I have avoided writing about my family's life for a very long time. I've spent the last two and a half decades writing plays, screenplays, television shows, skits, poetry, political cartoons, children's books, humorous essays, drawings, etc. And, outside of two screenplays I had optioned by a producer (who has since passed away) and dozens of newspaper features and articles, I've made no effort to show any of my works - to anyone.
But that has changed.
While stuck in Israel I felt there just wasn't an ending in sight. Nor a plausible audience (the difference between Middle Eastern and Western Cultures is phenomenally vast, no matter how much many middle easterners might claim Israel is a Western country - it ain't, much like America isn't an airport destination - all countries are defined by its people and their histories.).
I couldn't relate to those around me so I existed as a 'Stranger in a Strange Land," Mohammed in the Cave, writing wildly away, willfully oblivious to the world outside. I literally lived my life as a shut-in. I often dreamt of the possibility of taking my boys to America, to Arlington Cemetery, to my parents' final resting place - but in reality I believed there was a good chance I would NEVER get out, and that my instinctual desire to stay a hands-on father would condemn me to being a Prisoner of Zion to my dying days.
But I escaped - with my two sons (and it only took 19 years!). It was literally a miracle given my circumstances. And how I left every single possession I owned (including thousands of books) - EVERYTHING, save my two sons, is a story that one-day must written. Even at this writing I face possible litigation.
Suffice to say that I'm back in America. For the first time since the 1990's. And I feel I can finally move forward, into a realm where my "plausible audience" exists. And I can now give to them what every author's audience deserves - a satisfactory resolution.
For The Sarge:
His upcoming one hundredth birthday is an essential element to this story's ending:
Because, for so long, I literally ached to come back to America with my two sons. Both of whom were born in Israel and never knew their paternal grandparents nor how vast and fantastic America is. This memoir, combined with his 100th anniversary, presents the perfect resolution to what was once a tragic tale now, miraculously, turned triumphant.
My father, Sgt. Wilbur F. Pinkerton, would have been 100 on March 24, 2020.
He and my mother are both buried at ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, possibly the most revered and respected military cemetery in existence. And, to the best of my knowledge, nobody in my family has ever visited them.
The reason I have not (and I say "reason," not excuse) is told within: I met a woman who fled to her home country with my first child-to-be - I did not stay behind and try to fight for my child in the safety of my own country (like numerous other fathers have done).
I followed her - to Israel - and gave up EVERYTHING I had - my friends, my family, my culture, my environment, my language my chances at employment, my youth.
I did, ironically, take my thousands of books.
Her goal (at first) was to buy me off and send me back to America to leave her and her mother to raise my sons (see Chapter: "Not For Thirteen Million Dollars,").
Then, when that didn't work, her goal became to get rid of me any way possible: In the words of my Scottish Solicitor, (for further explanation See Chapter: "How Scotland Saved the World and My Family):
"She'll say anything!" He once whispered to me in court.
Which she did. Under oath.
And, she came perilously close to ruining me. I was arrested one rare sunny Scottish morning. Handcuffed in front of all my gaping neighbors and taken away; Spending two days and a night in jail (the only time in my life such a thing has occurred), spent my entire life savings within a few short years of following her on her Magical Mystery Tour; and, prior to moving out, I became so sick during our last weeks living together that I've often wondered if she actually poisoned me.
And I don't write these words lightly.
Ironic, but just about the only thing my ex DIDN'T accuse me of was murder ...and murder was the one crime that I actually did contemplate: I thought the whole thing out, the how, the where, the when; I created potentially false evidence, I even picked a location.
This is how mentally tortured I became dealing with what I thought was a pathological liar in a pathological country, both intent upon harming the out-of-place goy.
But thank God for Prayer and its Wisdom Gleaned and, the realization that my two boys' well-being were paramount in all considerations. They needed at least one parent, and my plan, if carried out, carried with it the tremendous possibility that my sons could end up having no parent.
In summation, I gave up 19 years of my life fighting to stay a father, chasing my ex around the world, resulting in SIX (6) international moves, 40 Plus appearances in Family and Criminal Court and, with undefinable losses in terms of finances, potential work, friends, family and health.
But I never gave up and now, have never been happier.
I have returned to America and see a potential audience for this torturous yet heroic experience. And I have come to realize (an epiphany, really) that my father's absence in my life as a boy (at least four years with nary a phone call (but we did get a weekly letter) ) said absence was a primary motivation for my staying in my son's lives - no matter what.
I believe that with all my soul.
During his 33 year military career my father Crossed at Normandy Beach, served in Korea and Viet Nam, taught Spanish at the "School of the Assassins in Panama, and much more.
He met my mother and his bride of 40 years Kathleen H. in London while waiting for this crossing. She was 19, a Private and a Cook in the British Army.
I am now about the age my father was when he passed away. Combine that with what will be the centenary of his birth, and these two powerful and totally distinct yet cross-blended factors tell me this:
It is either Now Or Never, if I wish to document his life.
Come March 2020, I will travel, God willing, with my two sons and a cinematographer to Arlington National Cemetery and film a small documentary I am writing about their incredible lives, about a time when Patriotism was the norm.
If you can, please help.
On March 24, 2020, My Father "the Sarge," would have been 100 years old. A Veteran of 3 Wars, his life, his experience, deserves to be documented. Click below to get the full story:
The Sarge's 100th Birthday is Coming:
WILBUR F. PINKERTON (1920-1985)
1 of 11 children of WWI Veteran/Farmer Nat Pinkerton
Picked Cotton in and around Murfreesboro, TN in late 1930's;
Traveled to Alaska to Find Work in early 1940's;
Worked on the Alaskan Railroad until December 6, 1941 (the bombing of Pearl Harbor)
Returned to Murfreesboro, TN and Enlisted in the U.S. Army;
Deployed to Europe/Iceland;
Stationed in London 1944 & met 18 yr old PFC (British Army Cook) Kathleen in a Pub in London;
Crossed at Normandy in June '44;
Fought under General Patton in Germany and France;
Returned to London in 1945 and married Kathleen just hours prior to the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima Japan;
Served in Korea;
Served in Viet Nam;
Taught 4 years at "The School of the Assassins" in Panama;
Married 40 years to the same woman (Kathleen); raised six children;
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery (1985) along with Kathleen (2014)...
The Sarge will be 100 years old next March 24, 2020..
Help us finally get to Arlington Cemetery to pay honor to a real America Hero...
"FOR THE SARGE'S 100TH BIRTHDAY"©
..a trip to Arlington National Cemetery..
United States Army, circa 1945
British Army, circa 1942