Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sense - Abilities #1 - Before RP

Greetings Fellow Doggies!

Here's what I heard Dad share about learning he had an eye disease.

“In the winter of 1970, I received my draft notice from the U.S. Army. I was one of those 18 year olds who watched on TV from my college dorm room as the federal government drew the birth dates, lottery style.

This was before there were so many lotteries about winning money and one time I did not want to WIN the lottery!"

Dad's "lucky" number came up: 39. His heart sank, he turned pale and fear crept into his mind at the thought of being shot at or even killed in Vietnam.

"But, I love my country and if this is what my country asks me to do, then I will do my duty."

“I knew that I would certainly be going to Vietnam when I graduated from Georgia Tech. I had a very heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach."

Dad has been a good athlete all of his life. He played baseball since he was eight years old, playing Little League, Pony League, Colt League, high school and also in college at Georgia Tech. He was a pitcher in both his freshman and sophomore years. He loved playing shortstop and pitching. He was an All-Star.

Dad also played football and basketball in junior high, and mainly played basketball and baseball in high school. He learned to play tennis and golf at age 18 with his brother, Roy, who is five years older than him.

Being very competitive, Dad said that the challenge to beat his older brother drove him to get better and better. He shot golf in the low 90s and got pretty good at tennis, winning several tournaments.

Dad loved learning to drive a car at age 17, enjoyed the freedom of being able to drive anywhere he wanted to, and especially liked taking girls out on dates!

“Then, late in 1970, I received my draft notice from the U.S. Army requesting my attendance for a physical examination and review for potential military service.”

Dad was not surprised because he was number 39 out of 365. Heck, he was like a football draft prospect - one of the top draft choices!

Dad had big dreams of being a pitcher or short stop in the major leagues and now he was a first round draft choice. But not for the Houston Astros . . . for the Army!

Dad's eye doctor told him at his last eye exam, “Richard, whenever you receive your draft notice, just come see me and I will write you a letter to give to the draft board when you take your physical. You will not have to serve in the military.”

“At that time, I did not ask why I would not be eligible to serve. I just figured that I had poor eyesight. My right eye was 20/800 and my left eye was 20/400, both correctable at that time to about 20/30. Just call me FOUR EYES!”

Wait until you hear what happened next!

I hope you are enjoying this series . . .

Big licks and belly rubs,



Emily and Suede said...

Very interesting, and I can't wait to hear what happened next!

Princess Coral said...

Zane, you are a great writer!!! Can't wait for the next episode!

Zane Train said...

Suede and Coral,

I'm so glad that you are ready for this series. It was FUN listening to Dad tell his story. It really makes me feel good to know how important I am in his life.

We have had a real busy week and we have a new resident in our home. Grandma Margaret has arrived to live with us. She is so nice too! This is Richard's Mom from Texas.

I'll talk to you later. I need to go chew on my bone some more!

Lots of licks, Zane

Princess Coral said...

Nikki says...

"Wow Richard! My pinpoint vision just found your pic in baseball uniform!!! You look so good! Wish I were in college in 1970!!!"