by Glenn Resihnetzul
Somehow I finished and survived the ninth grade in a high school I had never wanted to attend. Within less than a week, we received a brief letter from my “ baby “ brother. Kenneth was 17, Loren was 19 and my only sister was 20 when I arrived. Since my mother was over the normal childbearing age of the time, I was, like Ishmael, a gift from God. She named me, Glenn that was also my father’s name. He was 8 years older than my mother and without a means of support for a wife two teen-age sons and an unmarried daughter, he was feeling something other than blessed. Glenn was also the name of the attending doctor in that tent by the shore of Flathead Lake, Montana on a rather cold February 2nd. This led to a number of arguments as to who actually was my father. My mother always insisted that she waited until the last one to give it his father’s name and besides even at the tender age of four days, I really looked like him. This never resolved the issue but made it hotter from time to time.
While I had been going to school with some success, my brother Kenneth had spent the time between 1942 and 1948 as a member of the US Navy. He received basic training in San Diego and diesel machinist school in Chicago and Detroit. Finally in Newport News, Virginia he was assigned to LST 372 for a shakedown cruise up the Northeast coast before crossing the Atlantic. The landings in North Africa, Sardinia, Sicily and Italy came in short order, only if you were reading about it. Then in due time, as Chief Motor Machinist on LST 372 he had three channel crossings, landing ship tanks and infantry on D-Day on the French beaches.
Brothers, though we were, with a common mother and father, Kenneth and I had very little in common. I had vague memories of being tickled to exhaustion at age two or three. Then nothing, until Ken’s letter asking how many times did I have to be told something before I could be expected to do it and would I get on the train and go to Whitefish, Montana to work for him in a Laundry/Dry cleaning business. He had been conned in to running and managing it for the owner in Kalispell. What self-respecting 14 year old would pass up a life changing experience like that.
A round trip train ride, three memorable months filled with working and learning the trade. We also shared many days of fun fishing in the North Fork of the Flathead River. I ended up with a hundred dollars in my pocket that went to help buy a 1937 Studebaker Champion for my parents.