Some Things Past

i hit the six-month mark two days ago: One half year from actually turning eighty.

i’ve got a feeling “Life Begins at 8)” was not considering me. i also wonder if it really does begin at eighty, then i’ve got one hell of a lot of fun left to experience. It should be interesting. But after another horrible round of golf during FMG (for those who not remember, “FMG” means Friday Morning Golf, something i’ve been doing with two good friends from our last tours at the Naval Amphibious School, MAJ James “Marty” Linville, USA (ret.) and CDR Rodney “Rod Stark, USN (ret.), since 1991. Yup, 32 years. My golf has never been more than average, but now, i play three bad holes, get warmed up, play better for six holes with the exception of a couple of holes that attain FUBAR status, then i continue fairly decent for a couple of holes…and then it really goes into the deep mire of golfdom (my word, apparently). As i stated to the FMG crowd, i cannot tell if i play bad golf because i’m tired or if i’m tired because i play bad golf.

Still playing with these two, Pete Toennies, one of the original curmudgeons, and a whole bunch of decent folks and better golfers than me is just flat fun. Camaraderie they call it.

But sometime after my long nap Friday afternoon, i swore to finish my first phase of organization of the first bunch of photos and memorabilia on the temporary table i set up in my home office.

As a result, i have spent most of my Saturday revisiting some things past: Eventually, many of these will be posted here, primarily for relatives who also can get wrapped up in walking down memory lane.

In this process, i found a few i wanted to post now:

Blythe at Easter Time in College Station, Texas. The photo on the left was in 1977 before she turned five. The photo on the right, same place, same time of year, one year later.

The Easter Bunny probably is still scratching his head.

Then, a few years before that when Blythe was on her way to being, i would take naps after getting home from my sports editor job at Watertown (NY) Daily Times. It was 1972. i know because that was the only time in my life my hair was long (or as long as it could be prior to my reporting for two-week active duty for training (ACDUTRA) when i would get it back to almost Marine regulation. Snooker was an absolutely great dog, and like Cass, the lab and Lena, the mutt later, we would take naps together. And yes, i did sleep like that. Blythe’s mother took this photo.

Finally, to close out today, the photos are in sorted by years and in containers for each of those years. The office is less piled with stuff than it has been in a month (but it will begin tomorrow).

This is the last one, not a photo but a can of a two-sided document from 1944. It is a letter my father wrote to my grandmother. The dateline conflicts with what i recall, or rather recall from my mother’s recounting that period of history when i was an infant. i am trying to verify that. It is the government “V-Mail” letter, required then for service members to use in their correspondence during that awful war. Daddy was either in Gulfport, Mississippi with the 75th CB Battalion waiting to get underway for the Southwest Pacific, or he was enroute.

Regardless, Daddy only wrote more letters to his wife. His mother, Mrs. Myrtle Orrand Jewell, “Mama” to us, had quite a few. i don’t know how many as those photos and memorabilia are not complete. Still, he cared for his mother, an amazing woman, and i absolutely loved her for the short time i was fortunate enough to have her in my life.

The front of the letter. It folded with directions to be the size of a post card.

You know, it can feel good revisiting some things past.

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