Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dad's Letter

My dad served in WWII and afterwards was stationed in Tsingtao, China. It was called Operation Beleaguer. It mainly was for the  repatriation of Japanese and Koreans who remained after WWII. Dad wrote alot about the life there.Things he saw and experienced. Very interesting reading.

I knew he spoke Mandarin Chinese but never knew how he gained  the knowledge. Turns out he learned Chinese while stationed in Tsingtao. This knowledge helped him greatly when he served later in Vietnam. He told us that speaking Mandarin raised the respect he had with the Chinese businessmen he dealt with at that time. He was in charge of supply. Most of them spoke Cantonese and to speak Mandarin was considered a great honor.

Something I noticed was that the idea of appeasement was already showing  in 1947.
here is just a short paragraph of what he experienced..

"While on liberty downtown here last week, I was unfortunately caught in a light riot involving Rickshaw coolies and service men. In the mixup one of them relived me of my Parker fountain pen!
So I borrowed a pen to write this letter. The Rickshaw coolies are becoming very bold and are robbing and beating men quite often. The policy enforced by our forces of taking most every insult without retaliating, in order to win friendship. The policy has only succeeded in making America lose face. They now believe we are actually afraid of them. I think they need to get forceful with them.
Until recently it was almost unheard of for a coolie to strike a service man. Now we have to go out in pairs for safety. The United States has certainly lost prestige."
Tsingtao, China
June 4, 1947

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Sorry again that I've not been posting much. We're watching our grandson who is almost 4 (in August) and its difficult to get much done.

We had a nice Memorial Day but did spend part of it in the ER. Alan was putting up our flag on the garage and the ladder collapsed. He hit his head rather hard on the concrete driveway so again, I drove him the the ER. Four hours later, we went home with a bruised and scaped head but no major injuries.  He's very big boned like his grandfather was. His neck and shoulders are tender but he's healing fine and I think, this time he realizes he's not 30 anymore.  His guardian angel was watching over him as it could have been much worse.
When we got home from the hospital, this is what greeted us...

              Our oldest son hung up the flag which was a blessing.

 I hope everyone had a meaningful and restful holiday. As I read my dad's letters, I can't help realizing how amazing that generation was and am thankful for the sacrifices they made for freedom.

 Our garden is in full swing and soon we'll have tomatoes to can. I am so looking forward to some fresh garden tomatoes. I also plan on making tomato soup to can. Last year our tomato crop was terrible and I only was able to can a few pints of sauce which we used up quickly this last winter.
This year so far looks alot better with many green tomatoes on the plants.The corn is really high  and is tasseling.

Alan always tries to grow corn, and we usually get a few small ears which are delicious but not like he could grow in Iowa.

I've been selling a few things on Ebay and made two sales. I have some thimbles and also some towels for sale that I embroidered. 

                        Redwork flour sack towels.
                                  China Lake Auctions

                              That's about all for now.!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Letter Shoe Box

We've been going through our cedar chests (we have 3 of them that Alan built when we were first married) and I ran across this shoe box that my paternal grandmother had sent me years and years ago. It contains letters that my dad wrote to her during and after WWII. I've been reading a few every evening and put them in chronological order by the post mark dates. They run from 1941 to 1949.

Knowing my dad so well, his words just brought me closer to him. In the war years, he couldn't say where he was stationed and every letter from that period had a passed censor stamp on it. Later he was stationed at Tsingtao, China. He does speak alot about the Chinese people, their culture and what he experienced after the war. He became very fluent in Chinese also. I haven't finished reading all the letters but they're fascinating.  I also inherited a large photo album and hope to coordinate the photos to the letters if I am able to. In some of the letters, he asks for a camera and he evidently got one as there are a ton of war time photos. 

With Memorial day coming up, we will be flying our flag in memory of all those that endured much and serviced with honor.
So thankful to my grandmother for saving these precious bits of history.!