Sunday, August 29, 2010

Interviewing Elsie: friends come to call

Yesterday was wonderful. In the morning we worked through one of Elsie's binders on our new Epson copier/scanner/printer/fax/CD maker at Barbara and Johnny's house, then we headed out to see Elsie at Freedom Village. Elsie was happy as ever to see us, and had arranged for two of our mutual friends to stop by a little bit later in the day.

Mr. Myrt set up the Epson in a meeting area near Elsie's room, and we got right to work on her Korea binder. Within a few minutes, Bob Jones and his wife Maryann came by for a visit. Bob and Maryann live in an apartment in an adjacent building at Freedom Village and don't require the care that Elsie needs. (Each of us has our health challenges, I guess.) I was so thrilled to see Bob & his wife. They are great friends from the old Manasota PAF Users Group days, and as such, they were very interested in our book project about Elsie's life during WWII. They didn't mind our continuing to photocopy and scan during their visit.

(c) 1947 Elsie (Barks) Naylor,
Used with permission.
As we asked the Jones about their family, Bob reminded me of a project he did to bridge the generations and have his grandchildren think in terms of their early Tennessee ancestors. Bob gathered an 1804 half penny for each of his grandchildren and mounted them in a small individual shadow box. Then he printed out a little blurb to mount below the coin that said something like "Your great-great grandfather arrived in Tennessee  in 1804 with a mere half penny in his pocket. Could this have been the coin he held?" Bob always does cool things with his grandchildren. Isn't this a great idea?!!

In addition to sharing, Bob and Maryann were a great support to Elsie who would occasionally say, "I cannot believe these two kids are doing all this copying." Bob and I would invariably say "These letters and photos are history ~ people need to know about it."

Indeed, we found telegrams (who sends those anymore?), more letters, descriptions of  Elsie's travel by ship from Honolulu to Pusan, an official report of a robbery, and this 1947 picture of Elsie as she met this Korean mother and sleeping child.

As we'd run across a letter with a sketch of the room, or something, Bob and Elsie would pour over it and decipher the schematic, like this one showing how Elsie's bed was arranged at the side of her room in Korea. Hmm, I'll have to ask her about those Saki jugs. 

(c) 1947 Elsie (Barks) Naylor, used with permission.

You can see that Ol' Myrt here has more than enough  material to tell the story of the story of Elsie's Red Cross service & WWII. There are so many more treasures, I can hardly wait to do more blogging over at Elsie says... and bring Elsie's book to print.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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