Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sampson World War II Navy Veterans Memorial Museum

At the beginning of World War II the United States Navy had four Boot Camps (Training Stations), they were located at at San Diego, CA; Bainbridge, MD; Newport, RI; and Great Lakes, IL. Because the need was so great during the war, three more camps were added, one at Norfolk, VA; Sampson, NY; and Farragut, ID.
  When World War II started, my father was drafted into the Army. When his papers came in the mail to report for a physical, he instead went and enlisted in the Navy.  He was forty years old and had previously served in the Navy when he was in his twenties.  He was sent to the Great Lakes Training Station near Chicago.  Because of his age and prior service, he was trained as a boiler mechanic and operator. After he completed his training he was stationed in New York at the  the newly built Sampson Naval Training Station, as a boiler maintainer.

  Sampson was built on the shores of one of the finger lakes, Seneca Lake. It was a beautiful quiet area in central New York that soon became the size of a small town.  The base cost 56 million to build, had 498 buildings, covered 2500 acres, with large drill halls that were 600 feet long and 120 feet wide. The Sampson Naval Training Station was established in less than a year, 270 days to be exact, and opened on October 17, 1942. All but two of the building were built out of wood because the Navy predicted the war would not last very long. The base closed in May of 1946 after training 411,429 sailors.

Drill Hall Under Construction

  When recruits first arrived a three hour transition from civilian to "boot" took place. They were given a buzz hair cut, striped naked, given a extensive physical and shots, issued gear, and had all of their personal items including their clothes sent home. Training usually lasted about six weeks. WWII Navy Boot Camps like Sampson trained thousands of sailors to board ships and win the war.  

    A few weeks ago, I visited the Sampson Naval Training Station.  It is now Sampson State Park and the base has disappeared.  All but two of the buildings have been demolished and a lovely grass covered campground and park on the shores of Seneca Lake has taken its place.
  The Navy brig, a stone structure, was restored by Navy and Air Force veterans and now contains the Sampson World War II Navy Veterans Memorial Museum. The museum contains uniforms, mementoes, pictures, guns, souvenirs, and other artifacts from World War II.

Items from Sampson Naval Training Station for sale for at Reuzeit Emporium.
Legging or "Boots"
Worn by Trainee's
World War II 
mailing box
World War II 
Navy Garrison Hat
World War II 
Souvenir Pillow
World War II,  Navy Uniform, White, Shirt, Pants
Navy Uniform, World War II, Dress Blues
Navy Sailor's Hat
The Making of a Sailor, 
U.S. Naval Training Station
World War II 
Souvenir Pillow

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Another Ellie Conservation

My four year old granddaughter and I were playing a learning game of the computer and frankly I was getting just a little bit bored. In the middle of the umpteenth visual recognition game, Ellie suddenly turned around and gave me an appraising look.

"Nana, you're hair looks awful", she said

I was a little taken aback.  It had been awhile since I had my hair cut.

"Do you really think so?", I said
"Yes, it's really bad!"
 And with that she jumped down off the chair and disappeared leaving me to wonder why a four year old was concerned about the condition of my hair.  A few minutes later she was back carrying a shoe box sized plastic container.
"Nana, I'll fix your hair for you." 
And she proceeded to adorn me with every bow, ribbon, barrette, head band and flower clip in the box.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

An Ellie Conservation

The family, grandparents, parents, children, were gathered around the pool on a hot summer weekend. The youngest child, Ellie, had just turned 4.  My son, Jim. decided to go up to the house to get some more towels.  As he started to leave I hollered, "Jim, bring me back a bottle of water."

Ellie took my face in her hands and staring into my eyes said,

"You can't call him Jim."
"What am I supposed to call him?"
"You can call him dad."
"I'm not going to call him dad.  He's not my dad, he's my son."
She frowned at me with that you're just being difficult look.
"OK," she said.  "You can call him sweetie pie."

And so Jim became sweetie pie.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Everyone Loves A Parade

  Everyone loves a parade, but my family really loves one parade in particular, The Wanderoos Parade.  This small town in Wisconsin has a Fourth of July parade that is known only to the local residents and few outsiders. So how did the Wanderoos parade become such a big event with my family?  Well it all started about forty years ago when my sister and brother-in-law bought a farm on the Apple River. This farm became the family gathering place and center for all kinds of activities and a good deal of silliness.
  The Wanderoos parade soon became a family foolishness favorite.
  In the beginning, we didn't have very much imagination.  We rode the horses over to Wanderoos, rode through town and then rode them back to the farm. Sometimes someone would drive the old farm truck decorated with crepe paper with  kids in the back.
   Then my brother-in-law bought a buggy and drove it in the parade. As we added on so did the rest of the parade.

  My husband bought a motorcycle for the kids and one for himself so motorcycles were added as our contribution to the parade.

  A newer farm truck was added along with a tractor to a pull trailer.  Our creative juices began to flow and we started planning a float.  We made costumes and the "Fun, Pun, Joke Float" was born starring Miss Print wearing a dress made out of newspaper.

Featuring "Sun Dress, Bear Feet, Rein Coat, 10 Gallon Hat"
Featuring "Mis print"

  The Amery Free Press (Tuesday, July 10, 1979) featured our float on the front page with the caption:  Miss Print and a lady wearing a sun dress enjoyed their tour through Wanderoos on Saturday during the annual Fourth of July observance.  The float was entitled, "Fun, Pun, Joke Float." 

Apple River Floating Society
  The next year was followed by the "Apple River Floating Society Float". It was on a trailer being pulled by an old tractor. Everyone had a inner tube, a silly old hat and a beer. We sang songs on our way through town. And yes we still had the horses in the parade. We were very young and silly back then.
  To understand a little about Wanderoos you have to realize how small the town is, the parade is only about four blocks long. You spend more time in line waiting to go through town, then driving in the parade. Wanderoos had a population of about 20 people back then, but everyone for miles around came to participate or watch this parade.

  And then my brother-in-law bought an old fire truck.  The kids dressed up, my nephew wired up a sound system that played patriotic songs, and we all piled onto the truck and threw candy to the kids that lined the streets. The parents grew up their kids were having children of their own, new traditions were started, but the Wanderoos parade was still attended every year.
  Wanderoos boosts it is the :  "Biggest Independence Day Celebration in the area!" This year like every year for the past forty plus years the Kiddies Parade starts the celebration followed by the Grand Parade. There are chicken dinners, kiddie games, a sawdust pile, a horseshoe tournament, softball games, and fireworks at dusk followed by a street dance. They have  loads of activities that are fun for all ages.  There might even be an old fire truck blasting patriotic songs with a few of the old timers throwing candy.
Wanderoos Independence Day Celebration,  July 5, 2014 starting at 10:30 am.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Antique Roadshow Experience

  In January I applied for tickets to the Antique Roadshow and then promptly forgot all about it. In May, I opened an envelope from the mail. This envelope nearly went unopened and directly into the recycling bin.  To my surprise, inside there were two large beautiful tickets to the coveted antique extravaganza, The Antique Roadshow, in Bismarck, North Dakota on May 31.  I had two weeks to make plans and decide what to have appraised.         
   My daughter and I decided to make the long trip. We set off on a lovely Friday morning and enjoyed a leisurely drive, stopping at an occasional antique shop along the way. The next morning we woke early and arrived at the Bismarck Civic Arena an hour before our scheduled time.
  The volunteers from the Bismarck area  directed the crowds of people, they were friendly and helpful.  Mark Walberg walked through the crowds looking very smart in a dark blue tailored suit and occasionally he turned to nod at someone. We chatted with the people near us as we stood in the numerous  lines; the 10:00 ticket time, the item description ticket line, and then the item appraisal line.  There were many lines but the people around us were friendly, interesting and excited to show off their antique items.  We laughed and laughed at and with the crazy Canadian father son team from Winnipeg. They had a signal lamp in its original box that was appraised at $450.00.  The father was hoping his little glass cream pitcher was worth $40,000, might as well dream big he said.            
  We saw an Avon bottle lamp, machine made wooden bowls, an oil painting of John Wayne and many  other items of little value. I would estimate that ninety-five percent of the items brought to the Antique Roadshow for appraisal fell into this category. We also saw some exceptional things; an American Indian mannequin in complete deer skin regalia, pottery and a beautiful oil painting.
  I had several military items that need I additional information about, I wanted to know if they were authentic and their approximate value. My first item was a Civil War cap pouch with a metal US medallion. A cap box or pouch is a small leather pouch worn on the front of a belt and is used for the storage of percussion caps. Percussion caps are very explosive and great care needs to be taken when handling them, that is why the leather pouch is padded with lamb's wool. Christopher Mitchell told me that the cap pouch was indeed authentic but the metal medallion on the front was a movie prop.   He recommended that the medallion remain on the pouch.


  He also appraised my powder horn. Back at home before we left, I poured out about three cups of black gun powder;  thinking it was probably not a good idea to bring gun powder into the Antique Roadshow.  A powder horn is a container for gunpowder and is generally made from cow, ox or buffalo horn.  The wide mouth is used for filling the horn with gun powder and the narrow end is used to dispense the gun powder into the gun. Using an animal horn for gun powder is a cleaver idea because the horn is hollow, naturally water proof keeping the powder dry and it also  ensures that the gun powder won't be detonated by sparks when the gun is fired. Christopher Mitchell told me the powder horn made between 1870-1880 in the Tim Tansel style. The Tansel family were famous for making powder horns with Tim Tansel being the most prolific maker.

  All and all we had an exciting day, met some interesting people, gleamed  a little information  and saw many unique things. My daughter and I shared a once in a lifetime experience and had some fun together. The next day an old children's rhyme kept running through my head.

We went to the animal fair,
The birds and the beasts were there,
The big baboon by the light of the moon   
Was combing his auburn hair
The funniest was the monk
He climbed up the elephant's trunk
The elephant sneezed and fell on his knees
And what became of the monk?
The monk! What became of the monk?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Gift Ideas for Mother on Mother's Day

Gold Gilt Retriever Stick Pin
Gold Gilt Retriever Stick Pin

Rose Cameo Ring
Rose Cameo Ring

Black Cameo Lady Pendant
Black Cameo Lady Pendant

1890's Mechanical Pencil Pendant
1890's Mechanical Pencil Pendant

White Leaf Pin with silver & enamel

Sterling Silver Filigree Pendant

1990's Peridot Necklace
1990's Peridot Necklace
12 inches

Whiting & Davis Goldtone Bracelet & Ring
Whiting & Davis Goldtone
Bracelet & Ring

1950's Gold wash Locket wit birds and flowers, 20 inch chain
1950's Gold wash Locket wit birds and flowers, 20 inch chain

II. Mothers are more precious that Silver

1900 Silver Holder & Blue Vase
1900 Silver Holder & Blue Vase
Pairpoint Mfg Co. # 1533

1900 Silver Holder with Engraved Flowers, Meriden Co. #1418
1900 Silver Holder with Engraved Flowers, Meriden Co. #1418

1885 Silver Gravy Boat gold wash on inside, Rockford Silverplate Co.
1885 Silver Gravy Boat gold wash on inside, Rockford Silverplate Co.

1985 Engraved Silver Plate, Wallace Silversmiths
1985 Engraved Silver Plate
Wallace Silversmiths

1880's Silver Jewelry Casket with Key, Simpson Hallmiller Co
1880's Silver Jewelry Casket with Key
Simpson Hallmiller Co.

1850-1899 Silver Cake Basket Homan Company #1569
1850-1899 Silver Cake Basket
Homan Company #1569

III. Classy glass for a classy Mother

Emerald Green Carnival Bowl
Emerald Green Carnival Bowl

Blue Stretch Glass Footed Bowl
Blue Stretch Glass Footed Bowl

Green Fancy Loop Toothpick Holder
Green Fancy Loop Toothpick Holder

Frosted Clear & Pink
Frosted Clear & Pink
 Divided Pickle Dish

Ruby Stained Wine Decanter
Ruby Stained Wine Decanter

Marigold Carnival Bonbon Dish,
Marigold Carnival Bonbon Dish,
 Lotus & Grape Pattern 

Electric Blue Tokyo Compote
Electric Blue Tokyo Compote

Green Pebble Leaf Dish
Green Pebble Leaf Dish

Vaseline Glass Candy Jar
Vaseline Glass Candy Jar

Buy your Mother a Memorable Gift from Reuzeit Emporium Today!

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