As a boy I only knew my grandfather from my mother’s side. My paternal grandfather, John, was dead long before I was born. In that he died of his own hand my Father was reluctant to speak of him so I knew very little of his life. Now that I am a grandfather I feel compelled to tell my father’s story for the sake of all who follow. Therefore, I am writing this piece to honor him on his 96th birthday and make a record for the sake of his great-grandchildren, and beyond.
Carl A. Lind was born on June 28th, 1920 in Gatia, Romania. His family immigrated to the United States when he was two years old. The Lind Family settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended St. Leo’s parochial grade school and then Elder High School from 1932 to 1934. He did not graduate from Elder High School (until later) because in his early years there the unspeakable happened and his father took his own life. Carl was forced to leave school and seek employment to help support the family. He began working at age fifteen and was never unemployed, even during the depression years. I do not have a clear understanding of how his time was spent from 1934 until 1943. I do know that some of it was spent as a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps and part of it was spent as a merchant marine.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. Following Basic Training in Charleston, South Carolina, he served in Glasgow, Scotland, Liverpool, England, and Cherbourg, France. I assume his experience in the Merchant Marines played a part in his assignment as an Army Tug Boat Commander. He rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1945. I know very little of his war-time experience for he did not like to talk about it. After being discharged he worked at various civilian jobs. He applied to the Cincinnati Police Department and was assigned as a Police Recruit in December of 1945.
After graduating Recruit School in February of 1946 he was transferred to his first of many assignments. His first assignment was to the Highway Safety Bureau. He also served in various districts, the Crime Bureau, and the Vice Control Bureau. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1951, to Lieutenant in 1953, and to Captain in 1967. He retired as a police Captain serving as the Administrative Assistant to the Police Chief in 1971, but his civil service did not end there. Following his retirement, he was rehired as the Director of the Program Management Bureau, the first to command a bureau as a civilian. During all of this he also found time to complete high school and get a Batchelor of Science Degree from the University of Cincinnati, majoring in Psychology.
He retired in 1985 and that not only marked the end of his working years, but the end of his healthy years. Within the first year he was diagnosed with a heart blockage and a triple bypass was performed, Six months later he developed another blockage so his chest was cracked for the second time where an aortic bypass was performed. He enjoyed a brief period of of good health until early in 1989 when he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Due to his immune system being compromised from Chemo Therapy he developed a serious lung infection which took his life in September of 1989, at the age of 69.
He died 27 years ago and I have missed him every day since. If it sounds like I am bragging, it is because I am. I will not say my old man could beat up your old man (but he probably could). I am a better person because of him. Many of my life decisions were made because of him. I would go so far as to say that I am who I am because of him. I know there are some who will read this article and who also knew my father. If any have any stories to share, I would love to hear them. Tell your story in the comment section below.
I love you Dad, Happy Birthday!
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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