Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pretty Pond, But Overgrown in the 1990s

At the Park Pond in the 1990s, the upper part was overgrown.  It became no longer possible to fill this, the smaller part of the pond.  (Behind the person, myself, is a building - this restroom was removed during the park restoration, as was the shallow wading pool near it.  The shallow wading pool was replaced at the end of the restoration with a spray ground.)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Bird Count 2013

There are more buildings in the neighborhood, and the park pond has not become yet as natural as it had seemed before the 2007 restoration.  Metro Parks has signs that warn of a big fine if visitors feed any wildlife.  Yesterday was a fine, clear day and not too cold.  Birds usually there right now  may have flown somewhere else for yesterday. 

At the park pond yesterday people walked past a lot while I watched for an hour for birds on Thanksgiving.  There were not so many birds at the larger part of the pond, beyond the small bridge at the smaller part of the pond  floated around a sunshining flurry of a dozen seagulls, and I knew there were ten or so mallards, some stood in a shallow part, created as Metro Parks had pumped it out earlier in the month,  others swam in the rest, which was a little lower than its regular depth.  There was no usual waterfall between the pond parts. 

At a previously used spot, where I watched, when I brought out my field glasses from the 1950s, my thoughts returned to birds that have not returned since the park pond was restored seven years ago.  Shoveler ducks visited over the winter for a couple of winters.  Buffleheads were there, perhaps in 2002 and earlier.  And Hooded mergansers, from the field glasses their image seemed to me to flow again. 
Pond During Restoration 2007

Monday, November 18, 2013



Now I want to go back to when we took our trip across from Boston to Liverpool.. I'm going to tell you how we lived on that ship.  In the first place I want to correct what might have been an error.  When I was up there, as I said, dumping over the trash can - we didn't throw over the can we just emptied the can over board.  This was done at close to dark, because it was done  at night so that any submarine that might have been around would not see that trash and radio ahead to some more submarines to let them know that we were coming.   Now as I said a lot of the men on that ship were tense as long as we were on it. It took us nine days to go across over the ocean, there the sleeping quarters were very cramped as anyone who has ever served or traveled on a troop transport will know.  Our ceiling was about nine feet from the floor and in there were three bunks high and the bunks were so close together that a man could just barely stand between and in our bunk we slept with all our clothes on even our shoes. 






As I was saying, we slept with all our clothes on, even our shoes when we were on the transport.  If we wanted to change our socks we had to take off one shoe and take off that sock then put on a clean sock and put a shoe back on and then do the other foot.


We were not to do both feet at a time we also had to be able to sleep with our mae west in the bunk with us, one arm in it at all times, we had also in our bunk, our duffle bag, and our back pack, our helmet and gas mask was hung on the end of the bunk and so we were fairly crowded.


The ship had been once a passenger ship on the Seattle to San Francisco run.  It was the H.F. Alexander, it carried about 200 or 250 passengers on that run.  However, when the ship was transferred into a troop transport it was supposed to carry about 2000.


However, before we left Boston 500 additional soldiers came on board.  They were engineers who were supposed to be on a ship which had developed engine trouble.  And therefore they had to divide up its passengers among several other ships.  And as I say, We got 500 of them.  They slept in hammocks in the mess hall at night until about 4 o'clock in the morning, when they had to get out of there in order for the mess attendant to get ready to have breakfast.  The men, these engineers, had to go and sleep up on deck.


They did not have any blankets with them, they just slept with their overcoats on.  So we were all very happy when one day the captain announced that, barring enemy action, we should arrive in the harbor of Liverpool in about forty-eight hours.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Closet Organizer

Thursday I visited the lumber yard. I stayed inside the quiet, warm office while the lumber yard worker did all the sawing for my closet organizer project. It was only a little more expensive than the imported boxed set. I brought it back to the building where I live on my luggage wheels on the bus, later in the evening I screwed it together. It seemed to wobble until I got the top board screwed on. I used the bungee cord from the luggage wheels to control the wobble while I screwed the top board on. So now there is a closet organizer, and it really does not wobble.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Seventy Years Ago, My Father Was At Fort Lewis

Seventy years ago, my parents met when my father was at Fort Lewis and went to Tacoma for a Scandinavian dance, in March 1943.  She had been writing v-mail letters already to her brothers.  According to tapes my father left with stories about the army, "Nineteen forty-two, July..., I enlisted in the Army Medical Department at Fort Lewis...And I believe it was in April 1943 I was detached from the Fort Lewis Hospital Complement and shipped to the 318th Station Hospital at Camp White near Medford, Oregon. 
There I served, while I was there sometimes in the station hospital, sometimes we were marching, training out in the field, marching, packing, then back to the hospital again.  This went on until about November, when we were taken by train directly to Camp Miles Standish near the city of Boston, Massachusetts, and stationed there about a week.
The day before New Year's I believe it was, or shortly before, we were taken by train to the dock in Boston and put aboard a transport, which sailed the next day for Liverpool, England."
He had worked his way through pharmacy school at the University of Washington in the 1920s, and since then had worked as a pharmacist.  In the service he was a pharmacist.  After he retired from pharmacy, in the 1970s he did some paintings - this is a painting he did of transports in a convoy.
Painting by Theodore Jensen, of
transports in a convoy