Bok joy

Bok Tower in Florida

This painting will never hang alongside Monet or van Gogh, but it’s special to me because it was painted by my father.  It is the Bok Carillon Tower, known as the Singing Tower.

I believe the date was 1945, and at that time that he was stationed at DeLand Naval Air Station in Florida.  He was a chief petty officer and an ART (no pun intended), or Aviation Radio Technician.  That was a bit of a ruse, however, since his main job was to repair and install radar equipment, which was considered top secret at the time.  Oh, he could fix radios, as well, but that’s not what they sent him all over the country to learn about.

Although the war in Europe had ended, the outcome of the war in the Pacific was still uncertain, and estimates were emerging that, should we have to invade Japan, we could expect casualties of over one million men.  Not long after he created this painting, Dad was transferred to Alameda, in California, leaving behind his wife and his first two daughters, while he awaited orders to sail for Guam.  From there, he would probably have been assigned to an aircraft carrier (also known as kamikaze bait) to support the invasion.

His orders did come, but fortunately for me (because I didn’t come along for several more years), on August 14 (15th in Japan), Japan announced that it would surrender.  The announcement came on Dad’s birthday, and in a letter to my mother he said it was the best birthday present he had ever had.  He closed his letter by saying he was going out into the streets to witness the revelry, since he would “likely never see anything like this again.”  And he didn’t.  After Dad was discharged from the Navy, he never once got on another airplane.

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