• Carrie Kendon (Sanders)

Old Leather Jacket

“Most of our childhood is stored not in photos, but in certain biscuits, lights of day, smells, textures of carpet.” (Alain de Botton) But for me, a picture will always evoke more, because with one photo all other senses come alive.

     The brown leather jacket hanging there on a hook may look like any old brown leather jacket to some but to others, it is so much more. 

     Donald B. Dedrick's obituary read. "He enlisted as a naval aviator cadet in 1943 and graduated from Pensacola Naval Air Station where he continued as a flight instructor. He also flew transports in the Pacific Theater. In 1952, during the Korean War, Mr. Dedrick was recalled to active duty. He transferred to the U. S. Coast Guard and flew fixed wing airplanes and helicopters on search and rescue. He remained in the active reserve program until he retired as a commander in 1981" but that only  describes a fraction of what he did. 

Many people knew him through business in our hometown and surrounding areas. He worked hard to build his company and to provide for his loved ones. Not everyone likes people on their rise to prominence and I am sure Don Dedrick had his share of rivals. But, his accolades speak louder. He was on committees and teams and often awarded from groups such as the Police Association or the Lions Club. He was friends with politicians, clergy and old scruffy veterans alike.

A plethora of people could say they knew him, but few people knew what it was like to sit on his lap and watch tv or play a game of Rummikub. Not many can recall the cadence of his footsteps when he ran around the inside of the house during the winter months. And even fewer can say he carried them to Doctor haddock when they had an ear infection. Those memories of my grandfather were reserved for only a few.


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