Does a good man’s life end at his death?
The answer for daughter Lisa Reinicke was, “No.” Her father was known by many names: Buster, Bill, Billy, Dad, and the Football Flyboy. His deeds, no matter how small, should be passed down to family, friends, and anyone looking for inspiration, and life-lessons from one who worked, lived and part of the Greatest Generation. The Football Flyboy was young, newlywed and a pilot in WWII. He was a good man.
One weekend morning, she determined that his spirit should not stay silent just because his mouth could no longer speak words. “I open my dad’s old air force footlocker - still solid, battleship grey, weathered, and a little rough from travel and age. His name is in white lettering on the front: First Lt William R Cannon.”
What she discovered were yellowed envelopes bound in twine - hundreds of them - that her father had written to her mother. Letters written daily during the last year of WWII and received by his bride. Her daily letters disappeared - only three times during the year, did the “mailman” catch up with him and teased with just a few of the hundreds.
“Before reaching inside, there was a feeling of the hands of time grabbing onto my heart, knowing that this was such a huge part of not only his life but my mom’s as well.”
Meet Bill “Buster” Cannon, the Football Flyboy … a good man with a good life who made a difference.
Lisa Reinicke is the majority holder of Our House Publications and author of 4 published children’s picture books for sale on Amazon and independent book stores. Lisa was honored with the Mom's Choice Gold Award for lifetime literary excellence for her children's book "Wings and Feet in 2017. She is a storyteller and author of 35 children’s stories appearing on local TV shows, elementary schools, and bookstores. The stories have been published in 3 collective recordings for distribution for A Goodnight Sleep Company. She also produced online (virtual) training for service advisors and technicians. Lisa served as head writer and on-camera talent in the videos. Her books are entertaining yet focus on social issues that engage children and parents to discuss. Her four children were all uniquely different ranging from physical differences, adoption, and physiological disorders that lead her following experts in each field to help children overcome the stigma around being different.
Lisa passionately works raising money for charities that improve children’s lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
While Dad was in cadet school, he and Mom had just gotten married. He was so young, only 18 years old.
Even while he was in school, he would write every single day. Mom kept all these letters too.
I can hear his teasing voice in one of them as he wrote:
"What do you mean by telling me that you like Frank Sinatra better than Bing Crosby? Why if I thought that you would swoon while he croons, I would divorce you. Don't you ever tell anyone that you like Frank better than Bing! The difference between Sinatra and Crosby is that Bing can sing anything and Sinatra can only sing a slow ballad. I heard him sing Shoo Shoo Baby about a week ago and it was terrible. I honestly thing I could have sung it better myself."
He probably could have!
Football Flyboy: First Lt. Bill Cannon, Piloting More than His Own Aircraft
We heard a couple of pretty good radio programs last night. They were command performances with Hope, Crosby, Sinatra, Shore, Langford, Hayworth, Benny and a bunch of stars. It was enjoyable.