Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Scrapbook

I love this book. it is all in my Mom's handwriting. It is all done with love. It was written waaayyyyy before I was even thought of.  Just a young woman, in love, and her man is across the ocean at war. And there was no internet, no cell phones, none of the modern conveniences we have today. There were telegrams and newspapers.

I think a lot of the pictures tell the story. Click on them to enlarge.

Towards the end of the war, my Dad wrote the newspaper
in their small town in Washington
to thank them for sending him a paper and
keeping him up to date on everything
and everyone, and they published his letter.

Now - I don't know the details of all my Dad did in the Army.
I know he was a tailgunner for the Flying Tigers.
And he went on some volunteer mission . . .

that he and his squadron were honored for many times over.
I don't know what for. There are just lots of medals awards in this book.

THIS is what I remembered. . . know what it is?

It's a piece of his parachute. His plane was shot down, and somehow he managed to keep a piece of this with him. He was somewhere over India (??) injured and when he landed on the ground, he made it to some sort of monastery (??) where the Nuns (??) were taking in soldiers from both sides of the war.  They kept him there for a while until someone came in to rescue him. Now this was a story my Grandma told me one day when I was about 18. My Mom never said a word.  And when I saw this parachute, she did not want to talk about it. I guess it really scared her. I also know that back then it wasn't "proper" for an unmarried woman to travel across the country to see her fiance, even if he was in the hospital. And they could not afford two plane tickets, so my Mom's brother went instead. I think my Dad was flown to Florida (??). That is all I know.  Since finding this book the other day I have sent in a request for medical and military records on my Dad through a VA website and should hear from them in about 2 weeks. I'll be curious to see what they have to say about  all this. I just hope it's documented somewhere. You'd think it would be . . . right?

How he kept this piece of the bomb, I do not know.
My Dad's nickname was Skip.
(I hope no one is offended at what my Mom wrote.
It was during wartime after all.)

I never knew there was such a thing as a "radio gram"!

I've heard that you purchased your "Radio gram" and then it was sent over the airwaves to a radio station that was local to where your loved one was stationed and then read over the airways there. And that's how they communicated. If this is incorrect, please correct me! I'd love to know!

Look at what it took just to make a phone call.

(I blanked it out for privacy.)
I'm not exactly sure what a war ration book was for . . .
Maybe once you used them up - you couldn't get any more of something???

That's it for the war memorabilia . . . there's lots more, but it's just telegrams and awards and medals and money from all the places he was at. Meal records, and menus from special times like Christmas and such. Some really goofy stuff.

The next 1/2 of the book is Mom's bridal shower cards and their wedding cards. NO PHOTOS! Very funny! But I do love all the old vintage cards and tags.

We are leaving tomorrow to go riding down at Glamis. Glamis is at the border of AZ, CA and Mexico. We've gone there since our teens, our kids have grown up down there, and this is our first trip out for the season. Kids and other friends and family are going too. Should be a fun time. There is absolutely NO internet, we are out in the middle of nowhere, so I'll be back to catch up on Monday.

Everyone have a wonderful weekend.



Janet Happy Girl said...

Wow that is soooo interesting...I love it....your mom had no idea that it would be so precious to you today...Amazing ...hold on the history ...it's priceless.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Karen,
What an awesome thing to have! It's so wonderful that your Mom put this all together. I really enjoyed reading about this, and I bet your son's enjoy having a piece of their grandparents history. Have Fun on your trip! Hugs, Cindy

Theresa said...

VERY INTERESTING! I was hypnotized by this story. I am so happy that you found this and love it that your Mom journaled all of the important facts. Oh my goodness, that piece of the parachute... took my breath to think about all of the danger. Have a fun trip, be safe and enjoy!

Shelia said...

Hi Karen and what a wonderful treasure you have! You're so very fortunate to have all of these marvelous memories!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Blondie's Journal said...


What a treasure trove of memorabilia you have there. I could sift through that forever putting together all the pieces. You so lucky to have this part of your parents lives right at your fingertips. I hope you hear from the VA about your father.

Enjoy your trip, Karen!


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

What a wonderful journal to have with so much history that your mom put down on paper. My mom had some of those ration books also. She said you had to use your ration stamps to buy certain things when they were available. If you didn't have any stamps, then you couldn't get the item. It is all very interesting. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

ceekay said...

Karen...this book is amazing.
Ration books were the little stamp books that people used for gas and flour and various things that were rationed - limited supply. You could only get so many stamps...therefore regardless of the money, that would be all you could buy for that period of time. My uncle still has his and it will be mine someday. I find it very fasinating. If I could live another time, it would have been then. Even with war and depression....life was so wonderful then. Priceless memories.

diana said...

what an amazing book. it's so cool that all of that memorabilia was kept and then that you found it. i just love history and old stuff.

enjoy your trip.

my cup of tea said...

What a blessing to have all that info on and about your family!

Shelley said...

Such an exciting story about your dad! (Would make a great novel/movie!) I think its neat you still have that piece of parachute!

~CC Catherine said...

Karen, This is just so interesting. My dad was in WWII as well. He was in the army. War ration books I believe were used for purchasing things like potatoes, food., I think that's what my Great Aunt told me some years back. You'll have to let me know if that's right when you find out. This entire scrap book and research is so interesting,,,and will help you know your dad better...I think it's great that you are doing this. :) Miss you! ~CC

Charlene said...

Neat records--I've read of ration books. My folks have a book of some type of stamps that the children would buy each week at school for a few cents. When their book was full, they could trade it for a war bond--like a savings bond, it was way the gov't raised money for the war effort. It was my dad's when he was a kid.

Interesting "slice of life" from way back when.

Jacqueline said...

Hi Karen, I really really enjoyed that. My own dad was in the Canadian Merchant Marines and I have pictures and these type of things from a trip to India. He was a gunner on the ship. These treasures we hold dear and we are so thankful for those men who served our country and we just simply called "dad".

Mieke said...

Wow Karen, this is so wonderful. If you think about it, we really don't know much about the life of our parents, do we. They are only one generation away and their lives were so different from ours. This is a real treasure, I bet there are many museums that would love to have this !

Joyce said...

Wow Karen this is really such a treasure. You get a peek into the lives of your parents as people instead of parents.

Have a great trip!

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Karen, this is wonderful....I am just awestruck. Amazing!

Barb ♥

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

OMGosh! What a fabulous treasure. I bet you did laugh & cry when you discovered it!

Love teh box you used for your journal....it's just perfect!

Have fun but stay safe!

Nina Diane said...

that is so cool that you have that piece of history of your mom and dad. I have a box of all of the letters my dad sent home to his mom and dad when he was in the service. My grandmother kept them all and gave them to me...I treasure them.

Meg said...

Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! I think I will continue my scrap booking with gusto! WOW!!!!!!!!! Fondly Meg

Jodie LeJeune said...

sniff sniff...I miss you!

oh I love the scrapbook. Your Mom must have been a nervous wreck girl. I can't imagine having my man in war without communications.

Speaking of that...I'm having Karen withdrawals because you don't have the internet!

Get back home!!!! ;)

everything vintage

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