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.
We had a ritual before Christmas every year. The act of personal giving came before any consideration of getting could be uttered.
Dad would have me go through my toys to sacrificially choose what I would give to others. We didn't go to the toy store and spend my parents money to buy a toy. I had to pick out a few of my BEST items to give away. The sacrifice had to be mine and not my parents.
A few items were then wrapped along with food we prepared and hand delivered to the people we knew that needed them.
Next - time was gifted- time talking with the family. Time hugging the family-Time smiling and listening.
Often, the families opened the food and shared it back to us as the only gift they could offer. Dad took a sampling thanking them for the present offered with love.
Football Flyboy: First Lt. Bill Cannon, Piloting More than His Own Aircraft
Leading up to the event of Christmas, we had to prepare. Dad would deliver the toys I would sacrifice across the railroad tracks to the poor town where Gaines and his family lived. He would be invited in to sit and chat. He believed that time together with Gaines was as important as the gifts he was delivering. He enhanced every activity with good manners and taught me the same.