Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Exploring My Family Tree: Not Forgotten - Part Two

Victor very well could have led a short life, leaving me little to write about. One example is when his mother went out to pick some wild plums and left 2-year old Victor in the buggy. When she returned the buggy was gone and only after a frantic search did she find it over a mile away with Victor sitting up and laughing with glee at his mother. Later as a youth, Victor was badly bruised and narrowly escaped more serious injury after falling off the tongue of a strawstacker while hitching a ride through town. Even in college he suffered a close call and badly burned his right hand in a chemical explosion in a laboratory where he was heating some potassium chlorate. But he survived and lived to continue a lineage that now goes through me. I wonder had I known what I do now, if his hand still bore the scars of the lab explosion.

I know from newspaper clippings that Victor was active in the Boy scouts and was part of the "Panther Patrol". At the time of one clipping, his rank was above Tenderfoot since he is listed as giving the test to other scouts hoping to achieve that rank.

I don't know much of Victor's teenage years. I do know that at age 14 in 1910, he was still living at home, could speak, read and write English according to the U.S. Census. But in a few short years, life as everyone know it changed when the Great War, the War to End All Wars, World War I broke out. Once out of school and at the age of 19, Victor registered for the military. (The only signature I have for him is at the bottom of this application.) For unknown reasons, perhaps because of the burns on his hand, he unsuccessfully attempted to join the military. I do know that while trying to get into the military he continued on with his education by attending Cornell College at Mt. Vernon and worked as a clerk in his father's boot, shoe and harness making business.

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