The Stacks: A Son Finds His Father on Guadalcanal
Peter Richmond lost his father when he was 7. Years later, on a trip to Guadalcanal to research his dad's World War II experience, he encountered old horrors but found a hero.
Peter Richmond is a good man, loyal friend, and a gifted writer. Here he is at his best, writing about his father for GQ in December of 1993. The article was the genesis of Richmond's beautiful memoir, My Father's War: A Son's Journey. To celebrate Father's Day—and much respect and love to all the dads out there—I can think of no finer piece to share with you. Reprinted with permission; please enjoy, “My Father's War.”--Alex Belth
It's a reflex action. I kick the grenade without thinking. My brain shouts out in panic, but it's too late. The grenade feels heavy against the toe of my boot. l see that the pin is missing. I can hear the sound it makes as it rolls on the dry dirt of the hillside. I imagine shrapnel fanning out in an arc and stitching its way across my waist.
It stops. It does not explode.