By Ted Grussing
I was driving on Beaver Flats Rd on the way home from the ponds yesterday and saw a couple of guys playing in their powered parasails around the hills. They were not close and the quality of the photograph is not what I would like, but what the heck it is always fun to see others having a good time. The lower one is what is called a trike and the upper one just has his fan strapped on his back and his feet are the landing gear.
Today ended up a stay at home day, kinda relaxed, kinda busy. My brother sent me an email with attachments including two audio files which were the two sides of a small 78 rpm record that my uncle Norm made when he was doing his flight training (USMC) at Pensacola, Florida in June of 1942. I am sure that I saw my uncle Norm but have no recollection of it and of course had never heard his voice until today. It inspired me to join www.Ancestory.com and I spent around five hours online checking out what military records I could find on Norm and did pretty well, but still much to find. Norm was born in June of 1921 and enlisted in the USMC in 1940 and got flight school in 1942 and it appears he was one of the “Sergeant Pilots” that were fairly common during WW II. He was killed in action on March 19, 1943 in the South Pacific best recollections are that his chute streamed and did not open when he bailed out. Anyhow I’m attaching one of the audio files to this email and think you will find it interesting … perhaps. I find it fascinating to listen to his voice … he was only 21 years old and ten months later before his 22nd birthday he was gone. He was returned to the USA in 1948 and is now interred at the National Cemetery at Ft. Snelling in Minneapolis and I do remember the service then. I know I have a photo of him somewhere …
The Pepsi Cola company provided all the equipment and help for servicemen to make recordings and send them back to their families … what a neat thing to do. I shall continue to drink diet Pepsi! Anyhow, my cousins Dad had this record and loaned it to Bruce who had it digitized. Bruce is the one in our family who is doing all our family genealogy research and he is uncovering all kinds of things that are cool.
I have a friend who wrote a book about his Dad’s experiences in WW II; it is titled “Shot Down” the true story of his dad Howard Snyder the pilot of a B-17 and the crew of the plane. Available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/SHOT-DOWN-story-Howard-Snyder/dp/0986076007/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418809910&sr=1-1&keywords=shot+down+steve+snyder A very compelling story.
I did a photo shoot last night and when I pugged the lights into the wall socket and turned them on the backup/surge protector battery device was fried and it also inflicted some other computer damage … got that all fixed today and a bunch of other stuff. Today it looks like another rainy day so it will be a day to cut opals … and look for more stuff about family.
Have a terrific day and though I know Norm was not a family member to most of you I hope that the audio of his voice has the same effect on you that it had on me … There were upwards of 22,000,000 military deaths on all sides in WW II and 85,000,000 total deaths due to the war. In addition to my uncle who was KIA, the USA lost another 407,000 KIA … plus the wounded … they fought and died so that we could retain our rights and freedom from tyrannical governments hostile to our way of life … how well do you think we are doing with our freedoms today?
Have a beautiful day and enjoy each moment and each breath … and smile … share your joy!
At nightfall…though I know I shall sometime no more
Open my eyes to the light or day, I am one who looks at stars when
Unchained from the work-bench at Nightfall.
They are a sign that I am not ephemeral,
Not you, nor you, whoever you are.
The dawn comes and the dark and the sign sparkling in the brooding night,
Forever and forever.
— Max Ehrmann
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.
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