Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day: Honoring My Great Uncle Isaac "Jack" Bracy

My maternal grandmother had several brothers; most were recollections of past memories because they had already passed on before I came into existence. However, the two grand uncles I did know; one lived in California and the other I met as a child in 1972 while on family road trip from California to Houston, Texas.

Born 22 May 1907, His name, Isaac Bracy, and no doubt he was named for his maternal great-grandfather, Isaac Anderson. His parents: Reverend Calvin & Julia Bracy welcomed their firstborn son!

Growing up we called him “Uncle Jack.” By this time, he was a retired school bus driver, but always had some hustle (some kind of side business). In the family, the Bracy men, were always referred to as hustlers - hardworking.  His wife Carrie, I recall, was in the hospital, but being so young didn’t fully grasp what was going on with her.  He stayed in a storefront apartment. My younger brother and I were eager to spend time with this new uncle we barely knew. He came over nearly every morning. It was storming outside one particular day - thunder and lightning. I was so scared, but I remember he came over to my grandmother's, I told him I wanted to go next door and he walked me over next door to my cousins’ house! Me and my younger brother wanted to stay with him one night so we spent the night with him. It was sort of odd because he didn't speak much, no games to play, but it was just amazing to be able to see where and how he lived.

Uncle Jack became very ill - and it may have appeared that no one could care for his needs or perhaps a bit of manipulation may have been in order. My parents drove down to Los Angeles to meet my mother’s eldest brother, who was carrying my great uncle. From there they took him up to Sacramento to my grandmother’s baby sister’s house. After she could no longer care for him, he was transported to the VA Hospital in Martinez, Calif.  I think although he was not able to speak he was glad to see his family there. Sadly, there he passed away in his sleep on 4 Aug 1978.

He was not a highly decorated soldier, but a Veteran nonetheless. He served his country in the United States Army from December 1942 to October 1945.  He was a Corporal. If I had been older when I first met my great uncle, being the family historian I am, would have asked about his service in the military, about his parents, about life growing up in rural Texas.

He is laid to rest at the Sacramento County Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Sacramento, CA.

(Photo: Grand Uncle Isaac "Jack" Bracy and his maternal Aunt Mary P. Jones)