Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 2 Days Left



Hi everyone, Katie here.

Oh my Cod....only TWO days left! I'm glad you liked (ok LOVED) the photos of my in my kittenhood yesterday. Thank you for reminding me I'm STILL cute as can be. I know I am. It's just fun hearing it again and again. And again.

Back to the countdown. This week I've been highlighting people (and pets....Monday was about Fin after all!) that have influenced me and Glogirly. With Christmas getting closer and closer, Glogirly can't help but think about her dad.

He has influenced her and shaped who she has become more than any single person. He is and always will be her hero. I've introduced you to him before in a special Fathers Day post. Glogirly has a heart full of memories and stories. But whenever anyone asks her to describe her dad, one of the first things that comes to mind was his humility.

Glogirly's dad lived his life seeing the good in everyone, the opportunity in every challenge, and the fun in every chore. He was very humble. He grew up poor, on a farm, ran away from home when he was sixteen and never finished high school.


Young Calvin, Glogirly's Dad


When Pearl Harbor was attacked, he went straight to the military recruitment office and enlisted in the US Marines.

He defended our country in what's called the Pacific Theatre. He fought on the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima, where he earned his purple heart. He rarely spoke of that time. He said it was the boys that were left behind, "they were the heros."


Cal



When he returned home to Minnesota, he finished high school and then studied electronics. He met Glogirly's mom when he was driving streetcar for the city of Minneapolis. She was 15, he was 21. They married two weeks after her 16th birthday.


Glogirly's parents on their wedding day
Eunice & Calvin


He drove a semi-truck for a living. Sold pots and pans door to door. He did whatever it took to take care of his family and was grateful for every long haul and every sale.

Some people would have a hard time believing a poor farm kid who quit high school and went out on his own would amount to much. Glogirly's dad proved them wrong.

Soon he landed a job with Sperry Univac. Univac brought 'Cal', his wife and Young Glogirly to all parts of the country. Most families would have had a hard time moving so frequently. But to them, moving was an adventure.

One of his first assignments with Univac was at Vanenburg Air Force Base in Santa Maria, California. He managed the computers that launched some of the first missiles into space. The most important thing to him though was coming home to his wife and new baby girl. He was very humble about his work. "A good job that he was very grateful for." A poor farm kid who quit high school.

His next assignment with Univac was in Washington DC. He worked inside the Pentagon, in the Defense War Room. This was during the Vietnam war. Each morning he delivered a report to the Secretary of Defense indicating the location of all US military personnel in the world. Glogirly's dad managed the Univac supercomputers and gathered all of this data. When he described his job, he said he "worked with computers." "Got to move to some nice cities." A poor farm kid who quit high school.

From Washington, the family moved to Houston, TX where he worked in Mission Control at NASA. He managed the Univac supercomputers that maintained communication contact and monitored the physical conditions of the astronauts during many of the Apollo missions. He was right there in Mission Control, looking up at the big screen, when Neil Armstrong took that first, famous step. When he described his job, he said he "worked with computers." When asked about NASA, "yeah, we brought our boys home safe." A poor farm kid who quit high school.

Young Glogirly & her Dad in their Houston backyard.
That's a Snoopy astronaut replica she's holding;
the original went up to the moon with the Apollo 11 astronauts.



Gloman delivered the eulogy at his funeral. He described Cal in much the same way, sharing his love of family and fascinating career. Afterwards, so many people said to Glogirly that they had no idea her dad had did all of those amazing things. They all knew of his love for his family. But most people there only knew a small snippet of her dad's history. Some never knew he was a Marine. Some were amazed to hear about NASA and the Pentagon.


Cal


Glogirly's dad was a very humble man. Just a poor farm kid from the country. And Glogirly's hero.



8 comments:

  1. I won't be around till next 3 weeks, But I would love to say...Merry Christmas !!!!
    I wish you all have a very best time : )
    xoxo

    Puddy and Mom Boom

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  2. Interesting.Pop always followed all those space missions. When are YOU gonna be Glogirly's hero?? Huh? Merry Christmouse!

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  3. "Just a poor farm kid who quit high school". He sounds lime he had some very special qualities, not the least of which was humility.

    What a great dad and great memories x

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  4. Your Dad was a fantastic man. I am so glad that you shared him with us. Merry Christmas!

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  5. Your human had quite a dad, Katie! Both her parents were such all-around awesome people.

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  6. Merry Christmas from across town.
    brandi and Carol

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  7. These have been beautiful! I feel honored to be included. GG's Dad sounds like an amazing man!

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