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.
It is amazing what I have been able to uncover from my parents boxes-
I found an autograph book with a lovely cover and tie from 1935 when she was in sixth grade. Currently that is middle school for our children but then she was still in elementary school. I remember her talking about it because they would typically have their friends autograph as they were leaving to go onto Jr High School (what they called it, instead of middle school.)
On the page marked “social activities” Mom has dramatic club-dancing- and piano. What a discovery to find her readings in Jr High as well.
I didn’t know she was a dancer! But this revelations along with playing the piano, sheds light on why she made me take ballet and piano lessons. I had no talent in either of those areas which must have disappointed her. I still look like a robot trying to be graceful in any type of dance move. I envy those who can sway with grace and rhythm.
Most pages have a poem of a line or two. One of my favorites is on the first page from her sister Marcia-
Roses are red- violets are blue- You are sweet and so am I.
(Marcia did not share her drama reading talents)
Football Flyboy: First Lt. Bill Cannon, Piloting More than His Own Aircraft
Growing up my mom would still recite poetry to me, cute little snippets here and there. I still remember many of them and have repeated them to my children and now my grandchildren. One of my favorites is an old English nursery rhyme.