A Nice Story About Ralph Lileks


Our James wrote a nice story about his father today in his Friday Star-Trib column. I have enjoyed the many stories he has written about his father through the years in the Bleat, especially the war stories. There are not many people like him anymore I’m afraid.

There’s this guy who bought the Sunday Strib every week, for years. Never missed it. Never subscribed, either — he liked the old-fashioned ritual of going to the store and picking up a paper from the thick, neat sheaf.

Maybe you saw him. Perhaps you paid no notice. There are lots of old guys around, but few of his particular type: He wore a cap that said WWII vet. A diminishing breed of men who left a part of themselves on a beach or a forest and spent the rest of their lives with a small, familiar ache in their hearts.

You see those men with that hat, you want to say thanks. You wonder what stories it took them decades to tell.

Read the whole thing.

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There are 12 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    Thanks for bringing it to us.

    • #1
    • July 12, 2019, at 9:55 AM PDT
  2. Arahant Member

    I read it. I think it must be time to close the windows. My allergies are flaring up. Thank you, @jameslileks, for sharing your father with all of us.


    • #2
    • July 12, 2019, at 10:01 AM PDT
  3. Stad Thatcher

    Beautifully written piece by James . . .

    • #3
    • July 12, 2019, at 11:19 AM PDT
  4. James Lileks Contributor

    Thanks, Tennessee – a big, illustrated account coming Monday at the Bleat (lileks.com/bleats)

    • #4
    • July 12, 2019, at 12:58 PM PDT
  5. Tennessee Patriot Member
    Tennessee Patriot Post author

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Thanks, Tennessee – a big, illustrated account coming Monday at the Bleat (lileks.com/bleats)

    I was hoping you would do that! Compile past stories you have told???


    He truly had a blessed life. You, and I, have also been blessed by having wonderful fathers. What a great advantage we have had, and how horrible it is that our culture discounts fatherhood.

    • #5
    • July 12, 2019, at 1:46 PM PDT
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor

    What a wonderful story, and an admirable life he led. I wouldn’t be riding a Harley at 93, but I’d be happy to be riding a bicycle! Thanks, @tennesseepatriot for sharing the story with us. I so appreciate @jameslileks writing and his admiration for his father.

    • #6
    • July 12, 2019, at 4:30 PM PDT
  7. WI Con Member

    Well done James. My heartfelt condolences. And well done to Ralph, ‘the richest man in town!’. He helped save the world and raised a good man – not bad. Not bad at all.


    • #7
    • July 12, 2019, at 5:36 PM PDT
  8. Stad Thatcher

    This was the most harrowing part of the story to me:

    “he fired until he ran out of ammo, and when he looked to see why, he saw that the men on both sides had been felled.”

    Oh man . . .

    • #8
    • July 13, 2019, at 7:19 AM PDT
  9. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Thanks, Tennessee – a big, illustrated account coming Monday at the Bleat (lileks.com/bleats)

    Nice photos.

    • #9
    • July 14, 2019, at 12:13 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member

    “What a remarkable fellow. They made so many, once. There are so few, now.”

    There’s a call to action! Go out there and be remarkable, men!

    • #10
    • July 14, 2019, at 5:52 AM PDT
  11. Preserved Killick Member

    Wednesday I did the usual “Click on over to the Bleat and see what Lileks is up to” – as i have done every day since Jasper was a pup. Saw the (incredible!) picture of Mr. Lileks and my heart just sank. Condolences and prayers for the “American Original” and you and your family. Providential that Daughter is now home with family and not on some other continent.

    • #11
    • July 14, 2019, at 10:41 AM PDT
  12. Fresch Fisch Member

    Texaco. He truly was the man who wore the star. 

    Now you cry. 

    The tears end with a smile, after a while. 

    Later, it becomes just a smile.



    • #12
    • July 15, 2019, at 9:15 AM PDT