Edited on April 21, 2016 at 1:33 p.m.
My father was John Robert Graham (JRG), son of William George Graham (WGG) and Marguerite Roeder. He was born in May of 1923 (in Kansas City, Kansas or Missouri I presume) and passed in 1985 in Overland Park, Kansas, which is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri.
The only things I know of his childhood is that he was good with wood (probably taking after his father [WGG]) and built scenery for high school plays and/or musicals. I imagine his nickname, Johnny Bob, came from that era and probably his propensity to go by his middle name, Bob.
He served in the Navy in World War II in the SeaBees. Wikipedia states:
A Seabee is a member of the United States Naval Construction Forces (NCF). The word “Seabee” comes from initials “CB”, which in turn comes from the term “Construction Battalion”.
Given his above-mentioned talents, this makes sense. I believe they constructed airfields and buildings. However, had they known at the time that he had holes in some of the disks in his back, he probably would not have performed in this capacity.
I believe he was married to a woman named Wilma, before he entered the service, and they had a girl either while he was in the service or shortly thereafter. However, the marriage did not last long. I may have known about my half-sister but only met her once on the occasion of my father’s funeral in 1985. I believe she was a local news anchor in St. Louis, Missouri.
Don’t know how my mother and father met. I do remember hearing that they watched a local flood in Kansas City in 1951, which makes sense given I was born in 1952.
We lived in Kansas City, Missouri for a year before moving to Georgia near my mother’s parents. I know we lived for a while in a red brick apartment building, which is where I met the first girl I remember being interested in. We were playing on the teeter totter, possibly on the day of our move.
We moved to a single family residence somewhere in the Savannah, Georgia area. Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia, and Georgia of course was one of the original 13 colonies, so it’s pretty old itself. The house had a screened in porch in the back and at least one very large pine tree in the back. The tree lost a huge limb during a hurricane and I remember playing in/on/around/under it as a kid.
We had a maid named Georgia (of all things). Wish I remembered more of her.
During this time my father (JRG) sold meats to grocery stores for Swift and Company and his route went up to North Carolina, I believe.
My dad and mom had a number of friends in the neighborhood and I think one of the men worked at the local Air Force base. They liked to play cards and canasta was one of the games they played.
I believe we moved to Jacksonville, Florida for some reason for a few months. Not sure.
My father’s disks started acting up (that sounds funny to the programmer in me) and he flew to KC for an operation and his father (WGG) came down to drive us up there.
We lived on Freeman Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas for a while with my father’s Aunt Nancy Oyer. This is the same street where my grandfather (WGG), her brother, lived. Behind his house and down the hill there was a large garden: Corn and strawberries are what I remember being grown. The latter my grandmother ladled onto pancakes she made for us. Yummmm.
I think I will stop here for now.