Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!  Missing my mother who has been gone for seven years now but so fortunate that I still have her close to me in my heart. And I will never forget her childhood and teenage stories with interviewing her in 1985 and my brother, Jacob, videotaping my parents narrating their family pictures and preserving the stories of their lives.

This year I have compiled the pictures of my mother and transcribed her narrations to create a coffee table book of the first quarter of my mother’s life.

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When my daughter reviewed the 77 pages of the final draft, she questioned me as to why I didn’t have any pictures of Papa in this book. She didn’t think it was complete without including pictures of him.

I explained this book depicted the first quarter of her life and even though it was just a short portion of her life span it was the foundation of her life before she met my dad.  It formed her into the woman, mother and grandmother she became. To include him I did add an epilogue of how she met Papa through her cousin and her cousin’s boyfriend who was a USS Anzio shipmate of Papa’s during World War II.

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Webb City, Missouri had been Mom’s home for twenty years and when she left in November 1948 to marry Dad she was never to live there again. She was embarking on a new chapter of her life. She married, had five children and brought her family back every year to this small town that would always remain home to her in her heart.

Have you interviewed and recorded your mother’s childhood stories?  Now is the time to open up your laptop or grab paper and pen and start Keeping Your Memories of the stories your mother has shared with you.

http://www.keepingyourmemories.com

My Dad’s Travels on the U.S.S. Anzio

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“When I saw the U.S.S. Anzio carrier that I was being assigned to it looked so big and awesome and dangerous, and I realized for the first time what I had got myself into.  This was real and the training and the fun I had been having was over, and I didn’t know what was ahead of me.  As I walked up that gangplank with my sea bag on my shoulder (which I could hardly carry), for the first time it hit me. I was afraid.”

“After a while the excitement of the newness wore off and homesickness set in.  I remember many boring days, as the days went by, and we missed our family.  While at sea we would have regular routines getting up at 5:30 a.m., have breakfast and then have roll call on the flight deck and exercises.  Sometimes it was so hot, we all had heat rash and the food tasted bad at times.

I remember when a submarine had been detected and we had to go on alert because we would be the target that they would pursue, even though we had destroyer escort.  But that was our goal to get the subs before they sunk someone else but still that’s when the fear set in.

But even with that fear I’m happy to say that I was proud that I did serve my country.  I was able to go ashore in the Philippines, Pearl Harbor, the Island of Guam, also Ulithi, anchored at Okinawa, Kerama Retto, in the Ryukyus Islands, also the Marshall Island, the Caroline Islands, Korea, China, Cuba and Panama City.  I got to see a lot of this world, but the U.S.A. is still the best.  It’s an adventure I shall never forget.”

This excerpt was from my Dad’s memoir that he wrote in 1998. He shared that in January 1944 at the age of 17 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy to join the forces in the fight to win World War II. He left his hometown in Beaumont, Texas and he along with other enlistees boarded a troop train headed for boot camp in San Diego, California. He served on the U.S.S. Anzio, U.S.S. Coral Sea CVE57, and the U.S.S. Franklin Roosevelt.

My dad passed eight years ago but his service to our country will never be forgotten because he recorded his adventures of service during World War II. If you are an armed services veteran of any age, it is important to be Keeping Your Memories recorded for future generations to read what you experienced and what you learned from your service to our country. If you have any family members that have served, ask them to write their memories or videotape their stories.

  • What was your rank and serial number?
  • Were you drafted or did you enlist?
  • What were your duties and assignments in camp and on the field?
  • What was the biggest act of courage you saw? By an ally? By an enemy?
  • How difficult was the transition from the military back to civilian life?