October 22, 2018:

No — no — no. There is a smile.

He writes, "This is a German girl, she says she is my baby, she is a good little kid too. July 1945 Eberbach, Germany."

He's in his greens, with tie and sergeant's stripes, a dozen G.I.s milling behind. He holds a curly-headed child in one strong arm. She beams confidently, flirtatiously. His smile is broad and genuine. Of course. Because he's holding life, after so much death.

I wonder if he's thinking of his own daughter, in this moment.

I certainly am.

She'll be six years old just then, perhaps in Topeka, perhaps in Little Rock, perhaps already in California, the timeline isn't clear to your author and there's no-one remaining to ask. Is she locked in a closet? Counting flowers on the wall?

That was the life her grandfather doomed her too.

October 21, 2018:

The men in Sunday dress.

White shirts tucked into creased dark slacks, hats, no jackets.

A dirt road, a car with bald tires. It's Arkansas, it could be church. Seems unlikely old Dad the starched-collar Patriarch would attend dances. Probably church.

That one is smoking. Only him, just the one. The first to die, in 1980, as his daughter also was later to die, each of them from smoking-related heart attacks. Years before their time, as the others demonstrated by living into their 90s.

October 20, 2018:

Riders on the range.

Dark horse, white coiled rope, white Stetson, light-colored clothes. White horse, dark coiled rope, dark Stetson, dark-colored clothes. They're behind a fence, barbed wire, it's summer, the ground is dry, behind them a low ridge rises beneath Montana's big big sky.

Two brothers home from war.