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.
Well, the media is in frenzy. It seems that every man is or has been acting terrible. They are groping, showing, or doing things that are wrong plus it is just so ungentlemanly.
Is there a good man out there? Where did all the good men go?
Whenever you go digging around in the past of someone’s life there is a chance that you are going to find something that will disappoint you about them.
This was my fear as I dug in to write Football Flyboy about my dad during WW2. I had all his letters that revealed his thoughts and actions as a young man. I have to admit there were a few biases that I wasn’t sure about. He quickly turned those around which pleased me.
Dad was rugged- manly-muscular-protective- tough- All the attributes spelled out in the dictionary. He was however -NOT toxic.
What was interesting is that to stay true to his wife, he made himself write every single day. He never missed one day. He talked about others going to town and their infidelities. He purposely did not go into the towns during his tours. He even stated in the letters that he wanted to avoid the temptation that he thought might tempt him.
Football Flyboy: First Lt. Bill Cannon, Piloting More than His Own Aircraft
Little did I know, I was about to embark on a journey that would redefine my father and let me see how his personal experiences accumulated to reveal his wisdom.