How I would love to share this latest tidbit from my research about my childhood fiends and neighbors. I miss my siblings especially at times like this. In Belmont Mass our next door neighbors on one side were the Ginsburghs. First of all, I discovered that they spelled their name with an h at the end. I just naturally thought Ginsburg – I now learn 70+ years on it’s spelled Ginsburgh with an “h”. It was a family of 4, Harold and Betty the parents and Allen and Ethel the children. What I really want to share with my brother and sisters is that I discovered that Mrs Ginsberg lived to age 103!! Who would have thought!

Arctic Operation Haudegen Dr. Wilhelm Dege

On the outer fringe of WW2

Pacific Paratrooper

The weather station where 11 German soldiers were trapped, forgotten by the fallen Nazis.

I thank Klausbernd for bringing this story to Pacific Paratrooper about the last German to surrender.  Not wanting any part of war, Dr. Dege became part of Operation Haudegen….

Weather played an important role during the Second World War. It dictated the outcome of Naval battles and decided the routes of military convoys. Weather and visibility affected photographic reconnaissance and bombing raids. Much of D-day planning revolved around the weather, and the landing itself was delayed by 24 hours because of choppy seas. Weather information was so sensitive that it was transmitted encoded from weather stations.

By August 1941, the Allies had captured many weather stations operated by the Germans on Greenland and on Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard Archipelago in Norway. These stations were critical because the air over Svalbard told a lot about what was…

View original post 861 more words

Memories Of Childhood

A memory of Marcia McDonald. We were very small, riding our tricycles. I rode ahead down the slight hill to stop at the home of Mrs. Campbell. Marcia came after me and as she stopped her wheel somehow caught the wheel of my tricycle and I toppled over, hitting my head on the sidewalk. The bleeding was profuse. Mrs Campbell came out of her house and carried me up the hill around the corner to my home. She was wearing a white dress – needless to say it was soon quite red. I had to have several stitches in my forehead. I still have the scar almost 80 years later.

Hanging Out In Maine

My childhood friend Marcia McDonald (and her twin brother Arthur)) were a year younger than me. In the early elementary school years Marcia and I spent a lot of time together. Our houses were near and her home was where I and other children of similar age would hang out,

In the summer the McDonald family went to their cabin on a lake in Skowhegan Maine. One summer in the 1940’s I was invited to spend some time with the family there. It was beautiful and they even had a motorboat.

I was a year and a half older than the McDonald twins, Marcia and Arthur, so I was a grade ahead of them as we grew through the school years. So it was only natural that in Junior and then Senior High we would each develop new interests and new friends.

And then we diverged even more when I left home to go to college. I eventually lost touch completely. Occasionally though my sisters met up with Evelyn, the twins older sister. So I learned that Arthur was married and still living in Belmont. And Marcia had married and was living in Portland Maine.

Now it is many years later and I am searching for information about the McDonald family. I found that the father, called Archie, passed away in 1972 at the age of 68. The mother was Swedish, Hildur. She lived 10 years longer and passed away at age 76. In the early years when I knew the family, the father took the children to the Catholic Church. The mother was Protestant but I wasn’t aware of her going to church.

Their home on Prebble Gardens Road was always open and welcoming. They had several interesting trees in their back yard. These had been brought to the area in the 1800’s when that land was part of the Benton Estate. And they had a brick wall forming part of the border of their property – again another remnant of the Benton Estate.

The Virus Hits Home

Yesterday I went for a Covid test. I went down to the lobby and waited for the van to transport me downtown. There was a large fire truck and I watched the firemen packing up their gear and getting ready to depart. I inquired about the presence of the truck and was told that a resident had had “some difficulty”. Not unusual given the age of the residents in a retirement community.

Well later in the day my son phoned to say that the director of this facility had issued the lockdown order – again! An air of gloom prevails this morning.

Our Parents Generation

They are all gone now. Now our generation is approaching or has reached the great unknown. I am researching my contemporaries – trying to find out where each of them is their life journey. In my previous blog I explored the Gugger family. Today I looked up the Moore family who lived on my road (Od Middlesex Road) across the street from the Benton Branch Library. It was a family of numerous daughters. The youngest was Loretta, who was close to my age. She was a year ahead of me in high school. I remember Loretta particularly because she was friendly with Larry Foster who was in her class in Belmont High School, Class of 1953. Sadly Larry was killed in a plane crash on Nantucket Island.

In my research I found that Loretta was now a widow. Her husband of 49 years died in 2015. They married in 1966. She and her husband were accomplished librarians and had lived in Salem Massachusetts for many years. They each had attended Simmons College where they achieved some of their library science credentials. (My mother also attended Simmons when she was in her 50’s and earned her M.A. in Library Science.)

Childhood Friends

I feel that I grew up in a neighborhood of great diversity – not the diversity of 2020 but rather the diversity of the 1930’s and 1940’s. And it was the backgrounds of my playmates and classmates that interested me. They were all Americans, so far as I knew, with the exception of the 2 exchange students Anne-Lise from Heidelburg Germany and Nicole Gaston from Luxembourg. But either the parents or grandparents of many of our classmates had emigrated from Europe and eventually became U. S. Citizens.

One of my playmates was a little girl named Martha Gugger. Looking her up in the 1940 U.S. Census, I find that her parents were from Switzerland. Digging a little deeper I found that her father emigrated in 1914 just before the First World War. In 1919 he returned to his home in Switzerland and then entered the U.S. again from Montreal. He applied for Citizenship in 1921 and it was granted in 1927.

Her mother emigrated from Switzerland in 1923. The couple married in the late 1920’s and lived in Cambridge on Massachusetts Ave. Their neighbors came from Sweden, Italy, Ireland, Canada, and even elsewhere in Massachusetts. Their son Edward was born in 1931 and their daughter Martha in 1935.

In the 1940 Census the father is listed as a home owner of a house worth $4,500. His annual income was $2,600. His occupation varied in description but he was a graduate of a 4 year university, with a degree in mechanical engineering. He could speak both French and German.

He was born in 1890 and died in 1970 at the age of 80. He and his wife were still living at the address on Pine Street in Belmont. The son is still living, age 90, in Burlington Massachusetts. The daughter Martha married soon after graduating from high school. Her married name was Doyle.