The Golden Lion Bed & Breakfast
An Easter Sunday 29 Mar 2015, 7:04 amSundays were pretty much the same at 25 Vine Street. Dress-up was expected, and Church was how the mornings were spent. Easter was an exception. On this Sunday morning you had a chance to enjoy one of those chocolate Easter Bunnies. Of course it came with those Easter Baskets full of all those goodies. Now, how a rabbit could lay an egg was not an issue. The following picture shows one of those Sunday mornings.
Here we stand. Just out the back door of our old Kentucky home. Mom had her white gloves, Henry [my older brother] had his bow tie neatly in place, and I...well I had my Easter Bunny held close to the chest. I guess Henry felt he was too old to participate in such excitement, but hey...it was Sunday, and I wanted to take my bunny to Church. It was light blue, had long pointy ears, with a chest of pure white. Soft and cuddly it was. Only a ride to Church it got, since it had to wait in the car until Church was over. Well, anyway, all those goodies still awaited, and I was going to feast after Church with my brand new bunny. An Easter Sunday it was.
From The Air 12 Mar 2015, 7:05 amPrior to the close of WWII, the American industrial complex had produced the war machine. Tanks, trucks, ships, arms, planes, and all kinds of war materials were made at remarkable speed. What happened at the end of WWII to all this stuff. The planes remaining in Germany were blown up all in a row.
My Dad participated in these activities as part of the Army of Occupation, Germany. He states that Germany POW's [prisoner of war ] were driven to the air field each day. They were given TNT in square blocks (about the size of a shoe) that were placed on the wings of a plane. This was after each plane was stripped of any usable parts. [Platinum from the engines were the major item.] The following picture shows such a plane as it was ready to blow.
Not much is left to see. Dad was responsible for setting off the charges some 100 yards from the explosion.
To get a scope of the extent of this process, the following picture was taken from the air. It shows the field as it stood in 1946.
Planes, planes, and more planes, all lined up in a row, waiting for their final destination. What a picture from the air it is. To have survived the war and be blown apart at the end.
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.