"You look at the biography of Edward Flanagan, the word that comes to mind is incredible. Faced with perhaps our Nation's the darkest hour, America definitely needed for men to step up to the answer of our nations call. From 1942 to 1946 Ed Flanagan served our country. . . Ladies and Gentleman we are in the presence of a hero."
It was lucky indeed, for Al because he was born a "blue baby." A lot of blue babies were, born in 1919 due to the flu epidemic. "I was born with a bluish tint to my skin due to a lack of oxygen during my delivery," Al reports. "Sometimes blue babies would be born with heart defects. Dr. Lund told my folks that he doubted I would live to be 21 years old. Well, here I sit-84 years old-and I always say that I've been living on borrowed time since I was 21!"
As the saying goes, “It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop.” A great deal of ingenuity has gone into reintroducing someone to the ground gracefully, but no safety device is foolproof. Rockport resident Gilbert Weaver learned that lesson well enough during his service with the U.S. Army as a paratrooper, though he is among the relative few to walk away from a “failed” jump and live to tell the tale.
My grandfather Ellis built a log cabin. He cut the shingles for the roof out of oak. The first thing they did when he got back was to put those shingles on the roof. Of course, those oak shingles had cured and they were very hard to drive a nail into. He did mash his finger many times and Grandma had to carry the hammer back to him, after he kept throwing it away every time he would hit his fingers.
On the 14th of January our battalion received orders that on the following day it was to undertake an attack on the small German town of Nennig, located near the Moselle river. This would be part of a coordinated attack with the other battalions of the regiment, hitting adjacent towns in an attempt to drive the Germans out of the Switch area.
Near the Appalachian Mountains, Daniel Boone's natural passage, in South Eastern Kentucky, an area around Cumberland Gap, between Pineville and Middlesboro is Calmer, Kentucky, my Grandpa "Walter Smith Sr." and Grandma "Mattie Cox Smith" (Granny) raised ten children of their own and myself "Judie Gudger." My sister, "Nila Gudger" spent a great deal of time at their house also.
It was a large dwelling, obviously added onto many times, with high ceilings and creaking floorboards. I counted five fireplaces, two still in apparent working order and the other three boarded over. I knelt down and removed a handful of old photographs, mostly 8 x 10's, and all black and white. The remarkably clear images revealed scenes from what appeared to be the 1940s.
Washing Clothes Recipe (Given a Young Bride By Her Grandmother)
Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe:
This is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook - with spelling errors and all.
The plans to have a home wedding at my parents' were changed because Edwin's family was not agreeable to some of out decisions. Edwin's mother did not want him to invite his father because all of her neighbors thought he was dead. Also, Charles had no coat to wear to the wedding except a bright green sports coat that belonged to Edwin.
Back at the miserable camp he was determined to make the best of his situation and settled into his new billet, which was a concrete single story structure with holes intended for a door and windows. No carpet, no furniture, no sheets, no pillowcases or pillows and only a potbellied stove for comfort.
I have no firsthand knowledge of the horrors my father witnessed on that foreign soil because he never spoke of his experiences to anyone, ever. I often asked what had mangled his hand, but a blank stare was always my answer. Those horrific images were locked away in his soul and like thousands of other young soldiers of a gruesome war, he never wanted to unlock that box and allow those nightmares to see the light of day.
Could we get into mischief? Of course, what cute little girls did not get into mischief? I remember a time when we were playing hid and seek and Louise and I decided to hide under our grandmother's front porch. It had a lattice type structure under the porch, which you could open or close. Louise and I would hide there and we could see through the lattice those who were trying to find us.
In 1989, while asleep, Milton J. Long, LTC AUS RET, received this message from his guardian angel. "You have wished for a WWII jeep, and this would be fulfilled. You must restore it and show it. You are to tell the story of its use in WWII, and show it in parades and events." The angel also advised that he would receive financial help with the project.
Hoyt Sherman Griffith, Jr. was born in 1926 in Philadelphia, the great-grandson of General William T. Sherman's younger brother, Hoyt Sherman. His family was adventurous and curious about everything, and I knew that young Hoyt's parents had transported him back and forth across the continent several times before he entered the seventh grade. Sure enough, my tale of finding a wonderful bed-and-breakfast opened up his memory.
The winter wind was biting but the soldier did not notice the cold. The pain all that his mind could focus on. The end for him was near, he could sense it. It was December 1944, in Neiderbroon, France, a time that would later be named the Battle of the Bulge. Some 80,000 soldiers lost their lives here. Karl Marion West was one of them.
One particular day around Christmastime the other students were particularly disruptive. Mrs. Beckwith had left the room to get the principal to restore order and Lucy stepped onto a table in the front of the room and dropped a stack of books onto the floor. The children immediately stopped their misbehavior and turned their attention to Lucy. The sense of control and command was a feeling Lucy realized she truly enjoyed.
The farmers would get together and build a log house, say 18 feet x 20 feet. There were no floors in the house, benches made of 8-inch poplar logs split in two, with wooden pegs for legs served as seats.
The house was not supplied with windows. At convenient distances chinks were left out from between logs, through which the light and cold wind could enter.
I joined the navy while still in high school in Minnesota. It seemed to me they took too long to call me up so I signed up again. This came back to haunt me later. I was sent to boot camp in Idaho. When I finished there, I was sent to CA to San Pedro to work on the USS Callaghan. She was commissioned on Nov 27, 1943, and attached to the Pacific fleet. We sailed to Hawaii for our shake down cruise.
Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger. And with all our progress ... don't you just wish, just once, you could slip back in time and savor the slower pace ... and share it with the children of today ... When being sent to the principals office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited the student at home.
At Pearl Harbor, all the ships that had been hit _ well, not all of them, but so many had been hit and were on fire and everything, and here we were in this little canoe all in the middle of this.
Now let me ask you this. There's a lot of side things, should I tell all of those? There are a lot of side things that are unusual, and nobody else had one exactly like I had