Monday, April 23, 2007

Searching the Dusty Files - June 6, 2003

Cpy of a letter I sent in 2003:

Dear Cousin Bertha,

The Mennonite Youth Choir came this evening to sing for us. There were about eleven of them at the start, but they kept coming and joining in until there were twenty or more. The “youth” are apparently the young married group, for they brought their children along with them. The children were well behaved, but liked to explore the parlor and the living room where the cookies are laid out. While they were singing, one or two adults would have to step out of line and go fetch children from.

They sing acapella, starting to the pitch of a small pitch pipe that one carries.

There were only seven residents to listen, so the choir out-numbered the audience considerably.

I listened and wrote down what they were singing. They didn’t announce any titles, so I wrote down whatever phrase that was repeated most often. They sang Closer to Thee, Power in the Blood, Dare to be a Daniel. I had to ask what the title of that one was. The line I heard most was dare to make it grow. In Power they pronounced power as “parr”, so the line became “There is parr, parr, parr in the blood.“

They asked for requests, and no one said anything so I said, “We like to hear ‘In the Garden’.” So they sang that.

A trio sang Come Home, whose verse included the lines “It is supper time in Heaven, the table is heavy laden, come home.”

After it was over I said it was beautiful, and what did they suppose was served at supper time in Heaven. I was wondering if it were vegetarian or whether there was meat on the heavy laden table.

No one answered.

Then they sang The glory gates are ever opened wide, Sweet Hour of Prayer, and It is Well (with my soul).

After that, they greeted us and went to sing at Hampshire House. I asked if they sang the same numbers at Hampshire house and the young leader said no, they have two leaders and sing different numbers at different places. The singing lasted about forty five minutes.

Tomorrow is Merced Fly-in. Planes from all over the state fly to Merced and tie down overnight. It is fun to watch the air traffic and to walk the flight line and visit with the owners. There are lots of Ercoupes usually. I may even know some of the pilots. One time I took Griff with me, on a leash, and he pulled me along pretty good.

Ercoupes are the little two-place low-winged monoplanes that I had one of. The cockpit cover slides down into the fuselage so you fly along in a convertible, top down, in the sky. It is noisy, but beautiful.

“D-day”, the day the allied forces invaded Europe was just fifty-nine years ago today. I remember it well. We were stationed in Southern England, and the next day we moved to the coast, and later boarded a ship to cross the English Channel. We camped out in the hold of a ship eating K-rations. When we got across the channel the next morning, we climbed down cargo nets, hanging over the side of the ship, into landing craft.

On the landing craft we all moved our possessions to our upper pockets, suspecting we would have to wade ashore. When the ramp on the landing craft went down, we were surprised to have reached land, with only an inch of water to wade through. We laughed.

We landed in France June 12, 1944.


Cousin Charles


madcobug said...

A very interesting letter you wrote your cuz. Helen

garnett109 said...

Chuck thanks for your service during that time!

tendernoggle said...

Loved this.....Chuck...Thank you so much for serving and doing all that you did for this great country of ours~
love ya,

tellsg said...

and thanks for looking out for us too.  Hugs, Terry x