Monday, July 28, 2008

Dead Page-- WW II Medal of Honor Winner

The July 25th Connecticut Post reports that Michael J. Daly, 83, died. He was a lifelong resident of Fairfield, Connecticut.

He was presented with a Medal of Honor, the highest award to military personnel by President Truman at the White House on August 23, 1945.

He dropped out of West Point and entered service as an 18 year-old private and took part at Omaha Beach during D-Day. Along with the Medal of Honor, he was awarded three Silver Stars, two Purple hearts, and a Bronze Star.

He received the Medal of Honor for action during the siege of Nuremburg April 18, 1945, when his unit was pinned down by heavy German machine gun fire. After ordering his men to take cover, he ran ahead and engaged the enemy guns.

Another of the "Greatest Generation" Leaves Us.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"I Shall Return" Museum

The Endless Frontier Blog of July 23rd had a picture of a small museum that is located on the shore where General Douglas MacArthur fullfilled his promise of returning to the Phillippines during World War II.

There is a marker outside of it and photographs as well as personal effects of soldiers.

WW II Dogtags and Ring Returned

The July 13th Fox NeWS reports that a 1938 high school ring and twisted dog tags were returned to an aviators family after being under ground in France for over six decades.

On August 18, 1944, the B-24 bomber on which Felix Shostak was a turret gunner was shot down over France and his body never found. As such, he was listed as missing and his family never had closure until now. The only survivor of the crash, Norman Grant, parachuted, but was captured by Germans. Ina postwar memoir, he wrote that he believed Shostak was killed in the ensuing fire after the crash.

Last fall, the twisted tags and ring were found at the crash site and it took six months to find the family.

Glad They Finally Got Home. --Cooter

Canada's Last WW I Vet Turns 108, in the US

The July 24th Canada News says that Canada's only remaining WW I veteran celebrated his 108th birthday in Spokame, Wahington.

John Babcock was only 15 when he managed to enlist in the Canadian Army during WW I. When his true age was found, he was put into a boys brigade until he was old enough, but, by then, the war was over.

He was visited by Canadian dignataries and promised a state funeral when the time comes, but Babcock does not feel he desereves it since he was never on the firing line.

After the war, he moved to the US where he renounced his citizenship to work and later joined the US Army. This past May, he became a Canadian citizen again.

One of the Last of Another Great Generation.

Friday, July 18, 2008


The weather is here, wish you were beautiful, as old Jimmy Buffett said in one of his songs. I think most of us have a collection of postcards stashed around the house somewhere. I usually buy some instead of taking pictures as the photographers of the cards have had time enough to get the "perfect" shot.

The June National Geographic magazine had a page on postcards of old. It said that a century ago, postcards were more than just vacation greetings. Since mail was sometimes delivered as many as seven times a day in bigger cities,it was almost like today's instant messaging.

On early postcards, addresses were on one side, and the writing on the picture. In 1907, the divided back came into vogue and that is what is in use today.

Last year, Americans sent over two billion postcards.

I've been collecting quite a few Route 66 cards of late.

The Weather is Beautiful. --Old Coot

It's a Colonial Thing

Probably one of the worst things to ever occur to the developing parts of the world was colonialism, where the more advanced countries took advantage of power to take what they wanted from their less fortunate neighbors. And even today, in the 21st century, there are 16 places and some 1.2 million people still under foreign rule according to the June National Geographic. Usually, when a person thinks about colonies, it is of the period of time back in the 1600s and 1700s or around the turn of the 20th century.

It has been nearly 50 years since the United Nations said that colonialism must end, but yet the United States and United Kingdom refuse to cooperate. US colonies are American Samoa, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The UK has the most with Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena, Turks and Calicos Islands, and British Virgin Islands.

New Zealand with Tokelu and France with New Caledonia round out the imperial powers, although France is letting its possession vote in the near future as to its future.

So It Still Exists. --Cooter

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sunscreen, Towels, Tunes, and Mines

Imagine going for a day at the water and, along with sunburn, having to worry about a sixty year old item blowing up to rain water and projectiles on your vacation.

The July 7th BBC reports that an old World War II mine was found off Inchkeith Island in Scotland's Firth of Fourth.

It was located on the sea bottomin the main shipping channel and evidently still capable of exploding as the government set it off later in a controlled blast.

It is not surprising WW II ordnance still turns up consider the large amounts that were used during the war.

Pass the Mine Block, Honey. --Coot

Goodbye 99 Cent Shrimp Cocktails

We all weep a tear as a long-standing Las Vegas tradition bites the tail. The 99 cent shrimp cocktail has gone the way of gas, and broken new records.

The last hold-out for this favorite of cheapskates like me, the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino (I believe downtown) raised the price to $1.99, the first increase in 17 years.

The cheap shrimp was the brainchild of this place in 1959 when it cost 50 cents, and since then, they have served up lots of the cold-water shrimp, usually around a ton a week.

Sad to see this aspect of the old Vegas that I so loved go. I noticed that the last time we were at Slots-of-Fun in 2006, the price was $1.49. Vegas, in large, has gotten TOO expensive for me.

No More Cheap Shrimp for Me!!! --Old Coot

Monday, July 7, 2008

All Star Game Time

With the All Star game coming up in a few weeks, the Chicago Tribune ran its Flashback on the last page of the Sunday Magazine about it. Nancy Watkins, who creates it, does an excellent job in this effort. She takes an old photo and then does some interesting research with all kinds of tidbits.

This photo, from July 6, 1933, shows Babe Ruth crossing home plate after hitting the All Star game's first home run. Lou Gehrig is waiting for his at-bat and a Sox player or ball boy is waiting as well (probably a ball boy).

The All Star game was the brainchild of Tribune sports editor Arch Ward. The American League won 4-2

### Of the 36 players at the first game, 20 are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

### Fans voted for players. White Sox player Al Simmons got the most votes with 346,291.

### Cost of a bleacher seat was 55 cents!!!

### And finally, this important tidbit. The number of players on both rosters named Lefty was three.

Go American Leaugue!!! --Cooter