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bieramar

The "Greatest" and "Silent" Generations

The "bullshit" thread is based on X-ers and Y-ers, but recent events bring my thoughts to the earlier generations.  

We (local internet forums) lost a batch of them, from BeeGee to Skookum, in a short period of time - fair winds and following seas to all.  

Then yesterday I received an e-mail inquiry about an anecdote on one of my websites from a WW-II historian and Navy brat boomer; which triggered my impulse to post some stuff about the earlier generations - which I'll do in separate posts.

Comments welcome at any time, as I'm not intending a "blog."

The first one follows in my next post.
bieramar

It was a starless, moonless night in the mid-Atlantic. On Feb 12, 1943, ocean-going vessels carrying Africa-bound U.S. Army troops weren't using any artificial lights as they moved through waters that might hide submarines. Four days earlier, our convoy had steamed out of New York harbor. We were bound-but didn't find out until we were at sea-for North Africa to join Allied troops in action against the Germans there.

I had just finished a four-hour tour of duty as officer of the guard. As a first lieutenant in a field artillery unit, my job was checking on men from our battery who were stationed at various guard posts on the huge transport. It was still quite a task for a landlubber like me to find his way up and down stairways and through narrow, curving passageways of the ship, so I was happy to end my night of guard duty when midnight came.

Back in my cabin, I started to take off my shoes. Just then a terrific jar tossed me off my bunk, onto the floor. There was a loud crunching noise. Like 5,000 other men aboard, I was sure IT had happened-we must have been hit by a torpedo from a German sub! In the blackness of the night as we stood guard, this was a constant fear; in sleep it was often a nightmare.

Sirens shrieked; the "all hands on deck" signals were given. In all stages of dress and undress, clutching our "Mae West" life preservers, we scrambled out of bunks and came topside in a hurry.

Our artillery battery, like all other units on the transport, had been assigned life-boat stations to take, in the event of emergencies.

We went immediately to those stations. I joined Battery C (77th Field Artillery Regiment) officers, and hurriedly we checked our men.

Only one non-commissioned officer was missing. He was a young Oklahoman, Sgt. Cecil Davis, who had checked into sickbay two days earlier.

Seconds after we had checked our roster, the announcement came over the ship's PA system from the ship's captain: There had been no torpedo, no German submarine, but there was danger. One of the tankers in our convoy had veered off course and rammed into the starboard side of our vessel. A huge hole, some 70 by 30 feet insize, was ripped into the side of our ship. Damage was great enough to cause our captain to consider seriously an "abandon ship" order.

Lifeboats were put in readiness for launching. Only the providential calmness of the night permitted us to stay on the crippled ship.

As we shivered in the darkness of the winter night, we learned more details. The tanker, having something awry in its steering mechanism, had wandered off its assigned path and hit our transport. The point of impact was just below hospital quarters, or sickbay, of our ship. There were about 20 patients in sickbay at that time, we learned.

Immediately, the same thought came to all of us in our battery. We had lost our first man in WW 2! There was little hope that Sgt. Davis and the others in the hospital area could be saved. Deep gloom settled over all of us.

You get to know quite a bit about a many when you read his letters to his wife and parents. I had been our unit mail censor since our overseas orders had been cut back in the States several weeks earlier. I knew from his letters that Davis was a devoted husband and father and apparently a dutiful and loving son. I knew, too, of his intense desire to return to his family and a normal way of life. I thought about those letters and the people to whom they were addressed, and I said a silent prayer for Davis.

Our ship, limping badly from its body blow, dropped out of the convoy to prevent all the other vessels from becoming sitting ducks for enemy subs. Two destroyers also left the convoy to serve as protection for us. Fortunately, our troopship personnel included a group of Seabees who immediately began making repairs to the hull of the ship to keep it afloat. Our course was changed, and we headed for the nearest friendly port, the island of Bermuda.

After two hours on deck, we were ordered back to our sleeping quarters. All of us knew that the danger was far from gone. What little sleep we got was fitful.

Dawn found most of us back on the main deck, anxious to see for ourselves just what had happened and to learn how badly our ship was damaged. As I came on deck, I noticed an exchange of semaphore messages between a Navy signalman on our transport and his opposite number on the tanker that had rammed into us. The rapidly moving flags spelled out words I couldn't read, but I did hear the man on our transport mutter, "Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle! What do you know about that!"

I figured it was time for the Army to learn some Navy secrets. I walked up to the signalman and inquired: "What's the word from the tanker that has you so excited?"

He answered my question with one of his own. "Well, Lieutenant, did you ever hear of a man dropping from one ship to another in mid-ocean?"

I hadn't, and I wasn't ready for riddles, "What do you mean?"

"Just this, sir," he replied. "This gob on the tanker just told me they have an Army sergeant on board. Name's Davis-Sgt. Cecil Davis. Says he's from one of the artillery regiments on our transport. This is hard to believe, but he's supposed to have dropped from his bunk in sickbay onto the deck of the tanker after we got hit last night."

So we hadn't lost a man after all!

I rushed below to spread the word.

Davis himself - he had become "Lucky" Davis then, and for the next three years we spent on European battlefields-filled in the details later. He rejoined us after our transport and her destroyer escorts had moved in snail-like fashion to Bermuda, three days after the ocean accident.

Davis showed up then wreathed in smiles and some borrowed sailor togs.

"The first thing I remember that night was picking myself up from a wet, slippery deck and wondering how I got there," he told us.

"Another guy was near me (apparently another GI who had been in sickbay). He got up, slipped, and started stumbling. He grabbed for support but couldn't reach anything to hang onto. I saw him lose balance and fall overboard."

Apparently soon after that happened, a tanker crewman[*] showed up, Davis continued.

"Hey, what are you doing up here?" he yelled at Davis. "Where are you supposed to be anyway?"

Davis couldn't answer that. Last thing he recalled was lying in a sickbay bed. He'd been treated for an ear infection shortly after our ship left New York. Now here he was, shivering in shorts and undershirt, on a cold, wet deck!

He was brought into the tanker's hospital area, where a ship's doctor bent over to examine him and asked: "Well, what hit you, Sailor?"

"Sailor, hell!" Davis responded. "I'm a soldier."

"Take it easy, fellow," the doctor advised. "You must have gotten a bad jolt, but you'll be all right. There are no soldiers on this tanker."

"Tanker!" Davis was getting more and more confused. "I'm on a transport. Tell me, am I nuts?"

Davis shook his head, and the "dog tags" around his neck clanked against each other and cleared up the mystery. The Navy doctor examined them, then exclaimed:

"What the devil! You are a soldier, aren't you?"

Davis was relieved. "In the best outfit in the Army," he boasted.

It was the doctor's turn to be puzzled. "But where the deuce did you come from?" he asked. "Our crew hasn't reported picking anyone up after the crash, and we carry no soldiers on this tanker."

That was the first inkling Davis had of the crash. When the tanker rammed into the tranport, hitting the spot just below sickbay area, most of the men in that area were washed overboard and drowned. Davis and his companion, however, fell from their bunks onto the deck of the tanker. They passed from sleep into unconsciousness when they struck the deck of the tanker. Soon afterward, Davis regained consciousness on the slippery deck and met the astonished crewman who took him below.

"I've fallen out of bed before, but always stayed in the same room when I did," Davis observed ruefully. THE END
---
Above article, "Transfer at Sea," by Walter B. Stevens, was published on pp 14 and 15 in The American Legion Magazine 15¢ DECEMBER 1961
===

[*]The "tanker crewman" was my father, E.M. "Steve" Huber, and he was not a crewman on the tanker. He and many other older sailors from WWI (slangily referred to as "gunfodder") were being transported on all available ships as supercargo, i.e., they weren't part of ship's crews with onboard duties. They would participate in the sea-launched attacks in Africa and Europe, hence the "gunfodder" tag.

The troopship was the USAT Uruguay, and the tanker was the USS Alomonie; both ships limped into Bermuda for repairs, before continuing on to French Morocco.

"Lucky" Davis' granddaughter contacted me some years ago after reading excerpts of the above on my website.

Yesterday the daughter of another man in the convoy contacted me; see next post.
bieramar

See last posted article

E-mail from daughter of WWII vet in the convoy, after reading the full article:

--
It's a pretty amazing story.
 
Mr. [deleted] was a neighbor of ours at the time, and he had a big scar on his hand. Daddy asked him if he got it during the war, and the story came out.

My dad, of course, remembered the incident, so they figured out they had been on the same convoy. Later, my dad was talking to our next door neighbor, who had been in the [Army] Air Force.

My dad earned a Bronze Star at the Battle of Monte Cassino. He was a Staff Sergeant, and his gun kept firing to mark the monastary when the others withdrew due to heavy fire. The neighbor had been in one of the planes that dropped the bombs on the monastary.

Not bad; in a town of five thousand, three neighbors on the same street were that closely connected during the war.
 
Daddy, like most of the other veterans, never talked much about the war except to other veterans.

It's so sad to see this generation dying off. They truly are "the greatest."
---

The "transfer at sea" incident was also publicized regularly in Ripley's Believe It or Not cartoon strip which for years would be printed on the Features page of newspapers.

Although there's no question that those who rose to the challenge of WWII (whether volunteers or draftees) were great, I don't share the opinion that they necessarily were the "greatest" generation - a term coined not all that long ago, and which sold a lot of books.

But most returning veterans of WWII never told their tales - except as noted above, sometimes with other veterans - until near the ends of their lives (if even then), and after the Vietnam War.

I was bowled over when home on leave from the USN prior to deploying to French Morocco during the Cold War when my dad dug out his diary, complete with names and addresses in Casablanca, Marakech, Port Lyautey et al from 1943 until VE Day.  If I'd ever known he served there, I'd forgotten. After all, he was in the Navy!

It was if a floodgate was opened at what was then considered "middle age" (he was born in the 19th century - the "Lost Generation"), and I heard tales of 50% shipboard casualties during WWI from the "flu," and his ending the war driving ambulances (driving a motorized vehicle in 1917 was a rare skill) in New York City as ships headed for France turned around and returned full of sick soldiers and sailors unable to function due to the influenza epidemic (which killed more people than combat did in WWI, BTW).

Then in WWII riding a dispatch-carrying motorcycle and driving supply trucks in North Africa, and going ashore in the first waves of the Sicilian and Italian invasions, along with other WWI Navy vets deemed too old for regular shipboard duties.  

And that was it - never mentioned again until years later when my wife and I visited my mom and dad on the Gulf Coast of Alabama as we were enroute to settle in St. Augustine.  

It was the first time my wife had met them, and after several cribbage sets and a 5th of Canadian Club, my dad began talking of the two wars again, to the embarrassment of mom who, although they'd been married since 1928, had never heard some of them before. Like getting slipped a "Mickey" in a bar by a lady of the evening, and getting rolled in the alley; like every ship he'd ever served on being sunk AFTER he had left it!

To my knowledge that was the last time he ever told "war stories," although he lived for many more years.
bieramar

While the Greatest Generation grunts, gobs and jarheads were off to war, the civilians were under strict rationing and price controls - and as human nature dictates there were the anti-war demonstrations, draft-resisters, black-marketeers, war-profiteers, and crooks and criminals too.

But it was after the war was ended, and as the first Boomers were being born, that the Greatest and Silent Generations began radically changing America into the world's greatest superpower.  

Following is a brief look at 50 years ago - 1961 - as the first Boomers were just finishing their teenage years in preparation for their turn.

John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States, succeeding Eisenhower.

Fidel Castro declared Cuba to adopt Communism, and banned free elections.

Cuban exiles in the U.S. and the CIA attempted to overthrow Castro - the Bay of Pigs.

It is the height of the Cold War.

JFK advised American families to build bomb shelters - and established the Peace Corps.

The 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

Racial segregation on railways in the U.S. south ended.

Construction of the Berlin Wall began, and then border was closed between East and West Berlin.

World's population reached 4 billion.

Russia's Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space.

Alan Shepard made first US space flight.

"Six Flags Over Texas" opened at Arlington, Texas - the first one.

Pampers, the first disposable diapers, were introduced.

"Freedom Riders" tested the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia by riding racially integrated interstate buses into the South.

Bieramar was planning and flying electronic intelligence surveillance missions, and analyzing the data, throughout the western hemisphere.  

Movies:
The Guns of Navarone
The Parent Trap
The Absent-Minded Professor
101 Dalmatians
Breakfast at Tiffany's
El Cid
The Misfits
The Hustler
West Side Story

TV:
Wagon Train
Bonanza
Gunsmoke
Perry Mason
The Red Skelton Show
Andy Griffith
Candid Camera
My Three Sons
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The Twilight Zone
Mister Ed  

Music:
Wonderland by Night - Bert Kaempfert
Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles
Calcutta - Lawrence Welk
Pony Time - Chubby Checker
Surrender - Elvis Presley

Born:
Scott Baio
Barack Obama
George Clooney
Lawrence Fishburne
Michael J. Fox
Wayne Gretzky
Woody Harrelson
Wynton Marsalis
bieramar

As the Greatest Generation - stimulated with federally subsidized education, business and home ownership benefits -  and the coming-of-age Silent Generation began to reap the benefits of the post WWII economic boom through manufacture and export to our Allies and the conquered Axis, whose infrastructure had been destroyed, the international political ramifications of WWII began to emerge.

The communists - our allies in war destroying the autocratic fascist governments of Germany and Italy - began to be seen as our enemies in peacetime.

And soon the Greatest and the Silent were on the battlefield again in the first war against an autocratic communist government - the UN-authorized Korean Conflict, with combat suspended by a truce which is still in force. It was the Silent Generation's little remembered war, although also fought by the survivors of the Greatest Generation's WWII.  The Cold War was underway.

Twenty years after Pearl Harbor the American Legion (along with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, AmVets and a few other military veteran organizations) remained a major lobbying group in U.S. politics.

A look at The American Legion Magazine of December 1961 in comparison to today's world is an interesting snapshot of what has changed and what is the same.

Front cover is a secular Christmas wreath with words Merry Christmas. Back cover is a full page ad "Have a real cigarette - CAMEL" with a testimonial and photo of Bob Byhre, mountain rescue expert.  Inside front cover is a full page ad for Seagram's Seven 7 Crown, "A brilliant gift. In every way. The nation's most respected whiskey.... Give Seagram's and be Sure."  Inside back cover is a full page ad for Old Grand-Dad - Head of the Bourbon Family. "No  other gift says "BEST OF THE SEASON" quite so well."

Inside there is only one other full color ad - 1¼ pages for Norelco Rotory Blade Shavers - "For pleasure on Christmas morning ... and comfort every morning – give America's No. 1 Shaver – Norelco."  The next largest b&w ¼ page ad is "Take a close look at the flakes - in Revelation you'll see five of the world's great tobaccos," - accompanied by photo of man loading pipe.  

And one more ¼-page ad - a b&w photo of a man sleeping with head on pillow. "YOU'LL SLEEP BETTER...if you learn how to guard yourself against cancer.
Your best long term insurance against cancer is to see your doctor every year for a thorough health checkup, no matter how well you feel
Your best day-to-day insurance against cancer is to see your doctor immediately if you have any one of cancer't seven danger signals that lasts more than two weeks.... [no mention of smoking or other tobacco usage in the seven signs]."

Many pages of gifts, "Do your Xmas shopping by mail and Save with these Fine Values."

- GUN CIGARET CASE  
This is an authentic scale model of a Browning automatic.  Pull trigger, and top opens for cigarettes.  Pull trigger again, and you have a light.  Nifty gadget.  German made.  Nice for $2.95 ppd.

- U.S.A CAMP MACHETE
You don't have to cross the border to get this 18" blade machete.  New surplus (Army made 'em for use in tropics) you bush out a trial, clear a camp site, or fell a good-size tree with one.  In sturdy green canvas shield complete with a belt clip. $2.95 ppd.

- U.S.M.C STETHESCOPE
Ever try to buy one of these?  Hard to find, and usually expensive, this U.S. Med. Corps stethescope is brand new surplus, ideal for doctors, engineers and mechanics, fun for kids and adults. (1/2 regular price)  $2.95 ppd.

- RADAR-GARD
You can keep within the law with this Radar-Gard, an electronic device that signals when you approach a speed zone with radar.  The price is $39.95 ppd.

- P-39
This model plane is unusual in that it packs a punch, firing rockets from under its wings.  The Bell Airacobra P-39 model, priced at $9.98, and made by AMF Wen-Mac, is controlled from the ground and comes ready to fly.

- 1962 CALENDAR
TIRED OF PIN-UP GIRL CALENDARS? HANGOVER PIN-UP BEAUTIES 1962 Calendar is the answer.  If you're weary  of dolls with classic dimensions and come-hither allure -- relax!  Here are a dozen downhill dames who shun tape measures and form fitting dresses.  These beauty contest losers give your female a cuddly superiority complex!  Un-bewitching 1962 calendar features big weekends and absolutely no Mondays at all!.  Count the days as you live 'em.  $1 ppd from GREENLAND STUDIOS DEPT. AL-121, MIAMI 47, FLORIDA  

Plus many dozens of the "usual suspects" of small ads.
- Ugly blackheads out in seconds.
- Loans by mail.
- State-supervised loans by mail.
- Dwarf Florida palm tree grows in your home.
- Live sea horses.
- Make up to $3 an hour in spare time.
- Learn meat cutting.
- Lemon juice recipe checks rheumatic and arthritis pain.
- Shrink hemorrhoids new way with surgery.
- No money down, Florida homesites $395, $10 a month.
- Ruptured, be free from truss slavery.
- Men Past 40, afflicted with getting up nights, pains in back, hip, legs, nervousness, tiredness... the trouble may be due to Glandular Inflammation... diseases peculiar to men.

[Next chapter will be the op-eds and articles from the height of the Cold War in 1961 - again a comparison of differences (if any) from today's poli-speak.]
bieramar

Just as in each generation there are statistical generalizations reflecting the left, centrist and right political and social opinions, so also there were/are in the Greatest and Silent Generations.  And as always a small percentage of the left and right are the most verbal in print and other media.

Today's article about the changes in Cuban/U.S. travel and societal interactions which I posted in another bumrejects' forum reminded me of the following op-eds from December 1961, the 20th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and 10 years after the UN-authorized Korean Conflict, also fought by the Greatest and the Silent Generations;

1. A Thanksgiving Day op-ed; a reprint of U.S. Congressman (from Ohio) Walter H. Moeller's speech inserted into the Congressional Record on May 14, 1959:

  "How Much Aid Did the Pilgims Get?

    "They were in a depressed area.  No one guaranteed them high prices for anything.  Their only roads and schools were built by themselves.  For security they did their own saving, or starved.

    "All they had was character.  All they did was work.  All they wanted was self-respect.

    "The sum of thes three traits became America.

    "But what's going to be the sum of the traits you see today –– the traits of character, or, rather, lack of it, that demand more money for less work, put security above self-respect, pamper self-pitying criminals instead of punishing them, give away resources we desperately need to protect ourselves, listen to weaklings that want Government to take care of them when they should take care of themselves.

    "Long years of early-American self-respect and hard work built America, but the traits you see today can destroy it, in half the time."
   
2. An op-ed about Cuba and the New York Times;

     L-O-Y-A-L-T-Y

  Herbert L. Matthews, the "Cuban expert" of The New York Times, has written a book.  In it, he attempts to explain why he thought so highly of Cuba's Castro and is still not entirely disillusioned with the man who poses the greatest communist threat to this hemisphere.

  Trying to understand what makes a Herbert Matthews tick is pretty difficult, and trying to figure out why a paper like The New York Times featured such blatant pro-Castro propaganda is a bit more so.  However, in his tome Matthews provides an assist on both counts.  After a reference to "the ignorant, the crackpots, the knaves, the reactionaries," this paragon of journalists states:

 "I consider it almost an honor to be attacked y the Eastland-Dodd Committee, by writers like the columnist George Sokolsky, and William Buckley of the National Review, by publications such as The American Legion Magazine and the Brooklyn Tablet.  If such people did not attack me, I would feel there was something wrong with my work."

 Who in the world said there was anything wrong with Matthew's work? He did a highly professional and extremely effective job––but unfortunately it was a job that helped put Castro in power.  The New York Times deserves a large share of the credit, for featuring so prominently Mtthews' words of wisdom concerning the progressive element represented by the Fidelistas.  Matthews explains The Times' contribution:

 "I was an editor ... except when I was away from New York or having my days off, I have written all the editorials in The New York Times on Cuba.  If The Times had not trusted me to do them ... I would not still be on The Times.  But, then The Times would not be the great institution that it remains if it did not show loyalty to its staff, as it always does."

 We are touched to learn of the great loyalty of The Times to its staff, but the results in this case would indicate that The Times owes a loyalty to the United States and to its readers that ought to transcend its loyalty to the likes of Herbert L. Matthews.

3. From 'Sound Off' - Letters to the Editor in The American Legion Magazine;

–– "The United Nations is not an organization dedicated to peace.  If it were, Russia and the other communist bloc nations would not be permitted entry." ~ George W. Forquer, Ashville, Ohio.

–– "Another Look at the U.N. by Emilio S. Iglesias is the best article against communism and the blundering and incompetence of the United Nations I have ever read.  I am disgusted with the present trends of that organization.  I wish our great, powerful, Christian country would wake up and stop being pushed around by bullies and pipsqueaks." ~ Fletcher Hodges, M.D., Indianapolis, Ind.

–– "There are people who are mouthing the slogan, 'I'd rather be Red than dead.'  How do they know they will have a choice?  If the communists took over this country from within, they would set up execution centers across this continent that would make Buchenwald look like a boys' summer camp.  Over one-third of the population would to into the gas chambers.  We can only guess by what whim of some petty Russian official you would be selected to be sent to the liquidation centers, or be "saved" for the slave labor camps.  This is how Khruschev plans to bury you.  When you see pictures of the brutal nazi concentration camps for liquidation of other races and dissenters, just remember that anything horrible the nazis have done, the Russians can do better." ~ Jack Hunter[*], Santa Monica, Calif.

–– "It chokes me with bitter gall to think that I wasted five years in the Army, three years of that overseas to protect such lily-livered people as seem to be running this country.  These same people seem to be so concerned with guaranteeing equal rights to everyone that they will end up cutting all our throats with a communist knife." ~ William R. Clark, San Diego, Calif.

–– "Maj. Arch Roberts, the author of the Pro-Blue Program for the 24th Infantry Division, is being "Walkerized." ... The muzzling of anti-communist military personnel must be stopped.  Secretary of the Army Elvis Stahr mush be advised, in the strongest terms, that political revanchism has no place in the Defense Department! Everywhere patriotism should be commended and not downgraded, but particularly should this be true in the armed forces." ~ John B. Coman, New York, N.Y.

[*]Years later after Jack Hunter (deceased in 2009) moved to St. Augustine, noting that his books in the early '60s were published in Santa Monica, I asked him if he wrote this letter, and informed him of the literary metaphorical meaning of Khruschev's "We will bury you."  He would never either deny nor affirm!
scrutney

Quote:
"There are people who are mouthing the slogan, 'I'd rather be Red than dead.'  How do they know they will have a choice?  If the communists took over this country from within, they would set up execution centers across this continent that would make Buchenwald look like a boys' summer camp.  Over one-third of the population would to into the gas chambers.  We can only guess by what whim of some petty Russian official you would be selected to be sent to the liquidation centers, or be "saved" for the slave labor camps.  This is how Khruschev plans to bury you.  When you see pictures of the brutal nazi concentration camps for liquidation of other races and dissenters, just remember that anything horrible the nazis have done, the Russians can do better." ~ Jack Hunter[*], Santa Monica, Calif.


my father was a waist gunner in a B-17...he served in the a.a.c. shuttle bombing campaign in ww2. they'd take off from england...drop a load or two of bombs over germany and land in poltava u.s.s.r., re-load and re-provision and bomb merry hell out of the germans and land (so my brother tells me) in africa and from there, loaded afresh, do the same thing on the way back to england.

needless to say, the germans took a dim view of these shennanigans and bombed the crap out of the air base in poltova while my dad's plane (and many others) were on the ground.

which put dad as an american national in russia...without a plane.

here's where it gets fuzzy around the edges.
dad was asked/ordered to help smuggle poles out of russia (what exactly poles were doing in russia...let's just say i never got a satisfactory answer...there was alcohol involved in our conversation)

dad was involved, one evening in helping to liberate a pole when they were apprehended by the russians...the pole was taken out and shot and dad was escorted to the pokey, whereupon some sort of international incident occured and everal weeks later, the old man was sprung and summarily thrown out of russia.

oh yeah...during his incarceration, he was ratted out by a party member who asked if dad was going to vote for roosevelt in the next election...dad said "i wouldn't vote for that sonuva bitch if he was the last man on earth."

dad was proud that the story (in a somewhat edited form) was published on the reader's digest "humor in uniform" page, several years later.

many years and many beers have made their way into old scrut since the night pop told me that story and some of the details may not stand up in the cold light of day....blame me, don't blame my dad.

here is one hard cold piece of information that i know is true.

dad hated the russian government with a cold passion that i can't even begin to describe. and he often said things similar to mr hunter's quote.

"they treat cattle better than they treat people."

that's my story.

carry on.



jasmine

Funny you should bring up Jack Hunter, Bier.   His daughter is my best friend.  I had her, her boyfriend, and her daughter, and Jack's son, Jack Jr. at my house for Thanksgiving.  

I had no idea who Jack Hunter was and that he wrote the "Blue Max" until after I met his daughter.  I have heard wonderful stories about her Dad and his ideals and philosophies, of course, from his daughter's point of view.  His daughter is about the neatest woman I have met in eons.  We spend hours on the weekend walking around St. Augustine and exploring little nooks and crannies I didn't know existed.

This is a small world.  
bieramar

jasmine wrote:
His [Jack Hunter's] daughter is about the neatest woman I have met in eons.  

We spend hours on the weekend walking around St. Augustine and exploring little nooks and crannies I didn't know existed.

This is a small world.


One of my favorite nooks since it was built was Jack's writing studio hidden in the back tropical jungle of the property - now described as a "guest cottage" - only a few steps off the tourist-trodden Hypolita St. thoroughfare.  

I've have spent countless hours there through the years, including after Jack vacated it and it was then rented out to a series of local tale-telling characters and friends of mine - many with minimal incomes - a quiet beneficence from the Hunters. It was a great spot to take a break from "The Street" where I hung for decades - for a nap, or a doobie, or a quiet undisturbed conversation, or a "nooner."

My involvement with "downtown" began in the early '70s when I ran "Jam House, Inc." from 48 Charlotte St., the corner of Hypolita St. and Charlotte St., a few steps away from what became the Hunters' home - the "new" house built in 1988 was supposedly an exact replica of "The Oldest House" - but then Jack was a story teller!.
jasmine

bieramar wrote:
jasmine wrote:
His [Jack Hunter's] daughter is about the neatest woman I have met in eons.  

We spend hours on the weekend walking around St. Augustine and exploring little nooks and crannies I didn't know existed.

This is a small world.


One of my favorite nooks since it was built was Jack's writing studio hidden in the back tropical jungle of the property - now described as a "guest cottage" - only a few steps off the tourist-trodden Hypolita St. thoroughfare.  

I've have spent countless hours there through the years, including after Jack vacated it and it was then rented out to a series of local tale-telling characters and friends of mine - many with minimal incomes - a quiet beneficence from the Hunters. It was a great spot to take a break from "The Street" where I hung for decades - for a nap, or a doobie, or a quiet undisturbed conversation, or a "nooner."

My involvement with "downtown" began in the early '70s when I ran "Jam House, Inc." from 48 Charlotte St., the corner of Hypolita St. and Charlotte St., a few steps away from what became the Hunters' home - the "new" house built in 1988 was supposedly an exact replica of "The Oldest House" - but then Jack was a story teller!.


The house was built exactly like "Oldest House", I've been in it.  Apparently after Jack stopped drinking, he would help and put up a lot of the downtrodden in St Augustine and try to straighten them out.  After Jack's death though, his daughter would find countless people still trying to stay at the guest cottage, without permission and this became a problem.    The house is up for sale now and although there have been quite a few looking, there have been no bites.  Jack's wife ran an antique store and there are still quite a few articles left from the store.
bieramar

Younger historians and media commentators seemed surprised by the vehement reactions by older Americans to the first draft of the "Patriot Act," which included several sections which reeked of dystopic government intrusion in private lives.

That reaction is partly explained by the existential experiences of the Greatest and the Silent generations during WWII, when many private practices were proscribed, spying one on another encouraged, and censorship of the media prevailed - all accepted voluntarily by the great majority of the citizenry and the military as necessary to defeat Fascism and the Axis enemies.  

Food and product rationing was accepted (as was the black market), even with the intrusion of officials entering private property to count the newborn animals, and re-count them through slaughter (to insure that meat rationing was fair), and to measure tractor gasoline usage to number of acres ploughed, tilled, harvested (to insure that POV gasoline rationing was fair).

And free public expression of "news" and "opinion" were also "rationed."

Excerpt from Michael Sweeneys "Secrets of Victor," a history of the U.S. Office of Censorship during WWII:
---
On 17 August 1942, a nationally syndicated columnist wrote that she had received "a very stern letter"¯ about her remarks on the weather, "and so from now on I shall not tell you whether it rains or whether the sun shines where I happen to be." The columnist was Eleanor Roosevelt and she was referring to an article in which she had described weather conditions during one of her official visits around the country with her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, during World War II.
---

In 1938 Congress passed a law forbidding information, including maps, photos, sketches, about military bases to be published, and assigned the authority to define the details to the Executive branch.

In 1940 FDR issued Executive Order 8381 which expanded and defined the Executive Branch's "classification" system (Top Secret, Secret, et al) over anything and everything deemed dangerous to national security, if published.

FDR also created the Committee for Public Information and the Office of Censorship, the first the propaganda branch of the U.S. government feeding the media with what was to be published and broadcast, and the latter defining what wasn't to be (e.g. the letter to Eleanor Roosevelt).

J. Edgar Hoover was initially the boss, and then senior news editor of The Associated Press, Byron Price, took over as head of the Censorship Office, writing the initial Code (and four subsequent revisions).  

The Justice Department prosecuted offenders under the provisions of the 1918 Espionage Act.

Censorship responsibility was delegated to civilian and military department heads.  
For example; letters to/from my dad were censored, with words and phrases scissored out by his military superiors; when General Patton slapped a soldier suffering from PTSD, General Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) had to give the OK before the story and photos were published; information about FDR's travels, and photographs of him could not be published (that this resulted in a great number of voters not knowing he was crippled in a wheel chair, and not knowing about his open affair with Lucy Rutherford, was of course just of collateral benefit to him and his being re-elected in '44 - wink, wink).

After the war, Truman presented Price with the Medal of Merit, and somewhat ironically the ACLU also complimented him as "he censored the press and made them like it."

For more examples, see:
https://www.cia.gov/library/cente...s/studies/vol46no3/article10.html

BUT, while accepting the restrictions during the war, the great majority of Americans were also very aware of the dangers of such restrictive measures on individual freedoms.

They also were aware of the negative effects of propaganda and censorship during WWI which not only misled the U.S. public about federal actions and the war in Europe, but even led to the overzealous and unjust imprisonment of hundreds of U.S. citizens for criticizing war profiteering, or President Wilson, or the anti-German violence and laws (e.g. barn burnings of German descendents in the midwest, banning of speaking the German language in public or on telephones, etc.).

Those are the life experiences which explain the vigilance and concern of older Americans in the Silent and Greatest generations to perceived abuse of Executive Branch powers and Legislative Branch powers which intrude upon personal property and individual freedoms - not unpatriotic, not anti-Bush, not anti-Obama, not anti-congress - but the real memories of the real effects of government without proper checks and balances.

The censorship and propaganda experiences of WWII were those which led to the cautionary tales which were written and gained huge audiences after the war, e.g., Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, 1984, Walden Two and many "B" and a few "A" movies.
bieramar

Although every generation looks at the next askance - especially during puberty, adolescence and young adulthood - there are significant differences over time "as the world turns."  

And in this current period of political gridlock leading up to the 2012 elections, acknowledging the differences between the world views and beliefs of the older Greatest and Silent generations and the younger Millennials is critical to those working to elect their candidates.

Following data is from the October 2011 surveys by Pew Research, listed in great detail here:
http://www.people-press.org/2011/...tion-gap-and-the-2012-election-3/

I've used only the Silent and the Millennial generations for comparison and contrast (because the Greatest are dying off and the Millenials - born 1982 and later - are the youngest voters); for simplicity I'll just type S and M in the remainder of the post.

The S retain many of the biases of their childhood and young adult years, while changes in some areas have come after their experiences in WWII and Korea and changing economic realities.

GENERAL

64% of S consider the U.S. "the greatest country in the world" but only 32% of M do, with 90% S deeming themselves "very patriotic" and 70% of M.

78% S say religious faith and values "very important" to only 46% of M.

50% S think life in the U.S. has gotten worse and 31% think better; just the reverse of M with 46% thinking better and only 27% worse.

69% of S and 82% of M see the increasing numbers of women in the workplace as a change for the better.

Only 16% of S and 47% of M think the move from the traditional family to the new varieties of family living situations is a change for the better.

But 33% of S and 59% of M favor legal marriages for gays and lesbians.

And only 29% of S see interracial marriages as a change for the better, in comparison to 60% of M.

As to the invention of the internet, 45% of S see that as a good change to 27% who think it a change for the worse; M is 79% good vs 11% worse.

Overall moral values over the last 50 years are viewed  as better by only 3% of the S  and 19% of M, compared to 78% and 54% respectively seeing a worsening.

31% of S want marijuana legalized, with 65% opposing; 55% of M do, with 42% say not to legalize it.

46% of S think the nation has gone too far in pushing for equal rights, 28% of M agrees; 53% of S don't think we've gone too far, and 68% of M agree.  

59% of S and 51% of M support the death penalty in murder cases.

Abortion should remain legal according to 51% S and 53% M; 43% of both think it should be illegal.

49% of S and 43% of M think it is more important to protect individuals' gun rights than to control gun ownership; 44% of S and 55% of M think the opposite, i.e. that gun controls are more important.

GOVERNMENT

28% of S have only Social Security for income, 30% have supplemental incomes, 39% have non S/S as primary income with supplemental S/S, 3% have no S/S.

59% of S, but only 35% of M want smaller government.

52% of S say it is more important to reduce the deficit than to spend federal funds to keep dollars flowing in the economy, 40% prefer spending; 41% of M favor cutting the deficit to 55% who want  spending.

17% of S want health care expanded, as do 44% of M; 46% S want it repealed, and 37% of M do also; 24% of both want it as in current "Obamacare."

Agree that government is not doing enough for:
children - 44% S, 57% M
elderly - 52% S, 64% M
middle class - 50% S, 59% M
poor - 53% S, 62% M.

Agree that government is doing too much for:
rich - 63% S, 62% M

30% of S and 33% of M think government should subsidize those whose elderly private incomes have disappeared because of economic recession; 12% and 8% say no.

45% of S and 63% of M think government should guarantee minimum food and shelter for all citizens.

ELECTIONS

Noting that there will be 16 million more Millenials in 2012 than in 2008, and it was their votes which comprised 80% of Obama's winning margin then. IF they turn out to vote they will be voting overwhelming for Obama next year.

In 2008 53% of S voted McCain vs. 45% for Obama; 32% of M voted McCain and 66% Obama.  In October 2011 54% of S state they will vote GOP and 41% Obama; 37% of M say GOP vs. 61% Obama.  

38% of S and 40% of M view the GOP favorably; 55% and 51% respectively unfavorably.

39% of S and 51% of M view the Democrats favorably; 56% and 36% unfavorable.

44% of S and 31% of M see the GOP as bringing about needed changes.

35% of S and 50% of M see the Democrats as bringing about needed changes.

In the 2012 election the issue which matters most:
- Jobs - 52% S and 69% M; 47% S think GOP will do better in creating jobs, 45% of M think Democrats will.
- Deficit - 39% S and 43% M; 51% S and 46% M think GOP will do better.
- Health Care - 38% S and 45% M; 46% S think GOP can best fix, 52% M think Democrats can.
- Immigration - 15% both; 46% S for GOP to 45% M for Democrats.
- Abortion - 4% S and 3% M; 38% S for GOP, 52% M for Democrats.

Thinking of Obama by S makes 40% of them angry, 52% uneasy, 59% disappointed, 37% hopeful and 38% proud.
M only 19% angry, 33% uneasy, 47% disappointed, 48% hopeful and 45% proud.

Obama's economic policies have made the economy:
- better - 13% S, 22% M
- worse - 46% S, 26% M
- no effect - 34% S, 47% M

FOREIGN POLICY and TERRORISM

Best way to achieve peace:
- Diplomacy - 39% S, 49% M
- Military - 66% S, 27% M

45% S and 35% M agree that the only way to defeat terrorism is with overwhelming military force.

44% S and 52% M agree that too much military force leads to more terrorism.

30% S and 53% M think that U.S. prior wrongful military and other actions was part of motivation for the 9/11 attacks.

32% S and 53% M think U.S. military should also be involved in "nation building"; 52% and 42% respectively disagree.

Only 33% S and 37% M believe the Iraq war was worth fighting; 32% S and 44% M think Afghanistan was.

42% S, but only 25% M think it is necessary to give up some civil liberties to curb terrorism.

49% S and 58% M support a national ID Card for all citizens and legal residents.

32% S and 50% M support federal government monitoring Credit Card purchases.

63% S and 47% M support extra airport screening for Middle East travelers.

49% of S think Muslim Americans have a great or fair amount of support for Muslim extremists, 37% think not much or no support; 32% of M think great/fair with 57% saying none or not much support for extremism.

Torture can be used:
- often - 21% S, 16% M
- sometimes - 29% S, 31% M
- rarely - 19% S, 23% M
- never - 26% S, 24% M
scrutney

bieramar wrote:

Torture can be used:
- often - 21% S, 16% M
- sometimes - 29% S, 31% M
- rarely - 19% S, 23% M
- never - 26% S, 24% M


i find that a celine dion album comes in handy for those occasions when torture is appropriate.
tsiya

This Is The Last Dam Run Of Likker I'm Ever Gonna Make


http://youtu.be/hXkoc5-9a-Y
bieramar

See Dec. 10, 2011 post also

Polls show that Americans under 30 are still inclined to support Mr. Obama by a wide margin - but the president may face a particular challenge among voters ages 18 to 24.

In that group, his lead over Mitt Romney - 12 points - is about half of what it is among 25- to 29-year-olds, according to an online survey this spring by the Harvard Institute of Politics*. And among whites in the younger group, Mr. Obama's lead vanishes altogether....

"The concern for Obama, and the opportunity for Romney, is in the 18- to 24-year-olds who don't have the historical or direct connection to the campaign or the movement of four years ago,"¯ said John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Institute of Politics. "We're also seeing that these younger members of this generation are beginning to show some more conservative traits. It doesn't mean they are Republican. It means Republicans have an opportunity."

Experts say the impact of the recession and the slow recovery should not be underestimated. The newest potential voters - some 17 million people - have been shaped more by harsh economic times in their formative years than by anything else, and that force does not tend to be galvanizing in a positive way.

For 18- and 19-year-olds, the unemployment rate as of May was 23.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those ages 20 to 24, the rate falls to 12.9 percent, compared with the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent for all ages.
-
Source:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48038...st-voters-shed-image-obamas-army/
-

Excerpts from the survey:

1. 18 to 29 year old demographics

- 65% say they are registered to vote;
- 58% of those who were 18 in 2008 said they voted in the 2008 general election

- 21% consider themselves to be
politically engaged or active;

-- 36% self-identify as liberal or leaning liberal,
-- 37% as Democrats, and
-- 17% are supporters of Occupy Wall Street.

-- 27% self-identify as moderate, and
-- 38% as Independents.

-- 35% self-identify as conservative or leaning conservative,
-- 24% as Republicans, and
-- 10% are supporters of the Tea Party.

- 55% are working as a paid employee,
- 4% are self-employed, and
- 23% percent are looking for work.

2. 2012 presidential election

Obama leads Romney among


- 18 to 24-year olds by 12 points (41%-29%);
- 25- to 29- year olds by 23 points (46%-23%);

- Blacks by 78 points (79%-1%);
- Hispanics by 38 points (50%-12%)

- Democrats by 69 points (75%-5%)
- Independents by 10 points (22%-10%) [66% were still undecided].
- 43% think Obama will win re-election, and 27% think Romney will win.

Romney leads Obama among

- Whites by 3 points (37%-34%) [a group he won by 10 points in 2008]

- Republicans by 58 points (69%-11%)

- In last poll in November/December 2011 36% thought Obama would lose re-election, and 30% thought he'd win.


3. When members of the general 18 to 29-year old population were asked to make trade-offs between two priorities (there are 20 priority issues, the following are just a few):

- Providing affordable access to health care won against reducing the federal deficit 58% of the time;
- Creating a world-class education system won against reducing the federal deficit 59% of the time;
- Countering China's rising influence won against solving the European debt crisis 59% of the time;
- Becoming energy independent won against preventing Iran from a acquiring a nuclear weapon 58% of the time; and
- Reducing the federal deficit was in a statistical tie (54%) against addressing Social Security (46%).

All the March 2012 survey results - and the changes from previous surveys in November 2009, November 2010, November/December 2011, are quite interesting -- and quite different from any emerging generations since WWII.  

*Survey and much morehere: http://www.iop.harvard.edu/var/ez...file/spring_poll_12_exec_summ.pdf
auntmartymoo

Obama is offering young people the opportunity to live in their parents' basement, dependent on them for food, shelter and insurance.

All Romney needs to offer is the likelihood of a job after graduation.  

If the kiddies have any brains (and after 2008, we're all wondering), they'll go with the optimist this time.  Luckily, there is no "cool" candidate to distract them.

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