I suspect if you had asked my father what changed his life the most, I would say for the wild country boy and struggled his first time in college the next two big things that happened for him were the life changers. Dad entered the US Army during the Korean Conflict. He was a cook, in Kansas and because of bad eyes, he was never sent to Korea. That event was the second, but the first that took. My father had met my mother before going off to the service for two years. Then after he returned he and mom got married. If dad didn’t feel that way, I suspect my mother did. I know because she has told my wonderful wife how much she has improved me. Many, many times, apparently like my father there was lots of time investment in making me better.
Mom and dad were living in Whitewater Wisconsin, a part of the Wisconsin River south of the Dells but rougher water, the area around Whitewater dropping about 100 feet throughout a short time. That makes for the rapids that gave the city its name. The University of Wisconsin had an extension campus in Whitewater. I believe my mother was working in the emergency room as a nurse, and my father worked at night in the Pea factory. There were not many stories shared of that time by my parents. Most of what I know about the early years came to from my Grandfather’s perspective. He and I would spend 5 or more hours working on projects, or golfing or fishing.
Mom and dad talked about those times less often. I do remember around that time dad was a supervisor at the Pea factory. They canned peas and sent them around the country. I do also know that roughly in that period my mother had graduated from the University of Wisconsin as a Registered Nurse and was working in an Emergency Room as a Nurse. Later when my father got his bachelor’s in Biology, they moved to East Lansing Michigan. Dad pursued a Masters Degree in Biology from the University of Michigan. He took a job, after his master’s degree in Chicago Illinois as a school teacher. I joined the family the year after they moved to Chicago.
I guess today the wander is the actual wandering.