The Golden Lion Bed & Breakfast
Two Days Away 27 Feb 2015, 7:13 amPost cards from friends are a delight. Here a friend of my Dad mails this in 1945:
The battleship "U.S.S. West Virginia" is shown. It was mailed from the "Great Lakes Naval Training Center" to "Pvt. Henry E. Jones, 15364821, 3704th A.A.F. Bu, Sqdn. V Class 236, Kesler Field, Miss." What an address it is. A name, and a number of numbers, could be difficult to keep straight.
The message on the back is shown:
The Spitfire 8 Feb 2015, 8:32 amPerhaps no other aircraft in the history of air war is as recognizable as the British Spitfire. Its graceful lines, near perfect handling, and eight-gun punch made its mark during the summer of 1940. Its engine [1 x 1,150 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin], its speed [357 mph], and its range [500 miles] made it one of the most remarkable aircraft of WWII. The Spitfire remains the symbol of the Battle of Britain.
It was 1946, and here my Dad sits in a Spitfire. He was among the crews who were responsible for the destruction of many of the aircraft no longer needed for the war effort. It was post war Germany, and here is a Spitfire sitting on German soil. What a symbol it is.
Information is taken from: Great Campaigns of World War II, by Longmeadow Press, 1988. [Co-ordinating editor: J.B. Davies] The picture is taken from a family shoe box full of memories!
Watersheds 23 Jan 2015, 6:29 am
There it stands. Strikingly beautiful or impressive it is. Some consider it the most spectacular isolated mountain in the world all 14,691 feet (4,478 meters). Part of the Alps' (which serve as the European watershed) it stands proudly. In 1946 my Dad took this picture. The Matterhord it is called. As part of the Army of Occupation, he was given the keys to a dark room where he spent time developing his own pictures. The keys were to be passed on to another when his own time was completed. Such is the picture above.
Here he stands most likely on the same day he took the picture of the Matterhorn. A camera case hangs from his right shoulder. A snow ball in his left hand. [He is left-handed] A watershed of his own I imagine. After this time as one in the Army of Occupation what will life hold for me? Do I throw this snowball, or do I just let it melt in my hand? Hum...questions of life are often watersheds. In 1946, the world had just finished its own watershed.
Untouched 3 Jan 2015, 7:43 amPictures from my Dad's collection contained many from his experiences in Germany following WWII. The following picture has written on the back: "Inside of the Red Cross at Stuttgart. A large Opera House at one time - about the only building untouched in Stuttgart."
Untouched after the War in Germany. A opera house it is. The Red Cross was using this building to work from in 1946. "Die Staatstheater" (the opera house) in downtown Stuttgart as it is called today. A famous historical building as it stands in the middle of town.
A second picture was taken this day in 1946 which has been shown in a previous post. "Angle of Peace" it is called by my Dad as written on the back.
The hand writing on the back of each picture is shown above. Untouched from the time they were placed in the box of pictures.
Say what? 16 Dec 2014, 7:17 amSay what? Are you kidding me? Come on...stop pulling my leg. Nonsense. You don't really mean it? Give me a break. That's stretching it. I've heard that before...a tall one...like the fish that got away? Are you serious? Your joshing. What a wives' tell... certainly a tall one. What in the world? Too much to drink? Are you sure? Bull....! Just kidding. What have you been smoking? Unreal...like smoke and mirrors. Well slap my face. I wouldn't kid you. You're crazy! A cock and bull story. Say what?
P.S. All sayings are from my white, Anglo-Saxon (Celtic), Protestant upbringing. Are there any left out?
Calm Before the Storm 9 Dec 2014, 7:01 amSitting still for very long was not one of my favorite things. You had to be ahead of the pack at Granny Ewen's since there were many first cousins to contend. This must be one of those pictures of the "the calm" before "the storm".
It was taken at Granny Ewen's house when she and Grandad lived in Lexington, KY. My can't wait to get going look is clearly present. Just inside the front door was this large, comfortable chair with a pillow, and Granny Ewen's crochet underneath. [crochet = needlework consisting of the interlocking of looped stitches formed with a single thread and a hooked needle.] She did a lot of this crochet, and I have a number of her hand sown pieces. At any rate, my white shirt is neatly in place, along with my belt and suspenders. An ash-tray stand is to my left, and a newspaper rack is full of the days information. I would call it "the calm".
Moving on along the days adventures is the following picture taken pretty much in the same location.
You can see that Granny Ewen had stopped the day's proceedings. My usual condition is shown, with a great big smile, shirt hanging out, and only one suspender still hanging. She is holding down my first cousin's hands, and my brother is standing innocent looking to his left, with some sort of object held in his mouth. I was holding high something that must have been the prize of the day since my cousin seems unhappy that I am holding it. What else is waiting I must be thinking. To the next prize of the day...no more calm before the next storm... I still have one suspender to go.
Sunday Morning(s) 1 Dec 2014, 7:34 amAttending church was part of life in the 1950s. Every Sunday for more than 9 years in a row, I presented myself in all the glory a 5 to 14 years old could manage. It was expected. Here are my brother and I on one of those Sunday mornings.
The Kentucky Winner 18 Nov 2014, 6:41 amAt the end of WWII planes were placed on a air field in Germany and destroyed. On this field, my Dad took this picture of a remaining "Martin B-26 Marauder".
It must have been because the name given to this plane was "Kentucky Winner". [Being from Winchester, KY himself.] It shows a horse head under the name KENTUCKY and the words WINNER inscribed below. To have survived with more than 20 bombing runs as depicted on the side of this plane would have been unbelievable in its own right. Only to be destroyed by dynamite and the scrap metal to be collected, was its final flight. But, here it is in 1946 at the end of WWII...certainly a Kentucky Winner.
Before and After 10 Nov 2014, 8:34 amUncle Gayle is one of kind. He taught me how to tie square knots, how to pretend to fly airplanes in the side yard, and how to spit cherry pits after eating the good part. Frequently told was a family story that Mam Maw did not cut his red hair growing up in his early years. It was told that she loved his curly, red locks and just could not cut them. Uncle Gayle would not deny the account, but would roll his eyes as if to say there was not much to this family story.
The following picture was recently found in a box of family items which finally lays to rest this family legend.
Curly, red locks it is! Here is a family picture of Uncle Gayle 30 June, 1943. It is written on the back "5yrs 3 1/2 mo.". He seems in good spirits having this picture taken. Perhaps Mam Maw wanted one last look at these curls.
The following picture was taken "School Days 1944 - 45". It would have been about one year later.
The curls are gone and so is the smile. A family story proves true again... the "Before and After" indeed.
Life Insurance 31 Oct 2014, 7:32 amMy Dad is shown in the following picture. It was 1945 and he was heading to Germany. "Pvt. H.E. Jones, Sqdn M" it states on the bottom tag as shown.
On the reverse it gives a chronology of his life in the military.
Kessler Field March 1945, Armillo Texas August 1945, November boat going to France in 1945, In Germany August 1945-1946, it seems to be reading.
Now near this photograph in the box of family keep sakes is the follow.
Hum..."Veterans Administration National Service Life Insurance" it states proudly. A premium of "6.50" is written, and a "Policy Number" shown. Life insurance before heading to Germany during the close of the second world war. You certainly needed to get things in perspective. You know...life...death...and what will happen to me...were all important considerations.
Enclosed in this box of keepsakes was the following additional life insurance.
Inside the cover is written: "Pfc. Henry E. Jones, Landsburg Germany". It was certainly a different kind of life insurance.