Persian Lime

I ordered Myer Lemon trees and a year later realized that I was watering a Persian Lime tree- so much for making lemonade.

South Florida Beauty

Residents of South Florida are blessed with scenes like this one almost daily- I captured this training for one of my 1/2 marathons.

Reflective Self-Portrait

A quick self-portrait while photographing every day objects in a local North Miami Beach park. I love our local parks.

Fins Up!

Whether it's the marine life or American football, I love Miami's Dolphins. Go Fins!

Cool Water, Good Books and Fresh Air

One could argue that all is needed for a good life is warm sun near cool water in the fresh air with good book and perhaps some good company.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

5/7/1945 10:30am --- Dear Jack, Received letter 16...


Most of the remaining letters that I have are from Jack's mom of Omaha, NE. Written on the envelope is May 15 with a check mark and in red pencil M-4. Letter is addressed to Ensign Jack... USS Argonne F Division, Fleet Post Office, San Francisco CA. Letter is written on blank dress pattern paper (errors transcribed as they are).

Number 4     Omaha Nebr      May 6 1945

Dear Jack

Received letter 16 May 1 you wrote it April 23 letter 17 we got May 2. you wrote it April 26 w got them just one day apart we get your mail quicker than you get our mail. Jack have you received the machine needles I sent one in my letter and Walt put one in his letter, Babes we haven't gone to Sioux City yet. You see Cassidy has been sick. I guess he will get back to work next week so Dad and I will go this week end if nothing else happens. Emelie has been sick she has been having such pains with her gall bladder and they were going to take Ex rayes and she may have to be operated on if she does I guess I will go to KC and be with her and then as she gets better she will come home with me to stay till she feels stronger.

Arizona Daily Star Newspaper May 6, 1945
Jack the menu you sent in your letter sounds like your food is pretty good. I guess you get tired of it to just like we do here at home. I am glad you don't have to wash your own clothes any more. Jack I would like to send you some candy are something else if you can tell me what you would like to have. I understand  I can send 5 lbs at a time. You say your food is better when you are working on other ships. So far you have only worked on one ship. Do you like it better to work on other ships?

Babes how about your Vitamins. do you still have some if you need some let me know I will send you some more. I think you should have some of them. Have you gained any weight. Richard Horton got killed and they have services at our church for him. I understand they feel pretty bad about it. He was killed some place in the Pacific. Jack we are sending that book we got "1001 Way to Improve Your Photographs." We will send it first class so you will be sure to get it. I am sending the Bars in this letter Dad just got done putting on that Polish but he got it on to heavy so we will have to remove it and put it on lighter. It sure is hard to get on even. I hope you will like these Bars OK. Did you get your uniform that we sent to you the one that came after you left. We never have heard from them about the bill.

Jack it sounds like the war is over in Germany. How I wish it was over with in the Pacific. I just keep praying and hoping that it will end real soon some people seem to think that the Japs might surrender sooner now that Germany is whipped.

Creighton University in Omaha, NE care of
Boston Public Library's Tichnor Brothers Postcard Collection
You know Bill Vandas has been going to Creighton taking Dentistry he has 2 more years before he will finish and now Creighton is folding up they won't have any more classes in Dentistry so he is going to Minnesota now to finish his last 2 years. They say the class isn't large enough to keep going.

Babes be sure and let us know if you receive this letter so we will know if you got these Bars OK. We had strawberries today for dinner they are pretty high. 59 cents a quart. Gee Babes how I wish you could of been here with us. Well Jack I will close and will write in a few days again don't get to lonely Jack for we all keep thinking of you and keep up your spirit. Keep  praying and you may be getting back soon. and then you can have a good time again. I hope you get to be a jg real soon. Betty Stover is a JG. I told you about it in one of my other letters. Be good sweetie. Till we get to see you. I hope real soon. Lots of Love. Keep writing Babes,
Mother

Monday, May 1, 2017

5/17/1944 12:30am -- I have just finished

Dear Mother, Dad and Walt:

I have just finished playing softball and it is late but I am getting so far behind on my writing that I just had to stay to write you tonight.

I have seen two more operas, "Traviata" and "Carmen." I can't really say that I like them but at least I am now getting so I don't mind them. I have also seen several shows again and they are numerous enough and unimportant enough not to mention.

The officers here have been organizing a softball team and I am on it. If the exercise won't do me any good it will save me some money at least. We play the various civilian teams  of the Supply department and any Navy teams that want to play us; we have been playing about twice a week. I have played right and left fields-- although I haven't made an error yet I would say my hitting is better than my fielding-- I just haven't had enough chances to miss any in the field. We played tonight and had beer and sandwidches after the game.

"Angel Street" was shown
at the John Golden Theatre
(12/05/1941 - 9/30/1944).
Last Sunday I saw "Angel Street" again. This time Francis Greet, Ray Rebhan's cousin, played the leading feminine roll. She is understudy to the lead and the lead couldn't be there. I had a date with her once before. We wen't backstage afterwards and had a great time.

Last week-end Betty Bosier, who is now stationed in Washington D.C. came to visit N.Y. and I took her to the Ritz Carlton and "Angel Street". I also showed her around the Navy Yard.

The weather has been wonderful in N.Y. It has been typical spring weather all over N.Y. and even though there aren't as many green things as back home the air is the same. I have changed from my blues to my summer uniforms, i.e., khakis and grays. I could wear my whites but I don't have them here.

Which reminds me, I should tell you what clothes to bring when you come to N.Y. Bring all my white uniforms, all my khaki uniforms, all my khaki cap covers etc. In other words bring all of my navy uniforms you have got. And by all means don't forget to bring my alarm clock. Bring some pants hangers and maybe Rogets Theasaurus if you can find it.

As for yourself you bring whatever you think you will need. I would suggest a couple of nice dresses for evenings and a couple of dresses for daytime wear and sightseeing. Just remember that it will probably be pretty hot while you are here, and during the daytime I can't be with you so you will probably be shopping and seeing N.Y. in the daytime by yourself. ... [Note from Sky- Temp for May 22 1944 was max 84]

Try to arrive here Saturday, May 27 because the room will be ready then and that will give an extra Sunday together when I can be with you all day.

Patriotic photomurals designed by Raymond Loewy
adorned the west wall of the Central Waiting Room
in Penn Station, NYC, 1943.
Major Caffery stopped at the apartment to see my last Saturday but I wasn't home. He left a note stating he was attached to the Quartermaster Corp in Philadelphia and that he had seen you in Omaha. Mr. Kemper said he had two girls with him. You know the Quartermaster Corp is to the Army is to the Army what the Supply Corp is to the Navy.

I am still working for Commander Pfrommer in the Purchase Section. He goes on leave May 22 for a week and will take over then. The Ensign that I broke in to take my place is gone now and I am now being replaced by a Lt. Commander, but he hasn't been on the job long and won't be on to the job very well by the time Commander Pfrommer goes on leave. So Commander Pfrommer has told me that he expects me to be able to handle the section.

I am getting very tired and I can't think of much more to write about, but be sure to let me know exactly when you are coming and as soon as you can. I will be looking forward to seeing you.

I had a match king cigarette lighter that I was going to give Dad for his birthday but I forgot to put it in the package. I am also getting him a variety of precious wines that you can take home or that I can bring home when I get my next leave before leaving for Harvard. Thats all so goodbye now,

You loving son, (handwritten) Jack

[Note from Sky- after posting some background research to figure the background of how my Dad got Jack's letters to Jack's mom; a family member solved the mystery. My dad had an uncle Merle who married Ruth and Ruth had a sister, Lois that married Jack.]

Friday, April 7, 2017

5/7/1944 -- This is Sunday night...

Dear Mother, Dad, and Walt:

This is Sunday night. I have been on watch all day and will be on until about 11:00 O'clock tonight. I have been on armed guard duty up until three o'clock; otherwise the day has been rather uneventful. Well the time that has passed since I wrote my last latter has been very much the same as other such times.  Many routine entertainments and special events have passed again in my wild orgy of seeing and doing New York.

Entertainment

The routine entertainment has consisted of seeing movie pictures and stage shows and eating at different restaurants with foreign atmospheres etc.

Former St. Anthony Club, New York
Former St. Anthony Club, New York
Public Domain,
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9814392
One evening I was invited to Schyler Van Vechten's [this might be the Schuyler Van Vechten that is referenced in letter] residence for dinner. He lives at 125 Park Avenue around 80th street. Is this exclusive!!! You should be paying the rent!!!!! It is an apartment on two floors consisting of about eight rooms three bathrooms, and servants quarters. I am paying $35.00 per week for a double sized closet in the Village. Now you can guess what they are paying on Park Ave. Any way we ate from real plates with real silverware but still the meal wasn't as good as my Mommys. I think Schlyer likes me--he is the song of the old boy with all the dough even though young Schyler seems to be making quite a bit for himself. Anyway he has invited me to their New Jersey home for the week-end sometime where we can go sailing in his private sail boat etc. At the end of the evening Schyler and Ray Rebhan invited me and some English officers to dinner again at the St. Anthony Club. So about three evenings later I dined with them again at the St. Anthony Club. This is the real McCoy folks--the St. Anthony Club is very exclusive and it takes more money to get into it. It can't be compared with places like the Waldorf-Astoria where anybody can go if they have got the money.

Another night I went to a play given by the Supply Corp at the Navy Yard. It was a fair show for amateur talent but it didn't seem very good after having seen so many Broadway shows.

I have dined recently at Sea Fare, Luchows, and Madame Petipas. All of these places are quite expensive and out of the ordinary. Sea Fare is a sea food restaurant, Luchows is a well known German restaurant, and Madame Petipas (most likely Petitpas) is a french restaurant.

As for Ballet, I have seen the Ballet Theatre by Hurok at the Metropolitan Opera House. This time I sat in the Diamond horseshoe. It was quite the stuff.

I saw the opera "Tosca" at the New York City Center. Also the Broadway musical play "Early To Bed" with Muriel Angelus etc.

I went to the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Sq. Garden. This is the best circus I have ever seen.

Last Saturday at one of the N.Y. Navy Yards most colorful launching ceremonies I saw the USS Bon Homme Richard launched. This was quite a sight. It is one of the largest aircraft carriers we have got.

Bob Daniels, Harold Roy, Bob Chisholm at Howdy Club, NY
3 Male GIs @ the Howdy Club
Photo Credit
http://www.508pir.org/odessey/eto_transport/nyc_01.htm
One night I was quite naughty and went to the Howdy Club in the Village. This is where all the
fairies hang out. Even the waiters are fairies. Of course you know that a fairie is a man with feminine characteristics who sexual desires are directed toward other men. If you are not careful one of the men will try and pick you up. The men wear makeup and the floor show is put on by men who act and do everything like a women would do it. It was quite a disgusting sight but it is part of the things there are to see in N.Y. and now I have seen it, so I am satisfied. Greenwhich is known for the queer people like I have just mentioned.

To The Point...

Right now I am worth more dead than I am alive to you. If I get knocked off by an automobile you get $28,000. If I just lie down and die you only get $20,000 but even that isn't chicken feed. The reason for this is I have just taken out a $10,000 life insurance policy with the government.

I have received the dividend check and my insurance premium notices and Bill Casart's letters. You won't have to bring a formal when you come to New York. You can go to the best places withoug a formal. I suppose you can tell from the things I have been doing and seeing that I am not living within my income; I have to write checks rather often but this will probably be my last chance to do it in N.Y. and I am going to see it all. You know it is easy to pay a $1.00 and a $1.25 for a meal here and walk out of the place hungry. Since I have been in N.Y. I have learned to love bread (Sky's Note: Oprah must be channeling Ensign McEveny here). I eat all of it I can get and without butter to and still I am hungry half of the time.

Try to arrange it so you can get here anytime after May 28. The room will be vacant after the 28th. You had better make reservations ahead of time and let me know as you find out when you expect to get here. I will be needing my white uniforms May 15 but at as long as you are coming around the 28th I can wait and you can bring them with you with your luggage.

I have been working this past week as assistant to Comd'r McManus (this might be the Commander McManus that the letter references), the executive officer. Comd'r Pfrommer and Com'd McKenna want me to come back to Purchasing next week but that will make an extra officer here for a week. I think they want me back so I can take over when Comd'r Pfrommer goes on his six day leave starting the 22nd of May. I will let you know if anything else happens. Not much more to write about.

Love, [handwritten] Jack

[All misspellings were written on primary document, from Ensign J. R. McEveny, SC, USNR (Supply Department Navy Yard, New York) to Mrs. C. K. McEvenny at 3056 South 31 Street, Omaha 5 Nebraska. Postmarked May 8, 1944 11:30am Brooklyn NY]

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

4/27/1944 7:30pm -- Dear Mother, Dad, and Walt:

Dear Mother, Dad, and Walt:

I am on watch again tonight so here comes a letter. I am still seeing a lot of New York and I guess there isn't much I can write about except what I have been doing so here goes.

Of course I am still seeing a lot of movies and stage shows. When there isn't anything else to do or when my money runs short I find myself there, but one thing is for sure-- I never stay at home. The movies I have seen since my last letter have been ... [11 movies listed]

For stage shows:
  • Alan Jones, the Hollywood movie star and singer, plus a supporting stage show.
  • Ted Lewis, his orchestra and revue.
New places to eat:

One night I was invited to a young married couples apartment for dinner. His name is McKee-- he is an Ensign at the Navy Yard and a good friend of mine. His wide served an excellent dinner-- the main course was ham with all the trimmings fixed in a fashion that a young bride would prepare to make an impression. After dinner we talked and I went home.

I had an American dinner at the french restaurant "Au Petite Gourmet" in the Village. Another good american meal was had at the University Restaurant in the Village.

One of my very fine dinners was at Enrico & Paglieri's at 64 West 11 Street. This restaurant is just about a block away from where I live and on the same street. I have already sent you the menu.

Another evening I was invited to dine at the Harvard Club by a Lt. (jg) and two other Ensigns. This place is quite exclusive and quite expensive-- you have to be a Harvard grad or be going to Harvard to be a member. I had a full course dinner the main course of which was sweetbreads.

One of my best meals was at the Gripsholm-- this is a Swedish restaurant. A meal here includes the Smorgasbord which is a buffet luncheon of the various types of Swedish foods and the variety runs from soup to nuts. I couldn't begin to name the different kinds of foods and you can have all you can eat. This is one place I am going to take you when you come to N.Y.

When you come to N.Y. I will take you to French Restaurants, Italian Restaurants, German, Spanish, Chinese Restaurants etc. So you had better start to feeling good, so you will be able to make the rounds with me.

I have not seen any more plays since my last letter but I have seen the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the N.Y. City Center. Not expecting to like the Ballet at all I was very much surprised for I liked it very much. These ballets are the epitome of grade and present a story in pantomine dancing that is little short of marvelous. I am going to see more of them before they leave New York.

This is two days after I started this letter but something happened on watch that delayed my finishing it and I have not been able to get at it since then. Now to continue.

One night Ensign Byers and myself went to the Yorkville District on East 86th street. This street is known as the German Broadway of New York. Here between 2nd and 3rd avenues are the German Brau houses (public taverns). Its a wide street and a little down at the heels now because of the war but there is still enough life to keep things interesting. They have gaudily painted Bavarian beer garden entrances but their interiors are very prim. Byers and I were on the prowl so to speak but our exchequers kept us in check. First we went to the Lori Li--a typical tavern with plenty of girls and each one ready to take you to the cleaners bu we weren't taken. We stayed there about an hour and half and then went across the street to the Gloria Palast. This was a much nice place, in fact nicer than most night clubs. We danced with several girls but I came home alone and considered myself as having had a satisfactory evening.

But now comes the big news. Last Sunday I did it. Thats right I went to the Stork Club. The Stork Club isn't what it is because of the place but because of the people who attend it. The club itself isn't much; it includes four rooms, each of them very small. The main dining room has grey walls interspersed with many mirrors and pink draperies and lemon-yellow ceiling. The dance floor in the middle of the room is oval and about 10 ft. in diameter. The Cub Room is sound proof for conversation and has on its walls portraits of models by famous artists. We did not stay long-- only long enough for a drink at the bar. During that brief period I saw Adolph Menjou, a captain in the Navy and an apprentice seaman. After the Stork Club we went to another exclusive joint-- the Savoy Plaza Hotel at 59th street and Park Ave. We were in the Cafe Lounge where we heard Clemente's Marimba Band with Narita, the exotic Puerto Rican, who sang and danced to her native songs.

Last night I had dinner in an ultraexclusive Park Ave residence and tonight I am going to a play given by Supply Corp employees. I will tell you more about them in my next letter.

I forgot to tell you in my last letter that I am being transferred from the Purchasing Section. I have been breaking in another Ensign the past three weeks and next Monday I will go into the Executive Officer's office (Commander McManus) as his assistant for about a week and from their I don't know where I will be assigned. McManus is the second ranking officer in the Supply Corp at the Navy Yard so it will give me an opportunity to make some more good contacts. They are making the changes so they can put a permanent officer in the Purchasing Section; since I am only temporarily assigned here it makes it tough for me to get a good billet. But Commander Pfrommer has told me that I have done an outstanding job and both he and Commander McKenna will try and place me in a good department or one of my choosing for the remainder of my stay here. I would like to get into Ships Service Afloat with Lt. Beach but that remains to be seen.

I hope everything is going well at home. Dad can put my bonds in his safety deposit box if he wants to. You had better start feeling better so we can have a good time when you come to New York. Thats all for now.

[Handwritten] Love, Jack

[All misspellings were as written on the primary document; from Ensign J. R. McEveny (Supply Department, Navy Yard, New York) to Mrs. C. K. McEveny at 3056 S. 31 St. Omaha 5, Nebraska]

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Whoa! What's the 411?

Letter from Ensign JR McEveny, 4/27/1944

Life can be a roller coaster. Lots of stuff on my mind. Getting ready to take the GRE (again) to improve my score. I can start my Doctorate of Physical Therapy application as of last week. Must do 60+ hours of observation before I finish my application before Jan. 15th 2017. And all of this, I still might not get into FIU's DPT school. I can say I tried.

Had a bad sinus infection earlier this summer and am just now feeling better five weeks later. So basically took a "slacker" vacation with a whole lot of doing nothing, except feel better and take it easy. Sometimes you need that. Trying to find my awesome mojo to go do amazing and great things, but I'm scared of failing. It is especially hard when you've always had it easy at being good at most stuff.

Well, I've not been completely slacking. I started a new blog (because I don't have enough as it is): Gut Busting Good. I'm a foodie and I love taking pictures of amazing looking food. So trying to feed my passion for doing that and sharing it with others. My friends are playing along and even remind me to take pictures when I am too hungry remember on my own. I have great friends. :-) Who are amazing and supportive... I'm thankful.

During the last year I've been adopting a more minimalist lifestyle, clearing out clutter and embracing things that spark joy. A little from The Minimalist and Marie Kondo. My father collected stuff, lots of stuff during his life. He attained Air Mail from World War II, correspondence between Ensign John R. McEveny and his family in Omaha Nebraska. I want to read these and capture the story before I get rid of them. I'll be sharing them here for anyone who is interested, hopefully in chronological order.

After I get back from Vegas for BBworld16, I will start documenting and transcribing these. Should be fun. Hope you enjoy them.