Saturday, October 02, 2010

Bert ... “WHO” ???

Early on in my blog entries I wrote about entertaining British sailors during World War II. I was 12 at the time and I well remember one boy in particular. His name was Bert Entwistle and he was stationed at the Fargo Naval Base near Boston. We saw him practically every weekend and he became like a member of our family.

Bert was married to a lady named Queenie and they had an infant son who was born just days before Bert was sent overseas. Luckily Bert made it through the war and he continued to correspond with our family over the years. His marriage to Queenie didn’t last but he would write often about the musical doings of his son John.

Imagine our surprise in the 60’s when we learned that his son was the bass guitarist for the rock band “The Who”. We always knew that Bert was musical (he played the trumpet and had a wonderful singing voice) and Queenie was a piano teacher so I guess John’s talent came naturally.

I never was able to get to England but two of my sisters (and their spouses) did. They stayed with Bert and his 2nd wife Dora who planned their itinerary which included a visit and dinner at John’s mansion. I can’t accurately describe it (not having been there) but the overall impression that they gave was of a huge stone house with cavernous rooms. The diners numbered at least 40 and were seated around an enormous oak table. John was at the head with his chair turned slightly away from the table so that he faced a small black and white TV which he watched for the entire meal. Both couples said that he never uttered a word to anyone there but did shake their hands (and gave his dad a hug) when they left.

In 1976 Bert and Dora flew to Massachusetts from England to help my Mother celebrate her 80th birthday. I hadn’t seen Bert for 32 years and had never met Dora so you can just imagine the fever pitch of emotions displayed. It was a glorious reunion and although my Mother, Bert, Dora (and even John) are all gone now it will always be one of my fondest memories.


Blogger kenju said...

You are just chock full of interesting stories!! I can't help but wonder of John had Asperger's syndrome or something. It certainly isn't normal to dine with 40 people and watch TV the whole time.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's amazing with whom you have connections.

But why does proper grammar sound so awful? :)

4:37 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Great story, Ginnie. Thanks for sharing. It's so interesting reading about your memories. They have been so varied.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

That is interesting but he must have been a strange fellow. I can't imagine treating my parents that way.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What a great story and memory. Oh how I would like to touch you hand that touched the hand of the rich and famous :)

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What... another amazing story Ginnie, I love coming over to your blog just to see what you write... I love it :)
Huggs Cazzie

7:31 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi ginnie, Dora is my great aunt and her brother who lives in North Carolina would love to share memories with you, please email me-

Kind regards


1:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi ginnie, Dora is my great aunt and her brother lives in North Carolina and I know he would be very interested to share memories with you, please email me as I am very intreagued.

Kind regards


1:26 PM  

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