‘Devotion’s’ director had an ace in the hole: his father, a Black Blue Angel pilot in World War II. His grandfather, on the other hand, was a pilot who, upon hearing that his dad was a pilot, had flown a plane himself. A generation later, I wondered, were we not going to hear any old-time stories about World War II? I never did hear one.
I think that I have one story of my own about my father and World War II. I was in his pre-college year at his alma mater, and he took me to one of the campus museums to see the collection. In particular, my favorite exhibits were of the many war-crates of the various branches of the military. (I was an especially big fan of the World War II–era naval vessels that he loved. I was also a die-hard fan of the submarine and the Air Force, where I would take a ride on an airplane myself, but that isn’t the point here.) I was mesmerized, but not for the usual reasons. My dad was a soldier, and he had taken me to a military museum for its military nature, not its human ones. “That’s where my dad wanted me to study,” he explained to me. That was why the stories were so important, and he wasn’t wrong.
“Your dad wanted you to study this?” I asked. “What did you do?”
“I’m an electronics engineer,” he replied.
“Electronics engineer? But that sounds like fun!”
“No, it doesn’t, really. This way I can do it and have a normal life. It’s much more fun to be an engineer. It’s all very technical, and you wear a lot of clothes, and it’s hard to get dates.”
I was still trying to figure him out. “What kind of things do you do?”
This was a long time in coming, but it was time for him to tell me about the things he had done, because he had been so good at hiding them. I mean, he was a soldier.
“I like to make things,” he said, finally.
“What kind of things?”
He thought about it for a while and, reluctantly, answered me, “Like computers