Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How I Spent the Day: July 24, 1896-- Part 2

After we finished our sweet little talk, we went downstairs and cut the last of our melons Papa had sent us.

I then took a ruffle I was hem stitching for our little unborn babe and went out on the back porch in the cool and sewed awhile. David came downstairs and asked Mary Prince and my self if we did not want to go to the Academy with him.

We went- got some cool water from the pump. Just as we came back Miss Annie Biggs came in and stayed until almost dark. We ate supper and spent the rest of the evening on the back porch in the refreshing breeze.

We retired about 11 o'clock but did not go to sleep till 12 or after.

Altogether we spent a very pleasant day.

Mrs. D.M. Prince

How I Spent the Day: July 24, 1896-- Part 1

Evidently, my great grandfather got my great grandmother, Minnie Hollowell Prince, to write down what she did on the same date. No wonder he was going multiple times to the school to get stationery.

"I arose at 6:15 oclock. Cleaned up our rooms until the bell rang at 7 oclock announcing breakfast.

After breakfast I finished cleaning up.

Papa had sent me four nice melons and I sent Mrs. Millie Dunn one of them.

John brought the mail. I took my Ladies Home Journal went out on the back porch in the breeze to read did not read but a few minutes when Mrs. R.C. Josey and Mrs. A.E. Taylor came and spent quite a good while with us.

When they left Mrs. Magnum and I went to the kitchen to prepare dinner.

I ate dinner came upstairs. David and I went in Mr. Wilson's room to try to take a nap, it was so warm in our room we could not sleep.

We did not spend the hour sleeping, we spent it talking over the past year, how happy we had been. It has been the happiest year of my life. Not but one thing has happened to mar our happiness and that was the death of our dear Mother.

More to Come.

A Day in the Life: July 24, 1896-- Part 2

Then Minnie, Mary and I sat around and chatted till after five, Mrs. Mangum having gone to see Mrs. Hancock.

Minnie, Mary and I went over to the School Building and got some stationery for Ruth and Frances. Miss Annie Biggs called about 6 PM and stayed till almost dark, her call made supper late.

I did not enjoy my supper as I had a little head-ache, but it soon passed ___ and I felt very good.

*John brought the mail. I received a letter from Claude H. Wilson.

After talking awhile Minnie and I came up to our room and wrote and talked till about eleven.

Owing to a good breeze, we slept in Claude's room, but did not reach dreamland till after 12 o'clock.

Altogether, we spent a happy day, though it was intensely hot.

David M. Prince
Scotland Neck, N.C.

* John Hamums, our colored waiting boy, all around the house and school boy.

A Day in the Life: July 24, 1896-- Part 1

That would be 115 years ago. Written by my great grandfather, David Maybury Prince, after he wrote what had happened the year before. On this shorter account, he wrote about what he had done that day. A real slice of life.


Arose a little earlier than usual and cut up the grass in the front walk. This gave me a great appetite and I enjoyed breakfast. After breakfast I went over to the School Building and got some stationery to send to our home people. Mailed some letters and then made a bottom for a slop tub and then painted it.

Enjoyed some grapes Minnie bought, then ate a fine diner.

Minnie and I lay down in Claude's room, it was cooler than ours, and spent a very pleasant hour or more talking of our marriage and of the happiness and trials of the last year.

We got up and ate the last of the four melons Minnie's Father had sent her.

More to Come.

A Very Valuable Family Notebook

My mom has a photocopied notebook of letters and journal entries of my great grandfather, David Maybury Prince. I have been transcribing it in the last several blog entries.

The notebook was given to my grandmother, Gertrude Prince Hood, who made a notation on the back cover.

"Presented to Gertrude Prince Hood at the 10th anniversary Prince Reunion at Southport, N.C. July 19th 1992. By her nephew David W. Phillips, Annie May Prince Phillips' youngest son of Columbia, SC."

Upon her death, it was to go to my mother and then to me "as he is more like my Dad than any of my grandchildren."

"This the 21st day of July, 1992.
Gertrude P. Hood
Goldsboro, NC

David Prince First Anniversary, July 24, 1896-- Part 4

This brings us to-day.

Glancing over the pages of the last year, taking our marriage as the beginning, for in truth it was the beginning of life, many sunny days are seen, all happiness, only the rainy days and sadness before referred to marred our happiness. The past year has been the happiest of my life. Not one unkind word has passed between us'

Minnie has made a model little wife and if I know my own heart, I love her more to-night than I did one year ago, and at that time, I loved her with all my heart, but I suppose my heart has grown' Anyway, I know I love her more.

We are expecting a child born to us at any time, and we are happy at the thought . May God grant a blessing on the unborn loved one and the soon-to-be little Mother.

In closing this I must not forget to say that in our happiness we have not forgotten the giver of all our pleasures and may he continue His blessings and God grant that we may be as happy and love Him as well, _____, one year from tonight--through all life.

Thus was my great grandfather David Maybury Prince's account of his first year of marriage from July 24, 1895, to July 12, 1896, over 115 years ago. It is too bad that more people don't take the time to sit down at the end of a year and write about what happened to them. It would sure get their descendants in much closer contact with them.

I learned a lot about him and will write about that later.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

David Prince First Anniversary, July 24, 1896-- Part 3

While on our journey we heard Mother was worse, Lonnie met us at _____, Minnie's meeting with her people, especially her Father was almost heart rendering. Soon after we arrived, we went in to see Mother, she knew both of us and as long as I live I shall never forget the happy expression of Minnie's Mother when she saw her loved daughter.

Not many hours passed before the sad message "On earth an angel less, in heaven one more. Mother left us at 12:30. Minnie & David." was sent to our sympathizing friends at Scotland Neck. Words can't express the grief. I shall attempt it, but Minnie's grief was deep and in it thank God I tried to share her trouble. In her grief I learned to love my darling more than I ever had before and I already thought I loved her all I could.

Our return was a sad one, but soon Emma, Minnie's youngest sister, and Mary came and made our little family more cheerful.

Our return

David Prince First Anniversary, July 24, 1896-- Part 3

Monday, November 28, 2011

David Prince First Anniversary, July 24, 1896-- Part 2

Minnie went home a few days before I did(the dear little creature would have gone earlier but I was feeling unwell) and the time seemed long before I could see her for this was the first time we had been separated any length of time since our marriage.

Minnie met me at train in Goldsboro though it was as early as 7 o'clock. I know I was happier to see her than ever before in my life. A week's stay at our homes passed hurriedly and happily (I forgot to mention that while home I bought me a watch and "Lorr" and I bought a suit of furniture) and we returned home and resumed work.

Everything moved on well. We had a good school and our closing exercises were good. After the boys left it was a little dull but we all felt more free and had a good time.

But alas the rain must fall. Minnie's mom, and mine, for I loved her devotedly, was taken sick. For several days we were uneasy but prayed to God earnestly and hoped. In fact, we did not think our Mother was dangerously ill, but at last a message came calling us home. Indeed, it was a sad journey, but a hopeful one.

David Prince First Anniversary, July 24, 1896-- Part 1

This is an entry in the journal of my great-grandfather, David M. Prince, recounting his first year of marriage to his childhood sweetheart, Minnie Hollowell, my great grandmother.

It was handwritten and some of his writing is very hard to read.



Minnie and I were married one year ago to-day. The day we married was very warm indeed, perhaps to-day has not been quite so warm, but very near so.

We were married at 1:15 and left at 2 o'clock for Greensboro at which place we spent the night. I will not attempt to explain the first night, it is sufficient to say we were very bashful though we had loved each other since childhood and had been engaged seven years.

Mr. Wilson, or Claude as we call him, went with us from Goldsboro to Raleigh and Mr. R.J. Vauer, Pastor of Baptist Church got on train at Durham and went on to Greensboro with us.

We left Greensboro the morning of the 25th for Roaring Gap Hotel. Our stay of two weeks was pleasant, yes delightful.

We spent a week home (Goldsboro) and then came here, Scotland Neck. School soon opened, the time passed rapidly away and soon it was near Christmas.

More to Come.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

QAR's Biggest Cannon Raised

From the Winter 2012 East Magazine of East Carolina University.

The annual fall archaeological expedition to what is believed to be Pirate Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR), found that no damage was done to the ship by Hurricane Irene in August.

On October 25th, divers recovered cannon C23, one of the largest guns on the ship.

Project Director Mark Wilde-Ramsing led a class of ECU students on the four-week dive. Using new technology, aluminum rods called sacrificial anodes were attached to the remaining cannons to change the electrochemical process that corrodes iron in saltwater. The aluminum rod corrodes, the cannon no longer does. This will reduce the amount of time required in the laboratory once the cannon is raised.

The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries research vessel Shell Point was used as the main recovery vessel along with ECU's seagoing barge for transport to the site of the QAR offshore of Fort Macon State Park in Beaufort Inlet.

Captain Jack Sparrow Would be So Proud. --Cooter

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ten Infamous Wonders of the World

From the September 16th Listverse. They have pictures and information. I'm just listing them.

10. Guatemala City Sinkhole
9. Smog over Los Angeles
8. Alcatraz

7. Guantanamo Bay
6. Trail of Tears
5. Ashes of Pompeii
4. Little Boy's Shadow at Hiroshima

3. Ground Zero, 9-11
2. Chernobyl
1. Auschwitz

Not So Nice Stuff. --Cooter

Saturday, November 19, 2011

36th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald

November 10, 1975

This one slipped by me. The last ten years I taught, every year my students would have a lesson on this ship, tied in with the Great Lakes and art.

I was reminded Thursday when one of the patrons at Donovan's Reef in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, tried to play the song on the jukebox, only to find it was not offered. Nor was it on the jukebox at Dry Dock in Antioch, Illinois, yesterday.

These new jukeboxes with the huge numbers of expensive songs available really should have Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Worth remembering.

70th Anniversary of the Sinking of the HMAS Sydney

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Nov. 19, 1941, sinking of the Australian Navy's light cruiser HMAS Sydney with the complete loss of its 645 crew members after a battle with the German raider Komoran.

Some 2,000 are expected to attend a memorial service at Geraldton, on Australia's west coast.

The wreck was found in 2008.

there was some confusion as to whether the even was to be public ot private, but it will be open to all.

This commemoration will also have the unveiling of the Pool of Remembrance at Geraldton's Mt. Scott Memorial.

A Sad Day in Australian History.

Dead Page: A Munchkin Meets the Wizard


Died Nov. 15th. From AP.

Mr. Slover stood at 4'5" and was the lead trumpeter in the Munchkins' band along with roles as a townsman and soldiers in the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz." One of the tiniest male Munchkins, he was busy making appearances during his later years, even at an event in Chicago as late as last week.

He was one of the seven Munchkins to attend the unveiling of their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 along with: Margaret Pellegrini, Meinhardt Raubz, Jerry Marzen, Mickey Carroll and Ruth Deccini.

Only three now remain of the original 124 cast members.

Mr. Slover was born Karl Kosiczky in what is today the Czech Republic, the only child in his family to be dwarf-sized. His father tried all sorts of witch doctor type things to get his son to grow, including a stretching machine. At age 9, his father sold him to a traveling show in Europe and he performed with them into his twenties.

When he moved to the US, he changed his name and appeared in circuses as part of a vaudeville group called Singer Midgets whose 30 performers became the nucleus of the Munchkins.

He was the first of the three trumpeters to herald the arrival of the Munchkin mayor and remembers he was paid $50 a week, less than what Toto the dog was getting.

Oh, We're Off to See the ______.

Friday, November 18, 2011

OK, President Obama's Healthy-- Part 2

Other presidents with health issues.

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)-- Projected an image of robust health and energy while hiding his Addison's Disease and back problems.

Richard Nixon (1969-1974)-- Fell ill with phlebitis in 1974. Scholars have debated whether Nixon suffered from depression and psychological issues.

Gerald Ford (1971-1977)-- Former college football player was later slowed by joint and knee problems.

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)-- Suffered from joint problems. Some researchers say he showed signs of dementia and Alzheimer's toward the end of his second term and didn't recognize key staffers.

Bill Clinton (1993-2001)-- One-time fast-food devotee struggled with his high cholesterol. Now a vegetarian.

And Then there's My Aches and Pains, But I Ain't President Either. --DaCoot

OK, President Obama's Healthy-- Part 1

From the Nov. 6th Chicago Tribune.

President Obama's annual physical at the beginning of the month was a glowing one. He's healthy, but this was not the case with some of our earlier presidents.

A short run-down on presidential health:

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)-- Migraine headaches, suffered a stroke in 1919 that left him paralyzed and with slurred speech.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)-- Paralyzed by polio. In 1944, hid physician told him his health would not allow a fourth term. he ran anyway and died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961)-- Suffered a heart attack in 1955. Also had a minor stroke.

More to Come. --Cooter

One Hour Back-- Part 2

"The nation rallied around President Woodrow Wilson's call to patriotism (during World War I), though, and daylight savings time was adopted nationwide in 1918." There were problems even from the beginning. The first year, the time change occurred on Easter Sunday and on this important mass of the year, the Archdiocese of Chicago decreed that Mass schedule would remain on standard time for that day.

After the war, foes of "Wilson time" took the issue to Congress. A return to "slow time" became law on a veto override.

Even so, cities across the country, including Chicago, adopted their own ordinances for daylight saving time. Bit, it was confusion. City trains operated on "summer time" while interstate trains were on standard time. Confusion reigned.

It got worse over the years as other cities and towns and states adopted saving time. Making it worse was the different start-stop times.

Finally, in 1967, daylight saving time became mandatory under federal law.

Of course, there is still the problem of driving across Indiana where I tend to ignore time as much as possible. It seems even they don't know what time it is.

Love That Daylight. --DaCoot

I Must Be Getting Old

From the August 24th Chicago Tribune.

This year's incoming freshman class in college (we don't even want to think of the incoming high school freshmen) were mostly born around 1993. And there are many so-called cultural touchstones that they would not be old enough to remember. Every year, Wisconsin's Beloit College releases their Mindset List.

Here are some of the items on this year's list:

** Andre the Giant, River Phoenix, Frank Zappa and Arthur Ashe have always been dead.

** Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.

** There have always been at least two women on the US Supreme Court, and women have always commanded US Navy ships.

** "Don't touch that dial!"...What dial?

** Refer to LBJ and they might think you're talking about LeBron James.

** O.J. Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

** John Wayne Bobbitt has always slept with one eye open.

** McDonald's coffee has always had a warning not to spill it in your lap.

** "PC" has come to mean personal computer, not political correctness.

For full list go to

We're Not Too Old, They're Too Young. --Cooter

Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Hour Back-- Part 1

This past November 6th, it was the old Fall Back thing where we moved the clock times back an hour as we left daylight saving time. I hate when it gets dark at 4:30 pm, but at least we have light earlier in the day.

Usually, I remember to do this, but have missed stuff the next day on several occasions when I didn't.

This Daylight Saving Time has gone by many names in the past and there was quite a bit of opposition to it.

From the November 6th Chicago Tribune Chicago Flashback "2 steps forward, 1 hour back" by Stephan Benzkofer.

It has been called "fast time," "summer time," "Wilson Time," "Bolshevik Time,' "standard time," "slow time" and "God's Time."

The original arguments for it revolved around saving energy during wartime, but then became a pitched battle between urban and rural time. City folk liked the extra hour of sunlight after work, but farmers argued they couldn't switch work so easily.

Did You Remember to Switch? --Cooter

Hazards Bubble Up from Old Wrecks-- Part 5: Off Maryland and Delaware

Along with a photo of the W.L. Steed, there was a map of the waters off the Mid-Atlantic states showing some wreck sites that pose a risk.

VANRANGER-- Tanker carrying 12,700 tons of fuel oil torpedoed in 1942.

INDIA ARROW-- Tanker carrying 88,369 barrels of diesel fuel torpedoed in 1942.

JOHN MORGAN-- Collided with another vessel on its maiden voyage in 1943.

W.L. STEED-- Tanker carrying 66,000 barrels of crude oil torpedoed in 1941.

MARINE ELECTRIC-- Sank in 1983 with 3,600 barrels of fuel oil in its bunkers.

If any of these ships sank today, no doubt oil speculators would rush out to buy oil causing us regular folk to have to immediately pay higher at the pump.

Watch Out for the U-Boats! --DaCoot

Hazards Bubble Up from Old Wrecks-- Part 4: SS Jacob Luckenbach

I wonder if this has anything to do with that Texas place Willie and Waylon sang about?

The freighter SS Jacob Luckenbach, carrying military supplies had just left San Francisco in July 1953 headed for South Korea, when it ran into another ship in heavy fog and sank 17 miles off the coast in 180 feet of water and 457,000 gallons on bunker fuel on board.

In the early 1990s, residents in the area began to notice suspicious intermittent oil spills on the beaches. Over the next decade, some 51,000 shore birds were covered with oil and died. Oil and tar balls floated up on beaches.

Finally, in 2002, the culprit was found to be the Luckenbach. Cleanup and wildlife rehabilitation cost $2 million. Salvage of the 100,000 remaining gallons is expected to cost $20 million.

Something from the Past Coming Back to Get Us. --Cooter

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Even More Pearl Harbor Stories

From the Nov. 11th Orange County (Ca) Register.

Howard Bender, 90, proudly carried the white and blue Pearl Harbor Survivors flag for the last time during the Veterans Day parade. He and John Olivles, 92, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is disbanding Dec. 31st because no one is left. Olivles was in the Army.

From the Nov. 11th Detroit 7 ABC Action News WXYZ.

Noel Stephens, 96, "They dropped a bomb about 20 feet from us. I really thought I was a goner." He plans to be at the 70th anniversary observation at Pearl Harbor in three weeks.

He was a mess steward on the USS Zane, one of the few naval positions blacks were allowed to do duty in the segregated navy.

The Greatest Generation.

Some More Pearl Harbor News

From the Aug. 3rd Columbus (Ne) Telegram.

Pearl Harbor survivor Art Gersib died at age 91. Now that are less than 15 living Pearl Harbor survivors in Nebraska. He and three friends were on their way to the mess hall for a special breakfast when they saw planes coming in low. They hit the ground right away when the firing began.

From the August 1st Grand Rapids (Mi) Fox 17.

Henru Emelander, 93, one of the last two Pearl Harbor survivors in western Michigan died. He enlisted in the Navy twice in the 1930s. The second time he was sent to salvage and repair ships at Pearl Harbor. His ship, the Vestal was tied up next to the USS Arizona when the attack came.

A very bad place to be. He had never swam a day in his his life, but quickly learned after being ordered to abandon ship.

The Greatest Generation.

Pearl Harbor Veterans

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the Day of Infamy in three weeks, many of these people are leaving us unfortunately.

From the Nov. 11th Whidby News Times.

Pearl Harbor veterans were telling their stories:

CECIL CALAVAN-- on the USS Utah and survived because he was shaving. The place he had been at was struck by a torpedo right after he left to perform this daily chore. He ended up swimming to shore.

JAMES STANSELL-- was 18 at the time. "I was scared to death but I did manage to look everywhere, and everywhere there was an explosion."

HAROLD JOHNSON-- was 17 at the time on the USS Oklahoma and had a date with a young lady that day. The worst part of the attack was afterwards "hauling oil-covered men into boats, responding to a multitude of false alarms and curling up in the mess hall to try to sleep." Obviously, no date for the young man.

Sad to Be Losing These Brave Souls.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mt. Rushmore Turns 70

From ABC News.

Can you name the four presidents on Mt. Rushmore?

The huge monument was declared complete Oct. 31, 1941, just five weeks before the US entered World War II.

** It took 14 years to build and cost $1 million.

** If the carvings were scaled to real life people, they would be 465 feet tall.

** Each head is six stories tall.

** The project displaced 800 million tons of stone.

** The noses are 20 feet long.

** Workers had to climb 506 steps each day. They sure must have been in good shape.

** Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was 60 when he started it.

** He died unexpectedly 7 months before the project was finished.

In case you can't name them all: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

Definitely Something I'd Like to See One of These Days. --Cooter

Al Zelent: USS Princeton Survivor-- Part 4

Unfortunately, when the bomb hit, the flight deck was full of torpedo planes, fully loaded and ready for take off. He remembers seeing men burned over most of their bodies. Others were crying.

The ship's commander, and later admiral, John Hoskins, lost his leg.

National Geographic magazine had an article about the Princeton in the August 1945, Vol. 88 #2.

It was really an honor to get to talk to a hero like Mr. Zelent and I sure could have spent longer, but I wanted others to get an opportunity as well.

The Greatest Generation.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hazards Bubble Up from Old Wrecks-- Part 3: USS Arizona

A priority list will be drawn up.

Some of the old wrecks are already leaking. The most notable of them is the 608-foot USS Arizona, sunk at Pearl Harbor on that fateful day back on Dec. 7, 1941 (of which we are approaching the 70th anniversary in a few weeks). It sank with a loss of 1,177 lives and 1.1 million gallons of fuel, about half of which still remains and leaks into the harbor.

I have seen the oil bubbles coming up from the hull by the Arizona Memorial. I'd estimate there are about 4-5 bubbles a minute, not enough to really damage the harbor, but if a tank ruptures and all of it escapes at once, that would have a major negative impact.

As it stands, though, those bubbles are somewhat comforting and a connection to that event from 70 years ago. The ship still lives.

At a Baltimore conference in June, David Conlin of the NPS said that new studies show that the previously intact fuel tanks are corroding, rupturing and releasing their contents. However, there is "no pressing need" for "invasive" procedures to enter the ship.

"Three hundred and sixty years from now, in the core part of the USS Arizona, the oil bunkers here will still have significant structural integrity," he said.

This is a bit confusing information. How safe are the Arizona's fuel bunkers?

I probably spent ten minutes with those bubbles when I was there. A real connection with history.

A Day of Infamy. --DaCoot

Hazards Bubble Up from Old Wrecks-- Part2

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is presently taking inventory on some 30,000 coastal wrecks off the US shore, many of them casualties of the 1942 Battle of the Atlantic. They are especially looking for those that might pose a threat to the environment.

NOAA's Lisa Symons said, "We're starting to see significant corrosion." Those that did nor blow up or break apart may still have fuel or armaments aboard.

The worst-threat list has been narrowed to 233 vessels with a final list being prepared for the end of the year. Efforts will be made to remove oil from these ships using funds from the Oil Spill liability Trust Fund which is supported by the oil industry.

Wreck spills are a threat globally, with an especially high concentration in the western Pacific (where many World War II battles took place). But the US coastline is littered with the wrecks of ships sink by German and Japanese submarines.

A Congressional appropriation of $1 million is being used for the identification project, part of which involves looking through ship manifests, naval records, sinking reports, insurance documents and survivors accounts. (Hey, even a lot can be learned through a quick Yahoo! search.)

More to Come. --Cooter

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hazards Bubble Up from Old Wrecks-- Part 1

From the July 27th Chicago Tribune by Frank D. Roylance.

World War Ii was on and on the evening of Feb. 2, 1942, the W.L. Steed, an unarmed tanker was cruising along the Atlantic Ocean, about 90 miles off Ocean City, Maryland with 66,000 barrels of crude oil, when a German U-boat torpedoed it.

The ship was soon ablaze and sank with only a few of the 38 crew members surviving.

Shortly after the US entered the war after Pearl Harbor, the Germans moved part of their submarine pack to off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the country. By te time they shifted most of the U-boats in July to focus on convoys crossing the Atlantic, they had sunk 397 ships in US coastal waters.

Many Americans today don't even know about this war off American shores.

This wartime legacy has become an environmental concern because of concern about fuel bunkers and cargoes starting to leak after all those years under water.

I have already written about the SS Montebello (see Oct. 3rd entry) sunk by a Japanese submarine off the coast of California and the fear that its cargo of oil poses a threat. Fortunately, expeditions to the ship have found no trace of the oil that it once carried.

A Problem from the Past. --DaCoot

USMC Birthday Breakfast-- Part 1

I just got back from an early morning meet with all sorts of Marines, seven going back to World War II, at the Fox Lake, Illinois, American Legion. The event was the 28th Annual Tom Grosvenor Marine Corps Breakfast Toys for Tots.

The breakfast consisted of S-O-S and scrambled eggs and plenty of coffee (many of the Marines didn't take it black like you might expect a Marine to take it). Last week at the Legion, I had mentioned to one of the people at the bar about the breakfast and that SOS. He said he'd have to be there because he absolutely loves SOS. Many don't. I like it.

If you're wondering what SOS is, I'll tell later.

The breakfast started back on November 10, 1983 at Hoff's Kitchen in Grayslake, Illinois with 13 former Marines meeting.

The tradition goes back to 1970 when brothers Tom and Ken Grosvenor would call each other on Nov. 10th to wish each other a happy Marine Corps birthday. Tom had served in the Corps during the Vietnam War in the DaNang area in 1969-1970.

More to Come. --Cooter

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11: It's a Historical Thing

Doesn't happen often, just once in a lifetime, and it's here today, the 11th month, 11th day of the 11th year. I don't expect to be around for the next one.

And, it occurs on Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, set up to honor the World War I veterans back then, but now to honor all our veterans.

World War I, The War To End All Wars, ended this date back in 1918; the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Unfortunately, it was not the last war.

I imagine there will be a lot of marriages today (easier for the husband to remember it) just as there has been every year since the turn of the century: 1-1-01, 2-2-02 and so forth.

A Big Thank You to Our Veterans. --Cooter

Thursday, November 10, 2011

USMC Birthday

A big 236th birthday congratulations to the United States Marine Corps. This date, Nov. 10, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the creation of an armed force to be used aboard ships and on land called the Marines.

I'll be attending the Marine Corps birthday breakfast at the Fox Lake American Legion this Saturday morning. It will also be the kickoff for the annual Toys for Tots program.

Ooh-Rah That! --Cooter

Kristallnacht: November 9-10, 1938

The night the Holocaust began.

From an ad in the Nov. 9th Chicago Tribune by the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

It reads: "Throughout Germany and Austria, the Nazis unleashed a wave of terror against the people of the Jewish faith.

More than 30,000 Jewish people were forced into concentration camps and countless others were beaten or killed.

Thousands of Jewish homes, businesses and places of worship were burned and destroyed.


The beginning of a horrible chapter of human history. And things just got worse.

Not Forgetting. --DaCoot

A Monument for Ida B. Wells?-- Part 2

Here's hoping that the monument will be erected.

After being ejected from the train in 1884, Ms. Wells began a life-long crusade to bring equality for her people. She stopped teaching and began publishing a Memphis newspaper, the Free Speech and Headlight. She brought to public knowledge the lynching of blacks in the South.

In 1894 she came to Chicago and married Ferdinand Barnett, a black attorney. They raised four children in a fashionable brownstone on what is now Martin Luther King Drive.

This became home base for campaigns against segregation. She was a founder of the local NAACP and an ally of suffragist Susan B. Anthony. Wells died in 1931.

The monument will stand in the middle of a new economically and racially diverse housing development on the site of the old Ida B. Wells Homes.

They expect the monument to cost $300,000.

Quite a Woman. --Cooter

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Monument for Ida B. Wells?-- Part 1

I must admit that until a few years ago, the only thing I knew about the name Ida B. Wells is that it was a really horrible Chicago Public Housing project with lots of crime and broken families. Turns out, Ida B. Wells was one really remarkable person, who overcame her race and sex to accomplish much in her time.

From the Nov. 9th Chicago Tribune "Supporters propose monument to Ida B. Wells" by Ron Grossman.

The housing project has since been knocked down, but now there is a group that wants a monument to the woman who fought for racial justice and women's rights.

Seventy years before the more famous Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat in a segregated Montgomer, Alabama, Wells was dragged off a train for declining segregated seating on The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

She is honored at the civil rights museum in Memphis, but now there is nothing in her adopted home town of Chicago to honor her.

The effort for a memorial began while her namesake housing project was being taken down, but wasn't making any progress until they made contact with Michelle Duster, a great-granddaughter, who has published books on Wells.

More to Come On Ida B. Wells' Life. --Cooter

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chevrolet Turns 100

From the Jack Phelan Chevrolet ad in the November 6th Chicago Tribune.

One of my favorite auto brands, now that Pontiac is gone, is Chevrolet which celebrated the 100th anniversary of its debut this past Thursday, Nov. 3rd.

The ad ran a Chevy Timeline along with one for the auto dealer which opened its doors in Lyons, Illinois, back in 1970.

Right now, I have two Chevy Malibus (2003 and 2011) and have had Chevies off and on throughout the years.

1911-- The Chevrolet brand debuts.
1935-- The Chevy Suburban is introduced.
1950-- Chevy becomes first maker to offer automatic shifting.
1953-- The Chevy Corvette is introduced. (Something I've always wanted, but that will probably never come to pass.)
1975-- Chevy introduces a T-car first, the Chevette. (For some reason, I used to get Corvette confused with Chevette. Hard to believe I did this.))
1979-- Front wheel drive compacts are introduced.
2002-- Corvette celebrates its 50th anniversary.
2011-- The Chevy Volt introduced.
2012-- The Chevy Sonic is introduced.

Happy B-Day, Chevy, Or As My Mother-in-Law Used to Call It, Chivrolet. --Cooter

Al Zelent: USS Princeton Survivor

According to Mr. Zelent, the Princeton was one of the "Nine Sisters." These were nine cruisers that were converted into aircraft carriers during World War II.

The Japanese plane that dropped the bomb which caused his ship to sink, came in with a return flight of planes coming to the Princeton, which is how it slipped in through the anti-aircraft defenses.

The Princeton did not sink from the bomb itself, but rather from a series of explosions of the aircraft bombs and fuel that doomed the ship and damaged nearby vessels attempting to keep it afloat.

He was scared. When he saw his best friend from Hamilton, Ohio, jump into the ocean from the flight deck, he thought he was seeing his friend for the last time. He was greatly relieved to see that his friend was picked up by the same destroyer that saved him. His first words to his friend were, "I never thought I'd see you again, Earl." They kept in touch after the war, even after Earl moved to California. Unfortunately, Earl died several years ago.

Mr. Zelent still has the life preserver he wore after jumping overboard (and had it at the Meet-A-Vet). He was not afraid for himself, but worried about how hard his death might be on his mother.

More to Come. --Cooter

Monday, November 7, 2011

Al Zelent: USS Princeton Survivor-- Part 2

Al Zelent today keeps the newsletter of the Princeton going out. Of the 1500 aboard when the ship sank, around 100 died. If the survivors, today he sends out 182 mailings of the newsletter and figures that at least half go to widows. He estimates about 88 crew still alive. Mr. Zelent is 88 now and was 21 when the ship sank. It is sad to see how fast this Greatest Generation is dying, but they are getting very old.

He was born and raised in Chicago and raised his family in Deerfield where he is a member of the Deerfield American Legion.

Another friend from the Deerfield Post was there who was aboard the USS Franklin, an aircraft carrier hit by a kamikaze.

There is a book about the his ship's sinking "Carrier Down: The Sinking of the USS Princeton (CVL 23)." He donated two copies to the Great Lakes Naval Library.

In 2006, the survivors had a reunion in San Diego, the home port of the newest USS Princeton. A memorial service was held and they were able to tour the ship and had lunch aboard. That had to be some meeting between the new crew and old crew of the Princetons.

More Yet to Come. --DaCoot

Al Zelent: USS Princeton Survivor-- Part 1

This past Saturday, I attended the 2nd Annual Fox Lake American Legion Meet-A-Vet event.

I spoke at length with Mr. Al Zelent, who was aboard the aircraft carrier USS Princeton CVL 23, when it was sunk by Japanese bombs at the Battle of the Philippines.

The Princeton was one of the famed "Nine Sisters" which were cruisers converted into aircraft carriers.

He enlisted in the Navy in September 1943 and received his training at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. he was assigned to the Princeton and participated in seven major battles in the Pacific, until his ship was sunk by a Japanese bomb. He and other sailors spent several hours in the water before they were rescued by destroyers.

Then, it was to Pearl Harbor for 30 days of survival leave and then to San Diego where he served until the end of the war.

More to Come. --Cooter

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Back Then: Dean Smith Arrives

From the August 2nd Wilmington (NC) Star News Back Then Column.

The August 3, 1961, paper was full of stories about the departure of head North Carolina basketball coach Frank McGuire and his replacement, one Dean Smith, at age 30.

Frank McGuire had led the 1957 Tarheel squad to an NCAA Championship with a perfect 32-0 record. McGuire was leaving to take over coaching duties at the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA.

After awhile, Dean Smith obviously made folks forget about McGuire.

If He Was a College Dean, Would You Address Him as Dean Dean Smith? --Cooter

Hugh Morton Helps Bring the USS North Carolina Home

From the September 20th Wilmington (NC) Star News.

Hugh Morton was born Feb. 19, 1921, in Wilmington, NC, and attended college at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

he was president of the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington in 1948 and was the first chairman of the Battleship Commission in 1961.

He inherited NC's Grandfather Mountain from his grandfather, Hugh McCrae, in 1952. he soon extended a road to the top of it and built the Mile-High Swinging Bridge. It was Mr. Morton who made Grandfather Mountain into a successful tourist attraction.

He died June 1, 2006.

According to the June 12, 2006, Wautauga (NC) Democrat, at the memorial service for Morton, Dr. William Friday said, "He knew the battleship North Carolina would be a major attraction. He knew that by involving thousands of children on that project...they would learn the struggles of World War II and the role that this great battleship played, being our most decorated combat ship in the Pacific."

Hugh Morton, A Man of Vision. --DaCoot

Some More on Meet-A-Vet

From the Nov. 3rd Lake County Journal "Veterans highlight Fox Lake event" by Cassandra Dowell.

From noon to 4 pm at American Legion Post 703 in Fox Lake, Il., at 703 N. US Highway 12.

It's free and this is the second year for it. You can meet and greet the veterans. Special guests are Sgt. Allen Lynch, a Medal of Honor recipient and Burton Showers, who served on General Douglas MacArthur's staff during World War II.

Others include a Pearl Harbor survivor (70th anniversary in a month), a Holocaust survivor and a member of the German Army during World War II.

I was at last year's event and really enjoyed it. Well worth a stop if you're in the area.

The post will also be having a ceremony at the train station this coming Friday for Veterans Day. Next Saturday, there will be a Marine Corps birthday breakfast in the main hall in the morning. Later, that night, from 7 to 11 pm, there will be a dance featuring the Lakes Region Swing Band playing all those great Big Band/Swing songs from the 40s. Cost is $5 a person or $8 per couple.

Thanks Veterans. --Cooter

Friday, November 4, 2011

Meet-A-Vet Tomorrow at Fox Lake American Legion

Due to the big success of last year's Meet-A-Vet show, another one is being held tomorrow, November 5th at the American Legion in Fox Lake, Illinois, on US-12 north of town.

Last year, residents and kids got to meet World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War Persian Gulf War vets as well as from te current wars. One man was a Pearl Harbor veteran and another served on the battleship US Wisconsin.

There were also re-enactors from the Civil War and World War I.

I'll sure be there for that as well as the Marine Corps Birthday Breakfast.
later this month.

A Great Experience. --DaCoot

Grant Wood's World War I Connection-- Part 3

Continuing with various sources concerning Wood's World War I service.

COLUMBIA ENCYCLOPEDIA-- Even though this doesn't have to do with World War I, i am interested in the Great Depression's WPA. Grant Wood was the director of WPA projects in Iowa.

WIKIPEDIA had nothing on Wood's World War I service.


In 1910, Wood graduated from high school and began studying to be a teacher at the University of Iowa. In 1916, he was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago, but never finished.

In 1917, he found he had been exempted from the draft for World War I, but waived it and was briefly stationed at Des Moines' Camp Dodge and was later assigned to designing Army artillery camouflage in Washington, DC. After the 1918 Armistice, he returned home, never having had any military action.

This last source seems to have his World War II service down the best.

I was unable to find out anything about Earl Sullivan, but the two of them probably met while at Camp Dodge where the charcoal drawing would have been made.

Dig A little deeper in the Well. --Cooter

Grant Wood's World War I Connection-- Part 2

I got to wondering if the drawing of Earl Sullivan was done overseas in Europe during the war. So, I looked up Grant Wood in several sources. There wasn't a lot on his World War I service and a bit of confusion.

From Mr. Burgher's Art Facts:

Grant Wood was in the Army during WW I and used his art skills to paint camouflage on tanks.

After the war, he found his "Midwestern Style" while in Germany overseeing a stained glass window project for the American Legion. While there, he saw art works revolving around the idea of common life in Germany. Artists painted what they knew and where they lived.


In World War I, Grant Wood served in Washington, DC, where he made clay models of field gun positions and helped camouflage artillery pieces. (This would be in keeping with his artistic tendencies.)

He went to Europe in 1823 and spent most of his 14 months there in Paris.

More to Come. --DaCoot

Grant Wood's World War I Connection-- Part 1

And, we can add, Lincoln Highway connection.

Iowa's favorite artist, Grant Wood, is famous for his painting "American Gothic" but one of his lesser-known works is a charcoal drawing that hangs behind the bar at Sullivan's Tavern at 722 East Lincoln Highway in Dekalb, Illinois.

The work is of the original owner of the place, Earl Sullivan, Sr. and was made while the two were tent mates during World War I. It shows Sully cleaning his rifle.

So, you can have your brew, get a bite to eat and some culture all at the same time at Sully's.

After the war, Mr. Sullivan opened the first Sullivan's in Maple Park, then moved to Sycamore before coming to Dekalb in 1939. This is the third Dekalb location and has been at this site since 1952.

A Bar with a View. --Cooter

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Chicago Sports Relics-- Part 8: Final Out Bat-- Kane's Mouthgurad

Last of the series from the July 17th Chicago Tribune by Tim Bannon "Artifact checking: Blackhawk's puck is missing, but Chicago has plenty of sports relics to cherish."


On Oct. 26, 2005, at Minute Maid Park in Houston, with the White Sox leading 1-0 in the 9th, reliever Bobby Jenks faced Orlando Palmeiro with two outs and an Astro runner on second. In a 1-2 count, Palmeiro hit a slow roller to shortstop Juan Uribe who charged it and threw to first, setting off a big on-field celebration.

At auction, Harry Caray's bought Palmeiro's bat for $18,400 and has it at their Navy Pier restaurant. Palmeiro reportedly donated the proceeds to charity.


Chicago doesn't have the puck from Game 6 of the Stanley Cup championship, but Harry Caray's does have Kane's mouthguard he was wearing on the shot, or, actually it should be said he was chewing at the time.

The puck went in so fast, hardly anyone knew it except Kane.

After the team's returned, Kane's parents donated the mouthguard to Harry Caray's which has it at their Navy Pier location.

Getting Hungry for Harry's. reckon I will Not Try to See Kane's Mouthguard Until I Finish Eating. Yuck, --DaCoot

Mrs. Lincoln Commitment Papers Preserved at Lincoln Library

From the Nov. 2nd Chicago Sun Times.

Original Cook County (Chicago) documents concerning the commitment of the wife of Abraham Lincoln will be preserved at the Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield. The papers are from 1875 and 1876.

One is the petition of her son, Robert Lincoln, the only surviving son, to have his mother declared insane. Others are a subpoena and summons to have her appear in court and the jury verdict decreeing her insanity.

After her husband's assassination in 1865, she moved to Chicago and lived for awhile in Hyde Park. Some observers considered her insane over the years, but by 1975, Robert Todd Lincoln, a Chicago lawyer became increasingly worried about her erratic behavior.

She would walk around with more than $57,000 sewn into her petticoat, visit clairvoyants to communicate with the dead and though people were trying to poison her.

In May 1875, he initiated court proceedings for insanity. After a three hour trial, a Cook County court found her guilty and she was taken to an upscale asylum at Bellevue Place in Batavia, Illinois (a suburb). The place still stands on the Lincoln Highway.

She was furious at her son and worked with friends to make a case for her sanity which led to her release a few months later.

I Wonder If She Was Ever Friendly with Robert After That. --Cooter

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

World War II Submarine Found

From the Oct. 28th ABC News-World "Navy investigating possible World War II submarine."

The Australian and New Zealand navies are working in a joint Render Safe operation to rid the southwest Pacific of unexploded World War II ordnance. In Simpson Harbor in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, contact was made with a twenty meter long solid man-made object. The Australian Navy thinks it might be a World War submarine (if it is, it would likely be mini-sub like the ones that attacked Pearl Harbor).

The New Zealand Navy is not sure.

I looked up Simpson Harbor in Wikipedia and found out the harbor is a huge flooded caldera on an ancient volcano. Rabaul, the capital of New Britain, is on its shore. The Japanese had a huge naval base here during World War II and it often came under attack by the Allies. Sixty-five Japanese ships were sunk here.

Wonder Whose Sub It Is? --Cooter

Chicago Sports Relics-- Part 7: Sosa's Corked Bat-- Kornerko's Grand Slam

From the July 17th Chicago Tribune.


On June 3, 2003, against the Devil Rays, Sammy Sosa was ejected in the first inning after umpires found cork in his shattered bat. Sosa told them it was an honest mistake, saying he "only" used it in batting practice.

Harry Caray's Restaurant Group bought the bat from former teammate Mike Remlinger in 2010 for $16,567. Sosa said he was shocked that Remlinger would sell it. Was it pre or post steroids?


Bases were loaded in the bottom of the 7th in Game Two of the 2005 World Series when Paul Kornerko hit relief pitcher Chad Qualls' first pitch over the left field wall to give the White Sox a 6-4 lead. It was only the 18th grand slam in World Series history.

The Sox went on to win the game 7-6 on Scott Podsednik's walk-off homer and the series in a four-game sweep.

Chris Claeys caught the ball, but declined the Sox effort to turn it over to them he loaned it to Harry Caray's on Navy Pier where it's insured for $50,000.

Some Real Chicago Sports History Here. --DaCoot

Chicago Sports Relics-- Part 6: Comiskey Pinwheels-- Wood's 20th Strikeout Ball


The last part of the old Comiskey Park to be torn down in 1991 was Bill Veeck's "exploding scoreboard' which he had installed in 1960. The scoreboard featured lights, sirens, a "Soxogram" message board, and, of course, those neat multicolored pinwheels.

The White Sox donated one of the pinwheels and part of the old foul pole fence to the Chicago History Museum. I used to go to the old Comiskey all the time and have only been to the new Comiskey (I don't call it by the other name) a couple times.


On May 6, 1998, a 20-year-old rookie named Kerry Woods stroke out twenty Astros to tie Roger Clemmons for most strikeouts in a game. He threw a 122 pitch one-hitter, allowing just two base runners (one HBP) and won 2-0.

The next day, Cubs equipment manager Yosh Kawano, delivered the ball in a paper bag to broadcaster Harry Caray at his Kinzie Street restaurant. It is now at his Navy Pier location.

If We Only Could Have Kept Him Healthy. --Cooter

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chicago Sports Relics-- Part 5: Bears' 1963 JFK Trophy-- Michael Jordan's Shoes


Until the Lombardi Trophy, there was no trophy for the NFL champions. But, after the Bears defeated the New York Giants at Wrigley Field 14-10 for the championship, Mayor Richard J. Daley and the Chicago City Council commissioned the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Trophy in honor of the recently assassinated president.

The trophy is at the Chicago History Museum on long-tern loan from the Bears.


Jordan wore these Air Jordan IV "Taking Flight" shoes in 1989 during the Bulls' first championship run where they finished 55-27 while Jordan averaged 33.6 points a game. They then beat the Bucks, but lost game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals to nemesis Detroit Pistons.

The shoes are at the Chicago History Museum, but not currently on display.

Dadburn Pistons. --DaCoot

Chicago Sports Relics-- Part 4: Marciano's Boxing Gloves-- 1963 NCAA Basketball Trophy

OK, so they can't find the puck that scored the point that gave the BlackHawks their 2010 Stanley Cup, but we do have some other stuff.


On May 15, 1953, Rocky Marciano defended his world heavyweight title against Jersey Joe Walcott at the Chicago Stadium. A year earlier, Marciano had taken the crown from Walcott with a knockout in the 13th round.

Marciano won this one for victory number 44. Today, his gloves are in the Italian American Hall of Fame in Chicago.


Underdog Loyola faced two-time champion Cincinnati in the March 23, 1963, NCAA tournament finale in Louisville. The Bearcats were up 15 early in the second half, but coach George Ireland's Ramblers came back behind the play of Jerry Harkness to force overtime.

With just seconds left, a missed Loyola shot was rebounded by the Ramblers and a basket scored as time expired. Loyola is the only Illinois team to ever win the NCAA championship and you can find the trophy in the lobby of the Norville Center at the school.

We'll Take Any National Championship We Can Get. --Cooter