My father, his brothers Ed and Fran, and his sister Adeline were all WWII veterans. My Uncle Fran was killed in action at Peleliu Island in 1944. My Uncle Ed piloted a B-25 bomber in combat missions in the South Pacific. My dad was in Okinawa and Korea but his records were lost in the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center. My Aunt Adeline was in the WAVES and I believe her service was administrative work.
No one talked much about their service, they were busy starting families. There was a severe housing shortage and I lived in veterans housing at 50 Horan Avenue, Stamford, CT, a neighborhood that no longer exists.
I posted an earlier blog posting about my childhood memories of this neighborhood but could not find any historical records for the posting. In some ways it is untold story. I have no photos of the neighborhood and only a few of friends. Imagine my surprise when someone came across the earlier blog post and responded with this comment:
I wonder if you remember me. I used to live at 167 Loveland Road (originally #56) and went to school with you. I was doing some random association surfing and wondered if I could find anything about the veterans development where I first lived.
Do you remember in the second grade moving from the old Willard school to the new, modern Newfield school? I remember you lived in the yellow house at the top of the hill on the corner where Loveland Road was extended into that newer area. On the other side was a green house where my friend Margaret Semple lived. I was in the white house on the left as you went around the corner and downhill on Loveland. The Kennedys lived across from me. Remember Danny and Kevin? And there were the Farrells who eventually had 10 kids (or more). The Peets who lived next to me had two girls: Debbie and Beverly. The O’Learys across the street: Bobby and Gary. And the Connors’s: Fergie and a younger brother. Fergie was killed in ‘Nam. And I remember your family’s bicycle store in Stamford near the bottom of Greenwood Hill.
About the kerosene stoves: I think our house was the only one where there wasn’t a line run from the 55-gallon kerosene drum into the stove. To the last day I had to go out and stand on the back steps in the cold and draw of gallon jugs and bring them in and fill the tank on the back of the stove.
I’m a long ways from CT now. After college in West Virginia and a tour in the Army (which included ‘Nam) I came back to CT wand worked there until last year when I packed up and moved to the Idaho panhandle. I’m in the little town of Hayden which is just to the north of Coeur d’Alene. This area is beautiful and a lot less expensive than CT.
Thanks for the memory jolt.
Richard jolted some of my memories also. These homes had central heat. I definitely remember ice on the windows in the bedroom in winter time. Originally it was a coal stove and we had a coal bin attached to the rear of the house. I’m not sure if there was a hatch to get to it from the outside. After we converted to kerosene my dad would use the bin to store his outboard motor, gasoline and some fun tools such as a blowtorch. We did not have line running from the kerosene stove. A drum with a spigot was in the back of the house and the fuel would be added behind the stove into a small tank. I remember this because my younger sister dipped a cup into the filling area and took a drink. That led to a speedy trip to the emergency room.
This neighborhood was a great place to be a kid. We were all about the same age, born after the war, the great baby boom. In the summer I remember that one father would set up a movie projector in his back yard and show cartoons on a screen for the neighborhood kids, that was a blast.
As Richard wrote my best friend Fergie (Fergus Connors Jr.) was killed in Vietnam. At that time we had lost track of each other.
All of the sons of that neighborhood reached our late teens and early twenties just as the Vietnam War was heating up. I received my draft notice in 1968 and joined the Navy. That is material for another blog posting.
Thanks to all Veterans for their service.