Tag Archives: World War II

A Date That Will Live In World History


pearl-planesToday is the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  As I’ve mentioned before in these pages, I’m kind of a World War II history buff, and I always stop and reflect on this day and remember the 2,403 Americans who died in the attack, and the 1,178 that were wounded.  ( I know those numbers from memory.)  It was the largest number of non-combatants killed in an attack until the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.  Because we were not in a state of war at the time the Japanese raided Pearl Harbor, the dead are considered non-combatants, not military losses.  The military personnel had not even been issued dog tags yet, which made identifying many of them impossible.  There were  700 unidentified soldiers and sailors, and only one of those has been identified to this day.  Sixty-eight  of the 2,403 were civilians, and most of those casualties were the result of friendly fire. 

uss-arizona1,177 Sailors and Marines died on the USS Arizona alone.  It took four direct bomb hits, one which went through four decks and detonated in the powder magazine.  The ship sunk to the bottom in minutes.  The concussion from the blast threw men off the ship like match sticks, and some landed in the water where 4 inches of oil was burning.  Others were thrown clear from the ball of fire to adjacent ships. 

torpedoWhy did the US Navy think it was safe to dock all the battleships in a row off Ford Island?  It was because they felt they were impervious to torpedo attack since Pearl Harbor is only 30-35  feet deep, and they didn’t think the Japanese were capable of an attack from as far away as Hawaii.  The Japanese knew that attacking the fleet with torpedo planes would not work, and high level bombing was inaccurate.  They needed to figure out how to use torpedoes in shallow water.  Torpedoes dropped from low flying aircraft needed 60 feet or more of water to level out to the target.  What they came up with was a plywood fin that would break away upon impact with the water, and the torpedo would skip along just below the surface.   They had to dive bomb, release the torpedo, and then pull up quickly to avoid crashing into the conning tower on the ship.  They still only had limited success testing this modification so they were amazed by how effective it was.   The torpedoes in Pearl Harbor were described as dragon flies skimming on the surface of the water.

When Roosevelt heard of the attack, his first response was disbelief, and then it was full on anger.   He was fully convinced that Hitler was behind the attack, but there is sufficient historical evidence that Germany was just as surprised by the attack as our military in Pearl Harbor.  Not to say Hitler wasn’t pleased, but he had wanted Japan to attack Russia through China and redirect some of the Russian defense off the Eastern Front.  

 I was a full-on conspiracy theorist for a long time about the attack on Pearl Harbor.  I think Roosevelt was fairly certain that a direct attack on American interests in the Pacific would rally the isolationists to support the war, and he desperately wanted that to happen.  What better way to achieve that goal then by ignoring the Japanese threat to the Pacific Fleet?  It certainly had that effect, for only one member  of Congress, a female pacifist  from Montana, Jeanette Rankin, voted against the Declaration of War against Japan.   The vote in the House was 388-1, and the Senate unanimously approved the resolution 82-0.  In 1916, Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress.  She also voted “no” in 1917 to declare War on Germany in WW I.  In reality, it probably would have only taken one American casualty, anywhere in the world, by Japan or Germany, to elicit the same type of war fervor in this country at the time.  There is no historical evidence, however,  that Roosevelt had any prior knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but he did know that something was going to come about.  

The United States had cracked the Japanese diplomatic code in 1940, and was intercepting their diplomatic messages, receiving information before their embassy did.   Known as MAGIC, it was set up to combine the government’s cryptographic organizations into one agency.  The Japanese Foreign Office used a cipher machine known as PURPLE which was a modified ENIGMA machine that was given to the Japanese after they signed the Tripartite Pact.  The United States knew months ahead of time that the Japanese were going to end negotiations and were going to attack, but they were only able to intercept and cipher diplomatic traffic and not with complete accuracy.  The Japanese military used a completely different code.  The Japanese Foreign Office was not even aware of the imminent attack on Hawaii.  The military kept it completely secret.  The details were only known by a very few high-level military leaders in Japan.  The pilots on the carriers were not told of their target until December 6th.

The deciphered diplomatic traffic never specified where, or when, and one only needs to look at a map of the Pacific to see what a guessing game that would have been.   Should they have been more prepared in Oahu in December of 1941?  Absolutely.  But only Admiral Kimmel and General Short were charged with Dereliction of Duty and removed from command.  They did not have MAGIC information unless Washington saw fit to supply it.  During one of the eight Congressional hearings on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel made it clear that if he had all of the information from the ciphers he would  have formed an entirely different opinion.

yamamoto Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, known as “Operation Z,” had only one purpose in mind:  To cripple the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl and buy time for their expansionist plans in the South Pacific.  They were hoping for six months.  They got less than two.  All six Japanese carriers used in the attack on Pearl Harbor were sunk by US Forces by the end of 1943.  Admiral Yamamoto’s plane was shot down over the island of Bougainville in 1943 by US P-38s in” Operation Vengeance,” and he was killed.

Although celebrated as a great victory by Japan at the time, the attack on Pearl Harbor was not truly a success for the Japanese.  The American carriers were not in Pearl Harbor on that Sunday morning.  They had miraculously been out delivering material to islands the US Government felt the Japanese were more likely to attack.  And the problem they had solved with the shallow-water torpedoes meant that the US ships were only sunk in about 30 feet of water, not to the bottom of the ocean which would have happened in the open sea.  In the final tally, eight battleships were damaged and four were sunk.  All but the USS Arizona were raised, and the USS Oklahoma was considered too old to repair.  The other six battleships were returned to service and went on to fight the war.  

fdrThe words “A date that will live in world history,” were the first dictation of the famous speech, to his secretary, Grace Tulley.  FDR delivered the speech to Congress on December 8th, 1941.  He changed the words “world history” to “infamy” in his final draft.   Two days after the attack, Japan allied with Germany and Italy, declaring war on the United States.  On December 11, 1941 we reciprocated and declared war on Germany and Italy.  The Senate voted 88-0 and the House voted 393-0 on the declaration of war on Germany, and 90-0 and 399-0 for war against Italy.  Jeannette Rankin chose to vote a non-committal “present” on both resolutions.  If you’re wondering about the difference in the vote tallies, it’s because some members reached the floor too late to vote on the declaration against Germany.

The entire attack lasted an hour and 15 minutes, but has truly been a date that continues to live in infamy.  Seventy-five years later, the world is a totally different place than it would have been had a diplomatic solution been reached at the final hour.  The Japanese had never planned for it to be a surprise attack.  The intention was for the Japanese ambassador to deliver the warning 30 minutes before the start of the attack, and it all came down to a bunch of two-finger typists trying to translate the diplomatic message in time.  Interestingly, many of the Japanese pilots felt dishonored by the surprise attack.  They considered themselves Samurai, and believed you did not attack a sleeping enemy, you woke them up and gave them a sword before you attacked.

“Japanese planes attacking all ships.  This is no shit.”  Shouted over the public address system on the battleship Oklahoma.  Minutes before, at 7:49 am, Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, had issued the command “To, To, To,” (Attack).  He later transmitted “To Ra, To Ra, To Ra,” (Tiger), to confirm back to the carriers that they had obtained surprise. 

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The Kido Butai


japanese-fleetOn this date, December 6th, 1941, the Japanese Fleet was 250 miles north of Ohau.  Having traveled 11 days over 4000 miles, undetected, they prepared to attack the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.  All six of Japan’s first-line aircraft carriers, Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku and Zuikaku, were there.  With over 420 planes, the ships constituted the most powerful carrier task force ever assembled.  The Pearl Harbor Task Force also included fast battleships, cruisers and destroyers, with tankers to fuel the ships during their passage across the Pacific, a total of 30 capital ships.  How did the Kido Butai, which set sail on November 26th, 1941, get all the way to the Hawaiian Islands without being seen?

track-of-ijn-to-pearl

 

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An Object That Shaped American Culture?


Did you know that “Silly Putty” was invented during World War II in some vain attempt at developing a synthetic rubber?  I mean it was pink.  Couldn’t you just see all the Fords, Buicks, and Chevrolet’s riding around on soft cushy pink round globs of “Silly Putty?”  Rubber was scarce on the Home Front, as you probably know, so those tires and tubes had to be patched over and over again to go anywhere in a car, if you had enough ration coupons to buy gas, and it was, as required, a necessary trip.  Thinking on it more, though, it could have actually worked, kind of like “FixAFlat” does today.  Instead of an inner tube, you would have the inside of the tire filled to the brim with “Silly Putty.”  As long as it didn’t squish out, it just might have kept the tire round, but I’m sure few could have afforded it, and would rather have spent the money on a re-tread.

The Japanese, in 1940, continued to occupy the rubber-producing countries in the Far East, cutting off supplies to the United States.  Hard to have a mobile army without tires on your trucks, so the War Production Board saw the need to develop a replacement, a synthetic rubber.  By 1943 a Scottish chemist working for GE combined  boric acid and silicone oil in a test tube and it “polymerized.”  Wright is beyond excited, pulls the stuff out of the test tube and throws it up in the air.  It bounces off the floor, and voila, “Bouncing Putty” is invented.

Seven years later, because no one can find a use for the stuff all that time, a toy shop owner in New Haven CT, decides to feature it in her upcoming catalog.  She puts the stuff in a clear plastic case and out sells out every other item in the “Block Shop” catalog at $2 each.  But she loses interest in the bouncing pink gooey substance, god knows why, and decides not to continue it in the next “Block Shop” catalog.  The catalog designer, Peter Hodgson Sr., thinks there’s a market for the toy.  He borrows $147 and buys some of the stuff.  Hodgson packages one ounce of the substance in clear plastic eggs and comes up with the name “Silly Putty.”

What happens next is another example of the power of the press.  A writer for “New Yorker” magazine, sees the stuff at a “Doubleday” book store, and writes a story about it which appears in the “Talk of the Town” section.  Within three days, Hodgson gets orders for over 250,000 eggs of “Silly Putty.”  Then another war steps in.  He can’t get the silicon because it is restricted due to the Korean War effort.  (Wait, that was a “police action” according to President Truman, not a war, right?)  Hodgson only has 1,500 pounds of the putty left, (Can you imagine that?) so he sparingly fills some of his back orders.  What does that produce?  Every kid in America wants an egg of “Silly Putty” and can’t get it.  Has that ever happened since, like “Cabbage Patch Kids,” and “Transformers?”  I’m pretty sure toy manufacturers took note of that phenomenon in 1951.

“Silly Putty” has been around now for 69 years.  When it reached its 50th anniversary, two eggs of the stuff were placed in the Smithsonian Institute as one of the objects that shaped American Culture.  Wow, “Silly Putty” shaped American Culture.  Well I guess you can “shape” it.  It bounces.  It’s still pink, although you can get it in many different colors today, and they even have a putty that changes color in your hand.  But what I find really amazing, is the stuff costs about the same as it did all those years ago; one dollar.  And now you can even get “Silly Putty” that glows in the dark!

Why, when everything else costs way more than it did in the 1950s, does “Silly Putty” stay at the same price point?  Riddle me that Batman?

   

 

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Hand-Me-Down Betsy


My first car was a Ford truck, a 1939 two-tone green, flat-four, double-clutching, Ford pickup.  The paint job was done with a brush, a kind of Kelly green with avocado accent.  The rear fenders were bolted on with steel straps mainly to hold them together, and to the truck, because they  rusted out and the sheet metal was split.  No plastic on this truck.  That picture above is how Betsy would have looked shortly after leaving the show-room floor.  Notice there is only a windshield wiper on the driver’s side, and she’s black, and shiny, a more likely factory color.

Double-clutching, for those of you unfamiliar or who have never even driven a standard, involved stepping on the clutch to bring it out of gear to neutral, then stepping on the clutch again to drop it into the next gear.  If you didn’t double-clutch you ground the gears, particularly in a down-shift situation.  As you got better at driving the truck, you could kind of know the right spot, kind of feel the gears mesh and get the up-shift without the second clutching, but you had to be good.  If you wanted it in “compound low” you lifted a lever with your thumb on the side of the stick shift and, double-clutching, moved the lever up and over to the left.  The truck would then crawl like a tank.  So in effect, the Ford was four on the floor.

The truck was a hand-me-down.  My sister drove it first until she bought her 1955 Willy’s sedan.  Yep, the Jeep company made a car.  It was ugly, but then I thought my sister was ugly at the time too.  It was called an “Aero-Sedan”.  Willy’s is correctly pronounced “Will-is” and “Willy’s Overland Motors” was responsible for all the design and production of the WWII military vehicle.  They trademarked the name “Jeep” but no one really knows how the military 1/4 ton “General Purpose” vehicle got shortened to the word “jeep.”  It seems everyone just started calling it that. 

The gas gauge didn’t work on the Ford.  You used a stick that we kept on the floor behind the seat.  You sent it into the gas tank to see how much gas you had, or you could drive it up High School Hill and if it stalled, you needed gas.  Of course, you had to roll it backwards down the hill to get it started and head in the direction of a gas station.  I only ran out of gas one time that I remember though.

My father bought the truck for what he called his “mountain truck,” something to sacrifice driving up to Coffeen Park, the trail-head for the wilderness area where we went backpacking and fishing.  It had a camper shell of sorts on the back with a small cab-over that my father built.  He paid $75 for the truck I think.

Helping him build that shell is not a particularly happy memory.  It was my job to hold the folded end of the aluminum skin making up the roof.  The drill he was using to put this on had a short or something.  So every time I would hold the aluminum for him I would get a horrible shock, so I would let go.  He’d yell at me, and I would hold on again until he started drilling.  I would feel the current again, and let go.  Took a while for him to agree that I was getting shocked from the damn thing, although to this day, I don’t think he believed me.  He must have been grounded somehow, because he could hold it just fine.

The truck wasn’t anything you would drive any great distance out-of-town for sure.  There was a free swimming pool in Buffalo that we would frequent in the summer.  It was twice the size of our pool and, well, it didn’t cost the 35 cents we had to pay to swim for two hours.  We would load up the truck and drive about two miles out on the interstate and park on the shoulder.  Then we would thumb a ride into Buffalo, about 30 miles southeast.  When we were done swimming, or more accurately, checking out the girls in swimsuits, we would thumb our way back to the truck, cross over the median and drive home.  We never worried about hitch-hiking.  I did it all the way through college.  Dan Murphy and I hitch-hiked to West Texas State University one Easter break, from Las Vegas, NM to Canyon, TX.  This vehicle breakdown worked every time except once, when the guy that picked us up insisted it made more sense to drive us the two miles back home, than the 30 miles down the road if we were having car trouble, which is what we always claimed.  We’d say that the old girl was overheating and she’d be fine if we let her set and came back.

I tried once to sneak a whole pack of my friends into the drive-in movie hidden in the camper shell on the back.  We got six people stuffed back there and then paid the admission for the two of us up front.  Just as a side note, two up front was all you could get, so you can imagine the cramped quarters the six in the back were enduring.  The lift up gate on the camper shell was fastened with a couple of slider locks on both corners.  Those slider locks were in place as we pulled up to our speaker.

Every time we would get out of the truck to let the sweltering, claustrophobic group out of the camper shell, the manager seemed to be within view with his flashlight.  I tried several times before the movie started and each time I was forced back in the cab by the manager and his light.  The group in the back started pounding on the wall adjacent to the cab.  The movie started, “Midnight Cowboy,” and the two of us in the front kind of forgot about the prisoners in the back.

I tried once more, in a guilty moment, to unlatch the locks from the camper shell, but the pesky manager was right there waiting for the extra fares he was certain would emerge.  I walked to the bathrooms, like that is what I intended to do all along and went back and finished the movie. It was a hot and humid August night, with no breeze whatsoever.

As we were leaving the drive-in I started hearing bangs.  I should add that there were no glass windows in this camper shell, just small peep holes on both sides, like you see in the gangster movies where they look out the door to see who it is and ask for the password. “Joe sent me.”

I’d have to say that was the maddest six people I have ever seen from that day since.  When we finally let them out, a ways down the road from the drive-in exit so as not to be caught, they acted like they had just been released from a coffin.  Kicking, screaming, and chasing me around.  Worse part is we were trying to save them a whole 35 cents.  That was a lot of money back then for a teenager without a job.

Needless to say, the next time we tried that, we left the locks open on the back of shell.  They still caught them as they were climbing out of the back.  I pretended I didn’t know they were there.  Like that worked.

I drove” Old Betsy” for two years in high school until I graduated to my very own 1956 Chevy Wagon.  It wasn’t one of those ’56 Chevy’s you see restored now with the big V8 power plants and the four on the floor.  It was a red, white and “green,” straight six, with a column shift.  It was partly green because an old lady came around the corner and ripped my left front fender clean off as I was pulling from the curb.  Caught it just behind the headlight and ripped it clean off.  Her car wasn’t even damaged.  I picked up the green replacement at the local junk yard.  The car was in mint condition until then, and I paid $150 for it right off “Locke’s Used Cars” lot.  I paid more for the mini-bike I had with the three and half horsepower Briggs and Stratten.

I miss the Ford truck though.  I’m not really sure what happened to her.  I’m sure my father sold it after a time.  Maybe he finally had it hauled to the junk yard.  He spent a lot of time keeping that old truck running.  He worked on the brakes constantly.  Once, driving out of Coffeen Park, the brakes went out while we were coming down a pretty steep hill.  Not only was this hill steep, but the road, if you could call it that, was two ruts littered with rocks that you should be crawling over and not “flying” over at 30 mph.  On the left was a steep drop-off, hundreds of feet to the canyon floor below.  It scared me pretty bad.  I think it scared my Dad pretty bad too, but we made it down the hill and limped along until we found a hunting cabin.  Someone just happened to be there and gave us something he thought might be brake fluid he found in a shed out back.  It was a long, nerve-wracking trip down the mountain in low gear, but we survived.  When I was driving the truck, I never had any problems with the brakes.

Anyway, I was long gone from home by the time Betsy left, but I’ve stuck with Ford trucks all my life.

That is until I bought the metallic blue 2007 Tundra Limited with the GPS, and the voice actuated controls, and the 10,000 pound towing capacity, and the big V8.  I put my first dent in the brand new truck in September of 2008.  I almost cried, but I swore at my wife, and threw my keys instead.  Not cool for a grown man to cry about a dent in a $32,000 truck, but some of you might grant me immunity.  Not really a dent, more like a crease in the side wall of the bed from the weight of the fifth-wheel trailer resting on it while I was trying to get it into a pull-through space at the storage yard that would have taken a vat of vaseline to get into.

Still, I pay over nine times the amount every month for the Tundra, than my father paid for that most reliable of transportation.  She didn’t have a GPS, a radio even, the gas gauge didn’t work, no heater to speak of, the fenders were bolted on and the truck was hand-painted with a brush. Betsy would start up on the coldest of days, and refuse to blow her top on the hottest.  Everyone knew she was my truck too.

 At least for a time.

(Photo credit for the 50’s Willy Aero-Sedan taken at the 50th Anniversary Draggins car show, Prairieland Exhibition, Saskatoon, April 3, 2010 by trekphiler.)

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The Battle of Pearl Harbor


I couldn’t be a World War II history “fanatic” and not make some mention of the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941.  “…a date,” proclaimed President Franklin Roosevelt, “which will live in infamy…”  One-hundred and twenty survivors of that attack on the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor are there today to honor the 2,403 soldiers, sailors, Marines and civilians that were killed on that day.

A lot has been made over the years about the bumbling surrounding the official notification of the attack by Japanese diplomats in Washington.  The attack was a complete surprise…or was it?  Not being a World War II “Scholar,” I would still lean toward the idea that the diplomats had no real intention of notifying officials in Washington.  “Operation Z,” as it was known by in planning, had to be a complete surprise attack to work.  The Japanese were trying to buy time.  Time to build more ships.  Time to get more oil supplies from their conquest of the Dutch East Indies and Malaya.  More time by killing the morale of the American people to fight a war so far away from home, and the possibility of war in two hemispheres.  As we know, that latter part failed.

President Roosevelt addressed a joint session on December 8th at 12:30 p.m.  The address was live on radio.   From the President’s speech…”It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned for many days or even weeks ago.  During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.”

Whether it was a “complete surprise” or not, it turned into the perfect “card” for a president that was desperately trying to get isolationist America into the war.  And by all historical accounts, it was a good thing for the world.  If the Japanese, for their own interests, had not attacked Pearl Harbor and the napping US Fleet there, the US probably would have gone years, if at all, before full-scale involvement in the war in Europe.  The majority opinion of the American people was that the war was over there, not over here.  Secure our borders and wait for the Gerrys to try and invade us.  The President signed the Declaration of War against Japan at 4:00 in the afternoon on December 8th.  The only dissenting vote to that declaration was Jeanette Rankin, a pacifist Representative in the House from Montana.

Most importantly, the ramping up of the military and change-over to war production in the United States, clearly brought us out of the worst depression in our economic history.  It wasn’t the alphabet socialist programs of FDR, but World War II that made that happen.  And it changed the world in more ways than we imagine.  Our world, the way we lived and worked in America.  The home front.

So I always take a moment on December 7th to remember those that died in the attack, including the 55 Japanese that perished, and how that incident woke the American people to the danger they faced to their freedom and democracy from outside.  Yeah, it was a different time, I guess, but it sounds really familiar.

“I speak the will of the Congress and the American people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will see to it that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.”  –President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

 

 

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What Can You Make From A Pile Of Old Cedar Fence?


When we moved into the house on 33rd Circle in Rio Rancho, NM, the fence at the back of the half-acre lot had blown over in a storm.  It had suffered through many a wind storm this area is known for, but after forty or so years it took its last lick a few months before we moved in.  The landlord replaced the old fence with a stucco wall.  He hauled most of the fence to the land fill, but there were still two or more sections of the decaying fence piled in the back by the new wall.  He promised to have it hauled away and I told him to leave it.  I would cut it up and use it for kindling in the fire-place.  Nice dry Western cedar.

So I set up the table saw and started to tear apart the remaining fence.  I’d been working on it for several days when a thought came to me from something my brother, who used to own a framing gallery, once did with old barn wood.  He made some fantastic frames out of it, and put the history of where the barn wood originated on the back of the frame.  I have one hanging in my living room with one of the Wyoming Centennial (1890-1990) 16 X 24 prints of an old barn with the Tetons rising majestically  in the background.

That’s when the “Barn Bird Collection” was born.  I could make a flock of “barn birds” rising on spring wires from a base, perch one on a high wire between two telephone poles, put one on a barbed-wire fence, and on a rail fence.  My creative juices started to flow.

My daughter has sold crafts in a Christmas craft fair in Rio Rancho for several years, so I told her about my barn bird idea.  She thought it might work, so I decided to start getting some ready for the fair.  I added the “Barn Bird Birdhouse” to the collection as I went along.  Well, the “Barn Birds,” led to the “Post People” and the “Crayon Trains” and the “Mailbox Sitters,” and the “Candy Cane Sledders,” and the “Gumball Machine,” and the “Rubber Band Guns”, and the “Big Blue Airplane.”  So that’s the reason I haven’t written anything in my blog since September 23rd.  I have generated a lot of woodcrafts though.  Now I’m worried I won’t have time to finish them all. 

Barn Bird on a Fence

D-Day for the Rio Rancho “Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival & Santa’s Workshop” is November 20th.  D-Day, of course, is well-known as the day the allies crossed the Channel and invaded France in World War II.  Do you know why it was called D-Day?  Did it stand for “Deliverance-Day,” “Dooms-Day”, “Death-Day”?  Nope.  The “D” stands for “Day”  just like the “H” in “H-Hour” stands for “Hour.”  Until a few hours ago, I thought that D-Day for the crafts fair was November 22nd.  November 22nd is emblazoned in most of our memories as the day Lee Harvey Oswald fired three, or was it four, bullets from a 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.  He bought the rifle mail-order from an ad in “American Rifleman” and used it this time from a sixth-floor window of the Texas Book Depository.  The same as 9-11 is emblazoned in our minds for the day two American Airlines, Boeing 767s slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center from different directions.  Okay, the date I have to show up at the Sabana Grande Community Center is and will not be as memorable as either of those dates, but one thought led to another.  From what I can tell, nothing of much historical significance ever happened on November 20th.

A Flock of Barn Birds

So the “Barn Birds,” “Post People,” “Crayon-Trains,” “Mail-Box Sitters,” “Candy-Cane Sledders,” “Rubber-Band Guns,” “Big Blue Airplane,” and my wife got involved with her “Christmas Wreaths,”and “Aroma Kitchen Kozys” and whatever else we can come up with, will be available for purchase at the Sabana Grande Recreation Center on November 20th, from 9-4.

Here’s an example of the post people characters made from landscape timbers, 1 X 6 pine, a scroll saw, glue, paint and some branches.

The Christmas Post People.

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