Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Way Back Machine


The time: Somewhere between 1943 and 1952
The Place: A bar, somewhere

Since we just observed Veteran's Day I thought this might be an interesting photo to share. My father in on the far right. The back of the photo reveals a few names but no identifying date. This could be anywhere between 1943 and 1952. My father as not in the Navy for that period of time, he served twice, once in World War II and was activated from the reserves to serve again in the Korean War.

It appears that these men have done their best to keep the brewery's busy. None of the appear as if they've overindulged, they're just out having a good time on shore leave. It's summer because they're wearing their dress whites. I've looked this photo over carefully and there's not one civilian in the shot.

It's amazing how much about a personality can be revealed by the face.

Look at the guy on the right.


The guy on the left looks like a farm boy to me, and the one on the right is shy.


Notice that the guy sitting to the left of my dad has his hands folded in his lap. It appears he's not too comfortable sitting in a bar.


My dad's broad smile in this photo took me aback. I was stunned that the facial expression reminds me so much of my nephew, his grandchild.

We can't deny our ancestors because we carry them around with us each and every day. Every time we smile we broadcast a bit of the past. Do you notice resemblances between generations? Sometimes it's stunning.

NOTE: This week the MIlitary Channel ran documentaries about Veterans returning to Vietnam, Iwo Jima, Bataan and Corregidor. My hometown held a Bataan Day parade every year to honor those who were forced on the death march. In those days young men from a town were assigned to fight in the same company. In the case of Bataan it meant disaster for the community. Survivors marched but few talked about their experiences. Also, seek out a documentary called "Vietnam Nurse" hosted by Dana Delaney. It was beautiful and sad and heart rending. It's important for us to bear witness to their experiences. They talked about the young men with such reverence and love. It was amazing. Their treatment when they returned home was an utter disgrace.


bj said...

I am sitting here crying because of the song playing favorite movie of all time, THE GLEN MILLER STORY...saddest thing at the I am wanting to put all Glen Miller songs on my blog. WHEW!!
I loved these photos you are sharing and, oh, my...your dad was such a hottie !!!!
I can't find where to follow your blog on your screen...

Louise said...

You always have the best photos. Love your dad in it. Handsome and happy. I picked the shy guy out before you mentioned it, but the hands folded was not something I considered.

"It is important for us to bear witness to their experiences." Excellent choice of words.

Susan said...

Wonderful picture. Your dad was such a handsome man!!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Suzanne, you've done it again...

I don't know if I could watch those documentaries as much as I'd wish to bear witness.

My own dad is just home from Washington D.C. traveling with a group of veterans to see the war memorials. This all a result of my having put that interview with him on my blog. It's a long story. Sigh. Now he's going through some therapy for Post Traumatic Stress and has begun having horrible nightmares all over again. I told my mother to tell his therapist, "Merry Christmas to you, too, Pal." Anyway, the long and short of it is that perhaps some things will finally be dealt with.

We are told that the effects ripple out. I can only imagine what it would have done to an entire community such as you mentioned.

Your father looks so comfortable in his own skin. Makes me wonder what kind of child rearing he had and how he had such presence beyond his naturally great looks.

Oh yes, it's possible to find the familial similarities even if they are not immediately obvious...the way one laughs, speaks, the lift of a brow.

Great post!

Suzanne said...

BJ - I LOVE this music, but when I hear it I think of the movie, Coccoon. Glen Miller figured large in the soundtrack, and it was so great to see all those older actors. Many of them are gone now..including the beautiful Gwen Verdon.

Look on the left hand side of the blog. You'll see a little button called "Subscribe on Bloglines". You can also follow on Blogger, but I don't know how to do that.

Louise - I really treasure all my photos. I'm not quite sure what will happen to them after I'm gone. My children will have no connection to alot of the people. Perhaps I should create scrapbooks and explain the history and who they are.

I do truly believe that we have a responsibility to bear witness to history.

- Suzanne

Suzanne said...

Vee - I understand the situation. While my dad was serving in the Pacific his brother was in the European theater. He was captured and was held as a German prisoner of war for three years. The family had no idea if he was dead or a prisoner. He has been haunted ever since and I wish he had sought help to deal with the memories. Therapy works!!! I hope he finds some peace.

- Suzanne

Anonymous said...

My Dad was in the USO at his hometown during WWII. He couldn't serve in the military for health reasons. He hoped that his comedy routine cheered up the troops and made them forget the stress of war, even for just a bit. I heard the jokes repeatedly throughout my childhood. Can we say corny?

chocolatechic said...

I love the picture.

Great post.

Anonymous said...

I watched the Viet Nam portion of that show on the Military channel and it was very informative. I recommend it if it's on again.

Nice post!

The Blue Ridge Gal

Anonymous said...

I'm sure we all have a relative that served in some war. My dad was a marine but did not see "active duty". My husband served in Viet Nam, and I watched him last week as he watched the Veterans' Day celebration in D.C. with tears in his eyes. It's a hard thing for most of us to relate to. And the guy with his hands folded in his lap? He looks like he's thinking, "I sure hope my momma don't see this picture." He looks all of 16 years old!! Great post!
Bayou Woman

Anonymous said...

PS Did someone design the Farm woman in your header for you? I have been trying and trying to find one of a woman fishing . . . . .

Mamahut said...

Your dad was a very handsome man. I love looking at all of the service men in the photo.

Kendra said...

Opening this post and then hearing "Moonlight Serenade"...perfect choice of music. I truly love music of that era.

Your dad bears a striking resemblence to a couple of my Granma's brothers when they were younger (at least from the pictures I've seen). Same smile, same smiley-squint in their eyes...

Heather said...

What incredible photos. Pictures are one of life's best tresures I think.
Hope you are having a great week!

Ritch in Love said...

What a great handful of pictures!!