This picture is my Dad (sitting on the gate) and his younger brother, Roy. Roy died at the age of 14 or 15 in 1950 because of a congenital liver issue .... generally correctable today. Of all the pictures of my Dad .... I love this one the most. Dad and his brother grew up in Eastham, just outside of Liverpool - then still somewhat rural .... with plenty of open space, and dirt roads, and natural playgrounds where two kids like this could get lost for the day and return in time for dinner with dirty fingernails, scuffed knees and hungry.
This looks like summertime, before Roy went to school .... Dad maybe 2nd or 3rd grade. A time before serious studying .... and career choices .... and dating .... before girls had "cooties", before the hormones hit ... before he had to bury his brother, and his parents, and his sister, before college, before marriage, before kids and mortgages, long before he was "Dad" or the strokes that would end his life ... he was just a kid with scuffed knees and dirty fingernails coming home for dinner.
There was a war going on ... but not his war ... not where he was .... his Dad was gone .... and from what I knew of Granddad - that may have been a good thing. Here, Dad was a good kid playing with his brother. And he looks happy. And I wish I could bring this moment back for him.