Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy 100th, Sepia Saturday! ~~ A "Sepia Saturday" Post... Obviously!



Today marks the 100th Sepia Saturday post! Well, not counting a few thousand individual posts which have used that mighty meme as a prompt, of course.


To commemorate this occasion, as well as yesterday's Veteran's Day, I'm going to showcase two individuals. And as a special treat to you, dear readers, I'll keep my usual blitherings to a minimum.


1. The first is the one veteran in my immediate family: My dad, Edwin L. Lynch (1916-1968). I have several photos of him in his army uniforms, but scanner problems prevented me from using any of them. (The above shot came from a newspaper article on the September 28th, 1940 day when he married my mother.)

It's actually almost fitting that this post has no shots of him in uniform. Drafted only months after the death of a daughter who had only survived a couple of days, my father served in the Army from 1943 to 1945 under General Mark Clark in Italy (mostly). He had more than his share of negative memories of his time in the service, but he was hardly alone in that respect, of course. 

He never discussed his war experiences with me.

On one occasion, according to my Uncle Bob, my father literally buried his war medals -- Bronze Star, Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal, and lesser awards -- in the backyard. He later relented, evidently; I now own them.

He also became extremely angry when my cousin Joe -- almost a younger brother to my mom than a "real" nephew -- expressed an interest in joining the service.


Someday, I'll show a few photos of my dad in his army duds... but not today.

And now...


2. Thanks once again to scanner issues, the above photo of opera singer Polyna Stoska is not from my own collection of photos, nor are any of the others of Ms. Stoska that accompany this post. Even if my scanner had been working, all I have here at home are a couple of newspaper articles.

If 1930s-1950s opera star Polyna Stoska -- and I promise to do a "real" article on the woman in the near future -- is still alive, she would have turned 100 years old in July of this year! At this date, I have no way of knowing whether she is alive or not... but that doesn't mean I'm not still checking.




And why, you may wonder, is Polyna Stoska (née Stoskus) featured here at all, other than the fact that she would be 100 years old today dovetails so nicely with today's Sepia Saturday theme?

Well... my very own mom knew Ms. Stoska under a third name: "Cousin Polly!" (Yep, her real cousin!)


More to come? You bet!

Thanks for your time.

28 comments:

  1. Oh Mr. Silver that was a wonderful post. I kept hoping you were going to say she was related. Will be waiting for your dad's photo in uniform. My father was only son and did not serve in the military.
    QMM

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  2. Great post and even though I can't say I ever got the whole opera thing, she has a really nice voice. Scanner issues are worse then blogger issues, as you actually paid for that thing huh?..haha

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  3. nice...great piece my friend...nice picture of your dad and i am appreciative of his service...not big on opera either but...i appreciate the art...

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  4. I was wondering why you went from your father to an opera singer. Now I am wondering whether "Cousin Polly" was a real cousin.

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  5. what nice and specially post Silver, I love specially the part of your Dad, nice, is so hard scanner antiques issues I know, but I love them! thanks by a lovely post again! gloria

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  6. I didn't realize your mom lost a baby and then immediately had your dad go off to war. Hard!

    Love the story of cousin Polly. Very, very cool!

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  7. A really interesting post. It’s not uncommon for old soldiers to be anti-war, or at least not to want to talk about it. This is a problem we face with finding out about the Great War too.

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  8. Wonderful post, Silver. I've a feeling I would have taken to your dad...and as for cousin Polly...that's beyond cool...makes me wonder if I've any famous drops in the gene pool...bank robbers and gun slingers aside! :)

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  9. So many interesting bits in this post, but the one about your father burying his war medals really got to me. There's so much we don't know about what the soldiers in our families experienced. I am glad to hear that you now have these medals in your possession.

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  10. My Dad felt the need to talk about parts of his war experience. He wrote some of them down for us. I wish I had listened more attentively to the stories he told to us. My husband's father never speaks of his time in the war.

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  11. I really, really love this post. Your dad and my dad served in the military at the same time but in very different places. I'm also glad you now have a PayPal button because this is the kind of blog that deserves our support. I know you have to use time to write for us that you could use for paying projects, so please keep writing for us Mr. Fox, and I hope your blog receives the kind of monetary support it deserves.

    Love,
    Lola

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  12. Cousin Polly was not only talented, she was also a real beauty. I can appreciate your father's feelings about the military. I'm sure he had plenty of reasons.

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  13. Oh how fun to have an opera singer in the family!

    It sounds like your father suffered greatly from his service. The callous send people to war not considering what it will do to them.

    I recently met a fellow who had been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan for 8 tours. He suffers from physical problems and PTSD. I think of him often and wonder how he's doing.

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  14. The feelings of many veterans seem to echo your father's which makes it all the stranger to me when people wish each other or veterans "Happy Veteran's Day!" here.

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  15. Cousin Polly was indeed very pretty. So was your mom. It's so sad that she lost a baby and then your dad had to leave. My mom gave birth to my brother before my dad left for the war. It was very hard on her. Sometimes being the one at home waiting is even more difficult than being the one who leaves. It's so hard take care of a baby all alone. At least my dad had the distraction of learning to fly a plane.

    Love,
    Lola

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  16. I was also struck by the fact of your dad burying his medals in the backyard. That's so symbolic of keeping silent about the war experience. So sad.
    Nancy javier

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  17. A fascinating post that just leaves wanting more. The follow-ups you've promised us can't come soon enough.

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  18. War stinks (big time)...but...I LOVE Opera! What a wonderful post. (My mom lost two babies - one before me and one after me. So I have no brothers or sisters. My aunt always said she bought me at the dime store - because she worked for them to pay for injections during her pregnancy with me so she wouldn't lose me.)

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  19. I drool over the sleeves of the dress in your first photo! I always loved that style, and was chuffed to have similar ones on my wedding dress. :)

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  20. First of all, there are a couple of promises in there : I will be on your case to make sure you keep them. We need more, we deserve more, we want more. Second, it is a fine post, seamless in the way it takes us around your family, almost as though you have invited us in to one of your old family parties and you are filling us in on the background of the guests. Third, thanks for being such a loyal supporter of Sepia Saturday over the years : it has benefited immensely from your involvement.

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  21. Such an interesting post and it was fun to read while listening to Polly sing. I'll be waiting to hear more about her, too.
    I can only imagine how your father felt while burying his medals. Maybe if everyone buried their medals we could be on the way to no more war!
    Barbara

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  22. Mark Clark himself was an interesting character.

    Two great tales today.

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  23. I just noticed that the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah is on your play list. I really, really love that song. I can't sing with Leonard. Our voices don't work well together. So I sing it with Jon Bon Jovi.

    Love,
    Lola

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  24. Polyna greeted us with a huge happy birthday smile in the first photo. Fun. And then we were greeted by the photo of your mom and dad on their wedding day, both smiling. Warm welcomes to your SS 100 blog post. Thank you.

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  25. To All: I've had a really hectic weekend, but I'll be answering your comments and visiting your SS entries over the next couple of days!

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  26. Well, well ... you have us on tenterhooks now, waiting for the good oil on Polly. What a nice post about your father too. It seems to have been a very common thing amongst survivors of the two World Wars - that they never talked much about their experiences.

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  27. Ummm Fox? How do I sign up for "follow-up comments?" Whap! slapping head. I just click the box? Ok... done. Sheesh. Gettin' old AND blind.

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  28. Great post. It is really interesting how many people who served in War did not want to talk about and belittled their metals of honor. They must have had horrific memories.

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