Imagine my grandmother’s excitement when she received this telegram from my grandfather!
My grandfather, William John (Bill) Parks was gone for three years during World War II. When my grandmother, Mary Ball Parks and my mother, Mary Helen Parks went to the train station to pick him up, they walked right by him. They didn’t recognize him, so he shouted out to them, and my mother was shocked when she saw him. Normally a big man, he was skin and bones, and his teeth had rotted. His feet were in terrible condition but he was home and he was alive.
During the time he was gone, my mother and grandmother lived with my grandfather’s father, JT Parks. He owned a three-story home, at 406 Walnut in downtown Texarkana and he also took in several women whose men were away during the war.
My mother has fond memories of this time, though marked with sadness at the absence of her father. He kept in touch when he could and they were always glad to hear from him.
There were also news reports:
One thing is certain though, they were sure glad to pick him up that day at the train station, and it was a day my mother will never forget. Not even now with her Alzheimer’s.
This is me with my grandfather at Christmas in 1974.
He died just four years after this picture, in 1978.
You are gone but not forgotten Daddy O! I love you and miss you terribly!