Remembering

This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for quite a while, and today, the start of the Memorial Day weekend, seems a good time.

You may recall seeing this photo here before.  That’s my grandmother with two of her six sons. Although she’s embracing both of them, the one she’s leaning toward is Bennie. He had been drafted, and I’m told that this was taken the day before he left to fight in WWII.  That worry, known only by a mother, is so evident on her face.

Thankfully, Uncle Bennie returned from the war (after being held at and escaping from a prison camp) and lived a long, happy life, passing away in 2005, at the age of 84.

But, what I’ve been wanting to post about are some family mementos from Uncle Bennie’s time in the Army.  My mom saved three postcards he sent to her and my dad during his days at boot camp. I recall seeing these as a young child, but never appreciated them until years later.

When I was very young, I asked my mom what this postcard meant:  why did the soldier lose his taste for potatoes once he joined the army? This one is postmarked January 9, 1943, and was mailed from Paris, Texas.

I think Mom had to explain this next postcard to me, too, since, at that time, I’d never heard feet referred to as “dogs”.  The postmark on this one is July 13, 1943, from Camp Maxey, Texas.

Although this next one is certainly a cute card, what makes it really special to me is not only the message on the back, but more importantly, how it is addressed.

My dad’s nickname was “Bow” (or “Bo”, or “Beau”), but I have no idea how he earned that nickname.  No one I ever asked knew the answer. But it’s remarkable to me that, in 1943, a postcard sent from Texas, addressed to “Bow” (no last name) with the town name misspelled (it’s Bacon’s Castle, not Baker’s Castle) made it to its destination.  And if you’re wondering, the “Donnie” he referred to in the message was my mom. I can’t quite make out the postmark date, but it appears to be November 13, 1943, and arrived in Bacon’s Castle on November 20.

Memorial Day was originally designated as a holiday to remember those who died while in service to their country. While being grateful for them, I’m also thankful that my family (especially my grandmother) didn’t have to know that sorrow.

~These Days Of Mine~

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12 responses to “Remembering

  1. Well, great minds DO think alike, Dianna! 😉 I just recently scanned some of my uncle’s postcards sent to my grandmother during World War 2 and they look very similar to these. I also planned to use them for a blog post in the future. Thankfully, my uncle also returned from the war without injury too. I know my family was so grateful for that, even though it happened long before I was born.

  2. Love old postcards……1943 was only four years before I was born and just three years before my Dad married my Mom to start their post-war life together. Lots of memories will be pulled up to “review” this weekend – I always go through my Dad’s old footlocker on Memorial Day – just a tradition I’ve always had…….I’ll be thinking of all the brave who fought WWII; those who were lucky enough to come home and those who weren’t as well.

    Pam

  3. Oh my goodness, Dianna! I love this post! What wonderful treasures those are to have and how much there is to cherish about them. Thank you for sharing them!

  4. We definitely need to remember what Memorial Day is all about and not the destinations and sales promotions. Our Freedom was not free, and I’m thankful. And the postcards are such a personal testimony and history lesson. Loved them.

  5. Love this one ..
    I remember seeing these old cards when I was younger, too..
    & not understanding the same jokes ; ) Great to see them again.

    & I remember that first photo, too..
    so much emotion in a single frame.

  6. Love these postcards!
    Mom used to receive mail addressed to “Theo, Dendron, VA” all the time!

  7. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    I love all the post cards! It is amazing how they were delivered with just a little address. A very good blog for Memorial Day Weekend, Dianna. Enjoy.

  8. What beautiful treasures. Something about old postcards that take you back in time and to a different world.

  9. The old postcards are wonderful to have. They must mean so much to you. I have a few of the letters that my Dad wrote to my Mom when he was in France and I cherish them. Love seeing his handwriting.

  10. What wonderful mementos to remind you of all the love in your family.

  11. What a wonderful personal tribute to Memorial Day. I love that photo of the young Bennie, looking so full of youth and vigor (so happy to hear he did come home, what a story), and the silly comics. I still say “My dogs are barking!” – mostly as a joke, but heard it first so long ago from my great, great southern grandmother.

  12. Beautiful tribute. The cards are a treasure to have. I’m glad you have them to keep for future generations to enjoy too.

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