Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Foreigners

For those of you new to this blog, the "Soap Opera Sunday" series I am currently writing relates to events in my life 30 years ago. This "Monday Memories" series involves events from around 20 years ago that have lead up the current ex-pat chaos that is my life these days! The other days of the week I blog about more current issues, thoughts, etc.

Background
My grandfather joined the US Navy during WWI when he was 20 and served as a "Fireman" who helped stoke the steam engine on the USS Alabama. His son, my uncle, was drafted into the US Army in WWII and served in various parts of Europe. My father was 4F due to a bad break in his arm which limited some of his mobility so he could not join his brother and friends who were serving. During the Allies' big push into Europe, my grandfather listened to the radio every evening after working on the farm. Finally he could not stand it any more and after a conversation with my grandmother, who agreed that she and my father could take care of the farm, my grandfather went to the nearest Army recruiting station to sign up. While the recruiter was polite, he tried to explain to my grandfather how important it was that farm production be kept up and that this was a vital war effort. My grandfather said that was already taken care of and he wanted to serve like his older son was in the European theater. The recruiter smiled and said that because of his health that the Army could not take him. My grandfather promptly offered to arm-wrestle the recruiter who was obviously not going to take up the challenge with a man who had been doing manual labor in all the various Texas weather conditions for the previous 20 years. Finally the recruiter admitted that it was due to my grandfather's age. "What about my age? You can see that I'm perfectly healthy and fitter than many of your younger recruits." The recruiter agreed, but said, "Yes, sir, but your teeth..." My grandfather already had a partial upper dental plate. But he was adamant. He replied, "Son, I want to go over there and shoot the Germans, not bite them!"

Needless to say, he was not successful in his attempts to join up.

Flashback 19+ years ago
When I was planning to get married, my father was concerned as to how my grandmother would feel, especially as his Dad and brother had both been in service during wars with the Germans. He finally got the courage to broach the subject with her and asked her how she felt about me marrying a German.

"Well," she replied,"I've got one granddaughter married to a Brazilian, I've got a grandson who has turned Mormon and married a Chinese gal, I've got another grandson who is married to a Mexican gal, and a granddaughter who is married to a Yankee. I guess another foreigner in the family is not gonna hurt anything."

Its good to know that my husband was not considered any more "foreign" than a Yankee or a Mormon!

8 comments:

anno said...

Oh, I love this story ... you Texans!

I'm going to be laughing over this line -- "Son, I want to go over there and shoot the Germans, not bite them!" -- all day long.

Fourier Analyst said...

I knew today's would make you smile!! The true stories from my family would fill a book, and maybe they will someday!

Adventures In Waitressing said...

I love your Grandfathers reply. So to the point and funny. A wonderful story.

The Real Life Drama Queen

Worker Mommy said...

So Funny!

You should send your Soap Opera link to Brillig @ www.twas-brillig.com. She'll post your link for others to come take a look at.

Worker Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
soccer mom in denial said...

Oh my oh my oh MY!!! I love both your grandparents.

I heard someone tell how her father and uncle didn't go with a different car maker for their dealership because they had fought "those Japs" in the war. Unfortuantely several years later their Oldsmobile dealership went belly up because it couldn't compete with the Honda one down the street.

I think I'm addicted to Monday Memories!

Jen said...

I LOVED that shoot not bite line, too. Your grandparents sound like remarkable people. Even though I'm a foreigner (Damn Yankee...)

Lovely snapshot.

Fourier Analyst said...

AIW, WM, SMID, and Jen,
It is great to have readers like you who are such fans and making such lovely compliments. It is encouraging and makes writing this blog so special and so much fun. Thanks so much for your support!