men

Who’s the Handsome Man in Our Profile Picture?

Sgt Albert I Bird somewhere in Europe, 1947.

Nowhere Tribune has a new profile picture.

My hard copy is framed along with another, smaller picture, a dog tag, and a newspaper clipping with the title: “Sergeant Bird Being Treated at San Antonio.”

From the Fort Worth Star Telegram:

“Sgt Albert Bird, 25, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Bird of 3312 Meadowoaks, Haltom City, is at Brooke Army Hospital in San Antonio for treatment of wounds received Feb 15 in Korea.

The former Amon Carter Riverside High School student was wounded while fighting near Chipyong where a French battalion and two U.S. units were surrounded by the enemy and his unit went to rescue the trapped forces.”

The back of this photo says, “Albert Irving Bird, Switzerland, 1947.” My grandmother says the photo was really taken in France, but I can’t be sure. Regardless, my granddad sits there in a foreign country with his classic good looks and a hint of a smirk. Two bottles of beer sit on the table. It reminds me of a good Hemingway story. The only thing missing is the beautiful foreign nurse; I’m sure he saw her later that evening.

Two handsome dudes.

I came along 25 years later; we were 50 years apart, almost to the day. The man I knew was still the man in the picture. Confident, strong, good looking, hard working. Not a man to fool with.

When I was little, my granddad asked me if I wanted more mashed potatoes. I responded with, “Yeah.”

“Can’t you say, ‘yes sir?’” he asked.

Decades later, I still say “Yes sir” when men ask me questions or give me an order. I can’t stop.

“John.”

“Yes sir?”

“Please don’t call me sir; I’m only sixteen. Call me Bobby.”

“Yes s…, I mean, okay, Bobby.”

My grandfather didn’t demand respect. Something about him made it impossible not to respect him. Even in my thirties, I was sure to shave on days I knew I’d see him. He never told me to; I just knew that he didn’t approve of any lack of discipline.

When I turned sixteen, he called me. “When you find the pickup you want, I’ll help you buy it as long as it’s a Ford or Chevy.” A month later we met at the bank, and he cosigned my loan to buy my 1977 Ford F100. When we walked out he said, “Now, you better always have a job, and you better never miss a payment.” At the time, I’d hoped for more “help” than a signature, but I realized later he’d helped me much more than if he had bought the pickup. By the time I graduated high school, I’d paid off my first loan.

Albert Bird was the personification of manliness. He could build, and work, and provide, and fight when needed. He could enjoy a beer or whiskey without acting like a fool. He could make us behave with a look. He’s the kind of man I’m still trying to become.

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “Who’s the Handsome Man in Our Profile Picture?

  1. Sounds like a great role model and good person to know. It would be nice if more people had grandfathers like that.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | January 26, 2020, 8:37 am
  2. What a great story, and a great man as well. He sounds like someone I would have loved to talk to simply to hear about his past.

    Posted by thehuntress915 | January 26, 2020, 9:08 am
  3. A young man needs a role model or two. Sounds like you had a good one.

    Posted by Jason Frels | January 26, 2020, 9:39 am
  4. A lovely tribute. Makes me wish I had known mine…

    Posted by Rivergirl | January 26, 2020, 10:04 am
  5. Handsome devil he was too

    Posted by Julie | January 26, 2020, 4:32 pm
  6. I’m not sure what makes men like your grandfather, but I know the world could use more.

    Posted by Darnell Cureton | January 27, 2020, 10:08 am
  7. I also was blessed with a grandfather to admire and learn from. Mine was a volunteer Ambulance driver in WWI. Your post reminds me of him.

    Posted by Roadtirement | January 29, 2020, 11:38 am
  8. What a great tribute to your grandfather. Great looking guy and looks a bit mischievous. I think it’s sad when kids miss out on getting to know their grandparents. Mine lived in California so I felt like I really never knew them. My kids were very close to their grandmother and have so many treasured memories of spending holidays with her.

    Posted by Snowbird In Training | January 30, 2020, 5:35 pm

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