Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Woodland, CA. March 5th, 1945   Leave a comment

Mrs. Telsch was the woman who ran the boarding house my grandfather Maurice stayed in prior to shipping out for the Philippines in 1941.  She wrote this letter to his parents, Ory and Lettie, on March 5th, 1945.

My Dear Folks

At last I can say were are a very happy family and I know you folks must be too. Maurice arrived in good old U.S.A. Thursday, March 1 evening late and Friday they took him to a San Francisco Hospital. Saturday he called you folks and us up on the phone. My it did seem good to hear his voice. We were so overjoyed and excited.

Then Maurice called a friend of ours in San Francisco and he and his wife came to the hospital and got Maurice and brought him to Woodland Saturday afternoon in there car wich is about 75 miles from here. We had a very nice visit with him in the short time he was here. As he had to be back at the hospital by twelve o’clock that night.

I had a nice dinner for them and it seemed so good to have him at our table again, and that big smile on his face again. Maurice looks good, considering what he has gone through with. He is thin but has gained fifteen pounds in one month which shows he is in good health and another month or so he should be fine.

His mind is good and he is not shelled shocked at all and nerves seem to be very good which is wonderful. He does not look a bit older than when he left here.

I told him it did not make any difference how much the war had messed him up. As long as we had him back, and he could have come back much worse off. But I am sorry I half to tell you he has lost both of his Legs. He did not have the heart to tell you on the phone that day and asks me to tell you.

They took his legs of just between the knee and the hips about halfway. This why they are sending him back East to Washington D.C. to a hospital that makes the artificial limbs and fit them and then teach him to walk. When this is done he will be as good as new. I do not have any Idea how long it will take.

He left yesterday and I guess he is back there by now. He will send you his adress and you can go see him as he is only 300 miles from you. He bought himself a Wheel Chair and he gets arouond very good in it. It folds up and you can put it in a car. Very nice.

This is why he can not come home until he gets fixed. But they are feeding him good and doing every thing they can for him.

So I do hope you will understand and being good Christian people will not take it too hard. It did him a lot of good to visit us while he was here.

Yes I had to break the news to him about Marie getting married which was the hardest thing to do. She and her husband came over to see him while he was here. I thought she treated him very cold did not even shake hands with him. But her husband did when he did I could see Maurice wanted to haul off and let him have it. But he tried so hard not to let on he cared. But I could see it hurt just the same. But my girls helped to cheer him and he soon forgot about it. He has gone through so much I guess nothing matters any more. When I ask him if he wanted to see them he said “Hell I guess if they can stand it I guess I can”. But I wish she had waited until he came home. But that is the way life is, I guess.

I read your letter to Maurice and will forward it to him as soon as I get his address.

Yours Sincerely,

Mrs A.C. Telsch

On the 28th of January, 1941, my grandfather enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at the age of 19 at Fort Macarthur, San Pedro.  A year and two weeks later, he was wounded in action during the battle of Bataan, on February 9th.  His parents were informed of his wounding via a letter from the War Department on February 23rd, 1942, but no details were available.

On April 9th of that year, he was taken prisoner by the Japanese, and participated in the Bataan Death March.  During the three years of his internment, he sent a few form postcards through the International Red Cross to his parents that provided no real details of his situation other than the fact that he was alive, and once participated in a Japanese radio broadcast during which he was allowed to read a short message which also included no details.

On the 19th of February, 1945, he was officially logged as repatriated to the U.S., less the legs he used to walk into the enlistment office.  This letter above was the first notification his parents received with verifiable news of the actual extent of his injuries.

Just two weeks prior to this letter being written, on February 22nd, Ory and Lettie had received a previous letter from Mrs. Telsch, which mentioned that Maurice had been in Bilibid, a POW camp that had been liberated 16 days before.  There were 1,200 prisoners at Old Bilifid, about 1,000 civilians and 200 military personnel, most or all of whom were amputees of one sort of another.

“Grandpa Moe” died in 1988.

Today’s for you, Grandpa, and the 22 million veterans still alive in the U.S., and the millions more who have died since 1776.

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Posted November 11, 2010 by padraic2112 in family

I’m Not Dead   1 comment

I’ve just been here:

More photos of the kiddos enjoying the snow here.

Posted February 25, 2009 by padraic2112 in family, noise

The Siblings Will Understand   10 comments

My father has a certain… cadence in textual communication.

He sent me an email that included, at the end, the following:

And finally, I am in possession of an envelop that I have been asked to hold. I have never looked into that envelop. As I remember the envelop is to be opened only when the sender of the envelop dies. Now, how’s that for an envelop?

Here is what came out of my brain in response. It’s not quite as polished as I would like in a final draft, but I offer it here as an illustration of what sorts of conversations I have with Dad, which may be enlightening to some… of course, he had a response, but I’m uncertain I have reprint rights 🙂

I’ve been thinking about this sort of envelop since you sent me this mail, and a theoretical conflict of personal ethics and morality has come to my attention.

It seems apparent that anyone who would create such an envelop has included some revelation of such great import that the consequences of disclosure are regarded as either something to be avoided… or, perhaps, that the revelation itself is qualitatively different in the chosen medium; that is to say, the act of disclosure of the revelation has a meaning that is different (and, therefore of less value) than it would coming when the author is corporeally accessible.

Either the revelation is of a disagreeable nature (or, perhaps, of a nature that has no particular implicit connotation in and of itself but will be regarded by the Opener of the envelop as disagreeable due to a quirk or shortcoming of the Opener him/herself)… or the revelation is of an agreeable nature (perhaps itself enhanced, most likely by the interpretation of the Opener, as being of greater value coming from the Departed).

Oh, there is the third possibility one must imagine may occur, that the envelop itself is of no consequence to anyone except merely as a consequence of being; that is to say, the contents of the envelop are of no matter or account, but the presence of the envelop itself and the act of bestowing it upon the Bearer represent a bestowing of trust which is itself of value vis-a-vis the relationship between the Author and the Bearer; in this case, the Opener is largely a cosmetic affair.

Now, the true Purpose of the envelop itself may not be quantified quite so measurably (as it represents some combination of all three of the above possibilities), but in any event we can presuppose that the purpose of the envelop is contained somewhere above, in perhaps a union of multiple purposes and objectives.

As the acceptor of such an envelop, then, one can propose that you are choosing to become an accessory (either before or after the fact, depending upon how one looks at it) to the disclosure of said revelation, and thus must bear some of the responsibility for the consequences of such revelation.

Is this an acceptable burden for a man of honor? To what extent does your obligation to the Author (to execute the delivery of the envelop upon death thereof) intersect with your obligation, if any, to the Opener, possible affected third parties, or to the Almighty?

One must allow for the possibility, after all, that the act of opening the envelop may have as a consequence the imposition of harm, either upon the Opener or some other party… whether it be real, perceived or imagined. Does the honorable man assume this burden? Is the honorable man obligated to assume this burden as part of the act of assuming the obligation from the Author? Can the honorable man execute this obligation without accepting, implicitly, some responsibility for the outcome of opening? If so, is the honorable man, executing this obligation, allowed (or perhaps required) to exercise his own judgment as to the proper way to execute this obligation?

After all, we must also suppose that the Author of said envelop is himself not capable of reliably imagining the state of affairs after his passing. Perhaps the contents of the envelop, designed in all conscience as a soothing balm to the Opener in the event of the passing (tragic or otherwise) of the Author, will instead have as a consequence the precise opposite effect wished by the Author. One can imagine that this will be difficult to predict, and that the only possible judge of the outcome of revelation is in fact not the Author but instead the Bearer of the obligation… but of course the Bearer cannot surmise the actual effect of disclosure without knowing the contents of said envelop.

What does one do? Open the envelop and examine the contents prior to delivery, after the death of the Author? Deliver the envelop after the Author’s passing without heed to the consequence? Deliver the envelop after passing in full awareness of possible consequence and accepting full responsibility for disclosure of revelations enabled by one’s actions, without exercising one’s own judgment as to the value of the contents itself? Is this perhaps a case for a relativists to argue “It Depends on The State of Affairs at the Time”, or must one have a clearly stated position upon accepting the obligation in the first place to regard oneself as a proper gentleman?

Apologies to all and sundry for the non-gender neutralized verbiage.

Posted January 12, 2009 by padraic2112 in family

Imagine Waking Up To A Day With No Sun   3 comments

Every once in a while, something that you’ve always taken for granted in your life disappears.  Usually these are pretty small things, and you don’t notice them because they’re part of a particular phase of your life.  They stop showing your favorite cartoon on television… but you’re getting older and don’t watch that show any more anyway.  They stop making one of your favorite toys… but you’re now in college and you still have your old Go-Bot collection in a box at your parents’ house… and even if something happened to that box, you can always find it on eBay, right?  These little “social landmarks” can usually disappear and you just don’t quite notice them.

Sometimes, they are somewhat major things that you notice when you go back to the old neighborhood.  A church has been torn down, an iconic mural has been painted over.  Unlike social landmarks, actual physical landmarks are usually more jarring when they disappear, since their disappearance has an actual immediate impact on your perception of physical reality, as opposed to your social one.

Today I found out about a “social landmark” that has disappeared that seems utterly unbelievable.  The best way I can describe it would be if I visited San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge was just gone.

Mother’s Cookies has gone out of business.

The big bag of pink and white animal cookies has been erased from the world.  Once the current supply is gone (and believe you me, I’m going to be looking for them now)… there are no more.  Jack and Hannah will never experience that same ecstatic joy I had as a child when I reached into a bag and came up with three cookies fused together by that horribly unhealthy frosting… and I could actually say, “But Mom… it IS just one cookie!”

And there will likely never be another horrible, pretty low grade oatmeal cookie.  I’ve only bought them a few times myself, but every time I had one it made me think of my grandmother, because she always had some in the cupboard.

cookies

(image found here)

Posted November 10, 2008 by padraic2112 in family, noise, parenting

Alphabet Film Meme   4 comments

From Blog Cabins, via Piper, via Megan.

Here Are The Rules:

1. Pick one film to represent each letter of the alphabet.

2. The letter “A” and the word “The” do not count as the beginning of a film’s title, unless the film is simply titled A or The, and I don’t know of any films with those titles.

3. Return of the Jedi belongs under “R,” not “S” as in Star Wars Episode IV: Return of the Jedi. This rule applies to all films in the original Star Wars trilogy; all that followed start with “S.” Similarly, Raiders of the Lost Ark belongs under “R,” not “I” as in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Conversely, all films in the LOTR series belong under “L” and all films in the Chronicles of Narnia series belong under “C,” as that’s what those filmmakers called their films from the start. In other words, movies are stuck with the titles their owners gave them at the time of their theatrical release. Use your better judgment to apply the above rule to any series/films not mentioned.

4. Films that start with a number are filed under the first letter of their number’s word. 12 Monkeys would be filed under “T.”

5. Link back to Blog Cabins in your post so that I can eventually type “alphabet meme” into Google and come up #1, then make a post where I declare that I am the King of Google.

6. If you’re selected, you have to then select 5 more people.

I tag Corey, Erich, SLS, Hammer, and Dave.

Disclaimer: Like Megan, I picked the first movie that popped into my head.  So, no guarantee of quality here.

Aliens (1986) – James Cameron

Every meal a banquet, every formation a parade.  I LOVE the Corps!

Big Trouble In Little China (1986) – John Carpenter

Now I’m not sayin’ that I’ve been everywhere and I’ve done everything, but a man would have to be some kind of fool to think we’re alone in this universe!

Cars (2004) – John Lasseter

Don’t drive like my brother!

Damnation Alley (1977) – Jack Smight

I actually don’t remember any quotes from this movie.  There’s a reason it has 4.6 stars.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – Steven Spielberg

I don’t know. You have absolute power, remember?

Foul Play (1978) – Colin Higgins

Beware the Dwarf!

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner? (1967) – Stanley Kramer

Then carefully, but carefully Hilary, remove absolutely everything that might subsequently remind me that you had ever been there, including that yellow thing with the blue bulbs which you have such an affection for. Then take the check, for $5,000, which I feel you deserve, and get – permanently – lost. It’s not that I don’t want to know you – although I don’t – it’s just that I’m afraid we’re not really the sort of people that you can afford to be associated with. Don’t speak, Hilary, just… go.

Highlander (1986) – Russell Mulcahy

It also left a man’s decapitated body lying on the floor next to his own severed head. The head, which at this time, has no name.

Incredible Shrinking Woman, The (1981) – Joel Schumacher

Again, I don’t have any quotes from this movie.  I don’t even know why it popped into my head, I haven’t seen it in years.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986) – Penny Marshall

Look, a tropical fish and its mate!

Krull (1983) – Peter Yates

Short in stature, tall in power, narrow of purpose and wide of vision!

La Femme Nikita (1990) – Luc Besson

There are two things that are infinite: femininity and means to take advantage of it.

Meteor (1979) – Ronald Neame

Again, no idea why it popped into my head.

Napoleon Dynamite (2004) – Jared Hess

This movie is too heavily quoted for me to quote it, on principle.

Osterman Weekend, The (1983) – Sam Peckinpah

Think of them as fleas on a dog hit by a car driven by a drunken teenager whose girlfriend just gave him the clap.

Princess Bride,  The (1987) – Rob Reiner

The minute his HEAD is in view, HIT IT WITH THE ROCK!!

Quick And The Dead, The (1995) – Sam Raimi

“The Quick…” [whip crack] “… and The Dead” -> movie trailer voice guy

Rope (1948) – Alfred Hitchcock

After all, murder is – or should be – an art. Not one of the ‘seven lively’, perhaps, but an art nevertheless. And, as such, the privilege of committing it should be reserved for those few who are really superior individuals.

Silver Streak (1976) – Arthur Hiller

You shot Reese, and Reese shot Sweet?

Trouble With Harry, The (1955) – Alfred Hitchcock

You’re not supposed to bury bodies whenever you find them.  It makes people suspicious.

Untouchables, The (1987) – Brian De Palma

You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive

Victory (1981) – John Huston

I have no idea why this one popped in my head.  Sylvester Stallone as a POW soccer player?

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) – Mel Stuart

No, no, don’t speak. For some moments in life there are no words.

Xanadu (1980) – Robert Greenwald

Yeah, like this isn’t the first “X” movie that popped into YOUR head.

Young Frankenstein (1974) – Mel Brooks

I think I had Wilder on the brain at this point.

Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981) – Peter Medak

Two bits, four bits, six bits, a peso.  All those for Zorro, stand up and say so!

Posted November 7, 2008 by padraic2112 in family, memes, Uncategorized

No, Luke…   7 comments

… I am your father!  Not that other kid!

Jack & Levi

Jack & Levi

Posted October 30, 2008 by padraic2112 in family

Sunday Memes Deus Ex   1 comment

This one from Baino, via Megan:

What are your nicknames?
I wish the “Jimmy the Fish” Justin tagged me with at the same time he doled out a bunch of nicknames stuck, but I’ve been the only “Pat” in my various groups of friends my entire life, so it usually cuts back to that.  Some of the longer lasting ones: Beth still calls me Paddy O’ Furniture.  Gogit and Gogribbit still come out of the woodwork every once in a rare while (Patrick is really hard for small kids to pronounce).  Hm, maybe I should have left that off of the Internet.

What TV gameshow/reality show would you like to be on?

Gold Case!  Well, okay, that’s not real.  Holmes on Homes, because my house needs a few things and Mike would go crazy and fix everything.

What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on VHS.  On DVD… egads.  I bought four movies the day I bought the DVD player.  Tom was with me, it was at the Circuit City near the Orange house.  Justin… was Justin there?  Maybe Greg Johnson.  Thinking, thinking… just checked the collection and I know two of them were The Great Escape and The Blues Brothers, and I think the other two were Enter the Dragon and La Femme Nikita.

What is your favourite scent?

My wife.

If you had one million dollars to spend only on yourself, what would you spend it on?
I can’t conceive of an answer to this question.  Two kids and a wife… whatever I spent it on, they’d get something out of it unless I spent it entirely upon something self-consumable, and that just seems inconceivable.  If I had no choice (someone is giving me the million dollars with the precondition that I *can’t* use it on anyone else)… I’d take a million-dollar buy-in poker tournament.  Megan’s trip idea is good, but I couldn’t be away from the family that long.  At least with the poker tournament, I get a chance to walk away with money that I can share.

One place you’ve visited, can’t forget and want to go back to?
The roof of the World Trade Center.  You didn’t say it had to be possible.

Do you trust easily?
Yes and no.  I trust pretty easily, but not deeply.

Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?

I’m generally thinking, sometimes on too many levels.

Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?

I lost my temper the other day (it’s been a stressful month).  I hate that.

Do you have a good body image?

Yes.  There are some things I don’t like, but I don’t obsess about it.  Who’s perfect?

What is your favorite fruit?

Three way tie; peaches, pineapple, and cherries.  Depends on the mood.

What websites do you visit daily?

Digg, Google, Schneier’s blog, CGU’s library portal, one of (the BBC, the LA Times, the NY Times), work wiki, the web interface to the ticket system, our OpenNMS monitoring console.  There’s probably another 40 that I visit weekly, but not daily.

What have you been seriously addicted to lately?

Nothing, I’ve been too busy.  Coffee.

What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?

I wasn’t tagged, I picked it up.  But if you’re counting Megan… she’s my sister.  It would take a whole blog post to *start* answering that question.  I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything that has actually surprised Megan.  She might not have understood it, but it didn’t surprise her.  Or if it did, she’s never showed it.

What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?

“You Don’t Want Me Any More”, Steel Breeze.  Thanks Dave, you bastard.  Don’t click on this.  I mean it.



Favourite clothing

Blue Jeans.

Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?

I did.  I don’t anymore.

What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?

It depends.  If it was reasonable to find out who it belonged to, I would try.

Items you couldn’t go without during the day?

My USB stick, my glasses (I can get by without them, but I get a headache).

What should you be doing right now?

Sleep.

Posted September 28, 2008 by padraic2112 in family, memes, noise