I recently came across my Dad’s diary. I knew that one existed, written in pencil in his own hand, and that I had typed it years ago, but I had not read it in many years. Born in Preston, England, he emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the United States Army at the age of 26. I hereby introduce my father, in his own words.

1891 – 1978

15th Field Artillery,  Second Division

U. S. Army 1917-1918

Among my early recollections was going to Catholic school with sister Janie holding my hand. We had nearer schools but they were not of our belief so we could not use them. Dad had been an altar boy when he was young and we were all very proud of our altar upstairs in the front room till someone put a candle too near the gauze around the altar and it all caught fire.

I would be about seven years old when Dad went to a spiritualist meeting with a friend to expose the medium who was making believe she could see spirits. This he told me later in life. When the meeting was over they went to the medium and told her she ought to be ashamed to stand there and tell such nonsense. The medium assured Dad she could see spirits and told him if he would go home and find a quiet place and pray hard to see something, he too might learn. Dad told me he went home and did as directed and to his great surprise did see the spirit of a young lady. He told himself perhaps I am deluding myself by my intense wish to see, and thought if I can go to the window and look outside to see if things appear normal, and turning around she is still there I will believe and teach. He turned around and the spirit was still there and he believed to the extent he later opened his own church for many years where many mediums would come and give testimony. Read the rest of this entry »