...and we come back from the distant past, to Feldspar in the present...
In 1942, Feldspar Mjolner surprised the entire family by announcing his intention to enter the service. His intense desire to see the Pacific theater was surpassed only by the Army's bureaucratic will to keep him a file clerk, first in Texas, than in 1944, in England. When he was caught trying to rape the daughter of a Welsh longshoreman, he was exiled to Scapa Flow as a liaison officer. Howling to his Congressman got him sent to France, where he got the clap within a week. When he went into a black unit and demanded the ranking sergeant shine his boots while he went on about how ugly Eleanor Roosevelt was, Feldspar thought he was proving how tough he was to his Southern peers. The near-riot that ensued got him cashiered and sent back to the East Coast until the war ended. Still, The War gave Feldspar a great gift; being the object of envy for everyone who longed for an event in their own lives so profound that it excused every form of self-centered behavior in perpetuum.
Feldspar's son, Jonathan Martial "Binky" Mjolner, checked into the Hanoi Hilton during the Summer of Love because he spent too long listening to the lock-on growl of his Sidewinder and a Mig-15 "Fagot" attacked from the rear with the sun in Binky's eyes. He checked out for a more protracted stay in Arlington during the time in the Paris Peace Talks when they were debating whether the negotiating table should be square or round. When Feldspar finally received word of his son's death, he was secretly relieved that his position of warrior/patriarch would remain unchallenged by someone who had really seen combat. This was unspoken but understood through the family; the years of self-fortification had begun.
By the time of college for his two grandchildren, Feldspar had become a Vauban fortress of ill-temper; calculated, precise, expensive and overwhelming. Raising his two grandchildren was a difficult task made more difficult by virtue of the two kids being considerably smarter than Feldspar before they reached puberty, and made impossible by the kids intense dislike of each other. This troika of problems had made the Mjolner "family" non-existent; but, as in all such families, no one was willing to say as much.