Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Items

So, after posting an update to my personal blog to this blog, I decided to leave the post and just move on. As mentioned in that post, I attended a family reunion where we had a dinner that had 5 generations from Great-Uncle Dick at 86 to a 1 month old angle. I got to go visit Dick and Bev at their apartment and had a wonderful time.

A little back history: My great grandmother Carrie May delivered 8 children, grandma was born in 1905, while her youngest brother Dick was born in 1926 (Surprise!) So, when grandma started having children, (the first being Uncle Lou b. 1925), her mother was still having children. Dick & my mom were both born in the same year, so that meant they were in school together. However, no one ever knew that their relationship was as the school was very large and the did the classes in shifts (September and January starts) Uncle Lou, Dick & Mom did not see each other very often at school, but Dick often was at their house to play while they were growing up.

Bev brought out the family history box that she & Dick have. It was full of many wonderful things that I would love to get my hands on.

Purple Heart and Air Medal belonging to Willard O. Simpson
I did a post about Willard O. Simpson a while ago and saw for the first time his medals that Dick & Bev had in boxes.  On the left is his Purple Heart and on the right an Air Medal with 2 oak leaves. A description of the Air Medal can be found at:
A very interesting read.

More information on the Purple Heart can be found here:

Back of Purple Heart

Back of Air Medal
I also took a copy of a letter that said his body had been recovered, but that was followed by another letter that said they had identified the wrong person and apologized for the error. Of course, we know from the MARC records of another service man on the Marie Jane that Staff Sargent Willard O. Simpson was killed prior to them getting the bombs into Wilhelmshaven Germany u-boat pens, on the 21st of May, 1943. I can understand now why there was so much mystery around his death and the family didn't know exactly where his plane went down.

I very much enjoyed talking with Dick. He has a great sense of humor however, getting him to talk about his childhood was like pulling teeth.

June 2013 already

Vancouver has been wonderful! Being semi-unemployed, I've been able to do a great deal of genealogy research.  Spring here was beautiful. Watching the birds, squirrel and leaves come on the trees. It is amazing the changes that happened just in the month of May.

Special things that happened since I last posted:

A great trip to Indiana and Illinois with my mom to visit her sisters, see Chicago (pictured - flying into O'Hare). A tour of the parking lots at the Indy Speedway and many other exciting places. I got a couple things taken off my bucket list on that trip. We got to spend a week there visiting and touring.

Spent the winter going once a month back to central Oregon to O.F.C.O. for work. My retirement from them lasted to the week before Thanksgiving when they called with several disasters that I went down and cleaned up.  I've been going down about once a month since then to work and catch up.  Lots of changes happening there that are both good and bad.

Marlene, Karen, Susan at The Steer for dinner
My next trip with mom was to Iowa for her sister's 60th High School reunion and the "all classes" dinner. She also had her 60th Lutheran Hospital Nursing school reunion.  So, we threw in a Cousin reunion dinner on a Thursday night, then a Heggen/Simpson reunion on Friday night where there were 5 generations, from age 86 to age 1 mo. (This doesn't count the bun in the oven). Another trip that was very fun.
The trip home was not so great, our plane from Des Moines was delayed by an hour, causing us to miss our connection in Denver and we had to spend the night there, I was given the choice of separate room or sharing, so we had separate rooms for the night. Kinda fun :-)

My darling daughter Elin has only another week or so of school and she will officially be a Junior in high school. Holy Cr**! She has 3 days of what they are calling "newbie" soccer this week and also testing at school. Official last day is June 18th. I have to be back in Redmond on the 19th of June for 3 days; 1) to attend a retirement party, and 2) to get some work done.