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Subject: Souvenirs, Certificates and the Swastika blouse rss

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A few weeks back I posted a thread showing souvenirs my dad brought back from Germany: My private stash of captured U-boat materiel. I mentioned then that most of the souvenirs he brought back from overseas are long gone. But not all.

Back around 2000 or so, I mentioned to my mom that when I was little I really liked the set of red figures my dad brought back from China. Apparently mom still had what was left of them packed away somewhere, and sent it to me. A couple of guys are missing, and the main figure has taken some damage, but I'm still very happy to have it. Wikipedia says the central figure is known as Budai in China and Hotei in Japan, but my dad called it Hotei and said he was from China, so I go with that:



The carved sampan came in the same package with the hotei; I hadn't seen either in decades. The bills and coin are what's left of a shoe box full of Chinese money that my younger sister and I played with when we were small.

Next up, certificates. The Exiles of the Earth is interesting; I see one dated 1923 listed on eBay, while my dad's from 1937 has a different design. The eBay link has some info about the ceremony.



The Soochow Creek certificate is for action during the 1937 Japanese attack. There were both marine and navy versions, and there was also a 1932 Soochow Creek medal.



The Order of Neptune was from the voyage taking General George Marshall to Rio de Janeiro in 1939.



OK, now for the swastika blouse. I've visited my last living aunt a couple of times recently, and the last time I took my laptop and was showing her some old pictures which she really enjoyed. When we got to the one below, she said "oh, that's my swastika blouse."

"Your what?" I asked, dumbfounded.

"My swastika blouse!" she repeated. "Your father brought back a big suitcase full of nazi flags. Good cloth had been scarce during the war, and we were glad to get them. Your mom got the biggest, and made a dress, and the rest of us got smaller ones and we made blouses."



Finally I have a question. The real treasure amongst my dad's souvenirs is a large leather bound photo album, with more than 80 pages of pictures, titled 'In Memory of My China Cruise'. It has pictures from all over China, plus the Philippines, Japan, French Indo China, etc. There are some cool military pics, but mixed in with all kinds of other stuff and I don't intend to go nuts picking and choosing; it's all or nothing. How interested are people in seeing something like that?

For me it's an interesting time capsule from another world, but I don't want to be your Uncle Bob boring everyone to tears with the family slide show. It would be a big job uploading and captioning all that, so please be brutally honest!
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The swastika blouse is pretty amazing. Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
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Sphere wrote:
Finally I have a question. The real treasure amongst my dad's souvenirs is a large leather bound photo album, with more than 80 pages of pictures, titled 'In Memory of My China Cruise'. It has pictures from all over China, plus the Philippines, Japan, French Indo China, etc. There are some cool military pics, but mixed in with all kinds of other stuff and I don't intend to go nuts picking and choosing; it's all or nothing. How interested are people in seeing something like that?

For me it's an interesting time capsule from another world, but I don't want to be your Uncle Bob boring everyone to tears with the family slide show. It would be a big job uploading and captioning all that, so please be brutally honest!


You should absolutely do this. I think it will be a rewarding journey for you, at the very least, and that's reason enough, but I would expect it to draw interest of others, as well. It could be the start of some amazing contributions from other people who might be inspired to dust off old photo albums.

How amazing would it be to link personal war stories from first-person accounts and relatives, told with contributions from all over the world? It can be done here if enough people have the will to contribute.

It's a fitting memorial that this part of his life can now be shared with the entire world.
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I would love to see the China Cruise pics.

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Moruya23 wrote:

I would love to see the China Cruise pics.

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+1

Tell us Uncle Bob.
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What a brilliant use for such a hateful object! Great stuff
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Post this stuff!

BTW, reddit has this:

http://www.reddit.com/r/OldSchoolCool
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Historical photos with provenance are priceless. Let er rip!
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A digital web based version of 'In Memory of My China Cruise' would be of interest to a great many people. It would be a commendable project.
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Please, Uncle Bob, post them anyway.
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Wilhammer wrote:
Post this stuff!

BTW, reddit has this:

http://www.reddit.com/r/OldSchoolCool

I'm sure reddit would attract more attention, but that doesn't appeal to me. It took long enough to decide I would mention it here, where I feel I'm largely among friends. I don't do facebook, twitter, instagram, reddit, or whatever else there is out there; BGG is as close as I come to social media.

I do think my fellow wargamers will find much of it interesting, not only for the military photos but due to our shared interest in history generally. There was a lot going on in Asia between the world wars, and quite a few of the images tie in to historical events for which I'll add links to wikipedia or whatever.

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Great story thus far. Yes, please post the photos.
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I'd be very interested in those photos, too.
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Loving the memories George, please post more!
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This is all pretty fascinating. I've reached the age where this reminds me of members of my family now gone, who were from the same generation. I really enjoyed seeing glimpses of the lives of those in your family from the same era. Thanks.
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spacerx wrote:
A digital web based version of 'In Memory of My China Cruise' would be of interest to a great many people. It would be a commendable project.


+1

Also very interested in seeing the photos. I remember at least one Kickstarter project which involved a guy who digitized a large volume of photos taken by his dad who was a prolific amateur photographer.

Not that you have to go the KS route, but just throwing this out as an example of another person's approach to sharing photos he believed were worth sharing and needed additional resources to make it happen.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matthewryanphoto/the-ph...

The historic and cultural value of the photos I think, would be appreciated by many people not just posters here on BGG.
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monstrooper wrote:
spacerx wrote:
A digital web based version of 'In Memory of My China Cruise' would be of interest to a great many people. It would be a commendable project.


+1

Also very interested in seeing the photos. I remember at least one Kickstarter project which involved a guy who digitized a large volume of photos taken by his dad who was a prolific amateur photographer.

Not that you have to go the KS route, but just throwing this out as an example of another person's approach to sharing photos he believed were worth sharing and needed additional resources to make it happen.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/matthewryanphoto/the-ph...

The historic and cultural value of the photos I think, would be appreciated by many people not just posters here on BGG.

I appreciate the thought, but if you have to bet on which comes first, the Cubs winning the World Series or me launching a kickstarter, take the Cubbies.

Seriously, I'm not looking to profit. I've basically decided I'm going to go for it; now I just have to knuckle down and get it done.
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Really like to see the photo. laugh
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Not sure if the photos were dated or not, but I recall another project someone did "blogging" from World War 1.

Basically, posting letters the soldier had written home exactly 90 years (to the day) after they were sent. It created an interesting effect, as days or weeks could go by with no updates.
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Sphere wrote:


[...]

I've basically decided I'm going to go for it; now I just have to knuckle down and get it done.


Thank you in advance, George. I am very much looking forward to seeing them.
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Sphere wrote:
Wilhammer wrote:
Post this stuff!

BTW, reddit has this:

http://www.reddit.com/r/OldSchoolCool

I'm sure reddit would attract more attention, but that doesn't appeal to me. It took long enough to decide I would mention it here, where I feel I'm largely among friends. I don't do facebook, twitter, instagram, reddit, or whatever else there is out there; BGG is as close as I come to social media.

I do think my fellow wargamers will find much of it interesting, not only for the military photos but due to our shared interest in history generally. There was a lot going on in Asia between the world wars, and quite a few of the images tie in to historical events for which I'll add links to wikipedia or whatever.



My Dad lead a big band tour of the Orient in the 30s (okay, it wasn't that big). His trunks had stickers from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, et. al..
The only pictures he took were of his band! Dang!
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Moron Tom wrote:
My Dad lead a big band tour of the Orient in the 30s (okay, it wasn't that big). His trunks had stickers from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, et. al..
The only pictures he took were of his band! Dang!

Sounds like they were in the same places around the same time; you never know, my dad might have seen your dad's band. He was definitely interested in music; played trumpet himself well enough that he did solos at football games during halftime, and his dad was a professional musician. The pictures I'm going to post include some clubs where your dad might have played.
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Sphere wrote:
Moron Tom wrote:
My Dad lead a big band tour of the Orient in the 30s (okay, it wasn't that big). His trunks had stickers from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, et. al..
The only pictures he took were of his band! Dang!

Sounds like they were in the same places around the same time; you never know, my dad might have seen your dad's band. He was definitely interested in music; played trumpet himself well enough that he did solos at football games during halftime, and his dad was a professional musician. The pictures I'm going to post include some clubs where your dad might have played.


Any thoughts on organization?

Might I suggest you consider adding an entry for your father in the wargaming wiki. The wiki seems like a simple way to organize and link personal stories.

A memorial splash page could be set up on the wiki with names that people could click on.

Stories can then be cross-referenced with battles, perhaps wargames and other personal accounts when appropriate.

There might be a better method. If someone has any ideas, please post.
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truflepig wrote:

Any thoughts on organization?

Might I suggest you consider adding an entry for your father in the wargaming wiki. The wiki seems like a simple way to organize and link personal stories.

A memorial splash page could be set up on the wiki with names that people could click on.

Stories can then be cross-referenced with battles, perhaps wargames and other personal accounts when appropriate.

There might be a better method. If someone has any ideas, please post.

I appreciate the suggestion, but I don't think a wiki would be the best vehicle for my purposes. I'm thinking in terms of showing the pictures and discussing them with my friends rather than providing a historical reference. What I don't know about these pictures outweighs what I do know by a wide margin, and I'm hopeful that the exchange of knowledge will be a two way street.

My plan is to do a GeekList with 83 entries, one for the cover and one for each page - over 200 pictures altogether. I'll be telling stories in some cases, but there are a lot of pictures for which I hope to tap into the BGG hive mind and learn more myself.

I'll give some examples. I was writing a caption last night for a panorama of the harbor at Hong Kong circa 1935. There are 3 U.S.N. four-pipers (Clemson class destroyers) present, and lots of junks and smaller vessels, but there are also several foreign ships which I can't identify. I'll be surprised if there aren't people here who know more about such things and who will be able to tell me something about them. There is a picture of biplanes in formation - I'd like to know what type. There are pictures of coastal gun installations - I bet there are artillery buffs here who can enlighten me with particulars.

What I'm really hoping for is that BGG'ers from China, Japan, The Philippines, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Thailand can tell me more about some of the pictures taken 80 years ago in their homelands. I see processions and don't know if they are funerals or celebrations or what. I see beautiful buildings and temples and wonder whether they still exist after the wars. In some cases, there aren't even captions telling me what country these places are in.

In its final form, I hope this will become a collaborative effort where I can share things I know and expand my knowledge as others share what they know. Basically I'll be planting a tree, and eager to see how it grows.
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Just remember to scan them at 72dpi so the list is not a bugger to view.

This will be a lot of images.

Looking forward to it.

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