In an earlier post, I talked about my 2nd Great Grandfather and his “complicated” family. In that post, I also spoke of his wife Ethel leaving home…
So, with one child in hand and one on the way, Ethel took off down the dusty road leading away from the family farm…. and Dada stood and watched from the porch as his wife and two of his children disappeared in the horizon.
One of those children was my great-uncle, Richard Bynum. Richard was born in 1918 and was the youngest of five (for years, we thought it was four siblings, but learned of a fifth through my research this year! THAT is a story for another time). Richard’s childhood after he headed down that dusty road was a difficult one. I didn’t know him until much later in his life, but I’ll always remember how he would adamantly talk about the reasons he chose to have no children. Basically, he felt his own childhood was so bad, he’d never wish that hardship on someone else.
Richard enlisted in the army and served in World War II. He served over seas from 1941-45 and retired at the rank of sergeant. After his service, he settled back down in St. Petersburg, FL. Despite the frustrations about his youth, I remember Uncle Richard being a bit of a comedian. The more I think about it, I think I actually got a bit of my sense of humor from him. For that, I’m eternally grateful.
He passed away in 1991 at the age of 72 and is buried with veteran honors at Florida National Cemetery.