My father had already received a Master’s Degree and been teaching for several years in Wyoming and had come back to Utah to teach. My parents quickly had 6 children in 11 years. Watching from my own experiences I don’t believe my Dad liked kids enough to have 6 of them OR to teach them all day long. For those of you who know who Bill Nye, The Science Guy is (are we all singing his theme song together now?) who makes learning science fun for kids, let me just say that is NOT my Dad. When I would ask my Dad for help with science he would pull out a book and tell me to read a certain section. I attended a different Jr. High and when I was apparently “bugging” him too much for help with my homework, so he just ordered the teacher’s version of my book, handed it to me and told me to keep it and from now own find the answer. My Jr. High and his Jr. High were combined in high school. Oh, if only we had cell phones with cameras back in my day to snap photos of classmates when they said “You’re Mr. Isaac’s daughter?!” I would just say “yes” and somehow I’d manage to make instant enemies. Who knew it could be so easy! People that excelled in science actually liked my Dad and said what a great teacher he was. Everyone else…well, we all needed one teacher who managed to ruin a perfectly good GPA, right? I was told that one of his former students complained about a bad smell of one of the chemicals he was using for an experiment. ‘You think that’s bad.’ He brought out every disgusting chemical you could think of for people to sniff and groan about. Some forty or so years later, a neighbor who also had my Dad told me that he was in a class where my Dad told a boy that he had to be adopted because the genetics of his parent’s eye colors and his weren’t possible. The kid argued with my Dad, went home, and….oh, by the way, he was adopted!
I could go on and on, but my point is, what my Dad’s poor students never got to see was that apparently my Dad at one point in his life had a hidden Bad to the Bone side (which I would remind myself of regularly when I had to go place with him in his jumpsuit and pocket protector!) My Dad joined the Marines at the end of World War II. He was in Basic Training when the war ended, but still got the WWII Medal. He shaved his head (the hair on top never grew back) and became…wait for it…a sharp shooting …COOK! My sister Angela and I would DREAD when he was home with us during the long summer months, because, well, honestly we didn’t think he knew our names (that goes back to the not really liking kids part) and the fact that he made really BAD food. During his stint from going from Private to Corporal he may not have learned to really cook, but he did get a really cool Marine Bull Dog tattoo on his upper arm. I always loved, and still love, seeing his tattoo and pictures of him in his dress uniform! I am apparently a sucker for a uniform. I remember asking my Dad once why he got a tattoo, and he said, “Because I wanted it.” Hmmm, I’m wondering if he hid the tattoo from my Mom until after they were married because if she couldn’t tolerate Levis then a tattoo would have thrown her into a swoon! I would like to thank him and all of the other “Veterans” out there who have and are fighting for our freedoms, so that other young kids can continue tattooing all over themselves because they ‘want it’ . Thanks Dad! Apparently, sometimes our body is a billboard not a temple.
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