Posts Tagged "Densmore"

Writer Scores Victory Scrapbook 1943

Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, High School Years, Historical Portland, Media, Photo, Portland Maine, Vintage Style, WW2, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Writer Scores Victory Scrapbook 1943

I remember as a child my father coaching me to catch the ball. “Keep your eye on the ball,” he’d always say. I was fortunate to spend several days with my mother over Christmas. I was organizing her front closet and delved into another old trunk. I found a scrapbook. I’d seen it before. We all have. It needs care and preservation so I brought it home to look at. I’m sure glad I did.

My dad made it. It commemorates his sports life at Deering High and Bowdoin College during 1942-1943. It’s ironic because I’m the one person in my immediate family that didn’t become a jock. Not for lack of talent. In high school I excelled in ballet and modern dance. I was also an equestrian in high school. But I preferred the pleasure of riding my horse to the hassle of competitions. I won a ribbon here and there in sports, one for swimming, a couple with my horse. But I never followed baseball or football. And I went to an all girls high school so that put a damper on things…I wanted to be a cheerleader. But not for all-girl volleyball.

My two older brother’s were basketball jocks in high school. My cousin Pete Ladd (on Arline’s side, her sister Ruth’s son) pitched for the Milwakee Brewers in the 1982 World Series. Nothing is more thrilling than watching your cousin pitch on TV.

So here I am, a non-sportsperson writing about my dad’s sports life in high school and college. Thank goodness Dad made this extraordinary catalogue of newspaper clippings from important games and turning points during the war.

Newspaper clipping 1942

Densmore Celebrates Birthday Beats Blue in a Post Stadium Tilt.

How much help can a writer expect? It’s amazing to think that in those days being a high school sports star would get you regular press coverage in the local news. My parents were both featured in the local Portland newspaper at various times including Arline with the headline “The Deering Girls had a Hoop Season”. I never realized she was that serious a player.  It’s super to see my dad like a Titan god killing the competition in a “hurling duel”. Dad in a duel! He truly is a star.

And then it’s incredible to look at his selected clippings from that most historical year at Bowdoin including watching each athlete leave, alone or in groups, called away to service. There’s a clipping of Mrs Roosevelt from the speech she gave at Bowdoin. Eleanor declared that the war would make you a better citizen.

Newspaper Clipping 1942

Densmore Best in Hurling Duel

Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks to 1200 at Bowdoin College

Eleanor Roosevelt Speaks to 1200 at Bowdoin College

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Sailor who Never Went to Sea

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Bowdoin College, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Today is February 1st, 2015. I pull a WW2 love letter, the first one that matches the date, but 1943. Today lends itself to the fine the art of avoiding writing by reading sentimental old love letters.  This is how one writer spent her Super Bowl Sunday. Morris would be at the T.V. if he were here. But he’s now seventy-two years ago, the Morris who is at Bowdoin College in winter. His good friend has just been drafted, got a notice and is leaving. Morris is returning from the movie Casablanca and finds a sailor lying out in cold Maine snow:

Excerpt WW2 Love Letter

Sailor who Never Went to Sea. Image of WW2 Letter

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Yoga Joes New Twist on WWII Toy Soldier

Posted by on Oct 13, 2014 in All Blog Posts, Vintage Style, WW2 | 0 comments

A memory came of green toy soldiers in my neighbor’s sandbox. I think on some level I knew, at the time, they were WWII soldiers whatever that means to a six year old in the 1960s. Over Christmas 2014 I discovered Yoga Joes, the same plastic toy soldiers, only pink and doing yoga poses! A kickstarter program was funded well over the goal. Here they are! Photo below links to the artist’s campaign, now a company.

Yoga Joes Toy Soldier Art

Yoga Joes Toy Soldier Art

In the 60s one of our neighbors had a giant sandbox in their backyard. Long pine planks framed it. You could sit on the edge. Little green wax soldiers were tumbled in its sand. Other stuff was assorted Tonka trucks. I pondered as a little girl to get any sense of how to play with toy soldiers. The sand scene under an old pine was inviting. The pieces were a wonder. Messed up, buried, tossed. Never saw them played with. Boy stuff.

So I’d sit there, alone, sometimes just wondering in sacred space. Sacred space in a plot on common grass, E. Grand Rapids, Michigan. The pine must have whispered “rock garden, Japan, rake the sand”.  My affinity for sacred space and nature has always been with me.  Forty years later I don’t have a sandbox or a rock garden. I do have a Japanese teahouse under a pine tree. A wonderful place for little green men to play.

 

 

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Arline Dancing 2014

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in All Blog Posts, Media, Vintage Style | 0 comments

For Arline’s 90th Birthday I made a movie of her life using photos and interviews. Here’s a short clip from it. When I started this blog, she fell and broke her hip.

Here she is now.

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Flying Fish at End of Rainbow

Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Media, Navy, South Pacific, V-12 Navy Program, Vintage Style, WW2, WW2 Letters, WW2 Love Letter, WWII Letter | 0 comments

Love Letter excerpt by Morris to Arline November 1944, of awe and gratitude.

Love Letter

Love Letter 1940
End of the Rainbow

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