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Stirring up memories



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Continuing stories
December 29, 2004

“Fast away the old year passes”

            During 2004, we shared many stories and memories in this column.  Now as we complete the year and look forward to a new one, let’s look back and find out more about some of those tales.  And thanks to all of you who have contacted me to allow the stories to continue.

A  happy, happy New Year’s update

            Early in December I told you about Marine Lt. Col. Jon Shelburne and the singing group he and some of his fellow Marines formed in Iraq—the Hard Corps Chorale.  I learned about Jon and the Hard Corps Chorale through his dad, a high school classmate of mine.  At the time I e-mailed him he told me, “At this point Uncle [Sam] has not given him a clue about when his duty there might end.” 

            It looked like a lonely Christmas and New Year’s for Jon and for his folks and brother and sister in Texas and his wife and three children in Rhode Island.

            But, Uncle Sam was full of good cheer and surprises for the Shelburne family.  Jon returned to the States in mid-December and spent Christmas at home in Rhode Island with wife Kristy and their three children, Bryan, Matthew and Sadie! 

            Jon will be teaching at the Roger Williams University Law School this spring.  Great news!

            If you missed hearing the Hard Corps Chorale singing on our high school class website, you’ll have to wait a bit to hear them again.  The site received so many hits from all over the country (I wasn’t the only one spreading the word!) that our webmaster had to close the link.  He’s looking for a new home for the Hard Corps—when he finds it, I’ll let you know.

Another Pearl Harbor Day working story

            Mary Stone shared her exciting and exhausting day on December 7, 1941 recounting how the staff at Davidson’s Department Store in Atlanta pulled Asian merchandise off the shelves all Sunday afternoon.

            Mary wasn’t the only one to go back to work that fateful afternoon.   Her story brought back memories to Mayo Livingston who shared his story with me.

            Just a lad, Mayo lived in Albany with his mom and dad.  That Sunday his father was away, but Mayo gave his mother a special treat.

            Some English servicemen were training at a base in Albany.  They invited the youngster to come and witness a rugby game, giving him a couple of tickets.  He invited his mother along.  While they watched the competition, the loudspeaker suddenly boomed on announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor and directing all service personnel to head back to the base.   Both teams disappeared.

            While the crowd took in the news, the loud speaker crackled again.  Would all Albany Herald employees come directly to the paper.  Mrs. Livingston didn’t pay much attention, but the boy perked up—he’d just begun his newspaper career as a carrier for the Herald. 

            The announcement continued—this included carriers.  Mayo took off.  His mother grabbed him by the back of his shirt.  Where was he going, she asked.

            “I’ve got to get to work!”

            Later, as the press rolled off the extra edition, Mayo and a fellow-carrier gave it some thought.  Everyone would be hitting their regular routes, but there were parts of town where there weren’t many subscribers—they’d want to buy papers as well. 

            The boys filled their newspaper bags, hopped onto their bicycles and headed into these less-familiar parts of town.  They were absolutely right.  They had to cycle back to town for fresh loads twice before darkness fell.

And another

            When I shared the stories I collected at the Decatur County Historical Society, I inadvertently omitted Peggy and Bill Wildhagen’s offering.

            “My sister and I had been to the movies (matinee), and when we came home, Mom and Dad were crying.  I had two teenage brothers, and they knew they would have to go—they did.  The first thought was where is Pearl Harbor?  We soon found out.

            “Bill knew he would be drafted—he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.”

Who is in the photograph?

            On December 15, we stirred up some memories of the Zachary Taylor Homes that sheltered young servicemen and their families during the 1950s.  Glenn Gunsallis shared a photograph of his 1952 training class at Southern Airways.  He could identify only himself and his friend Mike Perrone.  

            But Debra Reed Burke thinks that she has spotted another familiar face.  She thinks the man third from the right in the front row is her dad.   But she’s not sure.  If anyone can identify any of the men in the picture—please help us out.

            Brenda knows that her folks, both Bainbridge natives, William L. Reed, Sr. and Ilea Edna Josey Reed lived in the Zachary Taylor homes in 1952.  Her dad was an airplane mechanic.  He continued to work here until the base closed when he went to work at the State Hospital. 

            Can you help?

And on a romantic note—three times

            I speculated that Emma Loyless and Bernard Cumbie’s wedding may have been one of the most romantic ever held in Decatur County—they shared it with Bernard’s two sisters and their grooms.  What a Sunday afternoon! 

            Now Emma and Bernard’s granddaughter, Brenda King McNair, has offered to share the wedding picture with all of us.  Wonderful to recall this July afternoon over 70 years ago!

A New Year’s morning treat

            How will you spend New Year’s Eve?  Partying all night, or curled up by the fire with a good book or, maybe, a seed catalog?  Either way, here’s a good recipe for New Year’s morning.  Fix it on Friday afternoon, put it in the refrigerator, then plug it in whenever you head for bed—early or late.  It needs to cook in a slow cooker at least eight hours.

Morning-after breakfast casserole

1 32-ounce bag of frozen hash-brown potatoes

1 pound of kielbasa sausage (or other precooked sausage) cut into thin rounds

1/2 cup diced onions (optional)

3/4 pound shredded Swiss cheese

1 dozen eggs

1 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

            Layer the frozen potatoes, sausage, onions and cheese in a slow cooker in three layers.  Finish with the cheese.  Combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper and beat until fluffy.  Pour over the layered mixture.  Cook on low for at least 8 and up to 12 hours. 

            This fills up a big slow cooker.  I have halved the recipe for my smaller one and it works fine.  You can substitute cooked bacon for the sausage and cheddar for the Swiss cheese.

Come to think of it, if you’re having a New Year’s Eve party this would be mighty good for a midnight breakfast.  Just stir it up and plug it in during the early afternoon.  Then no kitchen mess!

           


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Trilla Pando is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance & the Story Circle Network