Our month in Tucson has gone by much too quickly, and we have not had the time to do half of what we had hoped to while we were here.
We did get the chance to stop and visit with my uncle, Jack Compau, who is 84 and still holding his own. He’s slowed down a bit, but looks good, and we enjoyed our visit.
We also visited with my cousin Beverly McKiddy several times. Bev has a special place in my heart, and she’s one of my favorite people in this world. We’ve had a close relationship since we were youngsters, and when we were both single parents raising our kids, we leaned on each other a lot. We never miss an opportunity to get together.
Yesterday Bev drug a dozen or more old photo albums out of her closet and we spent some time reminiscing. I love looking at old family photographs. They are a tie to my history. It was amazing to look back over 50 or more years of pictures and remember cars my Dad owned, or see my parents and uncles and aunts as young adults just starting their own families.
Looking at those old pictures brought our youth back to life. Christmas mornings, summer vacations, and high school heartthrobs preserved forever in Kodachrome. Were any of us really ever that young and slender? And what’s with those wide lapels and sideburns anyway? Whose idea was that?
It was interesting to see old World War II photographs of my father and uncles, younger men than my own son is today, going off to fight the Nazis and Japanese to bring peace back to the world. Some of them landed at Omaha Beach on D Day, others island hopped across the Pacific from one bloody beachhead to the next, while others did their fighting in the sky over Europe. One of those uncles never made it back, dying on a battlefield in North Africa.
Another album held photographs of my generation going off to fight our own war. Bev’s brothers Bob and Sonny looked like little boys playing soldier in their uniforms, as I do in the pictures of myself in those days. But those boys both distinguished themselves in combat and made it back home a bit banged up, but ready to get on with their lives. Now there’s a new generation, and a new war, and somebody will be adding new photographs of little boys in uniform.
I think you could look at any family’s old photo albums and trace our society’s history. It’s an interesting trip down memory lane.
Today we’ll fire up our old bus and say goodbye to Tucson. We’re headed for Apache Junction and some more family time, with Terry’s parents and sisters. We’re playing a waiting game, biding our time until it warms up a bit more in Arizona’s high country, so we can get up to Show Low and spend some time with my daughter Tiffany and her family.
Thought For The Day – The only true measure of success is happiness.