Sunday, December 20, 2015

Duck and Cover

It was December 1961 when this booklet first appeared.  Just looking forward to my 10th Christmas on this earth it was.  Opening packages, playing with those new toys, eating all those goodies, and seeing all those first cousins only comes around once a year.  A 10th year Christmas present arrived as shown:

Of course this was not for me, it was special reading for all those folks responsible for me.  It states:

"The purpose of this booklet is to help save lives if a nuclear attack should ever come to America."

Are you kidding me!  "Duck and Cover"...was the exercise  we practiced during those school days.  It was kind of fun to have the whole class standing and then trying to get your body under those single metal desks with the straight arm extensions.  Not sure what you were suppose  to cover...there was just room enough for most of the parts of my body... little alone putting your hands over your head.

"There is no panacea for protection from nuclear attack"  the booklet would go on to say.  "In a major attack upon our country, millions of people would be killed." was a wonderful thought on this Christmas. 

Don't recall if it snowed that winter month of December 1961.  "Duck and Cover" was the theme.  For most of us ten year old, we did not realize that no one could survive a nuclear winter. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Letter From The President

Most of the family gathered this past Thanksgiving to share, laugh, hug , remember, and eat...not necessarily in that order.  In a box under my Dad's bed was the following letter that had been stored from many years before.  A real addition to this Thanksgiving...

Monday, November 2, 2015

Just Another Day

Life at Granny Ewen's house was always fun.  At any one time, you would have a number of first cousins ready to join in the day's activities.  Such is the picture shown.

Let's see now...on this day there was Stella Ewen to my left who was a couple of years older.  Then my older bother [Henry] is almost directly behind and above my glowing face.  Next is Evelyn Jean who was about two years older, and was the only "girl" who could keep up with me on most of these days. She would wear jeans instead of the usual dress expected.  And finally David Ray, who was just one year older.  [We became best of friends.]  He only had one finger in his mouth, but I had both fingers in mine!

The black and white TV set is above us all.  They were just coming out, and I am not sure if this picture was taken to show this phenomena and we just happened to be in the picture.  The youngest among this group of first cousins I am. [Probably why I had both fingers in facial derangement mode.]

At any rate, here we are.  Our shirts checkered and colorful, the girls in white blouses and dresses...oops except Evelyn, and maybe we were just getting ready to watch this amazing square box called "TV".  At Granny Ewen's, it was just another day.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Another Story

Great grandfathers are usually not known by the folks of this generation.  Getting to know something of their lives may also become a task.   This picture is Edward Turner Jones, my great grandfather.  He was born 10th of August 1873 in Madison Co., KY.  This was just across the Kentucky River from my own Kentucky county called Clark, and I had a special interest in discovering his story.  His name was past down to me.

Edward it is.  Jerry Edward Jones my folks called me at that birth day some years back.  I thought at first the name Edward came from my Dad, Henry Edward Jones.  After some years of tree climbing it became evident that my father was named after his grandfather.  What a deal I thought.  Over a century before my birth certificate was completed, another of the same Y-chromosome carried the name Edward.  His baby of the family [a daughter Jeane Marie Jones born 1919] became my link in the chain to his generation.  She had many stories about her father.  He loved to sing, play the fiddle, and play cards.  He had difficulty with diabetes in his last years, loosing a leg to this disease.  But, the picture shown above was taken in his teens. [before 1893!]  He was married December 20, 1893 to Ellen Dorcas Henderson.  She was a direct descendant of that fellow named Richard Henderson who had something to do with the settlement of Kentucky at that placed called Boonesborough.  But that is another story.

Friday, September 11, 2015

U.S. Army Alaska

Authorized shoulder sleeve insignia (patches) used by the United States Army during WWII are many.  Various "Commands" and "Headquarters" reflected the wartime expansion, and many designs were to reflect their geographic location.  The above illustrates "US Army Alaska".

It is a blue disk showing the face of a white polar bear. [Not so white after some 70 years or so.]  The mouth is red, and a five-pointed star in yellow represented the North Star.  The polar bear on the patch is indigenous to Alaska.  The patch was to be worn on the left shoulder.  This insignia was discontinued in 1975.  North to Alaska they would say.

A reference to this is found:

"Shoulder Sleeve Insignia of the U.S. Army 1946 - 1989" by Richard W. Smith, 1978, p. 26.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hotel Regis 1946

A fair number of post cards brought back from Germany 1946 have been shown on previous post.  In the large stack of post cards, this is the only one of color.

  "The Regis, Clarens" is its title.  "HOTEL", "REGIS", "PENSION" are the words hung across the balcony porches facing the front.  Five bay windows, orange colored awnings, and a place to sit under large umbrellas on the front patio.  [Lots of chimneys protrude through the roof which much be the end points of many cold winters.]  Clarens, Montreux, Switzerland it must be.

I tried to find out if this Hotel still stands.  Could not find it listed under hotels for Clarens, Switzerland.  Does any one know the story of this Hotel Regis from 1946?  My Dad must have stayed here.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Small Thank You

Almost filling a "Visitors Register" after 13 years of hosting a Bed & Breakfast, we have entertained  quite a number of folks.  This drawing was recently left us by an eleven year old guest who was brought by her grandmother.  It reads: "Thank You, You're Great!"  a small "roar" is drawn.

Our name "The Golden Lion" is written below a carefully drawn figure of a lion.  A heart completes the label.   What smiles it brought us...this small thank you...:-).  Now on to year 14.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer of '56

Summer days in old Kentucky were pretty much spent in the same way.  It was before air conditioning, rotary phones [number please], and for most of us even a T.V.!  [black and white only]  By June, the summer heat would begin.  Time was spent looking for a "four leaf clover" [clover was growing all over the place], and one had to be an expert to avoid all those honey bee's single stinger.

Such a day in 1956, is shown above.  A pick net table in the basement was always a good place avoid some of the heat.  Windows and doors wide open, shorts, and cold "soda pop"  help set the stage.  Here my brother [no shirt] and three other first cousins seemed to be enjoying this summer day.  I was beginning to preform some of my facial acrobatics which often played pretty well, expect to the one taking the picture.  Here we set, all smiles on three, and a face in production on me.  Summer of '56 it is

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (p. 143) defines a "buddy" as "companion, partner", or "fellow".  It gives that the word evolved probably from baby talk as a alternative to "brother".  The following pictured dated January 14, 1946 shows a group of "buddies".

It would have been roughly half a year since WWII had ended.  These fellows were in post war Germany, and most all seem to have a smile across their face.  My Dad must have been taking the picture since his smiling face does not appear. 

A "buddy system" is an arrangement in which two individuals are paired as for mutual safety in a hazardous situation.  I would guess that blowing up planes after the war would be considered hazardous since TNT was used most of the time.  My Dad tells a few stories about this activity.  These few buddies were included.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hats and Hands

Taken around the early 1950s, this picture shows a group of cars and a group of men.  It must have been one of those auctions that seem to attract all those folks who are looking for that special deal.  There is a house, shed, large barn, two gas pumps, and a lot of different models of cars.  [How many models can you identify?]

There is also a large number of men standing around the area where all the autos are parked.  What struck me from this photo was the number of hats being worn.  Lots, and lots of hats ride on the heads of men during this period of time.  I do not remember men routinely wearing hats after the 1960s, but here in the early 1950s it seems to be the majority.  [Indiana Jones had something to say about this a little later in time.]

Hands in the pockets struck me also.  It would seem that most had their hands in their pockets.  For me, during this time, pockets were used to place "pocket knives", marbles, special rocks, rabbit's feet, and other special stuff that might come in handy during a routine day.  Maybe these folks were thinking about spending their money on one these automobiles, and they wanted to keep their money from jumping out.   Hats and hands it is.  Today men still use their pockets for hands, but not their head for hats.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

5th Avenue

It was 1946, and being in occupied Germany just after the War would produce all kinds of  emotions.  Something from "home" was always welcomed.  One of those reminders that made being away seem more acceptable to the recipient.   A letter, a postcard, a package, a gift, or any one of the items that reminded you that home indeed did still exist.   The following picture shows such an event.

 5th Avenue candy bar...that Hershey made bit of home that this fellow seems to be enjoying.  The picture was taken by my Dad in Occupied Germany 1946.  This candy bar was first made in 1936, and "contributed to war effort" according to Hersey's own account. [see web site under 5th Avenue]  Well, here is proof that the contribution delivered this affect.  Home, sweet home...way to go 5th Avenue.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

An Easter Sunday

Sundays were pretty much the same at 25 Vine Street.  Dress-up was expected, and Church was how the mornings were spent.  Easter was an exception.  On this Sunday morning you had a chance to enjoy one of those chocolate Easter Bunnies.  Of course it came with those Easter Baskets full of all those goodies.  Now, how a rabbit could lay an egg was not an issue.  The following picture shows one of those Sunday mornings.

Here we stand.  Just out the back door of our old Kentucky home.  Mom had her white gloves, Henry [my older brother] had his bow tie neatly in place, and I...well I had my Easter Bunny held close to the chest.  I guess Henry felt he was too old to participate in such excitement, but was Sunday, and I wanted to take my bunny to Church.  It was light blue, had long pointy ears, with a chest of pure white.  Soft and cuddly it was.  Only a ride to Church it got, since it had to wait in the car until Church was over.  Well, anyway, all those goodies still awaited, and I was going to feast after Church with my brand new bunny.  An Easter Sunday it was.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

From The Air

Prior to the close of WWII, the American industrial complex had produced the war machine.  Tanks, trucks, ships, arms, planes, and all kinds of war materials were made at remarkable speed.  What happened at the end of WWII to all this stuff.   The planes remaining in Germany were blown up all in a row. 

My Dad participated in these activities as part of the Army of Occupation, Germany.  He states that Germany POW's [prisoner of war ] were driven to the air field each day.  They were given TNT in square blocks (about the size of a shoe) that were placed on the wings of a plane.  This was after each plane was stripped of any usable parts. [Platinum from the engines were the major item.]  The following picture shows such a plane as it was ready to blow.

Not much is left to see.  Dad was responsible for setting off the charges some 100 yards from the explosion.

To get a scope of the extent of this process, the following picture was taken from the air.  It shows the field as it stood in 1946.

Planes, planes, and more planes, all lined up in a row, waiting for their final destination.  What a picture from the air it is.  To have survived the war and be blown apart at the end.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Two Days Away

Post cards from friends are a delight.  Here a friend of my Dad mails this in 1945:

The battleship "U.S.S. West Virginia" is shown.  It was mailed from the "Great Lakes Naval Training Center" to "Pvt. Henry E. Jones, 15364821, 3704th A.A.F. Bu, Sqdn. V Class 236, Kesler Field, Miss."  What an address it is.  A name, and a number of numbers, could be difficult to keep straight.

The message on the back is shown:

A "Forgetful buddy" my Dad was.  "Look what you're missing not being in the Navy" it reads.  Check the post mark as it is stamped..."May 6, 10:30 AM, 1945".  Two friends, one in the Navy, and one in the Army Air Force, both just completing their training...two days before Victory in Europe was declared. [May 8th, 1945]  What would it have been like during WWII just two days away from victory in Europe.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Spitfire

Perhaps no other aircraft in the history of air war is as recognizable as the British Spitfire.  Its graceful  lines, near perfect handling, and eight-gun punch made its mark during the summer of 1940.  Its engine [1 x 1,150 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin], its speed [357 mph], and its range [500 miles] made it one of the most remarkable aircraft of WWII.  The Spitfire remains the symbol of the Battle of Britain.

It was 1946, and here my Dad sits in a Spitfire.  He was among the crews who were responsible for the destruction of many of the aircraft no longer needed for the war effort.  It was post war Germany, and here is a Spitfire sitting on German soil.  What a symbol it is.

Information is taken from: Great Campaigns of World War II, by Longmeadow Press, 1988. [Co-ordinating editor: J.B. Davies]  The picture is taken from a family shoe box full of memories!

Friday, January 23, 2015


There it stands.   Strikingly beautiful or impressive it is.  Some consider it the most spectacular isolated mountain in the world all 14,691 feet (4,478 meters).  Part of the Alps' (which serve as the European watershed) it stands proudly.   In 1946 my Dad took this picture.  The Matterhord it is called.   As part of the Army of Occupation, he was given the keys to a dark room where he spent time developing his own pictures.   The keys were to be passed on to another when his own time was completed.   Such is the picture above. 

 Here he stands most likely on the same day he took the picture of the Matterhorn.  A camera case hangs from his right shoulder.  A snow ball in his left hand. [He is left-handed]  A watershed of his own I imagine.  After this time as one in the Army of Occupation what will life hold for me?  Do I throw this snowball, or do I just let it melt in my hand?   Hum...questions of life are often watersheds.  In 1946, the world had just finished its own watershed.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Pictures from my Dad's collection contained many from his experiences in Germany following WWII.  The following picture has written on the back:  "Inside of the Red Cross at Stuttgart.  A large Opera House at one time - about the only building untouched in Stuttgart."

Untouched after the War in Germany.  A opera house it is.  The Red Cross was using this building to work from in 1946.  "Die Staatstheater" (the opera house) in downtown Stuttgart as it is called today.  A famous historical building as it stands in the middle of town.

A second picture was taken this day in 1946 which has been shown in a previous post.  "Angle of Peace" it is called by my Dad as written on the back.

After some internet searching, I found that the statue stands in front of the Opera House (Die Staatstheater).  The tree line as been removed, but it clearly is the same statue.  It must have been that my Dad took these pictures at the same visit to this untouched building.

The hand writing on the back of each picture is shown above.  Untouched from the time they were placed in the box of pictures.