“Just adding to the good memories, that we all have of “TOM Aldrich” on his BIRTHDAY, TODAY!”
Tom Aldrich with “MAN’s” Best Friend!
Thomas H. Aldrich in Korea with “WAR-DOG SHANE!”
This picture of Tom and SHANE – his “WAR-DOG” – reminds me of a movie “Call of the WILD” – the stars were “Clark Gable and Loretta Young” – you will like it – if you take the time to find it. What caught my attention was – was watching “Clark Gable” with this very “WILD DOG – Duke” – the control he had in getting him to obey him and becoming his “BEST FRIEND!” If anyone would even get near “DUKE” – he would come after him and kill – man or other beast!
That is what Tom had – that personality – that – no matter what type of dog – TOM would be working with – the dog and Tom were able to become best of friends – both knowing that Tom was the one and only “MASTER” – and the dog would know that he was protected by Tom and that the two of them would work as a “TEAM” – with the both of them – being able to read the other – a move – a whisper – a nod – each would know exactly the next action that would be needed and taking place.
When you can work with “DOGS” as Tom did – my feeling is that you have received a very special talent – an extra special “TALENT” that not too many receive from the Almighty Yahweh – and more of us should try learning very early – what natural talents – they may have and work with them – to the glory and with much thankfulness be to their “Creator” – everyone should know that, what you receive, you should use and then, you will receive even more! “Try it out, and see if you don’t receive so much more – “YES” you will definitely know, where that extra “MORE” is coming from!”
Tommy Aldrich, sitting in the center, dressed in all black – is about to have his BIRTHDAY – just after our big move to FLORIDA!
Sitting left, and pointing to “Donald Aldrich, who is not in this photo” – is uncle, Al Aldrich – who is brother to my husband, Lee Sr., – Lee is taking this picture, so I decided to crowd in – holding little Lee, Jr., in my left arm – and leaning in toward Tommy and Aunt Thelma , wife of UNCLE AL, – just so we can have some memory of our get-together and moving to Fort Lauderdale.
One of the things that TOMMY wanted for his BIRTHDAY, was a DOG – as his very own pet. And, since Al and Thelma have been living in Florida – for a while and wanted us to also move to Florida, to help them , in the Restaurant Business – well – here we are and this is where Thelma was of a great help to TOMMY – in finding just the right kind of a dog.
Thelma had a real love for DOGS – and knew where to take TOMMY, so that he could select just the right dog. I can not remember the DOG’s NAME, but – as I do remember the DOG must have had some training, as Tommy was able to get the DOG to obey him and do as he was being trained. Tommy’s LOVE for DOGS, lasted all of his LIFE – as he enter the ARMY K-9 Corp. – and even later was always working with DOGS and helping to train DOGS for those that wanted a good and an obedient DOG.
Some where in all of the photos that I have, there is a photo of his DOG and one of the baby CHICKS , that I got for the boys for an “EASTER ” Surprise one year. It was one of the rarest of things , that, when I put the food out for the DOG and CHICK, they were able to eat from the same dish, without a fight, and not trying to kill the other. Just one of those amazing things, that you just do not see happen every day. So we will see, if that PHOTO shows up???
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY…TOM ALDRICH!”
P.S. the PHOTO is also posted of the Dog and Chick eating together – check it out!
More people like this old picture of me in 1942 – than so many others – that they send messages – just wanting more information – – in fact saying that I do not write enough? So, I thought that, I would post this picture again, and tell about some of the Christmas activities, that were good and fun for us – and remember – this is during the WWII years!
In the living room of this house – there was a working fireplace and in some of the colder weather – my Father would start a fire. As a young child watching the fire was exciting just to see how the logs burning and the flickering flames – and there was a cozy atmosphere in the room – that our whole family enjoyed. Some times – just for more excitement in the fire – my Mother would sprinkle some granules from this round can – and just so fast the fire would dance with all different kinds of colors – it was almost like watching the “fourth of July – fireworks” shooting up and into the sky – but, everything had a way of flying up the chimney – and we would kinda fall asleep, just watching the fire dance as my Mother would be reading some stories, as only she could – as she could change her voice – for the different types of people in the story!
One the best things, that I remember – this is again by the fireplace – my Father had a special pan – which had long handles – seems that the top had small holes in it – and there was a hinge – to open it, and somehow – something that kept it from opening when Daddy would flip it around. – By now – you guessed what this was – a “Corn-Popper” – …..
My Father was a “CHEF” by trade and did most of the cooking in our home. One of the amazing things we all remember is to watch him cook and he would always have a cigarette in his mouth – he never took it out and as he would be cooking – we would all watch – just to see if any of it would fall into the food – as it all stayed in tack – curling over and just looking like any moment – there would soon be a big mess! – Getting back to the fireplace, going on’s – we would be enjoying the “POP CORN” just as fast as Daddy would make it – we were eating it! Just before Christmas my father would bring home a fresh Christmas tree – that would be thick and full – because the lights that he would be putting on it – were a much larger size “lite” – than those that we use for the inside tree, today – and the size would really light up the tree and the whole room – just had a very special “CHRISTMAS” look.
While Daddy was doing the big and heavy type of work – My Mom was helping us kids make long chains of decorations – mixing all the colors of the construction papers that she had cut in just the size and lengths for us to glue little circles and to keep on adding to the chains and then, my Dad would put the long finished chains on the tree. We also made some other little decorations – these were small and had each of our own special designs – some of these – probably no one – would even know, just what we were thinking of – but, each one was given all the highest of praises from my MOTHER – she always thought that we were doing, “TOP” prize
– pieces of art! When we were done – our Christmas Tree was a “First Prize Winner” – that is if anyone was giving out prizes?
Sometimes for Christmas – our Grandma – who lived in OHIO – would come and stay with us for a week with an UNCLE and AUNT that would do the driving – during those HOLIDAY VISITS – we sure enjoyed having lots of fun and a whole lot of different things to do and see. That’s what really makes Christmas – just having “Out of TOWN” “FAMILY – living with you for a week!
Sometimes I wish – that I was still that little girl – everything was new and FUN – and so exciting – and we were always praying for those that had it worse than us and for an end of WWII – and the Almighty did help us to WIN – putting an end to WWII – and the whole world was HAPPY to be working to make things better for everyone! Thanks be to the Almighty for prayers, answered!
“BABY FACE” – You have the cutest little “BABY FACE” – when I look at this PHOTO – that song is all that pops up in my brain – and you got me singing that melody – even when, I am trying to do other things. Just guess, that I am not going to get too much done – just thinking about the sweetest little “BABY FACE” of my “Great GRAND-SON, LEX!”
Just so, that everyone will be able to sing – all of the words – and remember, that when they see a “sweet baby face” – that you all can sing to the sweet baby – and let them know – just how much you LOVE them – just – as I LOVE my sweetie pie, LEX!
Let me know – if after the first time of listening to this song, “BABY FACE” – if you are also – singing it to yourself – without even knowing that your singing “BABY FACE!”
May the Almighty Creator – Bless all of our beautiful BABIES – and keep them safe and well – providing for all children just the best of parents – that will LOVE and SING to their children – making for a very happy FAMILY – where, they will always have the best of memories – forever! D.V.
When you tell “someone” or even your own, very special little doggie some “tall” tales – – they sound so true – that just maybe – they are believable – because you LOVE each other – and my little “Miss Beebee” – is just so cute – and I also know – that she believes every word I speak to her – and also, in her own language! “Bow -WOW!” – and an extra – “WOW and a WOW”
“Little Bee-bee Baby – celebrates CHRISTMAS”
This PHOTO of my little “Bee-bee Baby” – – is without a doubt – -just the cutest little – miniature “German Shepherd” – – that you will ever see.
Whenever we were taking a walk in the “SUNSET PARK” – -there would be other “OWNERS” of dogs – – walking their dogs – – and I just have to tell this one story – – on one of my “walks with Bee-bee – – as she would always receive admiring looks and comments.
On one of our after-noon walks – – we were near to the top area in the PARK – – where you could see forever- – up and down the Missouri River – – and there was another couple with their dog – – it was a “Jack-Russell” – – if I am remembering the correct name of that dog-breed – – and they were just watching us – – that is my little “Bee-bee Baby” – – and me talking to her… as we walked – – and they just had to stop me – – to ask “What kind of dog is that?”
This was one question that I just had to give a silly answer too – – as the size of little “Bee-bee” tells you – – what breed she is – – but… I just had to play the “GAME” – – and I answered – “SHE is a “miniature German Shepherd” – – just one of a very specialize breeds – – that I was LUCKY to have received.”
Well… we stood there as they looked and whispered to their-selves – – in dis-belief – – that they just never thought suck a thing possible. So they then… just had to tell me … that they have a special breed of the “Jack-Russell” – – of which I knew nothing – – and I just was not impressed with. – – So… this was just too good – – I just never thought that someone would half believe me – – when I said … “MISS BEE-BEE” WAS A MINIATURE “GERMAN SHEPHERD”
Well – – I could not keep from laughing – – so I had to tell them – – that when I look at “Miss Bee-bee Baby” – – to me she is so cute and sweet – – and with her coloring and features – – she sure looks like a miniature GERMAN Shepherd – – and I just love to talk about her – – and tell everyone – – how terrific she is – – that sometimes – – I do get carried away – – with telling “TALL” tales – – and after awhile – – I sometimes start to believe the stuff – – that I tell about the cutest and sweetest little “Chihuahua” – – and when we take our daily walks – – “Little Miss Bee-bee” walks – – just as if she is “ten foot tall” – – which would bring her up to the size – – of a full grown German Shepherd – – in her mind – – after all … that is what I tell her – – so it must be true and by all means… correct!
Put this message in the History Books – and have the students read it. Prayer and Love for our CREATOR – can help US Live in PEACE… maybe? My son, Lee was also in the NAVY – and I know, that we all should pray and read our bibles – working for PEACE for all NATIONS!
HONOLULU — Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long was alone on an anchored military seaplane in the middle of a bay across the island from Pearl Harbor when Japanese warplanes started striking Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941, watching from afar as the bombs and bullets killed and wounded thousands.
The waves of attacking planes reached his military installation on Kaneohe Bay soon after Pearl Harbor was struck, and the young sailor saw buildings and planes start to explode all around him.
When the gunfire finally reached him, setting the aircraft ablaze, he jumped into the water and found himself swimming through fire to safety.
Now 97, Long will remember the 77th anniversary of the attack from his home in Napa, California.
In this Dec. 7, 1941 photo, a patrol bomber burns at a military installation on Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. (U.S. Navy via AP)
He shared some of his memories:
DECADES OF ANNIVERSARIES
Long was fresh out of boot camp when he arrived in Hawaii in 1941.
“I got off that ship with my sea bag over my shoulder and we threw it on a truck and they carted me over to Kaneohe from Pearl Harbor where we had landed,” Long recalled.
It was a different experience when he flew to Hawaii for the 75th anniversary in 2016, a trip that was paid for by a survivor’s group.
“We came in on a first class United chartered jet. All the girls with the leis were there with the Hawaiian music,” he remembered. “We ended up not in a bunk in the barracks, but in a very nice ocean room at the Hawaiian Hilton.”
He attended a dinner where survivors were seated at random with dignitaries. At his table were Japan’s Honolulu-based consul general and his wife.
“He and his wife were there in full regalia,” Long said. He asked if they might be able to help him identify the pilot who attacked his plane 77 years ago.
“They did some searching I guess, or told somebody to do it, but within a month or so I got a message from them and the proof is not positive but they sent the information on three Japanese pilots. It was probably one of those three,” Long said. All three have died, but Long was impressed the consul general had taken the time to find out.
On Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long holds up a replica of the military seaplane he was standing watch on when Japanese warplanes attacked Hawaii 77 years ago. Long was alone on the anchored plane in the middle of Kaneohe Bay, across the island from Pearl Harbor, when the attack happened, watching as the bombs and bullets killed and wounded thousands. When the gunfire reached his plane, setting the aircraft ablaze, he jumped into the water and swam through flames to safety. (Eric Risberg/AP)
Long no longer harbors ill will against Japan or its people.
“I don’t know when that feeling left me. But as you are probably well aware, we were taught to hate those people with all our hearts, and when you’re looking at one down a gun sight, you can’t really feel much love for anyone — that’s for darn sure,” he said.
“That has long since changed.”
Long has not always marked the anniversary like he does now.
“For about 50, 60 years or so, it was a day that rang a little bell to me, but I did not do much,” he said. “In the past 20 or so (years), I take part in some kind of activity that I’ll say is appropriate for the day.”
This year, Long plans to visit school children to talk about Pearl Harbor , then will light a beacon atop Mount Diablo in Concord, California. The beacon, known as the Eye of Diablo, was put out shortly after the attack in 1941. In 1964, Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander of U.S. Pacific forces during World War II, relit the beacon, beginning a yearly tradition.
On Friday morning at about the time of the attack, Long spoke with the AP at his home as he prepared for the day: “I recall the day very, very distinctly,” he said. “I don’t usually think of it as this day but as the day that started the war for our country that caused so, so much havoc. And I do recall the friends who never came back with, oh, much sadness.”
HE STOOD WATCH THAT DAY
Long remembers that weekend of the attack as routine, “or so it started out,” he wrote in a 1992 essay that he provided to The Associated Press.
The 20-year-old seaman from Minnesota enrolled in boot camp in March 1941, a “snotty nose kid, fresh off the farm.” That Sunday morning was his first day of operational duty with the squadron he had been assigned to about a month earlier.
He was tasked with standing watch aboard a seaplane in the bay across the island from Pearl Harbor.
He arrived early and took a small boat toward the awaiting Catalina flying boat, cruising across the turquoise waters of windward Oahu with Hawaii’s 73-degree air splashing across his face.
“I recall it was a beautiful sunny day in Hawaii that morning,” Long said.
He relieved a comrade who had stood watch overnight, and began preparing for a day of signal drills and regular maintenance checks. He settled into the pilot’s compartment to wait for contact from the beach signaling station to begin his drills.
This photo provided by retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long shows Long in his Navy uniform in 1941. Now, 77 years later, Long remembers that day and tells how he escaped a burning plane and swam beneath flames to get away, ducking into the water to hide every time a Japanese plane made a pass overhead. (Don Long via AP)
A few minutes later, he heard the roar of airplanes overhead and then the sound of explosions. He assumed it was U.S. military making practice runs, but quickly realized he was wrong. In the distance, Long saw planes flying over hangars and buildings exploding. Another plane that was anchored nearby was hit and burst into flames.
Seconds later, a Japanese plane made a run toward his moored aircraft. “The sequence of events during the next few minutes is not entirely clear,” he recalled.
Long jumped from the pilot’s seat and started looking for a life jacket, but bullets were immediately producing fountains of seawater inside the cabin. The fuel tanks in the wings were hit, and he was quickly surrounded by flames.
He gave up on the life jacket and made a run for the rear exit. Gasoline was ablaze on the water, so he jumped into the bay and swam beneath the flames to get away from the burning plane. He came to the surface and through the flames three times for air.
He soon realized his military-issued high-top work shoes were bogging him down, so he dove underwater and removed them. Still far from shore, Long found a wooden channel marker and swam to it, ducking beneath the waves to hide every time a Japanese plane made a pass.
Once the attack planes left Long saw flames, smoke and sinking aircraft all around the bay. He spotted a boat that was searching for survivors and flagged them down.
Swimming through the flames burned his head, face and arms, but Long considered himself in good health compared to the wounded and dead around him.
“Shipmates on the shore greeted me with comments like ‘we never expected to see you again,'” Long recalled. “I was told I looked pretty bad.”
“The attack was over, but much turmoil remained,” he wrote. “That’s it — the start of the first day of a long war.”
Associated Press photographer Eric Risberg contributed to this report from Napa, California.