Answers to few questions asked in comments.
Yes, that is I in the the pictures of my mother. I am a fat old man, but I was a skinny teen-ager. The skin and bones teen I see doesn't seem familiar. I am also the chubby shy two year old clinging to my mother's hem. My. I was cute. The gentleman with her is my father. He died accidentally before my first birthday. The dog is Zig, the family Pekinese. I wonder how he got the name Zig.
When I was stationed in UK in WWII, our units were based at Wells and Glastonbury in SW England. Only we didn't call it WWII then...just "The war". In Wells I saw the Oldest Cathedral in England and took a trip to Cheddar Caves, where the cheese is aged. In Glastonbury I saw the Glastonbury Abbey where King Arthur is supposedly buried, and I climbed the Tor behind the town to mount the ancient tower. In fact we were encamped in the Abbey park at the polo field. I wonder if it is still there.
On our troop ship, the Aquitania, formerly a luxury liner, the first queen of the Cunard line, the bunk beds were stacked five high. I chose the top bunk which I shared with my duffle bag stuffed with a gas mask and all the clothing we were issued. I was so close to the overhead (ceiling) that I was able to write on it. I wrote:
Inducted March '43,
Going overseas March '44,
Expects to be wounded and return to U.S. in March '45.
That sounds like a grim self-fulfilling prophesy since it came true, exactly like that, March '45. But consider, that was the less grim outcome since most of us expected to be killed in combat. We were going overseas with a high expectation of never returning. That graffiti probably remained on the overhead until the Aquitania was scrapped in 1950.
Why don't I publish my essays about life in the old folks' home? Well, I do...right here on AOL in my journal. Dribble. They are all avaiable. You have only to click on the Archives link and it will take you back to any issue, starting in 2003. Happy reading.
Any more questions?