Monday, July 28, 2008

Achilles came to Troyland

Lts Krause and Sawyer at the Stillwell Hotel

The man on the right is my grandfather. The man on the left is, I'm guessing, someone he trained with at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. On the back of the photo, in my grandpa's messy handwriting, he's identified as "Lt Krause."

My grandfather took a fair number of photos of his days in the army. I can't help but wonder, looking at photos like this one and of smoke breaks and swimming holes and men and artillery, what happened to the other men. Did they make it home? Are they still alive today?

My Grandaddy Alan, Europe, WWII

By the same token, I can't help but wonder about my grandfather. I know the basics, of course. I knew him, I remember him. I saw the man he grew up to be and I know how and when he died. But my grandfather -- who he was before I knew him, who he was when I knew him but never thought to wonder: who was he?

I guess the wondering is part of that bigger questioning: what makes us who we are?

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