Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thematic Photographic #32--- Aged: As a 64Year-old Scrapbook

This week's Thematic Photographic topic is aged and what better place to find something aged than in an antiques store. There are many antique stores here in the Ozarks and they are full of treasures and trips down memory lane. I often look for, and find, old photographs. Looking at them I wonder who the folks in the pictures were, who did they love, what did they do for a living, and how did these priceless gems end up in an antiques store so many miles from their original home?

On a recent treasure hunt I found a scrapbook that dates back to 1944. It chronicles a soldier's experiences in World War II, apparently in Germany, Africa and Japan. That soldier was PVT Robert Winquist. There are photos, typed reports of battles, hometown newspaper articles of local war heroes, as well as cards and letters he received from his wife and family. I am still reading all the interesting mementos, but I want to share parts of this amazing memoir from one America's true heroes, who fought on foreign soil, who often didn't see his family for as long as two years, and fortunately returned home to enjoy the freedom he risked his life for.

For more of this soldier's scrapbook go to Made For Keeps where I have posted some Christmas and Valentine cards and letters from 1944 and 1945!

The mementos are neatly tucked between covers made of wood and the simple words "My Scrapbook" burned on the front.

A popular piece in any soldier's pack was the "Hit Kit" with the songs to the popular hits of the day. Does anyone remember these songs?

I hope that all of these men returned safely home.

A newspaper ran the story of how PVT Winquist's life was saved by a knife his fathered had fashioned from a steel file. That knife saved him from an ambush by a Japanese soldier.

On December 11 1944 The Elgin [Illinois] Daily Courier-News ran an original poem by one of its hometown heroes. Sixty-four years later and only the location of war has changed; sentiments are the same.

Black and white snapshots are neatly mounted with the ever-popular black corners. Some pictures have been removed and others tucked neatly between the pages.

This very well preserved map is not a vacation tour, but apparently the advance by the 745th Tank Bn. and the 26th Infantry from England to Normandy through Paris to Belgium and into Germany and Czechoslovakia. It gives me chills.

This document is three-page chronicle of "The Battle Saga of a Tough Outfit" The doughboys of the First Infantry Division of the First United States Army, the "finest division in the world".

This scrapbook is more interesting and precious than almost anything I have seen in any bookstore. I don't think that antiquing will take first place over browsing through Barnes and Noble, but it certainly beats browsing through the shopping mall!

Join us in Carmi's Thematic Photographic! You'll have fun and meet some very talented folks!


Carolyn Bounds said...

Barb, thank you for sharing this incredible treasure with the rest of us!!! Like you, I wonder how it found its way into an antique shop? I am so very glad that you are now the owner of this priceless piece of history. Now, I know it will be cared for and valued as if it were your own ancestors mementos held within those aging pages. As I have said in the past, you are a gem!!!

Love and Hugs!

Ida said...

Those people were true heroes - indeed!

Thank you for visiting my blog lately and for all your nice words and comments.

I wonder what what part of Norway your father was born.
Do you know?
I was born in Sognefjord .
I live on the West coast of Norway, near the city of Bergen .

I have been to Canada and USA, sailing with my husband who is a sailor.

I hope to see you around.
I will add you to my link list right now.

Take care. :)

lisaschaos said...

How neat! What a great little piece of history! :)