Thursday, July 06, 2006

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.


Blogger joared said...

Your family really made a difference in that young British sailor's life at that time, I'm sure. Nice, for your mother to realize so many years later she was still remembered.

I had older cousins who regularly helped out at the local USO, sometimes brought servicemen home. Ultimately, one cousin married one of the servicemen.

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ginnie,

A young lady in France who in not a member of “Blogger” has asked that one of us folks who does have a “Blogger” account contact you and see if you would change the settings on your blog so that she could submit comments. Right now your blog does not allow just anyone to comment - only people who have “Blogger” accounts. She has interests along the same line as you. Her name is Claude Covo-Farchi, she resides in France, and you can go to her blog through this link . Go over and say “Hello” – I know she would be tickled if you did.

If you do not have a problem with changing your settings and are not that familiar with “Blogger” I have typed up some brief instructions in case that would help.

Sign in to Blogger.
Then click on your blog name and a new window will open.
Click on the “Settings” tab at the top of the page.
Then click on the smaller “Comments” tab at the top of the page just under the larger tabs.
You will then see on that page the question “Who can comment?” and you should set this setting to “Anyone” by clicking on the arrow.
Now go to the bottom of the page and click on the orange “Save Settings”.
Then the page will refresh and you will have a message just below the tabs that says “Settings Were Saved Satisfactorily”.
Then just under that click on the Dark Blue button “Republish” and your changes will be incorporated.
After your changes are published you can then sign out of your blog by clicking the “Sign Out” at the top of your screen window on the right-hand side.

That should do it. I was born some 37 days prior to Pearl Harbor so I spent most of World War II crawling, learning to walk, and slobbering on anyone I could.

Take Care…..Alan G

5:45 AM  
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8:21 PM  

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