Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Visiting the Dead

I have a great friend who is into things like English history, genealogy and visiting cool graveyards.  She asked some of us if we wanted go with her for a tour of a local cemetery.  I said yes.  I then promptly forgot that I had said yes.  I mean, I TOTALLY FORGOT.  Not even a trace of a remembrance.
A beautiful sculpture on a surgeon's grave.
Imagine, then, my surprise when my friend pulled up in my driveway Monday night.  I was talking to my sister on the phone and I said something like, "Hmm.  My friend is here.  I wonder what she wants?  I better go see."

I finally had to ask her why she was at my house at 6:40 on a Monday evening.  This was her response:  "Cemetery walk?"

Oops.  Luckily, I had taken a shower about an hour earlier, so I was clean and decently dressed.  We ran upstairs and I slipped on some shoes.  Then I had to move some suitcases from my bedroom back to the 'extra room' (read:  the room where we dump all our crap that we don't know what do to with). I was in the middle of cleaning out that room (summer fort) and had been planning on working on it that evening.  Not so much.

I am proud to report that I did have the presence of mind to grab my camera and most importantly, the gift card to our local ice cream place; Whitey's.  I do have my priorities.

We made it in time to the graveyard and the tour was very cool.  Our guide knew a lot of things about graveyards in general, but she also knew this cemetery specifically.  She showed us where all of the Deere family was buried (yes, John Deere, remember World HQ is here), where Louis Bellson was buried and where Charles Dickens' son was buried.  Apparently, he just happened to be here and was broke, so...

Louis Bellson is from the area and is buried next to his father.
There was also a huge section for paupers graves.  This cemetery was built in the 1800's and it is on a hill, so there is some slippage going on and occasionally, after a good, hard rain, they will find some headstones down the hill.

If you have never taken a cemetery tour, I highly recommend it.  It was very interesting and we didn't even see a single ghost.

This statue was vandalized and
the still do not have any idea
where her head is.

The son of Charles Dickens.

This is the headstone of a soldier who fought in the Civil War.
The cemetery has an entire section devoted to these soldiers.

The mighty Mississippi.

It is easy to see why this
cemetery is a popular place for
the locals to walk and ride bikes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Corporal of the Guard

Dad as a Corporal.  For 20 days, anyway.
Dad was Corporal of the Guard during this time.  He laughed when he told me he was a Corporal for all of 20 days.  He was responsible for making sure that the guards got to and from the bridge that they were guarding for their shifts.  This also meant that it was up to him to arrange the transportation for shift changes.  Getting a vehicle from the motor pool could be difficult.  Once, he checked with them and they had nothing.  He was starting to panic because he needed to get relief out to the men who had been on the bridge all night.  He finally found a low boy (cab only, no bed) and ran it down to get his guys.  He had no idea how to drive the thing and did a lot of grinding and coasting most of the way to the bridge.

"I didn't know which end was up!", he told me.

The motor pool.
His soldiers were really mad at him for being so late since they'd been on duty all night.

On another occasion, he found a truck and a driver.  Late again, they went to pick up the group.  These guys were really angry and were riding in the back while Dad and the driver were in the cab.

A soldier named Lucas was so mad about not being relieved on time that he started firing his rifle into the air.  Dad loaded his rifle, got it ready and told his driver to just keep going.  Apparently, one of the guys in the back saw Dad load up and word got back to Lucas who settled down knowing that Corporal Day would 'take care of thinks' if it came to that.
The writing on the back of this one said,
"No Migs today, Day's on guard!"

Dad in front of a Jeep.

Unfortunately, we do not know who these guys are, but they
were in his Platoon. 

Dad is the one in his skivvies!

The inside of the tent.  We weren't
sure who was asleep.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Army According to Buko

Korea from the air.  This is looking inland.
We call my dad Buko.  It seems to me that it was started by one of my brother's girls.  He used to always say things  like, "What's going on, Buko?" and they started calling him that.  The name has stuck.

While Dad and I were talking about his Korean War experiences, I was having a bit of trouble with the Army thing.  Understanding all of the ranks and battalions and units.  It was making me crazy.

Dad explained it all as best he could so I thought that I would fill you in, too.  Just in case you are as clueless as I was!

The Army According to Buko:

Individual then Squad then Platoon then Company
Three Companies make up a Battalion
Three Battalions make up a Regiment
Three Regiments make up an Army
Three Armies make up a Corps

Whew.  Now that you have all of that, I will add what I found in my research with regards to the specifics in Korea.

The Korean coast.

There were three Corps during the conflict:  1st Corps, 2nd Corps and the Commonwealth Corps which included troops from Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  The 151st was in 1st Corps.  Then there were random Korean and Chinese troops, both allies and enemies.  We will tackle those as they come up!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Parchment Paper: It's Not Just for the Kitchen Anymore!

A very flowery 2 pager!  By the way, I am using
an old children's book for the art journal.  I chose
it because the pages are nice and thick and the book
lays pretty flat.  It's my favorite journal yet.
Hey everyone! Finally getting it together here.  Believe me, it was scattered all over for these first couple of weeks of my time off of school.  I felt like I was herding cats or something.

I was able to get a couple of projects finished (silent cheer).  Finally.  They are both from the class The Art of Wild Abandonment which is offered through Scarlet Lime.  I am really getting a kick out of this class.  The instructor (Junelle Jacobsen) is completely hilarious.  I'm a little worried because I answer her back when she asks questions on the videos.  Does that mean I am nuts?  Heavy sigh.

Anyway, check out Junelle's blog (Yes and Amen!) if you are interested.  She is offering a brand new class soon.  That one is all about summer!  Yay.  I think it is time for summer.  Not sure as we haven't seen much SUN here.

These pics are of some art journal pages that use a new technique with parchment paper.  It is really cool to make flowers this way.  I love, love, love how bright and shiny they are!  Just like me! And hopefully, just like summer!  Enjoy!

This one was done on acrylic paper
and attached into the art journal.  The
paper was interesting to use.
Please, pay no attention to the
misspelled word that I tried to fix.

Ugh.  I wish that I hadn't added those
dots to the flower centers.  I won't make that
mistake again!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Army Maneuvers

Installment #3 for In the Land of the Morning Calm.

Dad said that with nothing much to
do when they first arrived, he put
on a few pounds!
This is the bridge that his Company
guarded when Dad first got to Korea.
After Dad arrived in Sasebo, Japan he was taken with some other soldiers to a location near Mt. Fuji.  Over the next nine days, these men were shown different factories that had capabilities for re-manufacture.  This way someone in the Unit or Battalion would know that it could be possible to send broken machinery over to Japan, have it fixed and shipped back to the front.  This was an important opportunity for the Army to save money and avoid dumping or destroying broken equipment.  Dad also said that this is one of the ways that Japan got it's start in manufacturing on a world wide level.
This is a very blurred picture of that
same bridge.  It is over 550' long.  We did
some research and we believe that it is
the Teal Bridge.

After the factory tour was over, Dad took the train back to Yokohama where he picked up a boat to Inchon, Korea.  Because his ship was so large that it couldn't get into port due to the mud flats, he arrived by landing craft.  From Inchon he made his way to the 151st Combat Engineer's Battalion near Seoul.  He was assigned to Company C, 3rd Platoon.  

Company C was made up mainly of National Guardsmen from Alabama.  After arriving in Korea, there wasn't much going on with his Company as they were being temporarily held in reserve.  Their first jobs were guarding a Bailey bridge and repairing roads.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Coming Home from Korea

As promised, here is the second installment of In the Land of the Morning Calm.

Sasebo, Japan
On his return from duty in Korea in March, 1953, Dad was on the General Hase again.  While waiting to board, he was pulled out along with several other Sergeants (Dad had reached the rank of Master Sergeant).  They all thought that they were in trouble, but no, they were singled out for better quarters.  These guys had their own stateroom to share.  Again, they spent their time hiding from the Duty Officers and reading as they chugged home.

After returning to Seattle from Sasebo, Japan,  Dad was put in charge of an entire plane full of returning vets traveling on the Flying Tiger Line.  This was a cargo and troop airline started by WW II vets using old reclaimed planes (bought out by FedEx in 1989).  Being in charge meant that he had to turn over all of his guys when they got to Camp Crowder, MO (where Beetle Bailey cartoonist, Mort Walker got his inspiration).  He couldn't lose anyone.  This would have been easy except for the fact that the planes were so decrepit that they had to stop twice for repairs before they made it to camp; once in Boise, ID and once again in Kansas City, MO.

I believe that this was taken on
his way to Korea.
Now guys coming home from a tour in Korea may want to go out and have a drink or two.  Remember, this was 1953 Kansas City and segregation was still going strong.  The African American soldiers who had fought, lived and died with their Caucasian fellows were not welcome in the same bars.  Dad's men were quite put out by this and more than a couple of fights broke out.  He had every one's records with him, so it was his job to go around and make sure that they all made it back to the plane.

They did finally make it to Camp Crowder.  Mom and Grandpa Day had come down to take Dad home.  He remembers Grandpa asking him if he would like to drive home in the new car.  Of course, he was thrilled to be driving something other than a truck or a jeep.  So, Dad and Mom sat in the front and Grandpa Day sat in the back.

Next Installment:  Army Maneuvers

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Welcome to the first installment of In the Land of the Morning Calm.  Hope you enjoy!

This is the front cover of a photo album that
Dad bought in Japan while he was on R and R.  I used
a picture of it for the cover of his book.
Dad shipped out as a PFC on the USNS General W.T. Hase out of Camp Pendleton, CA in December of 1951.  He spent 10 days on board, including Christmas and New Year's Day arriving in Yokohama, Japan in January of 1952.  The ship averaged 500 miles per day with good weather.  Before they embarked, the vets coming home were streaming off of the Hase.  One of these guys took Dad aside and said, "Listen, make sure that you get a top bunk."

PFC Carl E. Day
Good advice, because on the 550' troop ships the men slept in stacked hammocks 4 or 5 tall.  Nobody really wanted to be on top because you had to climb up every night.  However, when you are on the top hammock in a room full of Army men who are not used to sailing, you are gold.  Think about it.  You will at least stay clean.  Dad took the top.

While he was telling me about the sailing he started laughing about how they spent most of their time trying to hide from the Duty Officers or lining up for food.  Apparently, it would take 2-3 hours to get served their meals.  After they ate, they would only have an hour or so before it was time to line up again.  And, of course, no one wanted to be tapped to clean the decks or any other part of the ship, hence the 'hide and seek'.

The Hase.  Not only did Dad arrive in Japan on this ship,
he also left on the same ship.  This was highly unusual.  More on that later

Sunday, June 2, 2013


No, I am not Professor Dillamond from "Wicked".

The plain white layer on top of the yellow layer is the
gessoed muslin.
I am however a lover of making sheep in my art journal.  Thanks to the delightful Junelle Jacobsen and her class, "The Art of Wild Abandonment", I have progressed from owls and melting snowmen to (wait for it):  sheep.

Once again the good old circle comes in to play.  That's all sheep are.  Well, and then you do have to add a kind of oval face and even smaller oval ears.  You can do that.  One circle and three ovals.  Oh, and four rectangles for legs if you want.

One of the other techniques involved gesso on muslin.  Yummy.
You just use some light modeling paste and a pencil to
make those cool sheep wool swirls.

But, I digress.  Here are the pictures of my latest art journal entry.  Enjoy.  And may I just say that it happened to be a very windy day.  Therefore, the inspiration for the page.