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Memories From The Dawn Of Time

October 26th, 2013 Jorma Leave a comment Go to comments
Lake Winnipesaukee in the morning

Lake Winnipesaukee in the morning

The graveyard next to the hotel

The graveyard next to the hotel

My Father served the U.S. Government in one way or the other all of his adult life. From 1956 to 1962 he was First Secretary of the American Embassy in Manila in what was then called the Philippine Islands. (Now it’s the Republic Of The Philippines) I went to the American School my junior year of high school. When I would return in 1961 after three quarters at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio I would attend the Ateneo De Manila, but that is another story for another time.

My connection with the Philippines would have a resounding effect on my life in many ways. My uncle fought in the Pacific Theater in WWII. He landed in the Philippines. My dad was there on his way to Tokyo in 1945. In a distant but real way, my blood lives there. I spent two days with newly minted ‘old’ friends and we talked about the very old days and much was shared by the children of people who’s parents fled Nazi Germany so they could be born in China, wind up in the Philippines and become Americans. Again, as a second generation American, the successful tale of immigration is important to me. I recommend the movies, Rescue In The Philippines… Escape From The Holocaust… The Secret War In The Pacific, and Victims Of Circumstance about the internments in Sta. Thomas.

You know, I could and do complain about a lot of things. Obamacare is not treating my family well. Does it make me mad? Sure. But you know what, I am not going to find myself herded into a gulag tomorrow… no one is going to behead me or my wife and my children are not going to be bayoneted. We are not going to starve and even though I have had amoebic dysentery, malaria and dengue fever, I’m probably not going to get them again. My little problems are an embarrassment of riches, and I am grateful for that.

On our time off, I chose to go to Wolfeboro, NH to the Wright Museum, a museum dedicated to the years of WWII. My father and my two uncles served. My Uncle Tarmo’s flag resides with honor in our music room. I mentioned this to the docent when we went in. She was my age… 72 or so. She had her father’s flag, her uncles flag and her husband’s flag from Vietnam. I thanked her and her family for their ultimate service. It brought tears to my eyes for sure. Anyway… here are some picture I took at the museum.

See... I remember these things

See... I remember these things

I remember this too...

I remember this too...

The Big One

The Big One

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

Bring'em home today too!

Bring'em home today too!

Well, suffice it to say… it’s been a couple of days to remember. Nothing like old friends and nothing like new either. It’s also good to be able to put your like into perspective from time to time. And I must also pay tribute to our current ‘Greatest Generation,’ who serve our country world wide. Thanks y’all. there’s an old guitar picker down in Southeast Ohio who thanks and honors you.

Already then. I’m at Logan airport heading for JFK and then on to London and Finland.

I’m off folks. More from across the pond. Onward!

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  1. John B
    October 26th, 2013 at 14:59 | #1

    I have a friend whose mom was Jewish. She had to flee the holocaust from Italy . Her husband to be ; Gus was a merchant Marine and he helped in her escape to China . Later at the end of the war he returned ; married her and their union produced my friend Bob and his sister Denise. Gus was a man of immense stature and courage.

    Regarding the danger of us being herded up and tossed into a gulag or worse. I never allow myself to forget that when that horror started people lived in a modern society and thought themselves quite advanced . Thanks for the reminder Jorma that we must be ever vigilant and mindful that when they come and take our neighbor away that we will be next. Find the cost of freedom…..

    John

  2. Barbara Jacobs
    October 26th, 2013 at 18:22 | #2

    Interesting story, John B.@John B

  3. Barbara Jacobs
    October 26th, 2013 at 18:31 | #3

    Jorma:
    This blog-post says a lot about many important topics.
    It could (perhaps will) be a good chapter in your autobiography/ photo-book, which I’ve advised you to do, many months ago; here on your blog.

    Photo: “Lake Winnipesaukee in the morning” is another to add to your book.

    Have a great trip to Finland, Jorma. Put a smile on those Finnish faces!

  4. chuck newman
    October 26th, 2013 at 22:27 | #4

    Yes Jorma I remember gasoline at 18.9. What a time all of us boys in the Midwest would have as just a few bucks in the tank and we could ride from town to town all night hooting and hollering out the windows at the girls. At the local pizza joint a glass of Coke, fries and a burger didn’t even kill $2.00 and it was no dollar menu mini. Yes the good old days. Now if you see me driving around hooting and hollering out the window at a lady I’m probably trying to get her to have pity on an old man and give me gas money and a BK coupon.

  5. Hogan
    October 27th, 2013 at 10:09 | #5

    Dear Jorma,

    Thank you…I come from a family that served the military also, my dad, all my uncles, my two brothers, and now my son and my new son-in-law. It’s been quite disheartening for them lately though. When we had the government shut down they said it would not effect the military but it did, they had closed the commissary’s on base and the big local food chains around the base raised there prices, then my son-in-laws pay check got cut twice and was told oops were sorry, we’ll try and fix it. Not to mention all the programs they’ve been cutting for them and our vets. I keep telling them it will get better, to keep strong and remember all the right reasons they volunteered for to serve and protect this great country we live in. I apologize for venting on your blog but it seems like the older I get the more passionate I get about certain things
    The picture of the sunrise on the lake is beautiful.
    Safe travels and looking forward to the NYC shows.
    Hogan
    :)

  6. johno
    October 27th, 2013 at 13:08 | #6

    Just remember, Hei, missa en vessa.

  7. steven levenson
    October 27th, 2013 at 13:40 | #7

    Very funny. (I looked it up).

    @johno

  8. jim hitchcock
    October 27th, 2013 at 15:09 | #8

    Ah, Lou Reed, a great and growly voice.

  9. chuck newman
    October 27th, 2013 at 15:59 | #9

    Yes Jim and he could also go tender. His live version of Coney Island Baby from the Take No Prisoners album and the best example for me is Pale Blue Eyes from the album The Velvet Underground.@jim hitchcock

  10. mikie
    October 28th, 2013 at 08:18 | #10

    My dad served in the Phillipines in WWII in the Corps of Engineers. He was stationed, then, in occupied Japan where he met my mom, an Army nurse. They both had adventures, many of which are captured in her frequent letters home – which her mom saved and now we have. Amazing stuff, she even walked through Nagasaki abt. 3 months after The Bomb went off there. With apparently no ill effects – she died two weeks ago after just turning 94.
    Hers was really our Greatest Generation. Look at what this nation accomplished since her birth in 1919! Now, we fight and squabble over protecting a quarter of our population which presently has no health insurance – an anomoly in the modern world for sure. The politicized fix is certainly not a perfect one, the benefits to those most in need will someday outweigh your short term pain, I’m sure. God bless in your journeys, m

  11. John B
    October 28th, 2013 at 10:28 | #11

    Have the dates been posted yet for the 2014 FPR shows? I thought that they were going up on the 25th.

  12. John B
    October 28th, 2013 at 10:35 | #12

    As to Obamacare it is nothing more then I M H O a Hegelian Dialectic .

  13. bob kelly
    October 28th, 2013 at 10:49 | #13

    Again words well crafted..Thoughts with My dad who just checked out, served in Korea…and what his generation went through.. The life he lived.. miss him already.. So now here we are today..

  14. John B
    October 28th, 2013 at 11:53 | #14

    Sorry for your loss Bob Kelly. My dad was a Korea Vet also. WE lost him 4 yrs ago and I miss him dearly . @bob kelly

  15. eaglesteve
    October 28th, 2013 at 13:23 | #15

    HooRAH Captain.
    Travel sale.

  16. johno
    October 28th, 2013 at 13:34 | #16

    @eaglesteve
    Is your last name eagle? or is that just a monicker you took. My last name means “eagle” in a European dialect – thought we may be relatives. Also if you want a good site for travel sales, try Vacations to Go. I book cruises at really good prices.

  17. Barbara Jacobs
    October 28th, 2013 at 16:51 | #17

    bob Kelly and John B. : we have that in common, our dads served during the war in Korea. I’ve commented here before about my dad’s Navy service: he was never the same (as I heard from relatives) after he returned home.

  18. Barbara Jacobs
    October 28th, 2013 at 17:11 | #18

    jim Hitchcock and chuck newman:
    Talk about Lou Reed and his tender side: (This is one of my favorite stories about meeting a somebody in a place that was totally unexpected):

    Back in 1996, I was at a designer table-ware sample sale, on 13th street in the Village. Rows of floor-to-ceiling shelves, stocked with high-end serving/dining
    ware: silver platters, crystal glassware, china plates.
    So, I’m kneeling down and checking-out some beautiful things on the bottom shelf; when I hear the unmistakable voice of Lou Reed.
    (I had never met him before: not backstage at MSG or at a music industry event; where he wouldn’t have surprised me.)

    The items weren’t marked with prices, only color-coded tags that corresponded to the actual sale-prices which were on a chart at the check-out counter; staffed by very nice ladies who worked for the designer
    .
    Lou asks me: “Hey, how do you figure out what the prices are for these things?”
    I reply: “The tags are color-coded and the ladies at the check-out counter know the prices, they don’t even need the price-charts because they have the prices memorized.”
    Lou says: “How can they remember all of that?!”
    I say: “Look, Lou; it’s like your song lyrics. I didn’t write them, but I’ve heard them so many times that I’ve got them memorized.”
    We both laughed and I was mostly amazed that I had just met Lou Reed, in the late morning at a sample sale — and he was buying dishes!

    In the years after that, I ran into Lou many times at concerts and events around N.Y.C. We always shared a laugh about meeting at that sample sale, shopping for dishes.

  19. John B
    October 28th, 2013 at 17:43 | #19

    Saw Lou Reed perform Foot Of Pride at Bobfest in Madison Square Garden .

  20. jim hitchcock
    October 28th, 2013 at 17:50 | #20

    Enjoyed the story, Barbara :)

  21. Peter Magurean III
    October 28th, 2013 at 20:24 | #21

    Dear Jorma,

    I don’t know if you would recall meeting me over 50 years ago, but we all called you “Jerry” in those days in Manila.

    We first met at your Manila home. Your parents were very kind, and we all partied with you and friends in the family room. You were dating a young lovely woman, Mary, who was a U.S. Navy captain’s daughter….their family name has escaped me. I was an Ensign newly assigned to a U.S. Navy command based in the Port Area near the Manila Hotel.

    You played the guitar that night, though not so much, as there were other distractions occupying us. Of course all of had no idea that you would go on to be a superstar in the music world.

    We have not met since 1961/62 but I was in the audience when you did a Jefferson Airplane concert in Oahu, Hawaii and again when you did a Hot Tuna concert in Prague, I believe it was in the mid- to late 1990s, if my memory serves me correctly.

    It would me super to be in contact with you by phone and see you in person again some day. I did go on in my active duty for only a total of four years on to Vietnam before returning to the USA. Most of my life though has been in Europe and Asia. I am currently in Miami Beach taking it easy, but have family in northern Indiana yet, so could stop by Fur Peace some day.

    Thanks for writing about your days in the Philippines Islands…..and thanks for speaking of your dad and his memory for all the service he gave to our country. We should remember all of those fine people who gave so much in service to our government over the years.

    Good luck on your European tour.

    Warm wishes,

    Peter Magurean III
    2380 NE 183rd Terrace
    North Miami Beach, FL 33160
    (425) 802-6600
    peter3rd@gmail.com

  22. Dave Millard
    October 29th, 2013 at 10:44 | #22

    From a fellow American School alum, wish I could have gone – everyone who went there shares something special, no matter what years they attended or for how long, and living in the Philippines certainly brought WW II a lot closer.. I had a Philippine history teacher who was in a village under Japanese occupation, and she had a lot of horror stories to relate, none of which a small child should ever have had to witness. We are truly lucky here.
    Have a great time in Finland, one of my favorite vacation spots!

  23. Brett
    October 29th, 2013 at 13:02 | #23

    Pitää hauskaa Jorma

  24. Rich G
    October 29th, 2013 at 14:40 | #24

    Eloquently written story Jorma,
    Thanks for sharing.
    Peace.

  25. jim hitchcock
    October 29th, 2013 at 15:25 | #25

    remuta, pitää hauskaa

  26. Barbara Jacobs
    October 29th, 2013 at 23:56 | #26

    BobFest was a fantastic concert. The finest at MSG, in admiration of a living musician/songwriter/Artist.@John B

  27. Barbara Jacobs
    October 30th, 2013 at 00:00 | #27

    It was quite a surprise meeting! I think back at it now: I was in the right place, at the right time. Lou was the only male at the sale. Nobody recognized him, except for me and he just happened to be standing right next to me.
    Out of all the aisles at that sample sale.@jim hitchcock