On this day when we look back on the Prodigal Son, I ask you to forgive me for seeing my older brother as a prodigal son. Frank was born in 1915, and that made him eighteen in 1928, the year the Deprssion got underway.
Frank went to work, filling orders from a warehouse for eighteen dollars a week. It wasn't enough to let him take a girl to a movie.I feel especially sorry for Frank on Sunday afternoons. My mother, after getting ten of us fed liked turning to the classical music station. As much as she liked that music, it made Frank sick to his young soul.
When the war came along, and Frank was stationed with men who were heavy drinkers. He went along with that, so that after the war the heavy drinking had taken over his life.
In 1955 Frank swore that if I paid his bus fare to California he would stop drinking. I didn't believe him, but my Dad did. He put Frank on a bus for L.A., and through the last seventeen years of Frank's life, he never took another drink. When I got word that his Alcoholic Anonymous group was having a good-bye ceremony for him, I flew out there.
For over an hour, one man or woman after another took the platform to tell us his story of how Frank had saved his or her life.