Our dear friend Lloyd has recently passed away, nearly 95 years of age. Obituary tribute.
Lloyd Lauger was raised on a farm very near Swedesburg, Iowa. His parents were of Swedish stock and were very aware of their old country heritage as well as the American Dream.
In this, the second edition of his autobiography, extensively expanded and reworked by the author for publication as an e-book, Lloyd considers what brought his parents' parents from Sweden to the new world and what they faced. He recounts growing up on a farm in the twenties and what it was like to become a teenager with the nation in the teeth of the great depression.
Like so many of his generation, Lloyd traded in his plow horse for an airplane, in his case a B-24 flying almost-daily missions over Gerrmany during 1944. During his fourteenth mission, his plane was shot down, and he was one of six (out of ten total) to survive the shootdown and sit out the rest of the war as a guest of The Third Reich,
At war's end, Lloyd returned to what he knew, farming. He met a young lady, and they married and began a family, contributing two children to the baby boom before cancer was found. Lloyd lost his first wife while he had two small children and a farm to look after.
He picked up the pieces, remarried, and he and his wife Martha had four more children. As the last arrived, Lloyd came to the realization that farming was making his family poorer and poorer, so he went to college for the first time at age 45 and became a high school English teacher.
He took "early retirement" at age 67 after 17 years in the classroom. His life then became even more interesting, as he pursued his lifetime hobby of chess, his new-found hobby of long-distance bicycling, and a desire to see the world.
A Life's Journey is not the autobiography of a famous person, but it is the autobiography of a man who went from horse power to jet power, from the one-room schoolhouse to the computer age, from the Nazi prison camp to the classroom to the author's chair. It is the story of a not-so-common man who is a member of that generation that lifted a nation out of a depression, fought a world war, then a cold war, and finally did achive a measure of that American Dream his immigrant forefathers so earnestly sought.
Lloyd Lauger's "A Life's Journey" is 146 pages of carefully and beautifully crafted prose, contemporaneous photos, and 83-plus years of American history, in a PDF file, 12176K in size.