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FF Sparks (Casual)

In Philly, First Scan

So, made it to Philadelphia yesterday. Long flight, was very tired, and we had the adventure of having a cab driver who didn't really completely speak English. Made it into the Manor Road house, had a little bit of dinner, and we watched Sixth Sense with aunt Sally.

I also did my first little bit of scanning of family history, earlier. My grandfather served as a soldier in World War II, which was unusual for a Quaker. In fact, he was at the time of his enlistment the first and only one enlisted in a combat role; he nearly was kicked out of the Society for it. But he felt very strongly -- something he instilled in me as well -- that nonviolence does not always mean laying down and taking it without protest. He felt that living a nonviolent life means you never start a fight, you always try other paths to resolve it, and you mourn when violence becomes the solution. But that you accept sometimes there are people who will force the issue to the point where violence is all that's left, and then you must defend yourself... and he felt WWII Germany was one such.

He influenced my own ideals on nonviolence and peace very much. But at the time, it was a rather large scandal within the Society (Religious Society of Friends, real name of the Quaker religion). One of grandfather's friends, Sam, stood up to speak on his behalf to keep them from censuring him, and grandpa and Sam wrote letters back and forth while grandpa was in Italy during the war. One of the things I found was a letter from grandfather to Sam thanking him (early) for a christmas gift, which I scanned.


Neat. :)

It's always cool to find things like that. After my grandpop died, we found a whole trunk of his things from the war and his life in New York as a jazz musician. It helps you remember that your grandparents and parents were people before they even knew you existed, y'know? :)

Also, did you leave a check for your rent, or do we need to Paypal it again? :)
Cool. Preserving history is a goodness... and your grandfather's outlook on military service sounds a lot like the Dali Lama's... being for nonviolence doesn't mean you shouldn't defend yourself.
Wonderful! What a cool grandfather.
Don't forget to get an air-tight non-acidic plastic sheet to put that letter in. A wonderful piece of history, I'd hate for it to get lost!