General Non-Fiction posted May 27, 2017


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The most heroic person I know.

My Hero

by Thomas Bowling

Heroic Contest Winner 

 James and Joy Golf grew up in Sandy Hook. As you enter Sandy Hook, there's a sign that says, Welcome to Sandy Hook, Kentucky, the Home of Keith Whitley. Keith was the most famous thing to come out of Sandy Hook. The population of the town was only 345.

Keith Whitely, was at the prime of his career when he went to bed with a bottle of vodka, He was thirty-four. His career was just taking off. He was survived by his wife, Lorrie Morgan. He had only been on the charts, for one year.


When James and Joy married, her name was Joy Ball. Can you imagine that wedding invitation? You are cordially invited to attend the Golf Ball wedding. People must have thought it was a joke, but that was my parents' names. What were the chances of coming up with that in a town so small?

At the outbreak of World War II, James went off to the South Pacific. It was three years before he saw Joy again. By that time, he was the father of a three-year-old girl.

He never spoke about the war. I guess he saw things a man should never see. Once in awhile, when we were watching a documentary, and they showed scenes of major conflicts, he would say, I was there, but that's all he would say.

When he returned to the States, he and Joy moved to Canton, Ohio. He raised one daughter and four sons. He built a home improvement business into a very successful enterprise and provided for his family. 

He worked hard all his life. In later years, he suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He became frail, and I worried about him falling. One day, as we were walking out the front door, I looked back as he was stepping down from the landing.

I said, “Watch out, Dad.”

To my horror, his knees buckled, and he collapsed toward the ground. I lunged toward him, and as I did, he straightened his legs.

“Ha, I got you.”

He lost his memory, but kept his sense of humor.

I used to tell my brothers that our Dad could remember anything, as long as it happened thirty years ago. That's the way Alzheimer is. My Dad was a great man. He never drank, smoked or cursed. He never laughed at an off-color joke or told one.

He is missed. They should put another sign at the entrance to Sandy Hook. Home of James Golf.
 

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