Everton Harvey Miner

Everton Harvey MINER born in 1929 in El Centro California.  Family legend states that the doctor who delivered him lost everything a few days later in the stock market crash.  His parents were  Fay Everett MINER and  Eleanor Coleman SHAW.  He married Nancy BLAIR in 1951 at the age of 21.

Everett Miner 1947

Nancy Blair was born in 1930.    Her parents were  Horace Horton BLAIR and was Genevieve MILLER.

Nancy Blair Miner 1948

Children of Everett and Nancy:

Name Born Married
1. Mark Everett MINER 1959
San Diego, CA
Guadalupe VILLA VELAZQUEZ Osnaya
1986
Saucelito CA
2. Ellen Genevieve Miner 1963
San Diego
Scott Perry
1997
Seattle WA
3. Janet Eleanor Miner 1963
San Diego

1999 Everett + Mark = 110, You Do the Math –  Mark, Scott, Janet, Ellen, Everett

2008 – Everett, Nancy, Ellen, Mark

Everett was named after his father, Everett, and his father’s father, Harvey.  He was never called Everton, the name on his birth certificate or even Everett when he was growing up.  He was Sonny!

Sonny

When Everett’s dad got the Maytag job, he rented a small cottage in Inglewood from a local Dentist. Two Bedroom and One Bath, Dining Room, Kitchen, and as Mother gloated, “a sunken Living room”  6″ lower than the adjoining hallway. The best part, as far as Everett was concerned was that the property included another lot to the east, vacant but landscaped with lawn, fruit trees, and space for a fort. There was a detached 1-1/2 car garage and a rear yard lined on the west with mature popular tress that managed to plug the sewer line every couple of years.  The lawn area on the adjacent lot was the neighborhood playground, acting as a football field, baseball diamond, and spear throwing area. (There was a stand of papyrus that offered plenty of spears. Mother hated that part)

Inglewood – Double Lot – Slattery’s house and our garden

The best days that Everett can remember occurred one winter when the rains came. Los Angeles had not yet installed it’s massive flood control channels, featured in Si-Fi movies for years. The rains came and the streets for miles around our home were flooded above the tops of the curbs.  The kids located flat bottomed vessels and coasted up and down the street, punting and yelling like crazy. The adults didn’t find the same joy that we did.

Several summers he traveled by train to San Diego to live in his grandparents’ house on the corner of 29th and Redwood and to become gainfully employed at the building materials business that H.L. managed. Initially doing janitorial chores, but later through High School and College as a Plumbing Apprentice.

1945 – Everett, Eleanor and Sonny – 2929 29th Street, San Diego

When Everett’s family returned to San Diego he attended San Diego High School all three years, 1945-1947. It was the same high school both his parents had attended 30 years earlier, but much bigger now. In fact it was very large with over 1,000 in my graduation class. So large that the school fielded two teams for their conference games during WWII. They would finish 1 and 2 at season’s end. High numbers meant a lot of talent on the field and off.

Band

1946

Everett and Dad

With such a large pool you might expect to have some standouts including the founder of Trader Joe’s   Joe Coulombe and the wife of William Rehnquist, Natalie Cornell. Everett joined with a group of 20 or so to form an illegal social club called “The Sheiks“, an off shoot of a Hi-Y school group. All but one attended college, and most graduated. Two doctors, one lawyer-engineer, and many other professionals. The one who didn’t was already a professional bowler and he made that his career.

High School

Nancy Sailing

Nancy Over the Shoulder

1948 – That Girl Again

At the Beach

Theta Chi Brothers on the way to the football game A frosh bennie it was, even though Everett was a Soph at the time. His Dad was wearing his Univ of Oregon beanie many many years later and shaved with it on.

Theta Chi Founders Day Celebration Spring 1950 -  Bill with the box is the fraternity president. We will be Japan serving in the Army (Sasabo) concentrating on not crossing over to Korea. Our trip across the US waits for the summer. Nancy an I plan to marry in the coming January. If you couldn't tell, that's me in the light tan double breasted coat. I would graduate, work briefly for Sear's and be drafted into the Army a year after that. (Marriage tat is.) I would be in the Army nearly three years. I did not know then, or event suspect, what was just ahead, coming down the road. More white swans than black, but they are hard to identify when they first fly in.

Theta Chi Founders Day Celebration Spring 1950 – Bill Power with the box is the fraternity president.   Bill will be Japan serving in the Army (Sasabo) concentrating on not crossing over to Korea.  Everett and Bill’s trip across the US waits for the summer, and Everett’s and Nancy’s  wedding in the coming January.  Everett is to Bill’s left  in the light tan double breasted coat, would graduate, work briefly for Sear’s and be drafted into the Army a year after that.   He would be in the Army nearly three years.   He did not know then, or event suspect, what was just ahead, coming down the road. More white swans than black, but they are hard to identify when they first fly in.

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Everett and Nancy

Dad’s Army Story
Situation in January of 1952
I graduated and my Selective Service deferment ended.
My Selective Service ranking was 1A
I had been accepted to Graduate School but doubted it world result in deferment.
I was Married and have been for 12 months, but that didn’t cut mustard with SS.
Hot Stuff was going on in the Far East Command. (FECOM)
Calculation of the odds of being drafted; 80-90%. Margin of error 2%.
The USN did not want short sighted Ensigns.

So I chose to Work and Wait.

Aside : An anxious waiting.

“Cut my orders” as in “we will make a stencil” so we can have a bunch of copies. I couldn’t just Cut out and ignore them. Actually, I thought of myself as a Cut above all that , but they were prepared to Cut me into the deal. I did not feel myself Cut out for the military, but better suited for the Cut throat competition of the business world. I looked for a short Cut out but found Cutting through the red tape daunting.

When I reported they told me they were not interested in Cut ups. It would not be a Cut away coat they would dress me in. I was cut to the quick. I viewed it as the unkindest Cut of all. Later they promised that if they liked the Cut of my Jib, they would promote me. It didn’t matter whether I chose to fish or Cut bait, to Cut to the heart of the matter I was just to Cut across any obstacles and Cut to the chase.”

I wasn’t willing to Cut corners, even if it might lead to my being Cut loose.

It Only took them 3 more months (April) to cut my orders and induct me with instructions to report to Fort Ord California (Monterey Peninsula)

TRAINEE INFANTRY
Fort Ord, California, alongside Monterey Bay, in the coastal fog belt, Vacation Land USA, soon to be homeland of the Monterey Jazz festival.

I didn’t expect I would be there for long. Predicting the future is ify. Basic Training went on forever it seemed, but it was probably only 16 weeks. Company I, 20th Infantry Regiment, contained three distinct groups of recruits who composed our unit.. One-Third were college graduates who had lost their exemptions, One-third Mormon boys who had probably joined up thinking they could get their missionary duties behind them and one-third African Americans from deep southern states. We segregated ourselves. It was 1952.

I finished that phase of the training knowing two things. Nearly all of us were bound immediately for FECOM and that there was nothing I had been trained to do that I much wanted to be associated with. There was an option, though not much of one.

Surprise. I didn’t go to FECOM along with the 68% who did and the 30% who went to Cooks and Bakers School” or “Truck Driver’s School”. I stayed to attend Leadership School where they would prepare me to be a squad leader.

Leadership school only lasted 6 weeks, but every little bit helps if you are working on a delay.. There would be another short leave at the end which get me home for another visit. An new option was offered near the end of that training. I could apply for OCS, “Officer Candidate School.” My expectations for that were low, I was still short sighted and was not hoping for a commission which would include more duty years. On a whim I applied, took another physical, was vetted by a board of review where I responded smartly, and was assigned Cadre duty with a training company while I waited any result. I mostly lead PT exercises. Any delay for FECOM was good. I was at Ord for a year.

Your wondering about the missing 2% unaccounted for. A few lucky recruits, with very special talents got other assignments. A friend from Basic, Leigh Weiner (wiki), was one such. Not because he was a College graduate which he was, but because he was a photographic stringer with the LA Times who had managed to win a Pulitzer prize for a picture he had taken. Leigh was assigned to be the official photographer for the Commanding General, Sixth Army, and he drove his Cadillac home to Beverly Hills on many weekends. Every now and then I got a ride.

Surprise Number 2. I wasn’t going to FECOM along with everyone else after all, but to Oklahoma, where I would given the opportunity to compete for a commission.

FALL 1951

When I finished Basic Training at Fort Ord assignment to the Far East Command seemed a sure thing. Infantry Private Miner would be going along with all the rest of his training company. however, I wanted to avoid Korea.

I chose to continue my training and signed up for a Leadership School. I was delaying the inevitable. I found I could apply for Officers Candidate School, and hopefully made my application. When asked which branch I would prefer I checked off a couple of non-combat branches. I took yet another physical, had my eyes retested, and was vetted by three officers who seemed interested in my understanding of world affairs. While I waited around to hear what the Pentagon would decide After Leadership School I was assigned as a cadre in a basic training company. Time slipped by.

The following March I got orders to Fort Sill, Oklahoma where I would be a Candidate in Officers Training School.. Fort Sill is all about artillery. Artillery is a combat arm but beggars should not be choosey. I didn’t see clearly that I was about to undertake one of my life’s more difficult of tasks.

SPRING 1952 – TRAINEE ARTILLERY

There are but two seasons in Lawton, Winter and Summer. I experienced 24 weeks of Summer less 1 day of Winter and I must admit one half day, the first, that felt Springlike. It was hot stuff and so were we, at least those of us who stood it. Over 100 degrees every day and most of the night too.

The 24 Weeks were composed of 2 weeks called hell weeks that did not include classes but were tacked on to begin the culling operation. Then 22 weeks of training, with the last four weeks as an upperclassman providing you were still around. We had a very large group to begin with. Four two story barracks full. Two barracks were designated Dog Battery 1, the other Dog Battery 2. I am guessing that we began with 128 candidates. There were a lot of resignations during hell weeks.

Then it began. Following six hours of sleep, we had 10 minutes to roll out of the sack, shower, shave, dress, and show up proudly in formation in front of the barracks, and we better look sharp.. Classes morning and afternoon when we were not exercising, marching around, or standing ridgedly at attention, chins tucked in, answering soul search questions fired from the mouths of three or more Tac officers. What could be better than that. The program kept us busy until lights out and a restful six hours of sleep before we could begin it all again.

Each of us was eventually selected for a mass public verbal hazing. I was lucky when they chose me while I was directing the battery in PT (Physical Training). They didn’t know I had experienced a lot of that at Fort Ord, and I appeared unruffled by the taunts. The reality was I was plenty ruffled, but they failed to recognize it and I was left alone from then on. Many of the other candidates ruffled.

They did have something special for me though, As the size of the Battery dwindled, I think during the 10th week, I was sent to Battery Headquarters for an interview with the Battery Commander. Capt. Shore, a very nice guy who informed me that my eyesight was 400/20, which I already knew. The Navy had told me that. And I had done a physical for them before I had been accepted, so I figured they knew that too. The Captain explained that forward observers were supposed to see clearly without glasses. I could not receive a commission in the Artillery, which was what the school was all about. I thought thanks a lot for 12 lousy weeks, but didn’t say it.

There was a choice. I could resign honorably or I could stay around and see if someone in the Pentagon would grant me a waiver. He didn’t think there was much chance but he said I could stay on until they decided. I opted to gut it out. It was an anxious time for the final 12 weeks.

Those who would finish the ordeal would be Forward Observers assigned to units on the line in Korea, so we had a lot of gunnery practice. The staff made sure that each of us failed at least one firing mission. I was the last in my class to fail. Not knowing the gun position I was sure if I made the proper range adjustment I would drop a round on the bunker we were hunkered down in. and In order to save us all I failed. No one cheered.

Why we were in constant hilarious merriment during that time I can not explain. Exhaustion? Lack of hope? Too much hope? Who can say. Attrition continued as more of us were asked to resign.

In the final four weeks we were elevated to upper classmen and were expected to run about harassing new candidates from other batteries. Yuk. I was the Candidate Battery Commander for a week and led the troops on our Friday afternoon parade review with band. I admit it. I really did like that part. By golly, we were a sharp looking group, even though we were looking diminished in numbers.

In the last weeks of training my wife drove from San Diego to Lawton and joined me. I got my second pass to go off base and we rented a one car garage for the duration of my stay, however long that would be. Two days before graduation I was told I would graduate with the other 36 survivors (28%). Although I was a top gun with a howitzer 105, I was getting a commission in Army Ordnance. The guys in my barrack are still wondering why I had been so up tight for the past 10 weeks. I never told them. I think it snowed the day I left Lawton.

Dog Battery occupied a two story barracks that initially housed 60 or so candidates. I was on the second floor, North Side, and Haynes Johnson (wiki) had the bunk next to mine. He was a New Yorker but had just graduated in Journalism from a school in Missouri. Father was a newspaper man and had won a Pulitzer feor coverage of the longshoremens union. On graduation day, after 24 weeks of abuse, there were only 4 of us left on our floor. I suppose Haynes and one other guy was off to Korea to perform as a forward observer. Burke, the fourth kid from Boston, was rather elegant and very good looking was going to be the aid to a General somewhere.

I got orders for Maryland, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, while the other graduates got orders to FECOM. So ended the most difficult, harrowing, anxious, and downright outrageously funny time of my life. Having done it, I figured I could do most anything. It was overconfidence, but it made me feel good if not brave.

Ay the last possible minute I had been elevated, photographed for the yearbook, (it seemed like a year), and fitted for my dress uniform. That was to be the only tailored coat I ever owned and I looked trim. There was a graduation ceremony, and a brief farewell. My former take hone pay had been 40.00, with monthly laundry expense of 44.00. My value was increased to 345.00 per month so I bought a new car.

The Mercury convertible that had been my fathers was dead and we traded it in on a new two-tone Mercury sedan in Lawton. We drove home to celebrate before reporting to new assignment in Maryland. More driving.

Car History Bought Volkswagen in Germany 9/54 Traded in Mercury Sedan and Bought Mercury Station Wagon 2nd Hand Sold Volkswagen and Bought Ford Mustang Bought Rambler Station Wagon Sold Mustang to Ted Craddock and Leased w/Company BMW 2002 Sold Mercury Station Wagon and Bought 2nd Hand Audi Sedan Sold BMW 2002 to Mark and Leased w/Company Mazda RX-7 Sold Audi to Ellen Sold RX-7 to Dorothy Oberlies and Bought Acura Integra Sold Acura to Mark

After a two week leave I was to report in Maryland. That meant a lot of driving first, Lawton to San Diego, and then San Diego via Highway 40 all across the country again to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds where I supposed they would A-Prove me. Officers got to take their wives along, the first perk.
The course I was scheduled to take, Ammunition Supply 1A, didn’t start for a couple of months so they found something to keep me busy, but not very. I was the Battalion mess officer in charge of the family Thanksgiving bash put on by the Battalion. We will now stand up and give three cheers for the mess Sergeant. And then three cheers more.

The Senator from Minnesota, loathsome McCarthy, was bashing the Army on TV and we gathered in the officers club to roundly condemn him. He remained unfazed. Who did he think the patriots were?

Nancy and I rented the upper floor of a two unit duplex from a lawyer in Haver de Graf who apparently owned well over a hundred rentals. We saw him every two weeks when on Saturdays he came to the door to collect the rent. In person. Two weeks at a time results in even bigger bucks than a monthly rate. This was our first winter. We didn’t know that the laundry hanging on the line froze solid. We made life time friends with the couple down stairs, timidly offering to share our tinsel at Christmas time. We were gone before Spring.

Surprise 4. I got orders for Germany while every single other graduate from the Ammunition School went off to the Far East. They were still shooting in Korea. I was embarking on another cross country drive, back to San Diego. Next, a plane to New Jersey’s Camp Kilmer. I was making a collection of Army Posts.

ETO BOUND
At Camp Kilmer I got my first look at a Volkswagon some officer was bring home with him. They would not be officially imported for several more years. I thought ugly, ridiculous, and could not understand why the owner would want it.

I should mention that it was then, in New Jersey, that I experienced my first real spring.

Junior, junior officers get to do fun stuff. I was the pay officer for all the troops bound for Europe. That took an extra couple of weeks. I was careful with their money, but somehow I found I had twenty dollars left over. One of the guys, one of several thousand, had been short changed. What would you do? That guy probably needed it more than I. I could post a notice on the bulletin board. Then of couse I could hang around a few more months answering questions about how I screwed up.

They flew me over, apparently anxious to get me started after two years of training. Understandable, no? Idlewild to Frankfort via Goose Bay and Shannon on board a C-57 loaded with dependents who each required a minimum of one child under the age of 2.
Then by train, Frankfort to Kaiserslaughtern in the South were my Ordinance Ammunition Battalion headquartered. My luck was holding. In spite of the fact that at lest six other young officers wanted it, I got it. Perhaps the Battalion commander wanted to keep those other guys around. Those guys wanted to get away from Battalion Headquarters, Who could blame them.

Germany was deeply into seasons, for me at least, a sparkling wonderful Springtime. The jeep ride to my new assignment was glorious. It would be a long time before I got another taste of it.

WILDFLECKEN
What did I get, you ask? I was off by Jeep to Wildflecken, Bavaria and my first command, Ammunition Supply Point #103. Well it was a detachment with a detachment attached. I would be 300 miles from my superiors which would be convenient because the Army telephone system was so good that opening the window and shouting was the best way to communicate. Yes, Sir. Right away, Sir.

Wildflecken had been an secret SS training area that went undetected by the allies during the war. Hidden in a dense pine forest, it did not show up on aerial photos. From April 1945 to 1951, the base was a displaced persons camp housing approximately 20,000 displaced persons (DPs), primarily Poles, operated first by UNRRA, then by IRO. Much of the surrounding pine was cut down for firewood.

After 1951, its range served as a US Army training base operated by the 7th Army Training Command in Grafenwöhr,and it was home station for several U.S.Army units to include Armored, Infantry (Mech), Military Intelligence and logistical units, primarily the 373d AIB of the 19th (later 4th) Armored Group. It was converted into one of three training areas for live ammunition firing exercises. Hence the need for me and my guys.

In summer we played softball until 10:30 at night, without lights. Sometime the sun was already up when we left the Gaust house. Winter comes around more often in Germany. We were on the same Longitude as Canada’s Hudson Bay. I learned to bank the fire in the coal burning stove in my BOQ room. I found I was an efficient banker, and paid my troops without withholding. Had to appear in Würzburg packing my Army Service 45 once a month to collect the cash.

Wurtzberg, big city that it was, had a Volkswagen dealer and I had gotten used to seeing such a beast. The big American cars that our soldiers were allowed to bring over to Europe with them seemed ungainly, and the traffic accidents were very frequent. You had to pick up your vehicle in Bremerhaven, way up north, and drive it many miles to bring it into the American Zone. Almost no one made the trip without incident. Sounds like rationalization, right? After I paid the dealer 1,155 dollars, all cash, and waited six weeks, I was told I could pick up mine. The color I selected was black, the only one offered and it had a sun roof, hence the 55 dollar extra. I drove it back to the base heroically. German roads were not laid out by highway engineers, so the radius of a curve could change continuously as you maneuvered through it. I managed to make the necessary corrections.

TOP SECRET CLEARANCE
Because the Army anticipated the Russian would be coming any time soon, they were 7 miles north east, across the Czech border, we unit commanders must be fully informed about the EVACUATION PLAN. This required vetting for Top Secret classification and took several months, I suppose the FBI talked to all my friends back home. Well those they could find that were not in FECOM. 1st Lt. McCray, who commanded the attached EOD squad, had no doubt read the document already, but then he wasn’t allowed to tell me what it contained. I waited. Finally I received clearance, and was allowed to find out what my responsibility would be.

I read through the pages carefully, notified my driver to get the jeep ready, and we proceeded to make a dry run on what was to be my units escape. To say I found flaws with the plan does not explain my amazement. None of it was even remotely possible. I had two and a half ton trucks for the transport of personnel, trucks with attached cranes raising high in the air, trucks that could not follow that escape route because they would have unable to enter or later leave those walled towns with their tiny gates. Drive around the towns you say. Nope. Too much mud. Not enough time either, as the time limits imposed by the plan could not be met. Even with just the two of us in a Jeep on a slow weekday we were hours behind schedule after 30 minutes.

This episode has suggested to me that all that classified material the government keeps secret, just for those that need to know, is farcical. If the rest of us knew that stuff too we would be unable to carry on. We would be incapacitated by laughter. I am now a OPEN-SOURCE-GUY.

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The Army would not transport my wife to Germany because I did not have enough time before my seperation. Nancy came, as they say, on the economy, and we rented a flat in Bad Kissingen, a summer resort area, but it was already winter. We shared both kitchen and bathroom facilities with two other couples. The trip over to the post every morning was harrowing, and probably couldn’t have done except I had a “People’s Wagon” that traveled icey snowy cobblestone roads with ease.

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August 28, 1954 – S.S. Olympia. “Got to pier at foot of 48th St at 8:30 am, Explored the ship till she sailed at 11.

This driving trip our black Volkswagon took us down the Main and Rhine rivers to Amsterdam, the into Belgium and Ostend, and thru Luxenburg to Paris. We stayed in a hotel facing the Arch de Triumph, on the second floor with a corner room whose balcony faced the monument. Folles Bergiere Versaille Notre Dame Isle de France Louvre Returned home in a blizzard, with a stop at Nancy where we were treated well by the restaurant staff.

In the winter of 1954 my term of military duty was winding down. My exalted command went to another eager Lieutenant from Battalion Headquarters and I was re-assigned to temporary duty at Company Headquarters in Vilseck. Side note right here : My spell checked changed exalted to exhausted, which I find offensive. I changed it back.

Truth was, I had a lot of leave time accrued, and we spent it traveling. Anyway the Mess Sergeant could do just as well without me. Mess officers tend to be mere figureheads. I spent most of my days hanging out with the Executive Officer, who didn’t have much to do either. As I recall he taught me to play chess, imperfectly, and dragged me outdoors for ice fishing, which I still consider a doubtful enterprise.

In our company there was a young lieutenant whose heart was not with our Ammo Company. He longed for duty with special forces. A high risk guy, he had been a professional race car driver in the states and consoled himself with the ownership of a Porsche, which he drove with daring. I hitched a ride with him to the PX one day. The route was on a winding 10 mile road the Germans had constructed to train their truck drivers. My fellow officer was not challenged, but I was. I had no idea at all that you could do that. I can report with pride that I did not throw up.

Nancy and I spent a week checking out Bavaria, Garmish, Innsbruck, Austria, and Switzerland. Very scenic and memorable. The hotel in Zurich was indeed modest but thankfuly didn’t burn down while we were there. There are a lot of bears in Bern. We even got to join in with a wedding party in Lucerne.

A little later we had even more time, and traveled up through Germany to the Low Countries, First Holland, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where we found the first Europeans how were really fond of Americans. That was a treat after Germany, where we were invaders. Onward to Belgium where our welcome was somewhat muted. Brussels, Bruges, Oostende. Then and on to Paris.

In Paris we found a hotel on one corner of the Arc de Triomphe and we got a corner room on the second floor which had a small balcony. When we returned from diner the Arc was beautifully lit from all sides. What a picture! I set my Leica on its tripod, composed, adjusted the aperture and shutter speed after a careful analysis, pressed the shutter cautiously and the lights went out. What? No picture? Did I do that? I waited. Bummer.

The lights did not come back on. It was months later that I learned that the French has a coin operated monument. Put a coin in and you got so many minutes of lighting. It was only last week that I learned that access to the Arc was an underground passageway bypassing the six lane traffic circle that surrounded it. I’ll tell you about that in a minute.

We met for lunch with a State Department guy who was a friend of a friend. I mentioned the traffic circle, which seemed busy. He said, “Tell me about it. One of the guys he worked with was really upset by the French drivers, and since he had found a place to rent in the suburbs he had to deal with them twice a day. He thought they were just terrible, aggressive and reckless. What really bothered him was that it worked for them. Finally, on a night he maxed out on frustration he decided to do it their way. He sped forward, charging the lights, weaving through traffic to gain advantage. He was making excellent progress and enjoying cutting off the opposition when he noted a Frenchman following his every move. He was passing through signals that had already changed to red but the guy stayed with him. Finally, the light changed half a block before he got there, and the guy behind him pulled up beside him shaking his first. He rolled down the window to see if he might need to apologize. He could hear the guy shouting. He was saying ”MAG-NI-FIC, “MAGNIFIC“ and smiling.

We did the Folles Bergere, Notre Dame, Left Bank, the Louve. that stuff. It was cold and we did not dine outdoors on the sidewalk. We did not find the Parisians friendly. My children found them friendly twenty five years later but then they were there in the summer and perhaps the French had gotten over it by then. Maybe they were probably cold too,

We left in the late morning headed back toward Nancy. When we arrived at dusk we were starving and cold, and the restaurants were not open yet. We stood forlornly, collecting the snow flakes, and looking in the window of one that was serving diner to their staff before opening. When the proprietor saw us he took pity and allowed us into his warmth and served us one of my favorite all time meals. Those were real french fries

We I got back to Company Headquarters with a sigh of relief. We had charged through the night not much enjoying the blizzard. I told the Exec about lights out at the Arc. He said he knew about the Arc. Seems he had been a Sergeant in France right after WWII, and had been sent into Paris to bring back something or other. They drove their two and a half right into town and on to the circle around the Arc. Six lanes and eight intersecting side streets. Seems traffic was entering the circle from every side street and his driver was forced to move over left to avoid the aggressors. They couldn’t get out and were forced to the most inside of the lanes where they circled fruitlessly until they ran out of gas. Abandoning the truck, they hitch hiked back to their base where they explained that the truck had been stolen.

When equipment comes up missing in the Army someone must take responsibility. Someone should pay or have the responsibility officially forgiven. Forgiveness comes when the item is ”Surveyed“ off the books. They seldom survey a truck except following battle, but perhaps they considered traffic in Paris something of a war. Earlier I had had to survey a box of VT fuses which were worth only slightly less than a truck and much much more than my monthly salary. Hurray for survey.

My tour of duty was coming to an end and after a couple of months reassigned to Vilseck, Company Headquarters, to do mostly nothing, Nancy and I were sent to Bremmerhaven and U.S.N.S. General Maurice Rose to take home to New York. The cruise home was memorable for several reasons. My first one. (Nancy’s second.) We encountered ferocious Spring storms all across the Atlantic. And I was appointed Captain (of the head).
Above decks were 400 dependents and we dined together in an elegant dining hall. The food was terrific of course, and we were assigned permanent seats at a table for six. At the head of our table was a Major of transportation named Boatwright and his feisty Cherokee wife. He required, while we still in port, that we each promise on our honor to make it to each and every meal no matter what.

On the second day out we found our six alone at the dinner table as everyone else was busy being sick. In a couple of days a few others staggered back for a meal, but we six prevailed because we had promised the major.

Below decks, where my duties took me, all the troops were sick. The latrines were fore and aft where the pitching of the ship wallowing in high seas was most extreme, the ups and down were enormous. I don’t know how those guys stood it.

The Major had been stationed in France and had great stories about their training for a possible escape from an imagined Russian invasion. His five foot tall wife aboard a gigantic farm horse and armed with an army issue 45 caliber pistol racing across the countryside is a memorable image. We correspond with these couples for several years. Discharge from U.S. Army at the battery in New York City.

Post War 1950’s

After the army, Everett began work as a counterman, standing behind a U-shaped counter that customers approached to explain what they wanted. He had worked in a Sear’s Paint Department while waiting to enter the Army and was on firm ground there. He knew a bit about plumbing too as a result of many summers as an apprentice. The rest was a mystery to be deconstructed. Sash and Doors… what? Lumber, hardware, wallboard, cement. Do you have any idea how many possible questions can be asked about these products?

So he learned the answers, moved on to store manager, and near the end, manager of all the branches while understudying the Manager of the purchasing department. During this time he also bought a lot on Panorama Drive in La Mesa, had plans drawn by a fraternity brother for a house I couldn’t finance, sold it and bought another lot that I could finance, and built house designed by a high school buddy.

Dad and Dottie

Fractal Ev

Source:

Everett Miner Writing Project

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Nancy Snowmobiles through Yellowstone – 1997

 

“Here I am all suited up ready to go.  The corner of the building was our very cozy cabin.  Note the icicles was cold!   I’m wearing Ellen’s ski mask over my nose and mouth.  The faceguard of the helmet is still pushed up.   Our gear is packed into the saddlebag laid across the back seat.”

 

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