Skip to main content

Veterans Day 2022. . .



My late maternal grandfather, David Lewis Stokes from Lexington, North Carolina.  He was drafted/conscripted very quickly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and spent the war years as first an anti-aircraft gunner guarding the Dutch refineries at Curacao, then glider infantry, and later a paratrooper in France. 

As an interesting aside, the unit in which he first served had been a Pennsylvania National Guard unit, in which many of the men, privately at least, still spoke Pennsylvania German. having grown up at a time and in homes where that was usual in the southeastern and central parts of the state.  

Kind of a strange irony in that, given the combatants in 1939-45, but there were certainly also other large pockets of German speakers  here in the U.S. too, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Saint Louis areas among others for example.  Indeed, one of my grandfather's aunts, Aunt Maggie (Margarethe) still spoke German at home to the children in rural North Carolina during the 1920s and 30s according to family lore shared with me as a child.  I think the war finally put a stop to that however.

But I digress.

How Granddaddy, his two brothers (Uncle Jack and Uncle Baxter), and three brothers-in-law (Uncle Syd, Uncle Bob, and Uncle Charlie) all managed to survive and return home relatively unscathed to lead productive lives, I'll never know.  They certainly endured various hardships (for want of a better term) that go with being military personnel in wartime.  

I knew them well and and miss them all.  They answered the call without complaint and carried out things I cannot even fathom doing myself.  The greatest generation indeed.

-- Stokes


Popular posts from this blog

Comfortable Rules for Games of Glossy Toy Soldiers in the Old Style. . .

  Introduction A Tangled Mass is a game of toy soldiers in the old style, set more or less in the middle part of the 18 th century.   Our miniature forces are colorful and, we hope, glossy.  Although the latter, like so much else, is up to the discretion of the players.   But it is the modeling, brushwork, and unit organization of hobby greats like Gilder, Mason, and Robinson that provide our visual touchstone and continue to inform "the look of the thing" even now. Tabletop armies in A Tangled Mass can be historic, semi-historic, or whimsically fictitious, but the more flags and mounted officers, the better.  Formations, while bearing some resemblance to their historic precedents, are generic: column, line, or extended order for lighter types.   Squares, while possible, are less common than during all of that later Napoleonic madness with its guillotines and Spanish ulcers.  And we'll simply choose not to mention patent leather dancing pumps, or that unseemly bedr

Prussian 3rd Garrison Regt. Update. . .

  Still a few small things to do, including apply fleshtone to a left hand on an officer that I somehow missed at some point plus lace on the drummers and officers , but we're very close to the glossing stage. L ots of painstaking work to clean up edges, highlight folds, and touch up various bits and pieces the last few evenings.  My trusty little Sony Cybershot, I fear, has gone to that big electronics place in the sky and no longer seems to be working.  Well, I've had it since 2013, and small electronics don't last forever, so I cannot complain.   With that little hiccup in mind, I snapped today's shot with my iPhone, brightened, and cropped it in Fotor before sharing it here.  Again, the blue is not quite so bright in reality, but the auto-improve, or whatever they call it, makes for nice bright photographs in which everything shows up.   Not long before these are done, and The Young Master was suitably please when I asked him to have a look a few minutes ago. -- Sto

A Break in the Radio Silence. . .

  S till plugging away at the 60 or so Wied Infantry currently on the painting bench as and when work and family life permit. Using three different whites for the clothing, shoulder belts, and officers' wigs plus trying some Army Painter quick washes.   My friend and one-time online magazine co-editor Greg Horne (the man behind The Duchy of Alzheim , still one of my blog and hobby touchstones) suggested I give washes a try a month or two ago, and I think he might be onto something.  Admittedly, he suggested the Citadel contrast range, but what I purchased eventually is in that general direction.  I am especially pleased with the Army Painter flesh wash, which picks out the facial details on the Minden figures very nicely.  I've applied it on top of my usual Windsor & Newton alkyd oil fleshtone and then highlighted the brows, bridges of noses, cheeks, chins, lower lips, and knuckles/thumbs the next day with more of the fleshtone.   Suddenly, and with relative ease, my paint