Farmer’s Son, Military Career
On the surface, Farmer’s Son, Military Career, College and Post-College: My Life Story (But not my entire life yet!) is, as described by the author, the story of his—Clarence “Kip” Vold’s—life, which is usually summed up with: “He served thirty years in the Air Force.” But this work shows that there was much more to his life than this. It’s a life filled with family and love, a story of memory and grief. It documents hard work and hard gains, with a good deal of fun and humor along the way.
Vold, as the youngest in his family, came along at the end of World War II, and, as such, lived his life as a bridge of sorts between one time and another—post-WWII and Depression America, to the quantum computing age. Arguably, few generations have lived to see such rapid and drastic changes. His memories, shared here, serve to remind us that “the good ol’ days” were not so long ago.
This is a memoir that is, at times, deeply emotional and other times stiff and telling in tone. For all of the quips and humor, readers lacking a military background (or a military person sitting beside them who can be elbowed and asked what TDY is again…) can get lost in the jargon and acronyms through various conflicts. Yet for the instances of stiffness, there are moments almost disconcertingly powerful to read. For instance, I will never hear about Iwo Jima again without thinking of little Kip Vold blowing out his birthday candles.
What is most remarkable about this work is its continued and loving interest in family. Vold may have excelled at and enjoyed his military career, but it’s evident that family, including his fur baby, Cindy, that once-in-a-lifetime dog, always came first in his heart. The most memorable parts of this work all have to do with his family or with Cindy the German Shepherd. The family stories and real-life accounts are the real value of this collection, a written oral history of a very unique time in recent history that should be preserved before those who do remember are gone. Every family should have a historian of this sort to remember them and their stories.
At the end of this read, one empathizes that age is unkind, memories tease and taunt from a distance, unreachable and unable to be shared with others once that generation is gone. This memoir reminds readers that life is short, memory long, and grief sometimes interminable. And, when you can, laugh along the way. It will be interesting to see what the next chapter may hold for the author.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||334 pages|
|Publisher||Page Publishing, Inc|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|