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She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee...Proverbs 4:9
A crown of glory
And some cheers
For the heroic story
Of Dad's Great Lakes years.
Poetry by me AJP
My father had many memories of the Great Lakes and he also had stories of earlier years before he became a Wheelsman.
A Great Lakes story Dad liked to tell is of the time he saved a grain scooper's life from drowning. It was in the summer of 1942, and Dad was on Watch Duty . It was a pitch black night that evening without a star in the sky, when at 10:00 he heard a huge splash below. He noted that the grain scooper whose nickname was 'Pig Iron Smith,' had accidentally fallen off the dock into about 30 feet of water. Pig Iron had earlier been out on the town and was quite intoxicated! Dad jumped in at the risk of his own life. There were floating planks in the water, which could have easily killed him, if he had hit them with his head during the dive. But the good Lord guided him safely and Dad was also able to save Pig Iron's life too by grabbing his leg and steering him over to the dock. The water was pumped out of Smith which covered a 12 foot area. Dad recalled that Pig Iron, in spite of his inebriated condition, politely remembered to say, "thank you."
*Footnote to this story:
A reporter wanted to take Dad's picture back then but being the modest man he was, he didn't want the notoriety and he refused to have his picture taken for the paper...My father passed away Dec 21, 2003 at 95 years old from complications of a stroke. I shot this picture in 1997 and he was very willing to have his picture taken at that time. He always regretted in later years that he did not agree to have his picture taken for his heroic act...You can see my husband's hand holding the deer horns behind Dad's head. Previously I had used another picture of my father for this theme but I like this image so much better as it showed the fun side of his personality. For awhile I could not find this picture but just found it a few days ago.
Also by Andrea Petersen
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