My 101-year old Dad was quiet and rather sad so I asked him if everything was alright. He said he’d had a bad day and I asked what had happened.
He had been in the basement of Chapters book store looking at books when an elderly lady had started playing on the piano positioned there and he couldn’t get out of the store fast enough. Thinking this was rather strange, I probed again. Dad said, “Well, she was playing It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and that brought it all back.”
“I was a nipper, must have been 4 or 5, and I remember standing at our family piano while my sister, Winifred, played. You see, the young people of Cloverdale would gather in our parlor on Sunday afternoons as a piano was a rare thing in those days. Everyone would sing and enjoy themselves."
Dad went quiet again, and I said that that must have been a lovely memory, but why had that caused him to leave the store?
“Well, most of those fine young men gathered around our piano never came back from The Great War – they are all gone. I can still see their young fresh faces. What a waste! The future of a community wiped out!"
"Men in the 1st World War were nothing but cannon fodder – only their numbers mattered, not that they were men. At least by the 2nd World War, the officers cared more about their men. What a waste!” Dad reiterated, shaking his head with tears in his eyes.
My Dad was born in 1910 & fought in World War II. The effects of World War I are still deeply felt even after almost 100 years.