In his latter years he was man enough to wear short, hot pink shorts, with a grey striped button up shirt. His hair was still the same haircut, a short crop, he had kept since the Korean War where he was stationed here in Alaska. He had a story or a lesson for every moment, most of them heard, but still appreciated, before by those who surrounded him on a daily basis. His son's, daughter(my mom), and his grandkids have taken many of those lessons and stories to heart.
Just the other day My 5 year old daughter Mckenzie asked where we were going to, which my eight year old daughter(her birthday is next week-so I can say she is eight) said "Crazy if we don't mend our ways." Meggan and I had a hearty chuckle knowing that Pop-pop was probably smiling in heaven knowing he passed that one on.
I have never looked at dessert the same again since he taught me the secret to having more than one serving. I came to him one Thanksgiving and asked if I could have some more Pumpkin pie. He told me no and then went on to explain the true secret to success. "Donnie" he said "never ask for more because then people will know that you have already had some. Next time ask if you can have some then they won't know if you have had any and will most likely give you that second serving you desire." I have used it since and have been better fed for it!
Pop-pop, thanks for teaching, laughing, and being the first of our family to come to Alaska. You have instilled in my father and I a love for a land more beautiful than most, and a desire to share it with others. Your picture is hung on the wall but we always carry you in our heart. Thanks for serving our great country, it has made a difference, you have made a difference. Love and Miss you!
|From Left Donnie Hayes; Sam Nelson; Donn Hayes|
Pop-pop's Last trip to Alaska