I wrote this song for my father – John Aymar who served the entirety of WW2. We spoke this afternoon and he told me a few things about those years overseas.
He did his basic training in Halifax and then applied to be in the air force. They put him through the educational tests, the balance and eye sight test then into a cockpit and passed him. The day he was accepted into the air force he was told it was too late – they’d called him into action and he went as infantry. In retrospect he said “I was lucky! The pilots didn’t have a long life expectancy.”
During the latter part of the war they sent a letter home to his mother saying he’d been killed in action. This ‘clerical error’ was not resolved for two weeks, leaving his mother heart-broken, then obviously elated to hear he was alive.
Upon coming back to Nova Scotia he attended University for a year but soon felt it was time to head for Toronto. Along with his cousin, they drove to Toronto and worked odd jobs here for a while, eventually landing a position in sales with Imperial Tobacco (back when smoking was cool). They soon transferred him up to “this English city with a French sounding name!” Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
Before too long he met my mother fresh out of nursing college (Madeline Theriault – who BTW has just turned 89 ) and they soon married.
Eight kids later (I was the bonus baby #8 – THANK YOU POPE PAUL VI) and I’m happy to report they’re still going strong.
Here’s a song I wrote for my dad and for all of the veterans. The most memorable time performing this was a few years ago in front of approximately one hundred and fifty vets at a Legion Hall in Kingston ON. They gave it a standing O and I certainly shed a tear afterwards. I stayed for the stories and few beers and never forgot that day with those men. The power of stories – the power of songs!
So here you go dad, a song I wrote just for you.
Love ya man!