Getting By in These Silent Nights

Together at last. Elliott and Jean Smith, 1945.

I have a nagging guilt in the back of my head every time I want to complain about trying to #ShelterinPlace.

I have to admit my first thought is not worrying about those who are immune comprised, though it’s never far from mind. I just feel caged and want out.

What stops me in my tracks is thoughts of World War II.

I was among the millions not too long along who celebrated the 75th anniversaries that led to the end of the war. My grandfather proudly served in the Army Air Corps and was based in southern England making bombing runs over Germany. I celebrated them as the Greatest Generation and liked to think that my generation could do the same if needed.

My grandfather was beyond a doubt the patriarch of our family. And he is/was beloved. In his 80s he would still play you in a game of pool, offer you a beer, or share stories of when we all went fishing together when we were young.

But he never talked about the war. At least nothing he endured. He told a few funny stories about the men with him on that B 24, but not combat.

It wasn’t until I heard a sliver of what it was like when he was in his 80s and he sometimes struggled to keep his mind in the here and now. I never will forget him staring off to space with his hand, index finger extended breezing by both sides of his head, one side after another.

“Zoom, zoom” was all he said, until I asked him if he was okay.

It took him a minute before he looked at me and said, “that’s how the bullets were coming at ya.”

It was the first and only time I heard anything about combat.

While he and his brother were serving in the war, his bride-to-be Jean Crockett and his sister, Ocie Smith, helped with towing for the small family business. They tucked their hair under a hat and did the best they could, acknowledging decades later they weren’t great.

And both never forgot being chewed out by a man once who didn’t like the way they tried to get his car out of a ditch. He stopped immediately when the women took off the hats, revealing the beautiful curly locks. Nothing more had to be said; it was clear they were just trying to help with the war effort.

Pearl Harbor was Dec. 7, 1941 and the Japanese didn’t surrender until Aug. 15, 1945. That is more than 3.5 years of sacrifices and worry. Families may not be able to go into the hospital, but they can get word. Can you imagine having to wait months sometimes for word?

Sports were halted in most cases (of course we did get the birth of women’s baseball) and they rationed. And they lost.

I would love to have people over for a cookout, walk around without a mask making my face sweat, go to a concert or go to see friends in other states. But I won’t. I want others protecting me like I am trying to protect them.

So next time you hear someone complaining about the challenges brought on by COVID-19, just mention World War II.

I don’t want history saying the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Greatest Generation couldn’t avoid a second wave because they couldn’t be bothered to wear masks or stay home.

And I will remind myself of the same anytime I start to complain.

#InThisTogether

This is a Christmas Card made in 1943 by one of the men who served on the B-24 would my grandfather. I can’t help but think how they prayed for silent nights.
The inside of the card signed by each member of the B -24 crew in 1943 with their positions in the plane.
Just a few of my grandfather’s personal items that survived from the war.
My son, David, displaying my grandfather’s WW II jacket. My sister, Tammy, had it restored to its look in 1945.

182 thoughts on “Getting By in These Silent Nights

    • August 24, 2020 at 11:42 am
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      I am glad you like it. Have you read the book, Master of Deceit?

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    • December 9, 2020 at 6:58 pm
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      Obrigado. Se você gostou do que escrevi no jodiandes.com, pode dar uma olhada em um livro que publiquei este ano, chamado “Mestre do Engano”. É uma verdadeira história de crime da América que levou 8 anos para ser pesquisada.

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    • December 9, 2020 at 6:50 pm
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      Danke fürs Lesen. Wenn Ihnen die Beiträge gefallen, sollten Sie sich mein Buch ansehen. Es ist eine wahre Kriminalgeschichte aus Amerika. “Meister der Täuschung”

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      Merci. Si vous aimez mon écriture, vous voudrez peut-être consulter un livre que j’ai publié cette année intitulé “Master of Deceit”. C’est une véritable histoire de crime qui m’a pris 8 ans à faire des recherches.

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      Thank you. A new post went up last night. (Maybe just before you were on.) And if you like true crime thrillers, I have a book that came out in 2020 called Master of Deceit. Its nonfiction and took 8 years to put together. Readers have told me its a cross between Jason Bourne and Frank Abagnale (from Catch Me If You Can). All the best.

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  • January 13, 2021 at 8:45 am
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    • January 13, 2021 at 2:24 pm
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      Of course. There’s an expression. I forget how it goes exactly, but it is along the lines that there are no new ideas. We all build upon what has already been done.
      All the best.

      Reply
  • January 14, 2021 at 4:15 am
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    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!|

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  • January 14, 2021 at 6:35 pm
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    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.|

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    • January 15, 2021 at 6:59 pm
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      I do not, but I would love to know that too! If you discover one and think about sharing it, I would love to know. I do not have a ton of experience with WordPress.

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    Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. With thanks|

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    • January 16, 2021 at 2:39 pm
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      I use Accelerate from WordPress. I wish you good luck!

      Reply
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    • January 16, 2021 at 2:36 pm
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      Thank you. I am happy if it can help in any small measure.

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  • January 17, 2021 at 2:20 am
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    • January 17, 2021 at 7:27 pm
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      Thank you. I have a book on this very topic that came out in 2020. It’s a suspenseful, true crime narrative.
      Readers have told me they see it as a cross between Jason Bourne and Frank Abagnale (from Catch Me If You Can).

      The book is called Master of Deceit, if you are interested.
      Take care.

      Reply
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  • January 18, 2021 at 2:51 am
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    • January 18, 2021 at 10:55 pm
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      I do not, though there are companies that specialize in Search Engine Optimization. I did not use a company like that, but I am sure you could.

      Reply
  • January 18, 2021 at 7:03 am
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    Hey would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a reasonable price? Kudos, I appreciate it!|

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    • January 18, 2021 at 10:57 pm
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      Sure. I use WordPress. The particular template is Accelerate I believe. And the comment form (comes as a plugin) is Everest. Best of luck to you!

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    • January 19, 2021 at 3:55 pm
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      Glad you liked it. I hope you come back to this site.

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    • January 20, 2021 at 6:44 pm
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      I am glad you enjoy it. I hope you continue coming back.

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  • January 21, 2021 at 3:59 pm
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    I’m not sure why but this blog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.|

    Reply
    • January 21, 2021 at 4:14 pm
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      I am sorry to hear that. If you think the problem is on my end, please let me know.

      Thanks.

      Reply

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