Saturday, May 21, 2011


In the summertime, I'm on the left with Robin the dog, with Harvey, Lysle, Parker and Chet
   A year of great pride (however mis-directed).  Upstairs at school with Mrs. Elsie Bumford, she was incredibly old, after all she had been Dads teacher when this upstairs room was the High School.  I hate Ancient History (still) so I wrote Mrs. Bumford a note on my work, simply said "God dame (couldn't even spell Damn) you.  She responded, the next day, by telling me I was had worse behavior than my father; thus the huge amount of pride; after all she had kicked him out of school - he finished in Sanford.
  My next proud act was to help my neighbors with their mail.  I simply took out every ones mail (about 4 mailboxes) and threw it in the stream by my house.  Not a very clever was to hide ones guilt!  We got a visit from the Sheriff, and a little later had a meeting with "Mister Belt" - if you know what I mean.
   Dad got his very first new car, a leftover 1949 Plymouth, light blue, the family took a trip, along with Gram Goodwin, all the way to Richmond Virginia.  We went to visit my Uncle Dick and Aunt Blanche.  It was a great trip, maybe the first one always is.
Buses have changed a little.
Some of the early mobile homes were made
Nat "King" Cole sang the song of the year -Mona Lisa,
I still like that song!

Friday, May 20, 2011


In the original returnable bottles, and reusable bottles too.
   In the fourth grade, already.  How did I make it this far, I think it was a pass-thru deal myself, but ,then again, I did pass everything and got okay grades (except for "deportment"!).  It's my last year downstairs.  "Robert" was in my class this year, he was sixteen and school was over for him.

  The Berlin Airlift was in its' second year (I didn't know about it then), in the Navy when I became an aircrew member, some of the pilots had taken part in the "airlift".  The planes I flew in were built in 1952 and 1953, so they had moved on from the older C47's and C118's.

  Frank Sinatra was BIG!  Sinatra and Gene Kelly made the movie "On the Town" about a couple of Navy guys.  Lucky Old Sun and Ghost Riders in the Sky were the two top songs of the year.  Must have been a western themed year - I don't know.

  On Saturday morning we would listen to Sky King on the radio, in the evening it was The Shadow Knows.  Kind of tame stuff compared to what's on TV now, BUT it was entertainment.
Navy and Air Force planes loading in West Germany, for the drops in Berlin.  Each plane carried candy for the kids.
Movie Night!!
Car of the year - Chrysler Royal.  Upholstery fabric made in Sanford, Maine
by Goodall-Sanford.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


My family, 1948.  I'm the little one.
...and, another year of school, 3rd grade, I didn't get any bloody noses, but I'm sure there were other things that meant I was having fun.  I put thorns from Locust trees on the teacher chair, nice try - no cigar.
   Technology gave us mass produced television, and industry gave us the compact car in 1948 (maybe before).  Music and movies continued to grow along the same lines as years before; big bands were very popular, and signing by groups (Ames Brothers, etc.) took off in a big way.
   India and Pakistan become separate countries, Israel is formed and Newfoundland became part of Canada.  I'm sure there are a lot of other things but, well, we've already got three new flags to think about.  Two, very large for the time, plane crashes occurred in 1948, one had 38 passengers and the largest had 48, quite different from aircraft now that can carry about 400 people; of course we had just started experimenting with "jets" in the military.

The Crosley line, first compact cars and not very popular

The Dumont RA103 "Doghouse" television, how about one for your living room.
We got our first television in 1955.

More new technology - in car speakers at the Drive-In.
Yes! People got excited by them.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The North Lebanon School, looks a lot different now
Back to school again?  Oh! Gee!  It wasn't a delightful experience for me as a child.  The school, as I said, had no running water, the indoor outhouse was through the wood shed. Yes, we had a wood stove for heat.  The teachers would arrive early to sweep and start the stoves.  The floors were wooden and were "oiled" every year just before school, I can almost smell it now.  Okay, on the second day of school - guess what?  That's right! A bloody nose! Again!  Eldon Woodman and I were running around a very large elm tree and I doubled back to surprise him - I got the surprise!  I wonder if I'll need a transfusion to finish the school year?  Eldon, by the way, is now a retired high school math teacher.
There were five of us in the first grade, maybe four or five in each of the second grade and maybe six in the fourth.  When I was in the first grade, Lysle was in the fourth.  One day he did something naughty (I can't remember what), and Mrs. Pierce told him to stay in at recess, recess came he got up and put his coat on and was told to take it off and sit down; when Mrs. Pierce came over and told him to stand up, he wouldn't and held tightly to the desk (chairs and desks were separate pieces) she grabbed him and he and the desk stood up!  The desks and chairs were screwed to the wood floor.  His reply was "geeny Christmas!"  Funny, for me, to this day.

1947, also brought us Miracle on 34th Street as a movie, and the song of the year was Johnny Mercers' version of Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.  My, oh my, what a wonderful day!  It was the very first movie I'd ever seen, and I saw one more before I was twelve.

No blogs tomorrow, moving day, by Thursday I should be back. 
Brand new movie!
Song of the year - click
The U S Navy puts the first Black Officer on an integrated ship, the USS Kearsarge - click

Monday, May 16, 2011


The Grant family in 1918
(left to right) My Dad Stuart, Charles with Bernard on his lap, Isabelle, Bertrice with Olive and Dads twin sister Margaret
1946 was the start of the "baby boom" as returned troops married their sweethearts, and started work, or went back to school.  It was also the year colleges and universities got their largest enrollments.
Home entertainment was still a deck or cards, a board game or the radio; television was just a few short years away for almost everyone.
1946 was also the start of automobile production which had been halted by the war effort, people were happy to get those new cars.  You know, back then you could tell a Ford from a Pontiac, each brand had some distinction, I liked that.
1946 was also the year I started first grade, at age five - Mom didn't try to hold me back (she was singing Oh, Happy Days) there was no Kindergarten in Lebanon at that time.  The school had one room downstairs, and one room upstairs.  Grades one through four, downstairs, taught by Mrs. Mildred Pierce, and upstairs Mrs. Elsie Bumford taught grades five through eight.  There was no running water, boys went to Mr. Hanscom's well and got pails of water each day, it was stored in a stone crock with a spigot.  We all shared a tin cup on a chain! (oh, the horrors).  I got a bloody nose the first day of school because I hid and yelled BOO! at Joyce DeHaven and she punched me in the nose.  I was off on a good start; things never calmed down again:)
Home entertainment

Baby Boom starts.

New cars back on the market.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The War was over!  A picture is worth a thousand words.
...Yep, the war was over; men started coming home, and the world changed (at least in the USA).  People could buy cars again, Dad bought at 1939 Buick.  The car wouldn't stay is third gear (they were manual transmissions then) unless he held it down, the key was broken off in the ignition so you could start it with a screwdriver!  That car lasted four years.  Now we could ride around - Dad's favorite pastime (mine too, I must admit).  We would go to Sanford and down to the airport, during the war it was a Navy Air Facility, part of the runway was painted to look like a carrier landing deck, there was arresting gear (for the tailhook) and a plywood control tower that resembled an aircraft carriers superstructure; pilots practiced "carrier landings" in Sanford; the actual ships were busy in the Pacific.

I haven't said much about my Mom's family.  Her parents were Charles (everyone called him Ed) and Catherine Goodwin, they lived in Shapleigh, Maine on a small farm.  Her dad worked the farm and worked sometimes in the woods, cutting trees for lumber.  He also for a while ran the "snow roller" for the town - before cars the snow was packed down in the road for sleds and sleighs pulled by horses.
Mom had one brother, Jack, and four sisters, Edith, Peggy, Blanche and Annie.  She graduated from Shibles High School in Shapleigh in 1932, there were 3 people in her class.  She married Dad a couple of years later, 1934.
A snow roller at work.
Shapleigh Corner in 1911, the High School was across for that store on the left (yes, it's the store).
Me on the left and Lysle on the right - 1945