My father Keith Rolf served in Korea, he helped protect the South. I remember he didn’t speak of it much. I understood it was bad, that is all I remember. He is gone now. I remember two stories he did tell about it. When I saw a picture with his buddies in the snow, they look miseable. He said that is how he lost feeling in his feet, they froze, and he lost his ability to smell. Which as a child I always thought was so funny. But really, for him it was not. He would tell me he couldn’t smell so he couldn’t taste food. That is why he would use so much salt. I remember one time my mother had cooked dinner for all of us. Their were six of us. Five daughters, all less than a year apart, I was the youngest. Than came my brother four years later after the priest, a new wise young priest from St. John’s University who was serving at my church, told my mother it was ok to use birth control.
Well this night she was making wax candles, they were red candles. My father had just gotten home from work and went into the kitchen, my mother was running around and did not see him. He stirred the pot with the wooden spoon, believing it to be tomato soup, his favorite, he took a big sip. Needless to say it didn’t go well. He just couldn’t smell it was wax.
I remember his other story, in Korea, he was in charge of lunch that day, so he was cooking for his crew of young men. He was trying to start the burners, unfortunately it exploded and he lost some hair, thank goodness he was not hurt. He was covered in black soot, he did laugh about this one and said he had the men all laughing with him.
I just know looking into his face how horrible it was.