Remembering Peal Harbor
"we must revolt against the bunnies and ladybugs"
The one on the table is quietly saying “I will take the Ring to Mount Doom, though I do not know the way.”
You know what they say! One man’s tragic flaw is another man’s pretty reasonable personality asset under the circumstances, I guess. Do…do they say that?
A star studded special written and directed by Peter Davison.
It has David and John in it!
And RTD and Peter Jackson and Ian McKellan and Georgia Tennant (who also produced) and…
Is anyone else really disappointed that Elizabeth said “I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman” and then didn’t continue with “.. but I have the heart and stomach of a concrete elephant?”
Tabletop gaming is serious business, and hardly for the weak at heart.
(Note from G & S: We totally do not endorse ruining relationships over games. THIS IS A WARNING…for your health.)
Meanwhile, Diplomacy is offscreen, with a glowering, knowing half-smile.
A Sailor’s Dying Wish
After signing my Pop, EM2 Bud Cloud (circa Pearl Harbor) up for hospice care, the consolation prize I’d given him (for agreeing it was OK to die) was a trip to “visit the Navy in San Diego.”
I emailed my friend and former Marine sergeant, Mrs. Mandy McCammon, who’s currently serving as a Navy Public Affairs Officer, at midnight on 28 May. I asked Mandy if she had enough pull on any of the bases in San Diego to get me access for the day so I could give Bud, who served on USS Dewey (DD-349), a windshield tour.
We linked up with Mandy outside Naval Base San Diego and carpooled to the pier where we were greeted by CMDCM Joe Grgetich and a squad-sized group of Sailors. Bud started to cry before the doors of the van opened. He’d been oohing and pointing at the cyclic rate as we approached the pier, but when we slowed down and Mandy said, “They’re all here for you, Bud,” he was overwhelmed.
After we were all out of the van directly in front of the Dewey, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries, Petty Officer Simon introduced himself and said as the ship’s Sailor of the Year he had the honor of pushing Bud’s wheelchair for the day. Unbeknownst to us, they’d decided to host Budaboard the Dewey, not at the Dewey. And so they carried him aboard. None of us expected him to go aboard the ship. I’d told him we were going down to the base and would have the chance to meet and greet a few of the Sailors from the new Dewey. He was ecstatic. The day before, he asked every few hours if we were “still going down to visit the boys from the Dewey,” and “do they know I was on the Dewey, too?”
Once aboard, we were greeted by the CO, CDR Jake Douglas, the XO and a reinforced platoon-sized group of Sailors. To say it was overwhelming is an understatement. These men and women waited in line to introduce themselves to Bud. They shook his hand, asked for photos with him, and swapped stories. It was simply amazing.
They didn’t just talk to him, they listened.
Bud’s voice was little more than a weak whisper at this point and he’d tell a story and then GMC Eisman or GSCS Whynot would repeat it so all of the Sailors on deck could hear. In the midst of the conversations, Petty Officer Flores broke contact with the group. Bud was telling a story and CMDCM Grgetich was repeating the details when Flores walked back into view holding a huge photo of the original USS Dewey. That moment was priceless. Bud stopped mid-sentence and yelled, “There she is!” They patiently stood there holding the photo while he told them about her armament, described the way it listed after it was hit, and shared other details about the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
Bud finally admitted how tired he was after more than an hour on deck. While they were finishing up goodbyes and taking last minute photographs, GMC Eisman asked if it’d be OK to bring Sailors up to visit Bud in a few months after a Chief’s board. I hadn’t said it yet because I didn’t want it to dampen the spirit of the day, but I quietly explained to GMC Eisman the reason we’d asked for the visit was simple: Bud was dying.
I told him they were welcome to come up any time they wanted, but I suspected Bud had about a month left to live. Almost without hesitation, he asked if the crew could provide the burial honors when the time came. I assured him that’d be an honor we’d welcome.
Leaving the ship was possibly more emotional than boarding.
They piped him ashore. CMDCM Grgetich leaned in and quietly told me how significant that honor was and who it’s usually reserved for as we headed towards the gangplank. Hearing “Electrician’s Mate Second Class William Bud Cloud, Pearl Harbor Survivor, departing” announced over the 1MC was surreal.
Later that night Bud sat in his recliner, hands full of ship’s coins and declared, “I don’t care what you do with my power tools; you better promise you’ll bury me with these.”
He died 13 days later. For 12 of those 13 days he talked about the Dewey, her Sailors and his visit to San Diego. Everyone who came to the house had to hear the story, see the photos, hold the coins, read the plaques.
True to his word, GMC Eisman arranged the details for a full honors burial. The ceremony was simple yet magnificent. And a perfect sendoff for an ornery old guy who never, ever stopped being proud to be a Sailor. After the funeral, the Sailors came back to the house for the reception and spent an hour with the family. This may seem like a small detail, but it’s another example of them going above and beyond the call of duty, and it meant more to the family than I can explain.
There are more photos, and I’m sure I missed a detail, or a name. What I didn’t miss and will never forget, is how unbelievable the men and women of the USS Dewey were. They opened their ship and their hearts and quite literally made a dream come true for a dying Sailor.
They provided the backdrop for “This is the best day of my life, daughter. I never in my whole life dreamed I’d step foot on the Dewey again or shake the hand of a real life Sailor.”
Without question, it’s the best example of Semper Fidelis I’ve ever seen.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
|—||ABRAHAM LINCOLN, at the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863. (via bookoisseur)|
Poster for Macbeth by William Shakespeare at His Majesty’s Theatre, London, colour lithograph, illustration by Edmund Dulac
Obit of the Day: Saved by Schindler
Kuba Beck, right, and his wife, Hela were two of the 1200 Jews saved by German industrialist Oskar Schindler during World War II. The Becks, who both survived the initial invasion of Poland by Hitler’s blitzkrieg, found their options of survival dwindling as Krakow’s Jewish population was first segregated and then liquidated.
Mr. Beck was 17 at the time of the German invasion and studying to be an engineer. When the Nazis forbid Jews from attending university, Mr. Beck learned the skills to become a tool and die maker. The choice saved his life.
He was designated as vital to the war cause and pressed into service of the Nazis. Unfortunately his family was not so lucky and one day after he was led off to the factory, his entire family was arrested and transported to a concentration camp. He would never see them again.
In 1943 as the Nazis planned to remove the remaining Jews from the Krakow ghetto, Mr. Beck and his then-girlfriend Hela Brzeska were transferred to Mr. Schindler’s factory where they would be protected for the remainder of the war.
After failing to find surviving family members in Krakow after the surrender of German, the Becks snuck into Czechoslovakia before ending up in American-occupied Germany. There they married.
Kuba and Hela Beck moved to the United States in 1949. Mr. Beck worked as an engineer at IBM. After he retired the Becks would travel to schools and other public venues to tell about the experiences during the Holocaust.
Kuba Beck passed away at the age of 91 on November 5, 2013. His wife, Hela, died in 2008.
(Image of Kuba and Hela Beck, 1947, is courtesy of The Virtual Shtetl)
Other OOTD posts that may be of interest:
Berthold Bietz - German industrialist who saved 250 Jewish workers in his factory
Mietek Pemper - The man who typed up Schindler’s famous list
The Royal Game of Ur. From Ur, southern Iraq, about 2600-2400 BC.
One of the most popular games of the ancient world
This game board is one of several with a similar layout found by Leonard Woolley in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. The wood had decayed but the inlay of shell, red limestone and lapis lazuli survived in position so that the original shape could be restored. The board has twenty squares made of shell: Five squares each have flower rosettes, ‘eyes’, and circled dots. The remaining five squares have various designs of five dots. According to references in ancient documents, two players competed to race their pieces from one end of the board to another. Pieces were allowed on to the board at the beginning only with specific throws of the dice. We also know that rosette spaces were lucky.
The gaming pieces for this particular board do not survive. However, some sets of gaming pieces of inlaid shale and shell were excavated at Ur with their boards. The boards appear to have been hollow with the pieces stored inside. Dice, either stick dice or tetrahedral in shape, were also found.
Examples of this ‘Game of Twenty Squares’ date from about 3000 BC to the first millennium AD and are found widely from the eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to India. A version of the Mesopotamian game survived within the Jewish community at Cochin, South India until modern times. (x)
Also: if you’re interesting in seeing how this game works, the British Museum have set up a site where you can play it online (it does require Shockwave to run though).
c. 1963. Trans World Airlines Terminal, Idlewild Airport | Architect: Eero Saarinen | New York | Photo: Balthazar Korab - Via
Great childhood memories of seeing my grandmother there as she passed through on her way to/from Europe.
post-mortem ophelia complete with fishing net, love letters, and puddle-splashing rain boots
An untouched copy of the first American edition, first issue of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; or the Whale in its first state binding is coming to auction November 21, 2013 in Swann Galleries 19th & 20th Century Literature sale. One of the few known copies bound with plain white wove endpapers, it is estimated to sell for $35,000 - $50,000. (via booktryst)
Celebrating 500+ followers by giving away sets of art prints! The last few weeks were a blur of awesomeness so I want to thank you kind folks for sharing my work. So have some free stuff!
Prints are 4”x9” and feature Avatars Korra, Kyoshi, Roku, and Aang as a set. You’re free to arrange them in…