to get sea sick. I was ok. The next morning we were allowed up on deck and guess what? We were still tied to the dock!! We had not even left shore yet!!
We left the continental United States on April 13th, 1944 headed across the Atlantic Ocean. We were part of a large convoy. I would guess about 40 ships but some were over the horizon and you could not see all of them. The convoy was escorted by U. S. Destroyers on the side of the convoy. All ships would zig zag to make a more difficult target for submarines to shoot torpedoes at them.
The weather was very good most of the time, but it was very slow going. Top speed of the convoy was about 15 knots. They could only go as fast as the slowest ship and I guess ours was probably one of the slow ones. Time was heavy on our hands. I brought out the zippered Bible Mom and Pop bought for me on my birthday in 1943. I thought while I had plenty of time I would try to read the Bible all the way through. So a lot of my time was spent reading the Bible and conversing with my friends.
I believe Daddy soaked in those Bible verses, those commands and promises and lived by them for the rest of his life.
What do you live by? I thought about the oath that doctors take:
I thought about what Micah in the Old Testament said in chapter 6 verse 8:
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
I thought about what Jesus said in Matthew 9:12:
It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what
this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the
righteous, but sinners.
I woke the day after Daddy was buried to a white wonderland. Jerry & Joy both thought more than 5".
No footprints / no animal prints / no yellow snow
It reminded me of the scriptures: Psalm 51:7 / Isaiah 1:16-18
Psalm 51:7 was written by David . . Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. David was talking to God. This was after he was convicted of sin by the prophet Nathan of adultery with Bathsheba.
If you do not live by the Bible . . . then what do you live by?