Friday, June 11, 2010

Mo, Bernice and Beatrice (Memorial Day Tributes)

War is a sticky subject. The imageries of it in movies and the news overwhelm me. So, I find it both odd and beautiful that when the seniors talk about the war, what they remember are the everyday moments. Their war stories are delicate ones. In honor of Memorial Day a few weeks ago, here are Mo’s tribute to Uncle Tom, and Bernice and Beatrice’s tributes to their husbands.

Mo McCooper
June 3, 2010
Uncle Tom

After Pearl Harbor in 1941, Tom entered the U.S. Navy and reported to the Great Lakes training camp in or near Chicago, Illinois from there he sent us postcards. He then joined the U.S. converse a destroyer on the Pacific battle bone. More about Uncle Tom will be written later but since Memorial Day was celebrated last weekend I wanted to write this in memoriam and thank him for his service to our country.

When my mother met my father she was raising two little sisters and a little brother. Their parents had died a few years prior to their meeting. After my grandfather’s death my mother also took over the town’s taxicab business, which included a garage and a few cars. My grandmother had died a year earlier. When my father who had been born in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia became the baggage man at the town railroad station, he sometimes placed luggages in the trunks of the taxicabs. When they married, my Aunt Mary was still in high school, Uncle Tommy was entering high school and Aunt Nancy was in grade school. Jefferson hospital was my place of birth. Home included Uncle Tommy and Aunt Nancy.

Bernice Moore
May 13, 2010
The Happy Days of My Life: My Husband       

My husband went in the army in 1952.  He was sent to Fort Benny, Ga.  Columbia, Ga. is nine miles from Fort Benny.  I could not get used to the sign that said Black or White.  I met a lot of nice people.  I got lost going to find a store.  A nice white lady helped me.  We became best friends.  Whenever she went shopping, she took me to the store with her.  A lot of her friend did not like it.  But she did not care what they wanted.  Her son was in the army, too.  The weather was very hot.  The bus fare was 25 cents going and coming.  We lived near the woods.  You could hear some animals howling.  There was an alligator in the swamp.  I would not go nowhere near there.  One day a little colored girl got lost.  They found her the next day.  Her and a playmate got lost.  Everybody was worried.  I was glad that they found them. I had a lot of fun.  I and my husband came back here in 1957.  He came out of the army in 1959.  My husband died on January 1, 1993.

Beatrice Newkirk
April 15, 2010
Home Away from Home

When my husband was away from home, I missed him very much. When he went away for the first three moths, I thought three months was a long time. But the best time was when he returned home. Going to the movies and eating out at the restaurant was my favorite thing. Dressed in his uniform, he looked good. I always remember all the good times we had.

My sons, six of them, and a daughter went into the service. I had two sons in the Navy, and four sons in the Army. One daughter went into the Army. My husband went into the Marines. None of my sons wanted to go into the Marines. Every one is out of the service except one son. His name is Terry, and he is still in the Army.

Two of my sons were in Desert Storm. I am glad that I did not lose any of them.

Now I have two grandsons who want to go into the service. I do not tell them not to go. It is up to them.