Monday, August 29, 2011


I owe a big-ass debt o' gratitude to my Gentle Reader o' Many Names who took some time... and I suspect that time was considerable... to grace me with this:
The ships name was U.S.S. General H.W. Butner. She arrived on 23 October 1953 and the Captain was D. Branneman Capt, USN. It says you were 8 1/2 and your sister was 2 1/2, mother was 29 and just about over the hill (smile).

This is on and they had a free access to europe records (I was too cheap to buy the add-on).
Further to that comment, this:

That was in reference to my post "When I Was Eight, Part II" wherein I said I didn't remember the name o' the ship we embarked on those so many years ago.  A remarkable case of inner-net detective work, eh?  Looking at that manifest made me remember Mom... in oh so many ways... and on that subject, I want to remember Mom like this:

Dad, Me, and Mom, c. 1949

Mom, c.19444 or so

Ah, but there's this.  That particular piece o' nostalgia set me off on a tangent this evening, one that called back many, many memories of Mom.  Those memories included both the good and the bad, but mostly the bad.  I don't know what it is about human nature that makes us prioritize memories and why it is the memories of the bad often preclude the good.  I spent the better part of two hours this evening mentally composing a post about Mom but eventually cast every single thought aside, mainly because I don't want to write another post like this one.  Once is enough, particularly in this space.

I'd rather remember Mom as the beautiful woman with the deep, deep brown eyes... the woman who healed my wounds, both psychic and physical... with a kiss, a healing touch, and the promise that things would be better tomorrow, and they almost always were.  That's the way I want to remember her, and that's the way she should be remembered.

Thank you, Gentle Reader o' Many Names.  You fired off a great many long dormant synapses tonight, and for that I'm forever grateful.


  1. Amazing, how much paper info is slowly but surely being collated and scanned in to the web.

    And another thing, it still amazes me how your #1 Son resembles your Dad and they are not genetically connected. Makes ya go, "hmmmm".

    You are a lucky guy to have such a nice family, but like all human affairs, there is going to be sadness at some point. It is the way of life.

  2. beaucoup de noms30 August, 2011 05:28

    You are most welcome. Gosh pretty lady, I didn't realize that story was written so many years ago. I happened upon it somehow, you know, when you follow one link and then another.

    All I needed to prod me, was "I don't remember the ships name." and I used my which said I needed to pay for that info with a larger subscription. Then, this is weird, I got an email yesterday that said they were having free access to that!

    It's not that I'm a stalker or anything, smile, it's just that my own ancestry is kind of fruitless (lost in the two world wars). It gave me something to search for and practice using the site.

    Rather than being fruitless like my searches, yours had a beautiful record saved and photographed.

  3. Funny how so many of us of our generation have so much in common, Buck. I too have photos of my Army Capt Dad and Mom seated together taken during WWII; and Mom was a brunette also--and that picture of your Mother in pink brings a smile as pink was my Mother's favorite color as well..

    Mother had a pink bedroom and pink & gray bathroom, and the exterior of our 1951 Frank Lloyd Wright designed ranch-style home (all redwood const in those days, cost-prohibitive now) tho originally a "hip" mango-ish tangerine, pinkish orange w. a black shingled roof (w. green & blue speckles) grew pinker each time we re-painted it until toward the end it was pure pink w. a new WHITE shingled roof!--Looked like a damned cake! LOL.

  4. The internet is an amazing source!

    Alcoholism destroys many families. Back in the day, it was usually well hidden - doing it's damage without people getting the help they needed. Your mother was beautiful and I am sure she was a great mother when not drinking. We so want for our loved ones to be strong and overcome. If we could only do it for them...

  5. Buck - I hear you on the memory prioritization thing. My mother will never remember anything about my dad except the bad stuff, as she has proven many times in the 16 years since his death.

    I will struggle for a long time to remember anything positive about my mother - my own childhood was salvaged by the love of my dad.

    Ironic that - he died 16 years ago and she still draws breath.

    Very cool about the thing. I've had an old sepia-toned picture that once belonged to my paternal grandmothers. One of the men in the picture is Charles Lindbergh. The other, according to my grandmother, was her 1st cousin.

    None of us ever believed her; I inherited the picture when she died and just stored it in a closet. Many years later it surfaced in a cleaning frenzy and I began to wonder about it.

    Did some research - paid for the membership to get the records I needed - and voila, the other man was indeed my grandmother's 1st cousin.

    And as I think on this - I've never shared this story with anyone outside of my immediate friends. I sense a blog post coming up!

    Thank you Buck and "beaucoup de nom" for the idea!!!

  6. Darryl: Yeah, the scanning and archiving thang really IS amazing when you think about it. So much stuff, so much of which means little or nothing on the surface yet is priceless to some people.

    beaucoup: Thanks for the back-story and thanks yet again for your efforts. I'm sad your family's records have gone missing but mebbe there's hope, given the level of inner-nets archiving activity goin' on.

    I am sure she was a great mother when not drinking.

    She was, Lou... it's just that her sober moments were few and far between.

    Kris: It's such a sad situation with your mother and I feel very, very bad for you and everyone else involved. OTOH, I'm looking forward to your sepia-toned post!

  7. Virgil: The story about the John Mellencamp house is just too, too cool, LOL! And I think all of us who had parents of The Greatest Generation have very similar photos. It was the times...

  8. Man, that is just way cool. I'll also thank beaucoup de noms, myself. That is just very great good stuff.

  9. Oh yeah, what Barco said about your son favoring grandpa...eerie.

    But, I think we've been down that discussion path before. Does make you scratch your chin...

  10. all human affairs, there is going to be sadness at some point. It is the way of life... Exactly, Barco.

    The counterpoint to that is the kindness and comfort from those internet friends that we've never even met in person, like beaucoup de noms.


  11. I just watched the video presentation my cousin put together as a project to complete her degree in Librarian. She made a little movie of our grandfather as a tribute. He was iconic. A piece of his generation. An MD, practiced medicine in Newfoundland in some Lord Grenfell hospice for the fishermen and their families before the war. It had the sepia tinged photos one expects from that age so long ago.

    Those were some excellent stories. Sorry I missed them back when they were posted.

  12. Andy (and Darryl): Yeah, it IS pretty weird about the likeness between SN1 and my father.

    Red: You're so right about the kindness of our inner-net friends. I'm so grateful for that fact.

    Curtis: Thank ya, Sir... both for your story and your kind words.

  13. Pretty much what everyone said. Your mother was indeed a lovely lady.

    My younger daughter, having become a counselor in social work, now treats families of mentally ill children in a high school setting. She called me the other day to tell me that, after dealing with some of those mothers, she now thinks I was nowhere near the worst mother in the world like she sometimes thought when she was in high school. Maybe she's already pulling some of the better memories to the surface. Hope you do, too. And soon.


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