November 27, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Remember When?

1) Remember when you were 12 years old? On a summer day out of school? What memory do you have of fun activities?

2) Tell us about that memory (just one – you can do more later if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook.

Here’s my memory:

We lived out in the country, so when I would wake up on a summer morning the sunlight would be streaming in my window.  I could hear the sounds outside of birds like robins, crows and sometimes even a pheasant. If I heard a whistle blow in the distance, I’d know it was 8 AM because that was the starting time at the Olympia Brewery up on Capitol Boulevard some three or four miles away.

As I lay there I could hear my mom in the kitchen and I would visualize what she was doing just by listening: making coffee, turning on the radio,  running water in the sink, and then she’d sit down to have a cigarette and read the paper. Mom always liked to lay the paper out on the table. 

In the “good old days” I was always ready to get out of bed, set and ready for the day’s adventure, whatever it might be.  Some days in summer we would ride our bikes down to Palermo Valley to pick strawberries; other days we’d hang around the house and complain about how hot it was.  I think I probably ate more strawberries than I picked.  A big “no-no” if you got caught by the row boss!  No straddling the rows either. You might stomp on a good pickin’ berry.

My friend Mary and I might have the day planned to ride down to Falls Park by the old Olympia Brewery. We’d walk the whole trail, and I remember one time we got all daring and actually went out on the huge flat rocks in the middle of the Deshutes River.  It was like a whole other world sitting on the sun-warmed rock listening to the river roaring by and craning our necks to see if we could see any fish.

On our way home, if we had any money with us, we’d stop at Ted’s Grocery in Tumwater to get a Pepsi or some ice cream.  Our time was set by the brewery whistle:  the morning whistle I mentioned; the noon whistle so we knew to get our behinds home for lunch if we wanted any; and the 5 o’clock whistle that told us to get on our bikes and get home because Dad got off work at five and we needed to get home and cleaned up for dinner.

Thanks to Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings for this fun Saturday night post idea.  Why not click on the link and go see what he wrote about?

Photo of the Day at Are You In My Photo

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I  had a nice surprise when I visited Are You In My Photo’s site tonight. One of the photos I posted yesterday was chosen for photo of the day.

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I added this particular photo of my dad’s Carrier Aircraft Service Unit 7 because it’s a very clear photo and the men’s names are easily read. Even their rank at the time is noted, as well as the date of Sept. 14, 1944.  I can only hope that by putting the photo on AYIMP’s site that even more people will be able to view it, and perhaps find a family member.  Clicking on the smaller photo below will take you to the full-sized photo.

casu7-detachment

I am pretty sure this photo was taken in Hawaii, but I could be wrong. Dad’s group ended up on New Calendonia servicing planes from the carriers that were fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific. It was on that island that Dad strapped Admiral “Bull” Halsey into his parachute. I don’t have a photo of that, but I did find one in the Library of Congress archives that shows Halsey, Eleanor Roosevelt and another man (Harmon) in front of a plane in New Calendonia.

harmon-roosevelt-halsey-new-caledonia1943

Harmon, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Admiral Bill Halsey

Carnival of Genealogy – 57th Edition “I read it in the news!”

Technically, I didn’t read this article in the news since it happened about nine years before I was born, but it was in the Daily Olympian newspaper in 1941. As the caretaker of the family documents and pictures, this article was one of a few about our family that made the news.

Dad never “won” anything in his life before or after the draft. Lucky him, huh? [As it turns out, the date of July 19th is important in our Yates/Wilkerson family. My cousin Linda Yates was born on that day in 1950, and our granddaughter Katrina was born on that day in 2001. :) ]


William Gale Yates 1920-1996

In 1941 his draft registration number (169) was chosen as #1 in Thurston county, WA, and rather than be drafted, he joined the Navy. He went to basic training in San Diego and then was sent to Kaneohe Bay on Oahu after the Pearl Harbor attack. The unit was then divided by alphabet, and the first half was sent to serve on the Saratoga, and the second half was sent to New Caledonia in the Loyalty Islands.  During his time in the Navy, Gale was certified as a Seaman Second Class on the 23rd of Feb. 1942 and completed a course of study at Aviation Machinist’s Mates’ School at US Naval Air Station, Seattle, WA.

One of the ships he was transported on was the USS Dixie. During this time in the war, probably when he was in New Caledonia, View Larger Map Gale had occasion to strap “Ol’ Bull Halsey into his parachute”.  Dad always thought that was pretty cool. :) The plane in the article above I believe is an F4F Grumman Wildcat.

 

New Here? Want to join us and write your own article like this? Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form (http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_346.html). Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page (http://blogcarnival.com/bc/cprof_346.html).  Love genealogy? Come and meet a great group of people on Facebook at Genea-Bloggers.

Dad’s WWII Love Letter To Mom

15-march-1944-letter-from-dad

Eighty-nine years ago today my dad was born in West Plains, Missouri to parents Will and Minnie Smith Yates.  Although Dad passed away in 1996, his life lives on through letter and photos from his past. This letter was written on the eve of his 24th birthday and he was feeling “pretty old”.

He and Mom had married in Seattle at her parent’s home on Queen Anne Hill, and way back in the 1980’s Mom and I took a trip down memory lane by going back to that house. It just so happened that the owner let us come in and look around on that sunny summer day. Mom was thrilled as she showed me her old room upstairs, and even more so to have me see the marble front fireplace which she and Dad were married in front of on February 5, 1944.

Dad’s love letter of March 15, 1944 was written from Quillayute NAS where he was working after coming back from a tour with the Navy in New Calendonia. As you read in the letter, housing was at a premium, but they did eventually find a little one room place in Forks so they could be together instead of Mom living with her parents. Mom said that place was so small they could stay in bed and reach out and light the woodstove!

I have to say, I don’t remember my dad ever calling Mom “Darling” when we were around…

Thinking of you on your special day Dad, and missing you lots.

15-march-1944-letter-from-dad

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