Friday, July 07, 2006

1943 ...the story continues....British sailors

Writing about those days in 1943 (when our family entertained British sailors) has made me realize that I was too young to understand the loneliness that so many of those boys must have been experiencing. For me, at age 10, it was a time of great excitement and expectations.
We lived in Wellesley Hills, Mass., quite near the railroad station, and it was a treat to watch the incoming trains from Boston and to see "our boys" arrive. Many of them were based in Boston at the Fargo Naval Base and would come out every weekend or day that they had off. We often had 5 or 6 boys at the same time.
As I mentioned before the officers proved to be unacceptable...very Britishly (is that a word?) proper and no fun at all. But the regular, run-of-the mill sailors were a delight.
Ron Brown was a regular, as was Bert Entwistle (father of the yet-to-be-famous son John, of the "Who"). We only deviated once away from the sailors. That was to invite two Australian belly gunners to our house. Their names were Happy & Jack and Happy became my special friend. When he finally left to go back to action I remember saying "Happy landing" and being very proud of my 10 year old's ability to make a pun of his name. Sadly he was the only one of the entire group that we entertained that was killed...and his friend Jack was shot down and finally returned to his home, but in an almost vegetated state. Obviously, being on a ship was much safer than being in the air. (I sorely regretted my parting remark.)
Another fond memory is drinking tea by the gallons and then having our tea leaves read by Paddy (from Wales). He managed to make it seem like the future was to be a wondrous place...even in the midst of that war.
The war ended and so did our small contribution to it...but my Mother made a quilt that is a reminder of that period. She had all the boys sign it and then she cross-stitched the name on the quilt. My sister Barbara inherited the quilt and has had it framed and it now resides on the wall of her son's Winery in California.
What fond memories. Ginnie


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to see that quilt. It must be quite something.
A great war story you told. Thanks

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ginnie,

Looks like you did good girl. And thanks so much for sharing those times and memories. We will be visiting often.


2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delighted you followed up on your British soldiers story.

As children we knew those were serious times, especially if we had a loved one off fighting somewhere, but may not have fully grasped the possibilities of loss.

I do hope to see a picture of the quilt. Where's the winery where it can be seen?

1:10 AM  

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