Saturday, August 31, 2013

1943, Entertaining British Sailors in New England



In 1943 my father asked me what I would like for my 10th birthday. "A British sailor" I replied...and that's exactly what they got for me.

I was the youngest of five girls and we ranged in age from 10 to 18. Our home was a big old Victorian in Wellesley Hills, Mass...nothing fancy, just lots of rooms full of love.

Dad and I went to the Union Jack in Boston and came home with 2 British officers...a big mistake. They were exceedingly dull, snobbish and unappreciative. We almost gave up but decided to try our luck again and this time we hit the jackpot.

One of the boys was just 16 and terribly homesick. He and his mate took to our family like a duck into water. The first night was spent in playing jokes on each other...short-sheeting the beds, etc. and just becoming acquainted.

I remember that, after I went to bed, I heard a sound like sobbing and tip-toed downstairs to see my mother cradeling the young sailor in her arms. I'm sure he got a good night's sleep after that.

During the war years we entertained over 126 sailors and one of them and his wife even came back in 1976 for my mother's 80th birthday celebration. I will never forget those years and the joy it felt to be part of their lives.

10 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I do seem to remember this one. Stay the course, Ginny.

5:06 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Bless your little hearts! That was a wonderful thing to do. I know that poor kid must have missed his family so much.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

Ginnie, how interesting that while I was here at your blog reading about entertaining British sailors in New England, you were commenting on my blog. It's a small world after all. It grabs my heart-strings to read about the young sailor so far from home and his family.

8:30 PM  
OpenID schmidleysscribblins.com said...

I think I remembert this post. Delightful time for all concerned I am sure. Dianne

7:39 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Ooh, ooh, I want one. Seriously, what a special thing your family did and how neat that one actually returned. You know you are in all the other's memories just like they are in yours.

9:00 AM  
OpenID schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Ginnie, sorry to hear about the Shingles. I had them in my back and still have twitches of pain now and then. And, to make matters worse, the docs are not sure whether you can have them more than once. Dianne

9:44 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Beautiful! What a grand idea.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Your family did a wonderful and generous supportive thing during the war. I am sure it was a great adventure for you and your sisters.

I am so sorry to read that you are suffering from shingles. I am aware that this is a very uncomfortable condition. I hope by now you have gained some relief.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Your family did a wonderful and generous supportive thing during the war. I am sure it was a great adventure for you and your sisters.

I am so sorry to read that you are suffering from shingles. I am aware that this is a very uncomfortable condition. I hope by now you have gained some relief.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Your family was very special to do that.

7:07 AM  

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