Thursday, November 11, 2010
Lines To A Curled Up Frannie
(For Dad on Veteran's Day)
We (Satchie & Andrew) wanted to bring you the story of our Grandpa and his first Newfie.
Grandpa served for several years in the U.S. Air Force in Italy and the Persian Gulf during World War II. He was a highly decorated Lieutenant and spent much of his time in dangerous reconnaissance work.
One of his last assignments came in leading a supply platoon into Russia during the winter of 1944. After successfully getting the supplies into the hands of Russian troops, Grandpa was approached by a young Russian soldier. The soldier had a Newfie puppy and he was being shipped out and could not take the Newfie with him. He pleaded with Grandpa to take the Newfie so that it would have a good home and not face a very uncertain future.
Grandpa agreed and the brief encounter between two soldiers was enough for handshakes and best wishes to be exchanged.
Only a few weeks later, Grandpa received his orders to return home after years away from Grandma and his family. He had named the puppy "Franny" and was very concerned about how he would get Franny back home with him. After considerable thought, he decided to see if the pilot of the Air Force plane would take some money and store Franny underneath the pilot's seat. The pilot agreed, and Grandpa put Franny in a cardboard box with holes in it so she could breath. He gave her a sleeping pill so that no one else would know of the precious cargo.
Well, all went well, and Franny made her way with Grandpa back to Chicago and then on to San Francisco, where she lived until 1958 with two daughters who loved her dearly. Grandpa had brought back a Persian rug he kept in his office overseas. He put it in his basement office at home when he got back, and he and Franny spent many fond hours there curled up on the rug.
Not long after finally getting home, Grandpa wrote a poem to Franny, entitled
"Lines To A Curled Up Franny":
"Little Franny, lax and lazy
With a mind extremely hazy
In regard to human cares
Far removed from worldly affairs.
"There you lie your tail around you
With no Charlotte to hound you
With no taxes to be met
With no spending to regret.
"There you snuggle on the Persian
Bothered not by reconversion
Void of grief and sacrifice
Dreaming dreams of cats and mice."
(Lt. Samuel D. Sayad, 1945)