Susan Marie Molloy

🌺 Life in the Oasis 🌴


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Back in Time: Cute German Postcard

As I keep going through my family photographs and memorabilia, I find more unusual things.

Mixed in with my uncle’s things, I found this cute German postcard from some time right after World War II:
It’s interesting to see firsthand the things he thought were purchase-worthy and important enough to keep for all those decades after the war.

There are other postcards of this same style within his keepsakes (I remember seeing them), which I will share here when I get to them.

I hope you enjoy this.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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Back in Time: Camp Kilmer

For a while now, I’ve been busy with getting all my family photographs and memorabilia sorted, organized, and put in their places. This project has been going on for a few years already. So much to still do—

Following are several postcards from Camp Kilmer, New Jersey that was in my uncle’s boxes. He served with the United States Army just after The War (that’s World War II), and he was also stationed overseas in Germany to help with rebuilding.

Camp Kilmer was activated in June 1942 as a staging area and was in New Jersey. It was named for the poet, Joyce Kilmer, who was from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was killed in World War I (by sniper) during the Second Battle of Marne/Ourcq while serving with 69th Infantry Regiment.  He was posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre for his bravery.

The camp was part of an installation of the New York Port of Embarkation. It was organized as part of the Army Service Forces Transportation Corps. During World War II, troops were quartered at the camp to prepare for transport to the European Theater of Operations. In fact, it became the largest processing center for troops heading overseas and returning from World War II; there were over 2.5 million soldiers processed through there. Camp Kilmer officially closed in 2009.

Besides my uncle, New York Yankees Joe DiMaggio and comedian Red Skelton, all served with the Army, and were temporarily assigned to the Camp. DiMaggio autographed baseballs for wounded soldiers and gave hitting and fielding lessons, while Skelton made unannounced visits to the hospital. Knowing my uncle, he probably had a grand time playing guitar and making his fellow soldiers laugh with his fun sense of humor.

I hope you enjoy the following postcards and this peek into the past:

And here is a photograph of Kilmer in uniform:

Joyce Kilmer: December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918.

(General information on Camp Kilmer and Joyce Kilmer was gleaned from the National Archives and from the Poetry Foundation.)

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

 


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I’m Bleh – How are You Doing?

Since this past Sunday, life here in the oasis has been so-so. Both my beau and I have been fighting something – achiness, tiredness, fever, and a little hint of a flu, cold, or something wanting to bombard us.

Although I have been able to post my blogs for the week, Yours Truly has been slow on responding to your comments. Sorry about that.

Resting, napping, and gentle reading has been the order of the week for me. As much as you wash your hands when you come home from being out in public, you still can catch something no matter how formidable your defenses are. I’m guessing we caught and are fighting this “thing” since last Friday when we went to the show to see “Winchester.” At the side counter where we grabbed some napkins and a little butter for our popcorn, we were blessed with a rousing cough cough hack wheeze from another patron there. Ugh.

As I’ve been slowly recuperating, this morning my thoughts have been going through the boxes of my family’s photographs and memorabilia. Next week I’ll be sharing some of the most interesting and unusual things with you, and hope that you’ll find them interesting, too.

In the meantime, I hope you are all well and that no one is so generous as to pass along a virus to you that you don’t want.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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Back in Time: Comfort During The War, with a Surprise

Here’s a history lesson.

Background:  “The War” to me means World War II, since it’s the vernacular I picked up from my family who actually experienced it at home, and on two fronts. Any other war or conflict to me is called, for example, Korea, Spanish American, Viet Nam, et cetera. Today, here’s a story from The War era.

The Story:  A couple of weeks ago, at an estate sale, I picked up a very interesting item that I only heard about in legend: The G. I. (government issued) prayer book. There it was, sitting on a bedroom shelf, crammed underneath a stack of other books:
The old Army khaki green cloth cover is barely perceptible. It was difficult to get a really good color picture.

Inside, you can see the owner’s name and next of kin, who might be his wife, or maybe mother. It’s hard to say, yet with a Washington, D.C. address, I lean towards the next of kin being his wife, unless he lived with his widowed mother, let’s say, but I’m really leaning towards it was his wife:
What surprised me the most, is the who and where this New Testament was printed. Take a look at the section I circled in red:
The Lesson:  Wow. This was a big history lesson for me. I didn’t know the Government Printing Office (today known as the Government Publishing Office) printed anything of a religious nature. Wow.

So, this emphasizes that a person needs to do a lot of research, or just happen upon something to really find the truth, and not rely solely on history text books. That is one thing I did learn while working on my B.A. in history – when possible, always look for primary sources while researching.

Interesting!

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


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At the Movies: “Darkest Hour”

When it was time to take a break from the week’s routine, my beau and I headed out for lunch the other day. Though the weather was grey and lightly drizzling, we opted to sit outside on the veranda:

We watched a few golfers get those last couple of balls on the course right before the deluge.

Our meals were good and not so good – my beau’s sausage-pepper-and-onion sandwich on Italian bread was very enjoyable, he told me. I had a cup of mushroom-beef soup, which was outstandingly good (I want the recipe!), but my plate of nachos was something to be desired. It was the canned chili and canned cheese spray that, well, overwhelmed the chips and jalapenos, and it was dreadful.

Afterwards, we went to the show and caught the matinee of “Darkest Hour,” which is a re-telling of the first few weeks of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s tenure. While Hitler was ramming his way through Europe and getting closer to England, Churchill had his battles with members of Parliament and his poor reputation from the Gallipoli Campaign (1915-16). In a nutshell, many people at the time thought of him as delusional and crazy for seeing that the Allies were losing (at that point), and his refusal to negotiate for peace. However, after a little stumbling and forthright determination, plus much-needed cheerleading, he was confident the public would see that the Allies could win the war.

This was a pretty good movie, and the actor (Gary Oldman) who played Churchill did a great job (although the makeup department made him to look older than what I remember Churchill looking like on film during the early days of World War II). Clementine Hozier Churchill, his wife (played by Kristin Scott), looked so much like Wallis Simpson, that I could see her playing that part if there was a movie made about Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936.

In “Darkest Hour,” there are a couple of events that are what I call “Hollywood’s Artistic License,” such as when Elizabeth Layton Nel began her job as Churchill’s secretary, and his little jaunt through the subway to meet-and-greet the public. Otherwise, the movie did an excellent job showing that Churchill had a rough road to hoe with little cooperation (at first) with Parliament and his past reputation. Yet, as all great leaders learn to do, he did what was right for Great Britain and the ultimately the Allies, and he eventually won over most.

I recommend this film for its close historical accuracy, period costumes, and grand film set.

I don’t recommend the plate of nachos at the restaurant where my beau and I ate, though.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.