Donald Aubry Rogers was a respectable man. Adventure littered his youth. He had hitchhiked across the country and hopped trains back. He had rustled cattle cross states and accidentally driven dealership cars into Mexico (even though he was trying to make it to California). He’d been a soda jerk, a pharmacist and a bronze-star awarded WWII medic, but that was all behind him. Now he reveled in the lack of adventure.
Don had missed the first part of his boys’ lives. He hated to miss more, but despite his desire to be home, he knew his duty and followed orders to Germany. A promising career had laid before him when he was finally relieved of duty, but holding the horrors of a war medic deep inside, the last thing he could stomach was a career in a pharmacy or a hospital. Little did he know sickness and medical demands would haunt him, stealing a wife and child, permanently marking his daughters, and eventually claiming him. He would never truly escape it.
For now, he relaxed into the American Dream. His beautiful wife, Sarah, kept the house and four kids in their quaint, yellow and orange, two story home. Each day he walked to work at Montgomery Ward in his freshly pressed shirt. Each day he walked home for lunch, where Sarah would be waiting for him with another freshly pressed shirt. After a modest lunch and changing into his fresh shirt, Don would start his walk back to work. He walked through the Southern heat and under the ancient magnolias. A Camel Straight frequented his lips, and a grateful prayer escaped in each smokey exhale. For in 1952, Don Rogers was finally living his greatest adventure.