Yes, it's time for barbecues and cheap booze, but Memorial Day is one of the few times we get a day off for the non-religiously exclusive reason of remembering those near and dear who have died. This is Ed Mack, he spent part of his adolescence in an orphanage after his father left the family and headed West to seek his fortune, always promising to send for his son, but never getting around to it. It was Grapes of Wrath America and his mother ran out of money. Ed served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, studied soil sciences after returning and worked for the Bureau of Reclamation in Ephrata, Wash. He and his wife lost their first daughter as an infant, but had three more, which was kind of hilarious because he was such a man's man. Ed voluntarily made shelves for every church, school or neighbor that asked. Those shelves would survive the apocalypse thanks to his "measure twice, heck three times, cut once" ethic. And he was more than happy to help his eight grandkids, myself included, construct extensive marble mazes with metal pipes to drive our parents nuts. He believed in dessert now and later.
We now resume your regularly schedule Afternoon Edition: