Acts Not Words… Part II

Images are stored in different places than documents.  It is easier to get pictures of the 91st Engineers in World War II… than it is to obtain words regarding what they were doing.

I thought I had lost the “official picture” of when the Presidential Unit Citation was awarded (a year plus after the fact and long after most had moved on to other places).  But my scanner stopped scanning and while I was waiting for my computer to complete a check on why the scanner was not working… I found the picture.

Some things were just meant to be…

Thinking and being inspired by history while typing on a l956 Underwood.
Thinking and being inspired by history while typing on a l956 Underwood.

Acts not words…

By the time I came into this world… World War II had been over for eleven years.  By the time I was old enough to understand what my father had to say about his time in service he had stopped talking about those days.  Until his last weeks… then he spoke of the transport troop ships and how the confined space caused some to just leap overboard.  And about his desire to return home.

Being in a general service unit he came back with the ability to work every piece of heavy construction equipment you can imagine.  He knew how to build, paint, repair, and work with stone, electrical work… auto maintenance… which would seem obvious if you spent your time with the Corp of Engineers.  The thing is that the official records have been lost and this range and level of expertise was not expected of a “colored” general service unit.

So I have to go by his discharge papers… and the medals… and campaign pins to re-construct a possible history.  He arrived in the Pacific Theater 6 April (Australia), three campaign stars: 1) East Indies 2) Papua 3) New Guinea.  U.S. history books show the bulk of the 91st Engineers General Service going to Papua until December.  However, Australian history books show elements of the 91st in Papua on April 15, 1942.  The Presidential Unit Citation was for work done during the Papua campaign which indicates work being done on Hospitals, Ammo Storage Areas and Wharf/piers… which would indicate he was in Papua before the arrival of the main group… since I can find no other way to explain the high level recognition unless he was there early in the events at Papua instead of the tail end.

The 91st Engineers General Service... WWII.  Typed on a 1975 Smith Corona.
The 91st Engineers General Service… WWII. Typed on a 1975 Smith Corona.

American History Month

Some like to limit this month by referring to it as “Black History Month” I like to think of it as “American History with color”.  My Grandmother was born on Valentine Day, and she will always be my Valentine.  Almost thirty years ago I was applying for a new job and was looking for my birth certificate… my Grandmother asked me what I was looking for?  I told her and she became very upset and worried.  Her fear that if my future employer were to see my birth certificate I would not get hired… because they would know I was “Colored”.  In the world she grew up in this was a true concern…  today only talent will keep someone out of baseball.

We should celebrate the remarkable advancement in a single lifetime that allows talent and skill to reach its full potential without first having to escape the limitations and fictions of skin tone expectations.

Typed on a 1951 Underwood typewriter with black ink on white paper... colors that work well together.
Typed on a 1951 Underwood typewriter with black ink on white paper… colors that work well together.

Also cropped from this picture was the 3rd U.S. Cavalry… John W. Heard, Regimental Quartermaster, was awarded the Medal of Honor as well.

After a closer look at these pictures one can see they are different images…. The Flag is in a different angle and Col. Roosevelt has his hat on in one and off in another.   And no one is directly in front of him.  First impression and close examination often tell different stories.  This one just did.   GEE

I will not rename my Sears Tower typewriter the Willis Tower…

Silly arguments happen everyday.  I wanted to have one I could control… so I have vented on what we call things.  Then how we refuse to accept change…. and when you consider one thing… the building… the typewriter… what-ever even the dog… will not care.  Call a dog Larry one day… and Bill the next… if food is associated with you looking at them and saying

Rover eat… they will come (they know the important word is eat… food… meal…. ready… supper and not Joe… Bob.. or Jane)…

Oh… I do know that Smith-Corona made this for Sears… but that is another story…

No matter that they call the Sears Tower the Willis Tower this 1951 typewriter remains Sears.
No matter that they call the Sears Tower the Willis Tower this 1951 typewriter remains Sears.


Looking at six: Reliance, Woodstock, Remington, Underwood & Royal 5 & 10

When I was in high school a friend of mine bought a brand new 1970’s something Ford Pinto… he opened the hood and explained to me just how little he thought of the components that made up his car.  But it was brand new.  I was driving a decade old (plus some) Thunderbird and loving it.  Another friend had a 64 Mustang that he considered a hand-me-down and really wanted a Firebird.   A 57 Chevy was something your Grandparents owned …   A VW “Thing” was cool… Gremlins were interesting… Bugs were everywhere and the only truly important thing was to drive… anything that moved… was better than the bus or walking.

Time places it own take on the value of a car made 40 years ago. Looking back on typewriters made 90 years ago… I start to think would I buy a fully featured used typewriter or a brand new low-priced one. Where I live someone owns a 1970’s Ford Pinto (not me) and another a Yellow 1959 Caddy… guess which one draws a crowd?   Nothing wrong with that Pinto.  Noting wrong with a Reliance… either (which for some reason I keep wanting to call Reliant).

Six typewriters from the early years...
Six typewriters from the early years…