Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Say what?

Say what?  Are you kidding me?  Come on...stop pulling my leg.  Nonsense.  You don't really mean it?   Give me a break.  That's stretching it.  I've heard that before...a tall one...like the fish that got away?  Are you serious?  Your joshing.  What a wives' tell... certainly a tall one.   What in the world?  Too much to drink?  Are you sure?  Bull....!  Just kidding.  What have you been smoking?  Unreal...like smoke and mirrors. Well slap my face.  I wouldn't kid you. You're crazy!  A cock and bull story.  Say what?

P.S.  All sayings are from my white, Anglo-Saxon (Celtic), Protestant upbringing.  Are there any left out?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Calm Before the Storm

Sitting still for very long was not one of my favorite things.  You had to be ahead of the pack at Granny Ewen's since there were many first cousins to contend.  This must be one of those pictures of the "the calm" before "the storm".

 It was taken at Granny Ewen's house when she and Grandad lived in Lexington, KY.  My can't wait to get going look is clearly present.  Just inside the front door was this large, comfortable chair with a pillow, and Granny Ewen's crochet underneath. [crochet = needlework consisting of the interlocking of looped stitches formed with a single thread and a hooked needle.]  She did a lot of this crochet, and I have a number of her hand sown pieces.  At any rate, my white shirt is neatly in place, along with my belt and suspenders.  An ash-tray stand is to my left, and a newspaper rack is full of the days information.  I would call it "the calm".

Moving on along the days adventures is the following picture taken pretty much in the same location.

You can see that Granny Ewen had stopped the day's proceedings.  My usual condition is shown, with a great big smile, shirt hanging out, and only one suspender still hanging.  She is holding down my first cousin's hands, and my brother is standing innocent looking to his left, with some sort of object held in his mouth.  I was holding high something that must have been the prize of the day since my cousin seems unhappy that I am holding it.  What else is waiting I must be thinking.  To the next prize of the day...no more calm before the next storm... I still have one suspender to go.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sunday Morning(s)

Attending church was part of life in the 1950s.  Every Sunday for more than 9 years in a row, I presented myself in all the glory a 5 to 14 years old could manage.  It was expected.  Here are my brother and I on one of those Sunday mornings.

All smiles we show.  My brother in his bow tie, white pants, and spiffy jacket.  Me in my three button jacket with some type of symbol on the coat pocket.  [Already into "coat-of-arms" at this young age I was.]  Our 1949 Plymouth sedan can be seen to left which took us to that ancient, red brick, building first built in 1857.  This picture was around 1956, which meant that old church building had been standing almost 100 years.  Perhaps that was why I enjoyed exploring this edifice with beautiful stain-glass windows, large mahogany pews with brass numbers on the ends, and a distinctive smell that seemed to be always around very old buildings.  Yes sir, for me a wonderful time to explore...not only in the head, but also in the heart...these Sunday mornings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Kentucky Winner

At the end of WWII planes were placed on a air field in Germany and destroyed.  On this field, my Dad took this picture of a remaining "Martin B-26 Marauder".

It must have been because the name given to this plane was "Kentucky Winner".  [Being from Winchester, KY himself.] It shows a horse head under the name KENTUCKY and the words WINNER inscribed below.  To have survived with more than 20 bombing runs as depicted on the side of this plane would have been  unbelievable in its own right. Only to be destroyed by dynamite and the scrap metal to be collected, was its final flight.  But, here it is in 1946 at the end of WWII...certainly a Kentucky Winner.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Before and After

Uncle Gayle is one of kind.  He taught me how to tie square knots, how to pretend to fly airplanes in the side yard, and how to spit cherry pits after eating the good part.  Frequently told was a family story that Mam Maw did not cut his red hair growing up in his early years.  It was told that she loved his curly, red locks and just could not cut them.  Uncle Gayle would not deny the account, but would roll his eyes as if to say there was not much to this family story.

The following picture was recently found in a box of family items which finally lays to rest this family legend.

Curly, red locks it is!  Here is a family picture of Uncle Gayle 30 June, 1943.  It is written on the back "5yrs 3 1/2 mo.".  He seems in good spirits having this picture taken.  Perhaps Mam Maw wanted one last look at these curls.  

The following picture was taken "School Days 1944 - 45".  It would have been about one year later.

The curls are gone and so is the smile.  A family story proves true again... the "Before and After" indeed.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Life Insurance

My Dad is shown in the following picture.  It was 1945 and he was heading to Germany.                                 "Pvt. H.E. Jones, Sqdn M" it states on the bottom tag as shown.                                                                 

 On the reverse it gives a chronology of his life in the military.

Kessler Field March 1945, Armillo Texas August 1945, November boat going to France in 1945, In Germany August 1945-1946, it seems to be reading.

Now near this photograph in the box of family keep sakes is the follow.

Hum..."Veterans Administration National Service Life Insurance" it states proudly.  A premium of "6.50" is written, and a "Policy Number" shown.  Life insurance before heading to Germany during the close of the second world war.  You certainly needed to get things in perspective.  You know...life...death...and what will happen to me...were all important considerations.

Enclosed in this box of keepsakes was the following additional life insurance.

Inside the cover is written:  "Pfc. Henry E. Jones, Landsburg Germany".  It was certainly a different kind of life insurance.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Highest Hotel

"Schneefernerhaus Hotel (8696 ft.) on Germany's highest mountain Zugspitze near Garmisch-Partenkirchen" this post card reads on the back.

Hum...Germany's highest mountain would mean Germany's highest hotel.  It seems wedged into the side of the mountain with various stories, and lots of windows.  A sky-lift appears to rise to the top. [Would not want to pay the heating bill here!]

Does anyone know if this "Highest Hotel" is still in existence?  My Dad once spent the night there in 1946.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Berchtesgaden 1946

The "THIRD US ARMY 'TOURS' " provided this post card to my Dad in 1946.

On the back it reads: "Berchtesgaden, with Watzmann Mt. (8,150 ft.) in background.

The card goes on to read: "Watzmann offers unique view of rugged chalk mountains encircling this area and lesser Tyrols".

Chalk mountains indeed it is.  Can anyone update us on this city?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Hunter

Family photos kept by my Dad are special.  Some 68 years ago the following picture was taken.

Who actually took the photo is unknown, but on the back is written "P-47 to P-51 behind me."  One can see the name "Hunter" angled on the P-47.  The P-51 has a large "A" placed near the tail, and a distinct marking on the tail with a thick dark stripe angled behind three stars.  Other markings can not be clearly visualized. 

Does anyone know the history of these planes?  The "Hunter" it says.  This would be the 9th Air Force, just after WWII in Germany.   Are there any historical hunters out there?

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Bavarian Lake 1946

Third US Army "Tours" it states on this post card from 1946.

"Koenigssee (Royal Lake) near Berchtesgaden, the most beautiful of Bavarian lakes, is entirely surrounded by steep walls of rock.  The lake is 582 ft. deep" is the information on the back of this card.

I don't know how many Bavarian lakes there are.  Does anyone know?  This is one pictured from 1946. My Dad brought this card back home.  A beautiful memory it is.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

King On The Mountain

The post cards continue.

"Picture of Garmisch..." it begins on the back..."this is a cable car taking you up to the top of the mountain - I was on this cable car and at one place it is five hundred feet from the ground."  Hum...500 feet above the ground in a little cable car... I guess you would have to be in the Air Force to get a charge out of this.

The card reads "Blick auf Garmisch-Partenkirchen und Zugspitzgruppe (2964 m) wahrend der Fahrt auf den Wank (1780 m)".  This must be the names of the mountain peaks in the distance and their heights in meters.  A picture taken out the window of the cable car I suppose.

Now on the top of the mountain this card reads, "Wankkreuz (1780 m) gegen Zugspitzgruppe (2964) which must be a view of the mountain peaks shown on the card above.

I guess after this ride you might want to give thanks for making it to the top...hum...to the King On The Mountain.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Upon The Roof

Travel to Switzerland after time in war torn Germany 1946 must have been special.  A collection of post cards kept by my Dad have been shown in many of the last posts.  This post card is "Roof Garden - Restaurant".  Up on the roof I thought.  It is taken at "La Residence - Geneve", and one can see the steeples of a large church in the background. [upper left]  It would seem a good place to eat and gaze about the world of Geneva in a peaceful setting.  I suspect that there were not a lot of roofs still standing on the other side of the border.

The next picture shows my Dad standing on another roof.  It might be viewed as a "roof" of the world.

High in the Alps... mountain peaks rising in the distance...a snow ball in the hands instead of bullets...who would have guessed snow balls instead of bullets...upon this roof.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lake Geneva 1946

On leave from occupied Germany 1946, my father collected a number of post cards from his travels.  A trip around Lake Geneva seems to be one of the activities.

The "Port du Mont-Blanc" seems the place you got on board to travel around the lake.  The ship with the central smoke stack seems the one to take.  "Mont-Blanc" towers centrally in the picture shown above.
Moving on down the bridge shown above, you must have come the port from which the ship boarded.  The position of "Mont-Blanc" has moved to the left of center.  The fountain is now visible spraying into the air.
A little wider angle shows the ship leaving the port.  The card reads: "Geneve, La Rade, le Jet d'Eau et le Mout-Blanc."  Sort of the big picture I suspect.  "La Rade" may have been the name of the ship.  The fountain is called "le Jet d'Eau", and of course "le Mont-Blanc" is shown.
On the return trip you must have passed closer to "le Jet d'Eau" which is stated on the card at "90 m".  Lots of buildings are around the lake, and "le Mont-Blanc" stands proudly in each picture.  Hum...Lake Geneva 1946...the white mountain...and a fountain of hope...wonder how it has change since this trip around the lake.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The League of Nations

A visit to Switzerland in 1946 involved touring a number of venues. On a "G.I." tour my Dad collected a number of post cards.  "Le Palais des Nations" was included in his collection.

Geneva (Switzerland) it reads on the back.  Mont-Blanc is pictured above the horizon.  An impressive site it must have been coming from Winchester, KY with a population of 8,000 souls.

The Bureau of International Travail is pictured next.  There must have been lots of folks visiting this place around the League of Nations.  International travel would certainly be involved, but it looks like "Le Palais des Nations" takes up a little more space.

A third post card is labeled "Geneve, Notre-Dame et place de Cornavin".  A little different angle it is.  First you traveled, had meetings, and then prayed?  Or is it the other way around?   A busy time in 1946 must have been The League of Nations.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chateau de Chillon 1946

Past postcards filled a box kept by my father since 1946.  The "Great War" had just ended, and he was part of the "Army of Occupation" that resided in Germany after the war.  On leave, he visited Switzerland, and collected a number of postcards.  The following are two of the "Chateau de Chillion".

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, near Montreux, it has occupied a place in history since the Bishops of Sion found a site many years ago.

The dungeon has been home to a number of distinguished guest.  In 1946, my Dad was at least a visitor.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

88 Birthdays

My Dad is 88 years old today.  As a child growing up in the 1950's, I thought reaching the age of 60 years was getting "really old".  Now reaching the age of 88 is not that usual, and not that "really old" since I have passed the age of 60!   How times change.  The following is a picture of Dad some 88 years ago.

Facing the world in is walker.  Let's get going into these 88 years he seems to be saying.  Happy Birthday Dad this July 8, 88 Birthdays later.  Let's keep going.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

On Leave

Being in Germany 1946, must have had its unique experiences.  To have a weeks "leave" would certainly bring all the smiles to the faces.  Here are some.

The back row certainly seems all smiling where my Dad stands back row left (looking forward at the picture).  Heading to Switzerland is the plan for these fellows of the 9th Army Air Force.

My Dad collected a lot of post cards from this visit in 1946.  The following is one.

Basel, Munster it says in the lower right.  On the back in small print it reads: "Bale, La Cathedrale".  It would certainly be a place you might want to visit on leave.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Black Widow

Toward the end of WWII, Northrop produced a night fighter called the P-61.  It was given the name "Black Widow" after the venomous spider.  Wikipedia writes that no P-61 ever engaged in combat with a German jet fighter.  The following photograph of my Dad standing beside a P-61 is shown below.

It was 1946.  It was taken at an airfield near Munch.  On the back of the photo my Dad wrote:

"P-61 with a Jet-German Plane to its credit.  Also called "Black Widow".  Send more pictures in next letter."

Trying to enlarge the picture, I could only produce the following:

It is not very clear, but he is pointing to a marking on the plane that he interpreted as a "Jet-German Plane".  This would seem to suggest that this P-61 took credit for a German jet fighter?  The picture is a clear documentation that at least one P-61 took credit for this activity.

The 424th Night Fighter Squadron, Oberpfaffenhofen Air Depot, near Munich used the P-61.  Does any one out there have information regarding this squadron of the 9th Air Force.  My Dad seemed to think that this P-61 took down a jet.  He was there.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hotel Jura 1946

Arriving Basle, Switzerland after months in war ravaged Germany 1946, must have been a delight.  My Dad kept a shoe box full of post cards and pictures of the days spent here.  Hotel Jura must have been one special stop over since the following was kept:

It must have been a hotel card to write your name and room number, but you can see that Dad did neither.  It is stated "Opposite main railway station"...well here is a post card he kept...

I assume it is the main railway station at this time.  Very impressive indeed it is...just across the German border.

Now if you needed a watch just "turn over please"...

Here is a list of  "qualified watch maker's shop", and a list of the members of the Swiss Watchmaker's Association of 1946.  There are lots of names here, and there must have been lots of watches.  If you could not afford a watch, the card suggested buying  "Swiss Postage Stamps  as Souvenir".   Also, there were two "Movie-Houses" that presented "the best Original American Films in your own lingo."  Wonder what was showing in 1946 for the Hotel Jura?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Government Issue

What you wear, what you eat, what you shoot, what you sleep upon...etc...etc...are all government issue in this army of occupation 1946.   This theme became the word "G.I." which was applied to all those in this army.

Now who would have thought a few days off would also be G.I. issue.  The above is a copy of such a offer.   It was in a group of post cards that were collected during a visit to Switzerland.   Montreux was one option.   There were five tour options given by the tourist-office Montreux (in the center of the town).  You just had to ask at the hotel where you were staying.

The small pamphlet contained a page shown above. 

       "Does not the sweat smiles of these lovely girls tempt you to take the motor-boat to Montreux-Plague?"

Duh...what do you think...Mr. Tour Guide...

It must have worked for my Dad...here is a post card from the visit.  Montreux-Clarens #987 post card it is.  "Government Issue" it was.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Still on Earth

Snow had fallen when this picture was taken in 1946.

It was taken of my father and his friend standing in from of the building that was housing them as part of the Army of Occupation in Germany.  They are standing in front of a two story tall figure of a knight holding a shield.  This figure had been painted on the outside front of the building at some point in time as a symbol to those passing.

The central figure on the shield is the eagle.

In the book "A Guide to Heraldry" by Ottfried Neubecker, it states that the eagle and related species are the most widely used symbols for God and heaven. (p.110)  He states that the Hittites used the double eagle as a symbols of sovereignty.  He goes on to state that Emperor Charlemagne (800 AD) used an "imperial eagle" to symbolize his sovereignty, and it would seem that ever since this time it had become the emblem of Germany. 

Well on this snow covered day in 1946, I wonder how many folks were between "God and heaven".  At least these two fellas were still on earth.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Angel of Peace

My Dad took this photo in 1946.  He was part of the Army of Occupation (Germany) which officially began May 5, 1945 and spent almost two years in southwest Germany.  On the back of the picture is written:
                                       "Angel of Peace - can't you see this in Germany."

 It must have been with some sense of irony to find anything still standing [see last post "No Pot to Pee In"] little lone a statue titled "Angle of Peace".  Dad states he does not remember exactly where this statue was located, but his hand written note still strikes a cord on the strings of history.  Does anyone know the location of this statue if it still exist?  There is a single individual sitting at the base...I wonder if he is thinking is peace really here.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

"No Pot to Pee In"

It would have been Germany 1946.  My Dad took this picture and written on the back is:

                    " This bathroom is all left of a bombed building.  Look for yourself - "

For most of Germany, the War had left not much standing.  The Army of Occupation was arriving, and trying to make some order out of the chaos was the job.  "No pot to pee in..." as they would say in Kentucky.  It is had to imagine such a world with only a few walls standing.  Ironically it would have to be a bathroom...urinals still attached to the wall...but no pot to pee in!

Friday, April 18, 2014

An Appalachian Child

On this day, some 84 years ago, my Mom was born.  This was during that time in American history known as "The Great Depression", and even today she has a hard time throwing anything away.  A childhood picture is shown below:

This item was recently found among a box of family pictures which had been stored away.  Another one of those "thousand words" it is.  Those eyes tell much.  Is it hope?  Is it despair?  Is it a longing to see the future, or a resolve to accept the present?  Growing up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky could produce a lot of things. [Including Blue Racers.]

Mom does not remember having this picture taken.   It must have been during her years at Slade, KY.  She was the middle child of 12 young'uns, and only four remain alive at this birthday.  Out of the depression years, into the hills of Appalachia, and "click" a photo was taken.  What she must have faced growing up an Appalachian child.   Happy Birthday Mom...you have spoken those thousand words throughout your life.  I have learned from them along the way and hold your love in my heart.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Here my brother and I sit on the porch of our old Kentucky home.  It would have been around 1955 or so, give or take, and we show our smiles.  We are dressed in our jeans, shirts, shoes, socks, and...suspenders.  You know, those supporting bands worn across the shoulders to support trousers, shirt, or belt.  I guess our jeans were big enough to need such additional help since the cuffs were folded a number of times, especially around my ankles.  Much room to grow there was...a new home...a new neighborhood to explore...new friends to make...new trees to climb...and for me new jeans to grow into.  Let's get going we seem to be saying.  What will this new life offer?  Up, up, and away...our suspenders will certainly come in handy.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A New Blog on Networking Jones Genealogy

It seems that my mind will not quit working on new blogs...you know...the genealogy virus keeps on attacking.   Anyway...this new blog is an attempt to network on this thing called JONES GENEALOGY.  There must be other folks out there who would like to connect on things JONES.

The purpose of the blog is to provide a platform in which to share the same area of interest with others of the same mold.  The blog will cover multiple "themes" that might be of interest to a larger audience.   These themes included "geography", "chronology", "DNA", "key variables", "individual researchers", "resources", "coat of arms", and the like.  Each post will be coded so that the blog can be searched using the "search" mode in the upper right.  If you find a topic/subject/theme that you share an interest or experience, you can post a comment and share this information.  It will then allow others to "network" around this theme.  Any others thoughts or ideas are also welcome.  The world is full of those folks who carry the surname JONES...lets get networking around this thing called genealogy.

The new blog can be found at  http://tjgnjg.blogspot.com ...:-).

Saturday, March 15, 2014

U.S. Army Air Forces

Say what?  Army...Air Forces...the U.S. Army Air Forces...I thought the Army was on the ground, and the Air Forces were in the sky.  Well, lets get some things worked out.

In 1908, the U.S. Army purchased their first aircraft.   The 1st Aero Squadron of the Aviation Section, U.S. Army Signal Corps it was called.  It was the first American unit to gain air combat experience in the Mexican Expedition forces of March 14, 1916 - February 7, 1917.

In World War I it became the U.S. Army Air Service, and flew in 8 campaigns on the Western Front.

By World War II it was called the U.S. Army Air Forces, and flew in three theaters of war: 1) The American Theater, 2) the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, and 3) the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater.

This is the patch that came from my Dad's uniform during the U.S. Army Air Forces era.  The European-African-Middle Eastern theater it was.

The Ninth Air Force it was.  The above shows a pin from the era, and the symbol of the Ninth.  A five point star carried by wings is on the patch.  A nine in a gold circle carried by wings is on the pin.

I believe it was in 1947 that the U.S. Air Force became to its own.   Finally off the ground and into the air.

[The information given above is taken from: United States Air Force, Combat Medals, Streamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock.  For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Goverment Printing Office, Washington, D.C., published 1990. ]

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Didn't Get Away

May - 1909, South Cramden, Wisconsin, is written on the back of this picture.

The ones that did not get away is certainly shown.  Three fellas are standing with their catch of the day.  No names are recorded, but they appear somewhat fatigued after hanging all these fish.

Granny Ewen (my grandmother) told of a time when her family went to Wisconsin to live. [She was a Morton then.]  It must have been a real change from the mountain life in Kentucky.  I guess this photograph was taken during this family adventure.  Lots of fish there are to be cleaned, eaten, and stashed away for those long winter nights.  She told me that they could only take one winter, and back to Kentucky they came, but not before all these fish that didn't get away.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ms Blue Racer Revisited

For a split second, time can be caught in a picture.  The memory can then be relived in the imagination of the one who finds this picture.   Such is the one shown below.

Ms Blue Racer and siblings. The story has been told in previous posts: 1) "The Blue Racer", Tuesday, July 13, 2010, and 2) "Ms Blue Racer and Family", Tuesday, September 28, 2010.

Here she stands.  A little older, and probably much wiser, in the treatment of snakes and such creatures.  She is shown with her younger siblings and a couple of neighbor children.   They are in front of the rail road track that ran next to their house at Slade, Kentucky.  Rail road tracts were common during this time, and folks would ride the train to come to Natural Bridge which was just up the road.
There is a rest stop now just off the Mountain Parkway that occupies this location in Powell County, KY.   But here, in this picture, my imagination joins them this summer day.  A train will soon pass, and time will move on down the rail.   Hello Ms Blue Racer and friends...revisited. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sam's Dragon

Thoughts and ideas come and go.  Something in the mind produces these activities which often help organize a belief or opinion.  Creativity is frequently a result, and human expression comes into existence.  The power to imagine...what a deal!

When the thought of "Grandpa" comes to mind what ideas enter the arena.  For each of us these may be a variety of memories and emotions.  Some may be good, and some may be bad.  For my eight year old grandson the follow is one expression.

"Dear Grandpa" it begins.  "I hope you enjoy this dragon." it goes on to say.  " Love, Sam." is the ending.  A wonderful dragon it is Sam!  I love it.  Grandpa...:-)).