My Grandpa's Senior Photo

I posted my cheesy senior photo a few days ago. Here's my grandfather's (his name was also Joe V.):

He graduated class of 1936 from Moundsville High School in Moundsville, WV. It's a good thing his parents had immigrated from Spain in the earlier part of the century, as the Spanish Civil War began in 1936. He was the perfect fighting age to participate in that terrible conflict, but instead went door-to-door with his uncle collecting donations for the Republican government in the Spanish areas of West Virginia (which were quite substantial at the time).

He went on to Bliss Electrical Academy in Takoma, MD and returned to WV where he worked as an electrician in coal mines in southern West Virginia, which is where he met my grandmother.

In 1945 he shipped off to Japan and helped rebuild the electrical infrastructure in Yokahama until his early release from the Army due to my grandmother having a terrible car accident back home.

He spent most of his later years as the head of the electrical apprentice program for the West Virginia branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Every time I pass the IBEW offices here in D.C. I think of him with pride. He was truly dedicated to the Union cause.

I loved my grandpa very much, and I think he was pleased that I learned to speak Spanish and kept in touch with our family there. I still dream about him often.