Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sentimental -- or Sorting -- Sunday

Sunday afternoons are the most wonderful time of the week. When the kids were young, we would either go for an outing  ( one year, we had annual passes to Disneyland, and went at least once a month on Sunday afternoons!), or picnicked at the Arboretum, or I'd bake while everyone watched the games on TV,  or if I was very lucky, I could disappear into the office to read or do some genealogy.

Now that the kids are grown and away from home, and Bob and I have moved to our new retirement home, every day is pretty much available to do those wonderful Sunday afternoon activities, so you'd think that the Sunday activities would be common......but retirement finds us busier than ever, and now outings with extended family, volunteering, group meetings, setting up house, and taking online genealogy courses  have made the days and weeks fuller than they used to be.

Rather than late night or rare Sunday afternoons, it's harder to find any spare moment to do any genealogy.  So a Sentimental Sunday of blogging and remembering past  outings with the kids would be nice. But a major complication is that I have now gotten more stuff.  I have now not only my boxed up genealogy from the move, I inherited  boxes of family pictures, letters, memorabilia, and I guess "Junk", that have been in storage for years!!!!

So I have now allotted Sunday afternoons while everyone else is resting and relaxing as the only unscheduled time to spend in my office.   I plan to sort, scan and organize all theses boxes....

I figured that it would be simple....  One box a ta a time,  Open box,  sort info inside, scan, and file.......
but I opened the first box to find newspapers from 1954 from Buffalo, NY and Olean, NY, and NY City  with articles about the explosion on the  USS Bennington in May 1954. My father, Robert Fairchild,  was aboard the ship, and the explosion occurred the day after my brother Jeff was born. Dad, a dentist, received a commendation for his triage medical care of sailors on the deck that day. The USS Bennington was an aircraft carrier, and on that day, the hydraulic fluids for launching the planes got into the ventilation system and when it reached the mess ( cooking galley) with an open gas flame, there was a huge explosion.  He never talked much about that day to me, and I was astonished at the tale of death and heroism that occurred. 113 men died, 201 were injured, and over 118 received commendations or service medals...  My brother Chuck said that the only comment Dad made to him about it was that if you didn't know any first aid before then, you knew it all by the end of that day.... I remember that Mom said no one told her anything about it, and kept all newspapers from her for two days, because it took time before they knew who was killed or injured... She kept asking why Dad hadn't sent word on whether the name she picked for Jeff was OK, but they told her that there were some temporary communications problems on the ship. Years later, some of the sailors that were at another base kidded my Dad about handing out exploding cigars that worked too well when Jeff was born......

By the time I finished reading all the newspaper accounts, and remembering all the comments I had heard about it over the years,  the whole afternoon is now gone, and I haven't scanned a single article.... so this turned into a sentimental Sunday rather than a sorting Sunday after all! And I'll scan them all next Sunday afternoon,  I hope!

But I did at least blog about it!!! 

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