Monday, March 21, 2011
The Fighting Chair
Late 1930's, somewhere off the coast of Central New Jersey, perhaps 30 miles out.The man on the right is my maternal Grandfather, about whom I have posted before...pictures of old time Football and Baseball. The man on the right is his brother...my Great Uncle.
His name was Wilson and they called him Wils. He graduated from Lehigh in 1933, 52 years before me. He was a Chi Phi brother. (Based on this "legacy" I received a pre-bid during Rush...but turned it down for a variety of reasons.)
After college he worked in Manhattan as a coal broker for Bethlehem Steel. The the War intervened and he ended up spending the war years in the Army in Langely, Virginia. He was supposedly in supply and logistics, but based on some things he said over the years at Thanksgiving or Christmas pre-dinner cocktails,when he was lubricated with a Maker's Mark Manhattan, I suspect there was more going on. Perhaps he had some minor intelligence role based on where he was stationed.He certainly was far too smart and talented to merely arrange shipments of Spam and socks.
He enjoyed a long life and made rural Connecticut his home.
Wils and my Grandfather loved to fish and would book a charter to chase Tuna off the Jersey coast. I love the tone of this old photo,the leather jacket and the neckties the wooden rods and the massive Penn Reel above Wils's right hand, the overhang of the upper deck and the wooden framing, the padded fighting chair and the focus of the fisherman off the stern. According to my Grandfather, his younger brother Wils hauled in a fairly massive Tuna that afternoon.
Uncle Wils once bought a fine field grade Belgian Browning 20 ga. back in the early 50's that I still have and sometimes use to hunt Rails and Quail. He was a Sportsman and a Gentleman and a Lehigh man and liked nothing more than to be in a fighting chair trying to haul in a big one.