THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Lori Koonce
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Lori Koonce » Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:21 pm

Jan

Don't know much, but I know I lost two uncles on my dad's side to WW II.

Now, my mom's dad did a stint in a French POW camp before figuring out that Hitler wasn't doing anything for him he couldn't do himself. He hopped the first boat going anywhere but home. Landed in Hawaii, got a job at the Royal Hawiian Hotel as a baker; which he was by training, and met my grandmother. My mom is the first member of her family to be born on actual American soil.

Coil 2.0
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Coil 2.0 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:10 pm

Lori Koonce wrote:My mom is the first member of her family to be born on actual American soil.


Cool. I am the first in my family to be born in the United States -- somewhat.

My parents were from Canada, but my dad's parents were from Kentucky. So I am the first of my mother's family to be born in the US, the first from my dad's family, but not the first from the Coil family.

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War Stories

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:12 pm

Re: war stories

My paternal grandfather was in the RAC before it became the RAF. I have his silver wings from my grandmother. He rescued her and her family from the Turks in Smyrna in 1922, after the American ships, guarded by Marines, turned them away.

My maternal grandfather served in the First World War. His family was from Prussia. All of the sons in the predominantly German neighborhood enlisted to prove their loyalty to America. My great-grandparents ran a grocery store, and, tensions running as they did during that time, had bricks thrown through the windows.

My great-uncle landed on Normandy beach on D-Day and survived. He was bilingual and served primarily as a translator to a general. As part of his duties, he helped "displaced persons" find each other and debriefed many of the concentration camp survivors. Similarly, he didn't talk much about his experiences.

My father told me stories about being a child during the Blitz in London. He was shoved under the stairs when the air raid sirens went off, while his mum donned a "tin hat" and staunchly went out to man fire hoses. He blanched when he described how the air was heavy with the thrum of bombers flying overhead.

My uncle served in Korea, and a buddy of his was blown up next to him. He likes to tell funny stories about the war, such as the time that he woke up in a field with a large frog sitting on his chest. But on cold nights in Iowa, when we could hear the wind, he would tell me that it reminded him of Korea where he saw bodies frozen in the mud.

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:10 am

You are from Iowa? (It seems you may have said so before but my mind wants to connect you to SF.) Rural Iowa?
And do you know where in Prussia the maternal side came from? Perhaps they knew my people. :) And what was their name?
And Lori, why didn't your grandfather go home, and where would that have been?
If I had a choice between staying in a POW camp and working at the Royal Hawiian Hotel, I'd probably choose the latter too.

Charlie
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Charlie » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:23 am

My maternal great-great granduncle was in the Crimean War and had a dust-up with that British popinjay Sir Richard Burton (the orientalist, NOT the actor). Otherwise, I had a couple paternal/maternal grand-uncles and my paternal grandfather, who all served during WWI. One of whom was in the Yankee Division and he shot it to me straight relaying gruesome battle stories about men being blown to bits with grenades, going into battle with those early tanks, and the gas attacks.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:53 am

Did you guys have any parents or grandparents that took part in a war, and do you know anything about it?

My Dad was a Korean war vet and to this day will not discuss it. I've tried but after a while I just figured this was an experience that he's dealt with by putting it in some private place where I can't go. So be it. He certainly earned that right.

I had an uncle who was at the Battle of the Bulge. We had a close family friend who was wounded at the Normandy invasion. I had an elementary school teacher who was at Iwo Jima. He told us kids some horrible stories.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FinderDoug
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FinderDoug » Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:26 am

My great great grandfather, who was named Hercules (no shitting) signed up for the Union Army two days before Appomattox. We only learned a couple of years ago that apparently, he deserted two months later (a practicality – he had a farm to maintain, and signed up to fight a war that was over before the ink was dry on his paperwork. Since he didn’t really serve and the Union didn’t shoot or imprison him for not doing so, we call it a wash.)

I had an uncle who was a Marine drill instructor who was recalled to active duty in WWII; he was killed at Guadalcanal the day before the landing began. The mission was classified; we only know of it from his abbreviated military record provided by the Army, but based on the date of his death versus the start of the battle, we suspect it was advanced recon on the island. His remains were never recovered. The notation says they're located approximately at the X on a map that wasn't provided.

I had an aunt who was a nurse during the Korean War; spent some time at mobile hospitals in the field, - her photo albums contained several pages of graphic battlefield photographs. She went on to administer questionnaires as part of psych evaluations back at the Army hospital in Tokyo. This is how she managed to hide her own post traumatic stress for so long from civilian doctors, though she had a tendency to gather clutter around her, almost ‘nesting’ - very feral and disturbing when mom had to collect my aunt's belongings during one eviction process. My aunt passed away a couple of years ago. Among her possessions was a small ½ inch reel tape from her time in Korea, the box marked with the declaration that it should be delivered (along with a no-longer extant attached letter) in accordance with her final wishes if she were killed in the field. My mother handed it to me. It waits for me on a shelf. No idea what, if anything, I should do with it. I have a friend who’s active Navy right now (in language school in Monterey learning Farsi) who says I need to listen to it. I have a little voice that’s wary of kicking open certain doors.

I have an uncle (my father’s twin sister’s husband) who served in Vietnam on the Kitty Hawk as well as In Country. He doesn’t discuss his experience, but I get the sense he saw more than a skinny kid from Brooklyn should have to in one lifetime.

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:59 am

Apparently I had an ancestor who faught at Bunker Hill. . . on my mother's side of course. No details have survived.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:22 pm

I have no family that fought in any war, to my knowledge. This is not good or bad. The main question to ask is did your family member question the mislogic of war after seeing how it is really fought?

Gwynnie, you're back!! Kiss.

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:29 pm

Does "Why, God? Why, God? Why, God?" count?

I never did discuss it much with my Grandfather, but I can guess that he would have prefered not to have been driven from his homeland or to see his friends die on the field or watch his uncle executed in the street. I would wager he would have rather lived out a peaceful and boring life as a Polish civil servant. But I highly doubt he regretted taking up arms against the invaders. After the Katyn masacre, he had no love for the Soviets either, and remained a die-hard conservative for the rest of his life. I don't know if he ever questioned war; for him it was probably like questioning the sky.

As for Grandma, who never touched the violin again despite being a conservatory musician, never returned to Poland, never had any desire to return to Poland, never even spoke of Poland, her old life, her family, her experiences, anything at all. . .I imagine she did question the illogic of war, every minute of every day of her life.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:15 pm

Dylag, that was really moving, thank you.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:53 am

Apparently I had an ancestor who faught at Bunker Hill. . . on my mother's side of course.

Well which side was your mother on? I hope she weren't no redcoat!


The main question to ask is did your family member question the mislogic of war after seeing how it is really fought?

By and large no matter the terror and awfulness I think the veterans of WW2 thought they participated in a noble and necessary cause.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Chuck Messer
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:32 pm

In keeping with the idea of this being an extension of the Pavilion (and already spent my one post per day), I'd like to bring up this essay by Frank Shaeffer, who writes as a recovering member (and near founder) of the Religious Reich:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-sch ... 18359.html

Kind of puts the Repub's criticisms of Obama's 'timidity' in his statements on Iran's elections in perspective. It cuts the bastards to the bone. It's about time the mask came off these neo-facists, at least as far as the general public is concerned.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:46 am

Hey Chuck and everybody definitely check out Frank Shaeffer's book -

http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-God-Helped- ... 0786718919

He got a glimpse of all the loathsome Christian right leaders when the cameras were off and saw how they actually live. Shaeffer was present when the modern religious right was born and was being groomed for greatness when he couldn't take it anymore and he bailed out. A wonderful memoir.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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Jan
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Postby Jan » Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:42 pm

Jackson always seemed like the kind of guy who'd die early.
Saw him live in '92. Believed in his message.
Best songs: Another Part of Me and Tabloid Junkie


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