Friday, January 06, 2006

Fathers and Sons

Kevin and I go way back. Infant, primary and secondary school class mates in Cardiff and then, before he moved to Hong Kong, near neighbours in London.

I always got on very well with his father (and indeed, last year, blogged about what he told me of listening to the Tommy Farr/ Joe Louis fight in 1937) so I was very sorry to hear that he had died.

In a week when I have written about my son, father, and grandfather; another conversation with him comes to mind. I remember when we were chatting in the Nelson years ago, he told me that once, when he was on sentry duty in Italy, the guy standing next to him had been shot dead by a sniper.

When I passed this on to Kevin - who didn't even know that his old man had fought his way up through Italy with the Eighth Army - asked, "why doesn't he ever tell me things like that?"

I've thought about it often since then, and I'm not sure that a father could ever tell his son something like that in passing. It would be bound to come across as some sort of lesson or moral instruction that shouldn't be thrown away, and yet he could say it to me without any of that baggage.

I can understand it. I think I would feel the same.

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