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My grandfather, Jack, grew up in Manhattan, Kansas. He went to college, then veterinary school. When he finished vet school, World War II was in full swing, and in order to get your diploma, you had to enlist. So Jack enlisted. They gave him a punch card to select his interests and skills, and Jack from Kansas figured he was pretty good at swimming. But somehow, he instead punched skiing. So Jack from Kansas went to Italy with the 10th Mountain Division, a pack of mules, and twelve other first lieutenants.

The mules all died. The first lieutenants all died too. But Jack came home. He came home to a sanitarium with TB, a new wife, and a baby on the way. The Army doctors told him he wouldn't live a year. He lived 65 years. And he died yesterday. In his typical style, they told us last week that he would live two hours, and he lived eleven days.

Jack warrants no pity. But if anybody out there is raising a glass tonight, please raise it to Jack. He would like that.

Comments (28)

In honor of Jack ~

So sorry Beth. My condolences to you and your family.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

There is a glass raised here in Oregon. Sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was a remarkable man.

I raised a glass of gin-and-V8.

Cheers, Jack!

Beth, I'm so sorry for your loss.

a remarkable man who lived through a remarkable time. my grandfather was a muleskinner during world war II. in fact, my great grandmother sent 8 of her 10 boys into the war and they all came home. remarkable. thinking of you all, sounds like he's leaving a big hole (which, is the best case scenario, isn't it?)


I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like a pretty amazing man!

Sorry to read this, here's to Jack.

An amazing man worthy of the recounting. Glad you knew him and I'm glad you shared. Sorry for your loss.

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss - Jack sounds like he was an amazing man, and your family must be so lucky to have known him. I'll definitely raise a glass for him.

I am so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a very special man.

Sorry for your loss Beth. Rest in peace Jack.
God Bless your family.

Rest in peace, Jack.

Sorry for your loss, Beth. May he rest in peace. Mug of tea raised in his memory.

Sorry for your loss. Cheers to your Grandpa from the Detroit area.

I'm sorry for your loss. I'll raise a glass of wine later tonight in Jack's honour. He sounds like an amazing man.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Beth, so sorry for your loss to you and the family. I'll raise a glass tonight in honor of Jack.

I am so sorry to hear your Grandfather has passed, Beth. I'm not much of a drinker, but I will certainly raise my Pepsi glass in his name.

To Jack!

I'm sorry for your loss Beth.

Sorry to hear, Beth. I listened to a story on NPR a few months back about one of the Italian WWII Mountain Divisions. Very interesting stuff.

Sorry for your loss.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Beautiful tribute. I'm raising my glass to Jack.

Sympathy for you and your family's loss, Beth. And to Jack - cheers - look forward to meeting you on the flip side.

I'm only just getting round to reading this blog now but I'm sorry about your grandfather. It sounds like he lived a full life.

I haven't read your blog for a while, because I have been so dang busy, but I have family from the tiny town of Manhattan, KS. I was born in Wichita.
Cheers to Grandpa Jack. Email his last name to me, if you would like, I will ask my stepdad if he knows of him or his family. (it's a realllly small town)

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So the Fish Said...

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