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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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The T-Day Landing
My mother said to me this evening, apropos of nothing, "I don't suppose many people can remember the exact date when they took up smoking, but in my case it was 6th June 1944."

My grandfather, who commanded a ship that took some of the bigwigs across the Channel on D-Day+1, had of course known the date of Overlord for some time beforehand. Not being as good at keeping secrets as he was at sailing ships he had told it to my grandmother, who in turn had told my mother (and no doubt much of Wrexham - which happily was not a town thick with German spies). So my mother was very nervous on the 6th June, listening for news of the landings on the radio, when someone offered her a cigarette to calm her nerves. In less than a month it will be her and tobacco's 70th anniversary.

I blame Hitler.

My dad didn't smoke until he was in the army, and they were offered free cigs when he was an eighteen year old in the occupation of Japan. He came back a five-pack-a day smoker of unfiltered Luckies, one of the harshest cigarettes made.

Oof. My mother smoked Luckies. In her youth they were marketed to teenagers with "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet."

I hope she lived much longer and healthier than my dad did.

Probably not. She was 67. Needless to say, the Joe Camel ad about "75 and still smokin'!" made us pretty angry.

Oh, geez, I am sorry. My dad stopped smoking when his sister got lung cancer at 45, and his lung collapsed a year later. Two bypasses after, and he barely made it a week past seventy.

Yeah, I'm still angry, too, when I think of everything he missed.