To honor Connell York on this Father’s Day!
York had shown me burns on his arms that he’d sustained in Hiroshima following the US attack. The blisters sprang up rapidly on the afternoon he’d been dispatched to the scene.
I had always surmised that York’s deeply embedded scars were from piano strings “poppin'”on him. But one morning he told me the indelible piano tuner marks were intermingled with the effects of the A-bomb.
York dropped off a newspaper photo that showed him embracing his brother-in law, “Lonnie Rolen,” who returned from wartime Germany with shrapnel lodged in this lower spine. York’s commissioned officer stripes revealed in the snapshot were acquired when he was appointed as an army band leader. A cornetist, York recalled that he had made 18 jumps during parachute training maneuvers.
YORK was a member of the distinguished 11th Airborne, US Infantry, and brought back a doleful Japanese melody to the home front, a heart-warming memento of his military service. He remembered the song the children were singing on the very day he and his buddies came upon them in a rural village outside Tokyo. The war was…
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