Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Past

Nowadays everyone has Christmas decorations up right after Thanksgiving. When I was a child, the practice in our house was different. We never had any decorations before Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve we hung stockings on the mantle and put out cookies and milk for Santa. We were delighted on Christmas morning to find that Santa had drunk the milk, left some cookie crumbs and a  footprint in the ashes on the hearth. He had also left a decorated Christmas tree in the Sun Porch complete with our Lionel train under the tree and lots of presents.. We later learned that Santa did not put those things there, our parents did. Mother and Dad and Dad's brother Bub and his wife Hazel put up the tree and the train  along with our presents after we had gone to bed on Christmas Eve.
Christmas was a big thing with my parents, especially my Mother. She loved the season and did her best to make sure we had a memorable Christmas even though it was in the middle of the depression and resources were scarce.
Several Christmas gifts remain in my memory. In the early 1940's my brother Roger was thrilled when on Christmas morning a little puppy came running into the room as we sat by the tree opening our presents. The puppy was named Butch and Butch remained with us for many years. A year or so later,I got a 20 gauge shotgun at Christmas. That was a total surprise, I never thought my parents would give me a gun. They knew I wanted one because I had often tagged along with my Uncle Earl when he was hunting in the nearby woods. On another Christmas my Uncle Charlie gave me a complex balsa model kit of the steamship Queen Mary. It was beyond my skill level but I thought it was a great gift. I wish I had it now so I could assemble it,

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WWII Memorial

It is long gone but there was once a memorial to local veterans of Worl War Two.. It was mainly for men and women from Yardville Heights and Lakeside who served in World War II.  I think it was located on the Yardville Elementary School grounds at the foot of Highland Avenue.  I can recognize some of the names even though it is not a great photo. Considering the small population of those two areas, it is obvious that a high percentage of us were in the service.

There was also another such memorial in Yardville where the Yardville National Bank was located on South Broad Street. This looks like a fancier version.

I don't know if there was nay ovelap of names since the Yardville Memorial is a bit hard to read.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Time in Jordan and Israel

I expect to be traveling to Jordan and Israel from September 3 til September 23.  Here is a clock that shows the time in that area. Since it is over 5000 miles away, the clock is showing a time that is 7 hours ahead of East Coast time so it may be for  the next day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kilroy Was Here

Kilroy was here. That is a phrase everyWorld War II participant recalls. No one is really sure where the phrase actually started though there are many theories. However, that messge was scrawled on walls, sidewalks, tanks, aircraft and nearly everything else in the early 1940s. It was such a pervasive symbol that is is now inscribed on the National World War II monument in Washington, not once but twice. It is in the rear of the monument on the side facing the Lincon Memorial in stair wells behind the fountains.
The National World War II monument itself is impressive. There are pillars for each state or territory and it is divided into Pacific and Atlantic areas of the war. The inscriptions on the walls tell a lot about the history of those times. When I was there in mid June 2010, it was being visited, as it is almost constantly, by veterans of that war. Many were in wheel chairs or naviagating with canes. There are fewer of us every day. For many it is a reminder of lost friends and family. For others it is a reminder of times when this country was united as it had never been before nor has been since.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Forgotten words

When I was growing up, we used some words that no longer seem to be heard very often. The words we had used commonly have been replaced by what most of us elders consider as just plain vulgar. Some TV programs,are embarassing to listen too, especially if young children are around..
What ever happened to the use of words like: Golly, Gee Whiz, Holy Smokes, Gosh, Neat, Swell, Shucks, Oh Sugar.
 In our house, we never heard any curse word nor any expressions involving the Lord's name. We also could never refer to my mother as "she". My mother insisted on being referred to as "Mother". We loved, apprciated and respected our parents.
 I am appalled when I hear the way some grownups refer to their parents in hateful and grossly negative terms. I guess growing up in a loving family must have isolated me from such negative feelings.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Teen age Bedroom

When I was in my teens, the Second Wold War as taking place. I had a collection of aircraft pictures pasted on the walls of my bedroom.
I had my own room on the second floor of our house. As I recall, it had a double bed, a bookcase and a bureau. Because it was an old house, it had only a small closet. I don't recall where I got the pcitures  but all the boys at that time had such collections. Of course we also made model planes out of balsa wood. In high school we also made model planes supposedly to be used for training aircraft spotters. Many towns had aircraft spotters on duty 24 hours a day. They were watching for enemy aircraft - though in those days enemy aircraft did not have the capability of flying to the US from Europe. We also had blackouts from time to time.As far as I know, they were mostly tests rather than the real thing. The nearest we came to enemy actions  was at the Jersy seashore resorts. In 1942 there were numerous cases of oil tankers being torpedoed off the Jersey coast. My diary in July 1942 mentions going to Barnegat Light and seeing the remains of a torpedoed ship sticking up out in the ocean. There were also big gobs of oil or tar on the beach from the sunken ships.The war had lots of impact on our lives. Many things were rationed, meat, cigarettes, gasoline,tires, sugar. We had ration books for each item. Gas was limited to 3 gallons per week for ordinary citizens and cars in those days were not very fuel efficient. During the war no new cars were produced for civilian use so all cars were 1941 or earlier vintage. Right after the school day ended many high school students went to work in local shops and store. The parents who normaly would have worked in shops and stores were either in the military or working in war plants. It was a rare high school student who had a car  and if he did it was likely to be an ancient jalopy.. We went everywhere by bus or by walking. We even took our dates on the bus or we walked. In retrospect, I think we were happier then than teenagers are now.