|Anyone know Jack Dodson?|
Friday, December 30, 2011
Jack Dodson's Army Air Force ID Bracelet -- Christmas Day
Christmas Day, 2011
Dogs don't care at all if it's Christmas. If it's 8 a.m., (and, yes, they can read a digital clock) then it's time to click the toenails loudly all 'round the bed, then place front paws on the bed and stare at you while breathing. So I got up, fed the beasts and got coffee going. Even though it's a little sad not to have wee kiddos in the house on Christmas morning, it's also kind of sweet. As in, you can do what you want, when you want (except for aforementioned dogs).
So, I drank coffee, poked my toe at the modest pile of presents under the extraordinarily fragrant tree, and waited for Al and Sam (wee kiddo, all grown to manhood) to wake up. They did, I made biscuits and eggs, and we opened our presents and had fun.
That done, I saw no reason not to go metal detecting (an activity I increasingly refer to as “um... I'm going out for a while...” and which Al never dissuades me from because my absence allows him unfettered access to Pro-Tools.)
Headed over to a nearby yard where a nice gentleman had given me permission to hunt (loot, pillage) his nice-sized yard. This was my second time investigating his property and I had high hopes.
It was an absolutely lovely day. Sunshine, maybe 50 degrees. Christmas in TN.
After about an hour of digging little more than trash, I got a nice signal and flipped back the dirt and bent down for a look. At first I thought it was a dog chain; I've dug a few of those. But as I gently lifted it out, the black dirt fell from the links and it was so bright and clean, as it if had been burnished, polished by its time underground. And then, there was his name: Jack Dodson, in a fine, old 1940s-era font.
It was Jack Dodson's Army Air Force ID bracelet from World War II. Thick, sterling silver. Right at that moment, the home owner came out to see if I'd found anything and we talked about the find. I told him I'd see if I could find out who Jack was. Maybe get it back to him, or his family.
Went home and while baking corn pudding, started researching and quickly discovered that there sure were a lot of Jack and John Dodsons who served our country during WWII. And quite a few of them were from Tennessee. Checked the online records of the nearby veterans cemetery. My next step is to go down to the city archives and find out who lived in that house in the 1940s.
Thing is, Jack could have been a friend visiting from Maine. A workman planting trees. Somebody's cousin from Albuquerque. And his bracelet just slipped off into the dirt and was slowly covered up by dirt and leaves and time. I may never track down the right Jack Dodson.
It didn't escape my notice that Jack's ID bracelet “returned” to the air and sunshine just as thousands of Iraq War vets returned home to be with their families.
I am in love with this bracelet and grateful for the privilege of holding it in my hands.