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Old December 5th, 2012, 05:53 PM   #31

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On my Dad's side, I knew fewer people and a lot of the stories tended to be a lot of blarney. My grandmother used to tell of her great-grandfather who was on the field with Wellington at Waterloo. Afterward he was knighted and pensioned. He settled in Ireland, but during the potato famine moved to Ontario, Canada. He married in Ireland to an Irish woman and all the boys were raised Protestant and the girls Catholics. My great-great-grandfather inherited the land and the title and also married an Irish woman. The boys were Protestant and the girls Catholic. Same with my great-grandfather. On St. Patrick's day and again on William of Orange day the whole tribe would get together and the men would get drunk and the women would scold. At least so Grandma always told it. She moved from Ontario to California in 1909 to marry my grandfather. She "believed the streets would be paved with gold." What a disappointment.

My grandfather was a descendent of the Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth Bay on the Mayflower. The family remained in Maine for many years. But one diary entry of his great-great-great grandfather shortly after the revolution said "Went to Ohio country last year. Not finding the country to my liking, I returned on foot to Maine." (Or words to that effect-my dad kept a photocopy of it that I have some where around.) My grandfather told many stories including that one. His grandfather travelled from Maine (he also had one of that ancestor's report cards from a Meduncook, ME, school that I have seen) to Chicago. From there he began selling "stock" in an Arizona gold mine. He settled eventually in Indiana. My grandfather was born there in 1884. The family went west about 1886 when the railroads were promoting one-way tickets for $1.00/person. There my gt-grandfather initially slept in a Catholic Church, and to legitimate that he became a Catholic along with the wife and kids. Subsequently he became night-watchman at one of Standard Oil's earliest California Oil Fields. I was pretty young when that great-grandfather died, but my older sister remembers him. My grandfather married my grandmother in 1909. He bought a farm just south of Los Angeles, an area now called Watts. He went bankrupt in the depression and became a baker by the time I remember him.

My dad belonged to the CCC in the thirties. He worked on some of the developments at Manzanar which became a Japanese relocation center during World War II. He was in the Marines from 1936 to 1940 and again during the War. He never talked about the war, but in 1940 Franklin Roosevelt was aboard his ship travelling somewhere in the Caribbean. My dad was on his honor guard and sent my mother pictures of the occasion. Somewhere I have a ship newsletter telling of the event. The event my dad did talk about was the sinking of the German ship Columbus. His cruiser picked up some of the survivors. My dad escorted one of the officers to the POW camp. He and the German became friends and still corresponded until a few years before my dad died in 2004. My dad spoke Gerrman, but the German officer spoke English better.

That's my family stories, and it's time to put my grandson to bed. Good-night.
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Old December 5th, 2012, 06:13 PM   #32

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Stories of Belarusian resistance fighters in WW2.
What I got out of it was that it wasn't a clear cut "Germans are Bad, Russians are Good and we fight for Our People". Lots of personal rivalries. Using their muscle to fight over girls. Lots of greyness over which side to support, attitudes towards Jews.

Even when my Grandmother was collected up to work in Germany as slave labour, her attitude was that the Germans were much better at agriculture than they were. Admiration for the Germans despite the destruction and enslavement.

No so black and white.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 06:38 AM   #33

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Quote:
Originally Posted by infestør View Post
my grandmother told me that when boris III of bulgaria ascended the throne all the elementary students got +1 to their grades
I've heard the same from my grandmother, however, the event was not Boris III's ascension to the throne (1918), but the birth of his heir - Simeon II (1937).
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Old December 6th, 2012, 09:19 AM   #34

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petyo View Post
I've heard the same from my grandmother, however, the event was not Boris III's ascension to the throne (1918), but the birth of his heir - Simeon II (1937).
yes i think it was the birth of simeon ii.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 07:51 AM   #35

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I spent two years documenting the personal stories of an older gentleman from my hometown, stories about his childhood pranks, characters who walked the streets (policemen, firemen, hobos, store owners, clergy, etc.), prohibition, working at the local marina and most importantly, his time in the service as a merchant marine during WWII.

He is legally blind and when I started working with him, I did not know why he was blind, assuming it was due to his old age. I found his stories about the M.M. to be extremely interesting (as I find it a pleasure to hear the stories of veterans whether happy or sad). When he enlisted, the ship he was on traveled to South America to tow back to the U.S. a barge of oil. He recalled the winter weather on the Atlantic off the coast of the U.S. with the thick ice on the deck rails and the frigid temps. When he reenlisted (at the disapproval of his mother) he was to begin shipping goods to Europe.

He never stated if he knew exactly what the ships were transporting, but he said they had a feeling. On one of his early trips, his ship was hit by a torpedo, compliments of a German U-boat, but quickly returned to the merchant marines. On one of his later trips, his ship was hit again by another U-boat, but this time the torpedo hit an area of the ship holding munitions, which caused a very large explosion (which contributed to his blindness which started in his thirties). Many of the men on that ship died, but he was thrown into the frigid Atlantic where he was forced to cut his boots from his feet because of the severe swelling. He was later rescued, but the way he told the story was very moving and you could tell it hurt deep inside to recall such an event.

Still bothers me that the Merchant Marines were not recognized as veterans.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 07:28 AM   #36

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A British Warrant Officer I still write to was shot down over France in a bomber. He and the rest of the crew hid out with the French underground for a month. They managed to get back to Britain. Shamus, another warrant Officer was a Flight Sgt in WW2. He was fighter pilot and shot down during the Battle of Britain. He parachuted out of his plane, it crashed in a graveyard. He wind into a pub and drank. When he came out they were doing a service over his plane. In the late 70's he wanted to open a pub in London. We were told it was denied because of his last name(Irish).
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Old January 24th, 2014, 07:34 AM   #37

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My Mum told me once about where she was when Chernobyl blew. We were still living in the UK at the time, well I say we...I was still in gestation (I was born September of that year). Anyways she was saying at the time it happened, she was at work at the Pub in N.Wales and she kep't my older siblings in that day from going outside because she had a funny feeling and didn't like the clouds. Then later on the news it broke about the explosion and the possible radiation effects all across Europe.

I can't think of anything else to be honest. Apparently one of my great-grandparents committed suicide and worked at Nottingham Jail.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 12:27 PM   #38
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My father lost most of his hearing as a result of the 1918 Flu Epidemic. He was 9 years old.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 03:56 PM   #39

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My great-grandfather was an officer in the Japanese Imperial Army. Unfortunately I have not had the chance to meet him, but seen oil canvas and Imperial Medals of him when I visit my grandfather.

Now you might think I have an origin from Japan, but actually neither of my bloodline contain Japanese ancestry. They are both from Taiwan therefore of Chinese ancestry.

Despite the common notion of mistreating of Chinese people in China during the Second World War. Japanese people viewed Taiwanese people mostly as of their own, many even served in the Sino-Japanese Wars.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 04:02 PM   #40
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= the czarist recruiters coming to villages to conscript men.

= faking their way out of service and getting honorably discharged.

= one ggrandfather being a "lifer" in the Austrian army.

= how the folks - the women were illiterate - just matter-of-factly spoke Yiddish, German, Russian, Polish, etc. to the people they came in contact with on a daily basis.

= how they were educated in secret because their language and culture were verboten.

= how they never intended to stay in America until they got paid in cold cash then brought their family over.

= how they didn't suffer during the depression - like we're taught in school - they had plenty of food and drink, they were clothed, they bought houses and farms, they worked in factories (like building cars in Detroit), etc.

= the Bolsheviks in the neighborhood.

= the stories of the "Greatest Generation" (I had 23 aunts and uncles, 4 grandparents and two parents).

= military service - naval battles in the Pacific (like Tarawa), fighting off kamikaze attacks, marching through the destroyed Reich.

= building fighter planes, torpedo parts, bullets, etc.

= getting educated on the GI Bill.

= moving all over the USA.

And that's only up to 1945!!!

Last edited by Talbot Vilna; February 6th, 2014 at 04:06 PM.
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