The postcard read: “Your boy is alive!”

The power of a postcard.

Pacific Paratrooper

James MacMannis and his wife listen to their ham radio

James ‘Dad Mac’ MacMannis is believed to have sent as many as 33,000 postcards during World War II.

WEST PALM BEACH — Dad Mac sat in his living room and furiously scribbled the names the German propaganda machine rattled off. Names of GIs whose moms and dads and siblings and sweethearts in Florida and Iowa and Oregon. Loved ones who for weeks or months had wondered and worried and wrung their hands. Mac would fill out and address a postcard. It would say: Your boy is alive.

As World War II raged, and before and after D-Day, James L. MacMannis wrote as many as 33,000 postcards to families across America. After a while, people called him Dad.

At first, he said, he sent out just a few cards, and he got few responses.

“I was discouraged,” he told Palm Beach…

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Postcard From London

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Strand on the Green, Chiswick

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Note the postmark 1967

This card was sent to me in Kenya by an English friend whom I met in Colorado when I was en route across the U.S. to take up residence in San Francisco.  Convoluted.  Th[s new friend was most interesting.  She and her family were long settled in San Francisco.  But during the Second World War the family was living in the Philippines  and they were interned under house arrest by the japanese, she being English and her husband German.  They had a young child approximately my age.

Voyage to Venezuela (8) – Second Day on the Santa Rosa – January 31, 1938

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the  beginning of a series of posts concerning Lad’s Voyage to Venezuela, taking a similar route as John Jackson Lewis during the first portion of his journey, about 88 years later. Lad and Dan had been hired by their Uncle Ted Human (husband of Helen (Peabody) Human, Aunt Helen), sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, Grandpa’s wife who had passed away in 1933 after a long illness. This is Lad’s version of the adventure he was taking and the same trip Dan had taken earlier in the year, traveling with Ted Human to South America.

Saturday, which was the 31st, I spent in meeting and talking to people that seemed to be doing the same thing, reading in the lounge and doing a little writing.  That evening there was to be a welcoming dinner and for the first time I realized that I really did not have the…

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