5th December 2009, 23:53
I do not know if this is the correct forum? I was looking for a mariners forum, but sure did not see one? As usual feel free to move this where ever you wish. I plan six contributions today.
Recently while straightening up my junk room I ran across a large plastic box my ex-wife had saved, full of left over birthday and holiday gift-wrappings. Wednesday 12-02 I went to Sam’s Club, the $40 a year Membership Discount Big Box store division of Wal-Mart, catering to small businesses and individuals. They already had the Imported Belgian Truffle’s, that people I give gifts too, always seem to like. Cheaper this year than last. Last year they were $11.98 for three 16-ounce packages, $9.88 this year, I bought three.
When I got home and hauled everything in, I got out the holiday gift wrapping since I intended to gift one of them that evening, another the next day. And down near the bottom of the box I found two post cards. These had been bequeathed to me upon my Dad, Clem Hayden’s December 2001 death at age 89 and four months. I KNEW I had seen them, I have been looking and looking for them for years. How did they end up near the bottom of that box? No idea?
Liberty(1).jpg and Liberty(2).jpg according to the description on the back this is “Engine Room Crew Liberty Ship “Amy Lowell” (– a US Poet -) World War Two Photo; Leonard Ghilarducci Collection” Printed in New Zealand. I get a kick outta the guy in the High Pressure cap. Compare this to the “Engineer?” in full Blue Uniform down to High Pressure Cap opening nozzles in Titanic.
This is more how we dressed. When it was cool 100% cotton boiler suits, when it was warm thin cheap 100% cotton dress shirts with two pockets and the sleeves cut off at the shoulder seams. And men’s cheap 100% cotton work dress slacks, raggedly cut off with scissors to make shorts, white athletic socks and leather high top lace up steel toe work boots. Most of us bought all of our work clothes at JC Penney's or Sears, both had this line of inexpensive 100% cotton washable men's office wear.
6th December 2009, 00:13
This is the other post card: EdwardChambers(1).jpg and EdwardChambers(2).jpg. This was the first ship my Dad sailed on the Great Lakes, his first year, 1937 he Passed Coal all season, May to December. 1938 he signed on in April as an Oiler, he never did sail Fireman – hand fired of course, and Dad sailed the Chambers as Oiler through 1940. When I was born December 10 1940 Dad was in Buffalo laying up the Chambers, he signed off December 10th then took the train home to Duluth.
The Chambers was part of the largest Great Lakes Fleet, there is a wonderful history of the company here:
I swiped four pictures from this site and combined them to create this image:
Three of these ships have on deck refrigerated cargo spaces, while the one lower right does not. These ships carried vehicles and really large crates on deck. Read the history it is fascinating. Anyway lower right picture you can see open hull side ports, upper right picture the reefer space side ports are open while underway.
Built in the 1920's these were the first Great Lakes vessels configured to just haul freight, no bulk cargoes unless they were bagged, in barrels or packages. Back to the dawn of man kind on the Great Lakes ships hauled freight, but these folks built a series of three level terminals all over the great lakes. All the cargo was worked through side ports, some of the ships, like the Chambers, had on deck refrigerated cargo space, also worked through side ports. Some of the crew worked cargo along with stevedores at each port. The ships crew ran the winches that were down in those cargo holds with them, used to skid cargo ashore on wooden decks and ramps.
Great Lakes Transit grew out of Railroads who had built these ships, that had a monopoly on this trade in the early days, but when the rail system was built out the Feds made them give them up and this company became the largest in a few years.
6th December 2009, 00:27
top left Dad in his summer US Coast Guard uniform during the war. This was the company doing, to prevent Draft Boards from taking their essential to the War Effort Personnel away from them, essential people were drafted into the US Coast Guard and assigned to do exactly what they had been doing. But they were taken.
Dad spent January-March 1942 at the place that today is the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point New York, but prior to the war it had been some kind of private school.
Dad was taught how to be a Coast Guard Officer. He was issued a whole bunch of uniforms and work clothes and, upon graduation, a shiny new Colt Automatic 45 Pistol and holster. Dad said he took that gun aboard the Shenango in 1942 and tossed it in his top dresser drawer, where it spent the war years including being laid up winters. After the war some guy came to collect the Colt's and he was shocked the condition it was in, Dad had never taken it out of its holster.
The US did not do this with off-shore sailors, many’s the US seamen of the era who signed off a ship and came home for vacation and before ya knew it the local draft board had them in the Army.
Next picture: My Mom and Dad my sister Kay and me with my eyes shut, taken in front of Munger Terrace a three story sandstone apartment complex. There was one entry for each 12 apartments, both sides of a winding wood staircase, front and back apartments, three floors.
Next picture Dad and me with Dad’s Dad Bernard and his Mom Annie in the back yard of their family home. That is the neighbors house behind them, theirs was a small simple comfortable one story.
Far right I took this picture of my age 47 or 48 Dad in Detroit at National Steels Zug Island Steel Plant summer 1960. My National Steel ship Edmund W Mudge, where I was one of three Coal Passers, was in the slip unloading coal while my Chief Engineer Dad’s ship the Col James M Schoonmaker was unloading iron ore on the face. I took this Polaroid picture with my brand new camera with Dad standing at the throttle in the Schooner Engine Room.
Bottom are his uniform devices Dad willed to me.
6th December 2009, 00:36
DadsZCard1.jpg and DadsZCard2.jpg
I scanned this front and back but I eliminated his SS number. Never can tell what some people may do these days?
Note on the front Dad’s number begins with BK, meaning book. These Z cards began when WW II did, all I ever got was Z cards, but those with books could continue to use them and my Dad did during his entire career.
I will put up the Chambers part of Dad’s book in my next post.
6th December 2009, 00:51
Interesting photo,s,large caps not suitable in the engine room though and you should calm down on the Christmas shopping.
6th December 2009, 00:52
DadsBook1.jpg and DadsBook2.jpg and DadsBook3.jpg and DadsBook4.jpg
Again I erased Dad’s SS Number. The place where yellowed tape once held Dad’s Z Card on the left side of image 2. Image one shows the front cover and the flap on the right that folds over to protect the pages. The cover is canvas over dense cardboard and in darn good shape today.
You will note Dad’s Chambers service.
Dad hated his first name, Clement, good Irish Catholic boy you know named after Saint Clement. Dad always went by Clem, much as I go by Greg versus Gregory. Saint Gregory.
6th December 2009, 00:59
In front of our Munger Terrace apartment complex was a 400 foot long steep nice green lawn down to 4th street. In the winter we sledded there. Across 4th street for the whole square block was the Duluth Milk Company offices, and bottling plant. Apparently someone from over there spotted me doing my every other day first thing in the morning chore, bring in the milk from the front stoop.
The Dairy folks asked my Mom if they could take my picture and use it in their newspaper advertising. The round cut out at the top right is where the Milk Company Logo was, I have none showing the whole ad. They offered Mom money, with out a moments hesitation Mom asked for free milk be delivered to our home for her whole family until I was 18. They agreed.
That was NOT my usual attire, Mom went out and bought me these brand new clothes and “dressed me up” for the picture.
6th December 2009, 01:33
Great stories and pictures.
6th December 2009, 02:11
Greg, I enjoyed the pictures and the stories.
I remember very well the cotton pants and shirts that we all preferred over the polyester boiler suits with the company logo on them that the company wanted us to work in specially in port. The company officials would never believe the get ups that was used for work clothes after the ship left the dock.