A Vignette: Papa


A few years before my papa died, we were sitting together one summer in the living room at his lake place on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho. The room was bright as the sun gleamed in through the windows and, to my recollection, there was no other sound in the room except for that of our voices. I had recently changed my major to English, and we were discussing the classes I had taken that previous year. He asked me which class was my favorite - to which I replied - my Shakespearian literature class, mostly because the professor was incredible. I began to relay the happenings of the first day of class.

“On the first day of class, the professor was late. The class was supposed to begin at 9:10a and at 9:17a the professor still wasn’t there. We all began looking around, and when some had just agreed to leave, our professor came busting through the back doors reciting the St. Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat because...”

My papa, a World War II vet, interrupted, “From this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remembered — we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother… And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s Day.” As he uttered the last few words, a smile appeared on his lips, and his eyes glistened with tears.