Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Mighty 8th

I am soo choked up that I have to share..... my father-in-law was a POW in WWII. On November 26th his plane was shot down. Coincidentally, another plane of the 8th USAAF crashed behind the house of a Dutch Boy, John Meurs, leaving a huge impression on him. Such an impression that he has spent the last 7 years researching every plane that crashed on that day. His book Thanksgiving '44 is almost complete and the first printing is scheduled for March 2009.

Today, John sent me a letter and I would like to share part of it with you. I could not read it to my husband without crying.

When we started to correspond with each other I told you that my present
research was triggered by the fact that one of the 34 heavy bombers of the 8th
USAAF that were lost on Sunday. November 26, 1944, the B-17 "Little Guy" of the
381st Bomb Group, crashed behind our house in Nazi-occupied Holland. This crash
made a deep impression on me.

About two years ago I discovered that Jelle Rietsma, a retired general of the Royal Dutch Army was also interested in this crash as he lives quite near to the crash site. I told him that a monument for Pilot Kyle Smith in the outdoor swimming pool complex of Apeldoorn would be appropriate; also because each and every year thousands of mostly young people go there for a swim, a flirt and a bite. For them to realize when seeing this monument that they have to thank their present freedom to people like Kyle Smith.

Last year, November 26, 2007, [my wife] and I went to Apeldoorn to assist
in the unveiling of this monument. The band of the Royal Dutch Air Force played
the last post, members of the Dutch Army hoisted the flags of the Unites States
and the Netherlands and the highest class of the nearby primary school (my
primary school!) who had adopted the monument, sang the American anthem. I was
very moved, because these kids had the same age as I had then in 1944. A
representative of the American Embassy in The Hague (the Ambassador himself was on a visit abroad) spoke a few words and so did the Mayor of Apeldoorn.

The actual unveiling was done by two family members of the pilot and a plane of the
Dutch Air Force made an overfly. I was very proud that due to my research this
ceremony could take place.

Friday, August 15, 2008

First time in Chicago......

.....and, sadly, I was there on business this no city exploration for me. I did have a pretty neat encounter with a cabby. On Tuesday, when I was dropped off at my hotel, Alfred approached me with his business information. He could tell I had just come from the airport. He immediately told me that he knew I had paid too much for the cab ($69 + tip) and that next time I should call him. I liked his demeanor and salesmanship I schedule my return to the airport with him.

When I walked out of the hotel 15 minutes early, he was there waiting on me. It turned out to be a very enjoyable ride. He is from Ghana and has been in America for 36 years. He's very upbeat and positive and interesting. He is making a trip back to Ghana in a couple months to explore a business idea he has of importing his culture to America. When he found I worked for a steamship line....the questions about containers alone just poured out of him. The rate was $42 + fun conversation + tip.

If you are ever in Chicago - give Alfred a call. He is with Citi-Suburban Taxi & Limo. 312-287-6992 (direct) or the company # is 708-343-6666 Cab #2

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What a Difference 9 Months Make

Ok, now....DON'T FAINT!!!!! It seems I have been slack with my blog writing, but soooooo much has been going on in my little universe. The company I work for went through a reorganization and I landed my fat lil arse with a promotion, in a completely different department......and HOTLANTA!!!!!!!! I have plenty to tell you and we do have some catching up to do - don't we?

Right this moment I am living out of a Residence Inn - hoping to find a home away from home....and the pressure to register the kids for school and get them up here with me is mounting - oh, yes it is. Mare Bear still has a couple weeks before she can join me as she is performing in Summer Stage as a thespian (that IS the actual part in the play) in Highschool Musical at the Sottile on Aug 1, 2 & 3 - so check her and the other kids out!

This past April, I did manage to get to San Francisco for a work related training session. I snuck out the Sunday prior and walked around downtown and at the Fisherman's Wharf. Here are a few pictures from the trip:

In case your wondering - why this pic? The trolley I rode on claims that H.Bogart rode here.
I found this lone sun lion bather interesting considering on another dock there were abt 50 on top of one another. Makes ya wonder why we sometimes wander off to get away from the chaos.
Oh, by the biddly...for those of ya in the blog slackness is also due in part to my WoW addiction. A girl's gotta find someway to release the tensions of the day - so I lose myself in a world of chivalry, for the most part.