note....photos and images not yet inserted....LATER TODAY  palm sunday 2018

The Saga Of The Little Whitehouse ~ Archive

 

This page is devoted to images and notes related to the "Saga of the Little Whitehouse". 
Sundays, ballgames, summer family picnics, Grandpa's birthday, and other special family occasions invariably included music, especially group sings, with a heavy patriotic flair. Their Irish-American tastes meant George M. Cohan was a favorite... 

My family "made ourselves useful" through good days and bad, for a century in Fairfield, CT ... We're hardy and we were proud to serve again, and grateful to be empowered for it. These pages have given me an opportunity to restore myself and refresh the concepts that motivated me to "all topstuff" to begin with. I know I have plenty of company in the need to refresh and restore the best inner drivers, and I hope you find my work here an easy and entertaining help....elle

 

 

 

Grandpa "Big Jim" Smith
was cast in the classic mold...by the time I knew him, he was the Norman Rockwell Grandpa...complete with snowy hair that "went shock-white" from a heartbreak when he was in early twenties...before he met and married Grandma...and sweeping handlbar mustache... 
The funnycigar-box at the bottom of the bottom drawer, way in the back, contained the collection of scissors he used to groom those mustachios over the years, and was found by Grandma and self when clearing his belongings after his death at age 90.

Each year after reaching age 60, he would say at Birthday speechtime, "Drink up, boys! I won't be here to "tip a good glass of cheer" with you next year!"
For thirty years, he predicted his death and we loved him and we would lament, and when his time actually came, the funeral cortege stretched for a mile or more .  

His annual death prediction would be followed, as a rule, by his big bass voice, lifted in song, like those listed below, and never a day without a song and a sass to share the gift of love with lively love.

 

 


Jim and Else's crew, late '60's, at a family event. 

All those fine sons for my 4'10" Grandmother!
...she never stopped that wonderful roundish sort-of warm, quiet elderly lady giggle, to our delight!
And two are absent from the photo. Joe, one more of her sons, died of Lukemia at age thirty, a young husband and father. And there was one more son, still, in Tom, from Grandpa Smith's first marriage...his firstborn, if he is alive, he is over a hundred.
Visits to Uncle Tom's in the Hills were lovely...his wife and children loving, hospitable and great fun!....except for Cousin Tommy's violin.....eightyearold awful! :-)
Mysteries to have fun chasing down on an afternoon!

 

 


Happy postwar activity: 
Six Smith Brothers
being sworn in as
new members of the
American Legion. 
- 1953
l-r:Hank, Charlie,Jim, 
Bob, Bill and Al. 
per Commander A.Laska

 

 

"You're A Grand Old Flag" 

You're A Grand Old Flag, 
You're a high fly-ing flag, 
And for-ev-er, in peace, may you wave. 

You're the em-blem of the land I love, 
The home of the free and the brave. 

Ev-'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue, 
Where ther's nev-er a boast or brag, 

But, should auld ac-quaint-ance be for-got, 
Keep your eye on the grand old flag. 

Words and Music by George M. Cohan

 

 

 

Three generations of Smiths served proudly under this logo, as well. Grandpa James Smith helped build the DuPont Coated Fabrics Plant in Fairfield; one of his sons, Richard Charles,"Charlie", followed as Millwright, fashioning the gold foil for NASA's Lunar Landing Module with his hands; and his son, in turn, an administrator with the plant, till subsidization in the late 1980's.

 

 

One of many old
Irish Blessings & wishes, 
"...and
may ye be in Heaven
half and hour before
the devil knows yer gone!" 

Available as reprint, artistically, 
with the shamrock, below alongside.

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Charles Smith shown in 1944
as Army Air Corps Flight Mechanic
b.October 9,1923 - 
d.May 10, 1999
"Once again, His Spirit soars!"


"Army Air Corps Song" 

Off we go
into the wild blue yonder ~ 
climbing high
into the sun! 
Here they come, 
zooming to meet our thunder ~ 
at 'em, boys! 
giv 'er the gun! 

Down we dive, 
spouting our flame
from under ~ 
off with one
helluva roar! 

We live
in fame! 
or go down
in flame! 
Nothing 'll stop the
Army Air Corps! 
 


On the side of the plane was Betty Boop, and Hearst Publications Official Site might entertain her fans. An individual fan site,Katy's Obsession with Betty Boopmight be as much fun!
I felt so blessed to grow up as his daughter, though his crusty moments in old age made his last years difficult for all, sometimes, especially himself. 
"But it's the laughter that we remember..." once the grieving's done. In his case, may none of us fail to do so.
In our formative years, he was at least good, And often great...science, education, laughter, beauty, music, and infinite warmth and hugs...as one who has travelled sociologically, I must praise him...his lights instilled in us the will to live in dark places later on...a gift not to be overlooked. 
Some called him "Charlie", and my Mother said it like Katherine Hepburn's Rosie to Humphrey Bogart, as another special Charlie, in the film,"African Queen".
So, in turn, I would laugh, saying it like Charlie Chan's daughter ... "Hiya, Pop! number one daughter , here!...what's up?"..but not too often...his tastes in entertainment were alert. 
In a world full of sophistications many of them great, but many so cold...I treasure the climate in which I was raised...and hope not to fail to express my love and gratitude. I wish I had been able to write this before he died...I did tell him, and show him ... he would have loved this page! 

 

 

 

 

Scarlett and Rhett, 
icons of their day, 
however imperfect their
personalities and motives! 
Only the Civil War
could have made them appear
"sweet-by-comparison"!

 



Uncle Jim

The Marines’ Hymn


From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country’s battles
In the air, on land and sea. 

First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean; 
We are proud to claim the title of
United States Marine. 

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
from dawn to setting sun. 
We have fought in every clime and place, 
where we could take a gun. 

In the snow of far off northern lands
and in sunny tropic scenes, 
You will find us always on the job, 
The United States Marines. 

Here's health to you and to our Corps
which we are proud to serve.  
In many a strife we've fought for life
and never lost our nerve. 

If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven's scenes, 
they will find the streets are guarded by
United States Marines. 

Music by Jacques Offenback  Mercurio's lovely market still graces the Center area of my hometown, still run by Mercurios, and they still deliver! I wish I could tell you how happy it made me to find anything the same in my home town, after a twenty year absence, and recently widowed. It was downright embarassing, by discrete Fairfield standards...wafting! Oh, dear! Still proud to have save my own 1990's store receipt.

 

 

 


 

 


On the event of the Centennial of Flight December 17, 2003, this one may not be omitted.

Whitehead's plane flew in Fairfield, CT, a year before the Wright Brothers' famous Kitty Hawk, NC flight. 
An agreement with official records-keepers and the Smithsonian Institute made by heirs of the Wright Brothers, won the Kitty Hawk flight honors that some say rightfully belong to Whitehead's plane. 

Happy to receive feedback on this one.

On theeee Ray-dee-Oh! Difficult to believe that the odd-looking object, an old-time radio, could have been the center of family entertainment, but it was. Amazing things portrayed "on the air" - like the songs and stories noted here - kept families riveted in a circle around it. the concepts and characters and stories and historical events are still talked about today.  


Silver threads among the Gold

Darling, I am growing ooooo-ld! 
Silver threads among the gold! 
Smile upon my brow todaaaaay! 
Life is fading fast away! 

Oh, my Darling, you will be.....will be, 
Always young and fair to me! 

Smile upon my brow todaaaaay! 
Life is fading fast away! 
 

Music in the home was normal and brought spirit to droopy days...they do occur! Some of the favorites:
There's a tree in the meadow
Margaret Whiting (?) 

There's a tree in the meadow, 
with a stream drifting by, 
And carved upon that tree
I see, "I love you 'til I die." 
I shall always remember
the love in your eye  
The day you carved upon that tree
"I love you 'til I die." 
But further on down lovers' lane
a silhouette I see. 
I know you're kissing someone else, 
I wish that it were me.  
By that tree in the meadow, 
my thoughts will always lie. 
where e'r you go you'll always know, 
I love you 'til I die. 

--repeat from
"... further on down lovers'....." to end. 

"Always" 

I'll be loving you, always
With a love that's true, always
When your every plan
Needs a helping hand
I will understand, always

Loved you from the start, always
Bless your little heart, always
Not for just an hour, 
Not for just a day, 
Not for just a year, 
...But ALWAYS! 

 

 

Unca' Bill
since this project began, photos, geneology, stories and other data have come to the author! 
the material archieved here represents just a start.... 
so, visit again, when you can! 

Eldest Son of Jim and Else, my Baptismal Godfathere, and living, is William "Bill" Smith, second from left in the Army Corps of Engineers photo, below, with friends! 
"Sarge" fought in the Battle of the Bulge: the casualties were very high, and his toughness with his men won threats of all kinds from his beleagered company, but he got them through it , serving proud, and surviving ! When the battle was over and the men learned of the historic losses suffered by other units, they had hugs for him, instead! "He brought 'em home alive !" 

 


 




"Casablanca Hat" is me...I married the "Son-of-a-priest-turned-Fed", who made medicine after his military service. 

A Chemist, dead set against Chem warfare, he opted for Corps of Engineers, to "do something constructive :-)" if he had to go to war. His USACE in VietNam found him,postwwar, superintendent of Chem.Mfg., and one of the consultants for the Greenville, NC plant construction. The building was sold to Processors of Holland Bulbs, when Wellcome reorganized to get the money that paid the cost of the Human Genome Project, some years after his death. He died in '81, and, though we missed him bitterly, I am happily healed, and warm still from memories from the wonderful years, full of wonderful experiences, with my own Handsome Prince, with the "hands of the healer".There were extra exciting "Accidental Fed" times to my credit through his family, and thus, the hat. 
But, unlike the heroine in the famous film, "Casablanca", as long as he lived, there was no romantic confict.
Lucky Lady, me!