captpackrat: (Calligraphy)
Pretty banal, really.  This letter was sent 11 years after the birthday card in an earlier post, yet the postage had only gone up a single penny.  My grandparents had that same post office box until 2006!  The return address is General Delivery, Atlanta, Texas.

captpackrat: (Grandfather Marine)
I'd seen these before, but it was only today that I figured out what their significance was.  These originally belonged to my Grandfather's Grandmother, Leila Grubbs!  I have a photo of her wearing them!

The frames are 1/10 12K gold filled with mother of pearl nose pieces.  The manufacturer's mark is LoC, though I can't figure out what company that is supposed to be, possibly Liberty Optical Company.

This was folded up inside the case.  Love the 5 digit phone number.

Dr. Stephen P. Hill was apparently a member of the Florida State Board of Optometry from at least 1923 until 1933.
captpackrat: (Camera)

My grandfather in uniform.  I can't see any rank insignia, so he's probably a Private, which would have been 1946 or 47, I think.  This photo was probably taken in South Carolina (he went through boot camp at MCRD Paris Island), North Carolina (after boot camp he was stationed at Camp Lejeune), or Florida (his mother lived in Jacksonville).  I tried Googleing the Gardner Hotel Supply Co, but couldn't find anything relevant.

Camels!  I also tried doing a Google Image search to see if I could find this ad, but it was like searching for a cigarette butt in a haystack.

Judging by the Nerf Indoor Golf set that I'd received for Christmas, this was probably from 1986.  No wonder I'm good at putting, even though I suck at everything else in golf.

A photo I took of Yosemite Valley, some time around December 1986 or January 1987.  I'm amazed that I managed to find this picture, I thought it was lost long ago.  Not a bad shot considering the weather, and the fact that I was only 13 at the time.

This photo was probably taken from Tunnel View on Wawona Road.  You can see El Capitan on the left and Cathedral Rocks and Bridalveil Fall on the right; it's winter, so the falls are barely a trickle.  Half Dome would be just to the left behind Sentinel Dome in the center but is completely obscured by fog.  Yosemite Falls isn't visible from this vantage point.
captpackrat: (Grandfather Marine)
I was digging through some boxes today and came across a birthday card sent to my grandmother from her aunt in 1949!

Only 3 cents postage!  The postmark is from Klamath Falls, Oreg, November 7, 1949.  My grandfather was stationed at MCRD Paris Island at the time.

It's a pop-up card, which doesn't really translate too well when squished flat on a scanner.
captpackrat: (Parents)
I came across a cache of family photos and newspaper and magazine clippings.  I'm busy with a bunch of other things, but I'll eventually scan these.  Here's a small sample.

A clipping from the Marine Corps CheVron newspaper.  My grandfather is in the back row, third from the right.  He was just promoted to Warrant Officer in this photo; he would retire from the Marine Corps a Chief Warrant Officer.

A clipping from the Vista Press, circa 1984.  My grandfather won $50 in their daily drawing, but he didn't win the $1790 Kaypro II.  I find it amusing that they misspelled "Kaypro" twice.

Yours truly less than a month before my first birthday.
captpackrat: (Grandfather Marine)
[Error: unknown template qotd] My grandfather gave me a Remington Model 1900 shotgun that originally belonged to his grandfather's brother (meaning it belonged to my great-great-great-uncle).  It's a double-barreled, break-action 12 gauge with two triggers.  That shotgun is over 105 years old now.  When my grandfather was a young kid, he lived at home alone for a while.  Some kids from his school were sneaking around his farm and trying to scare him, so he grabbed this shotgun and went chasing after them.  They ran off into the corn and he started to fire off a warning shot, but in his excitement, he accidentally pulled both triggers simultaneously and the recoil knocked him back on his ass.  The kids never bothered him again.

I also have a near complete set of Morgan Dollars which originally belonged to my great-grandmother.  I have two coins from 1878, one I keep with the rest of the set and the other I carry around in my pocket as a good luck charm.  It's worth at least $25.  I've also got a 1911 gold quarter-eagle coin with a face value of $2.50; it's worth several hundred dollars today.  And there's a bunch of lesser coins, including a Carson City silver half-dollar and dozens of silver Mercury dimes.


May. 11th, 2008 08:01 pm
captpackrat: (Grandfather Marine)
The USS Noble, APA-218, Haskell-class attack transport.  My grandfather rode this ship to Puerto Rico for maneuvers in 1947, and then to Korea in 1951.  Most of the Marines transported on the Noble did not have much to do, but the cooks and bakers like my grandfather were put to work.  The bakery on board ship had to operate 24 hours a day to keep up with demand, so everyone worked 12 hour shifts.
captpackrat: (Grandfather Marine)
I was formatting my grandfather's autobiography for use on the Kindle when I came across a cache of image files, scans he'd made of old family photos.

My Great-Great-Great-Great-Uncle Zachariah Lewis.

My Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Malachi Lewis (seated near the center) and his family.  My Great-Great-Grandfather John Douglas Lewis is standing in the back row, far left, with his wife (and my Great-Great-Grandmother) Lillie seating in front of him.

My Great-Great-Grandfather, John Douglas Lewis.

John Douglas Lewis and family standing in front of their Garfield, GA home.

John Douglas Lewis' children, clockwise from the tall girl, Luck, Ottis, Byron, Albert (my Great-Grandfather) and John.

My Great-Grandfather, Albert Chapman Lewis.

My Great-Grandmother, Tevis Thelma Grubbs Lewis.

From left to right, my Grandfather's sister Betty, my Grandfather, my Great-Grandmother Tevis and my Grandfather's brother Robert.

Four generations of the Lewis family, my Great-Great-Grandmother Lillie, my Great-Grandmother Tevis, my Grandfather and his daughter (my aunt) Linda.

My Grandparents and their children, oldest to youngest, my uncle Roger, aunt Linda and my mother, standing in front of their new 1955 Chevy.

A photo taken of my Grandfather in Korea, 1952.

A newspaper clipping showing my Grandfather's promotion to Gunnery Sergeant.  He is on the left, shaking hands with his commanding officer, Col. Carl L. Sitter.

My Grandparents all dressed up for a formal function.
captpackrat: (Default)
You know the drill, bold the ones that apply to you.

(Since I was raised by my grandparents, whenever it says "mother", "father" or "parents", substitute "grandmother", "grandfather" and "grandparents")

Father went to college
Father finished college

Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
Were the same or higher social class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home

Were read children's books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school

Went to summer camp
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them (I actually wanted their car)
You and your family lived in a single-family house (and an apartment, at the same time)
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child

You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College (do Certificates of Deposit or life insurance count?)
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family (heating bills in Southern California are virtually nothing anyway)
captpackrat: (Grandfather Marine)
Today I found a box containing my grandfather's ribbons and insignias from his days in the Marine Corps. I think my mother and aunt have his medals and marksmanship badges.


Navy Unit Commendation


Good Conduct Medal 
with Silver Award Star

World War II Victory Medal

National Defense Service Medal 
with Bronze Service Star

Korean Service Medal 
with 3 Bronze Service Stars

United Nations Service Medal

Republic of Korea
Presidential Unit Citation

captpackrat: (Plush)
My aunt, uncle and two cousins arrived from Indiana yesterday morning, so I had to hit the road at 8 am to make it in time to pick them up from Lindberg Field. My mother and one of my sisters joined us and we went over to the mortuary for the viewing. Personally I find the whole ritual kinda creepy.

My visitors went to sleep fairly early, but I've had a lot on my mind lately, particularly worries about the house. I couldn't get to sleep until nearly 2 am.

My alarm went off at 6:30, and we were on the road by 7:45. My grandmother's funeral was at 9:15 am at Riverside National Cemetery, about 60 miles away. I drove conservatively, and we managed to arrive at the cemetery at the same time as the hearse from the mortuary. (When my grandfather passed away, my grandmother held us up and we didn't get onto the road until about 50 minutes before the funeral was scheduled. I broke all kinds of laws of traffic and physics and managed to catch up to the hearse at the cemetery.)

Of all the National Cemeteries in California, there are only two that are still accepting burials, Riverside and San Joaquin Valley. All the others are totally full (except Fort Rosecrans, which has room only for cremations). ANY honorably-discharged veteran (and their spouse) of the United States Armed Forces (including Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Reserves, National Guard, ROTC, commissioned NOAA and PHS officers) is elegible for burial in a National Cemetery. With only two such Cemeteries in the entire state, they do a LOT of burials. Everything is down to a science: The mourners line up behind the hearse at a staging area, and are then lead by Cemetery staff to a committal shelter where a brief ceremony is held. The casket is then taken away for burial. Visitors are not (normally) allowed to observe this, as they do dozens of interments in one day, and thus have dozens of open graves and lots of heavy machinery in the area, making it much too dangerous for people to be hanging around. When my grandfather was buried, fairly late in the day, we were told to return in a couple hours and we would be allowed into the area.

My grandfather, being a 24-year Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer, was given full military honors and had a Marine Corps Color Guard. They helped remove his casket from the hearse, carried it into the committal shelter, folded up the flag that draped his coffin and presented it to my grandmother, fired a salute, and played Taps. My grandmother, being a civilian, was not entitled to anything other than use of the facility.

I was asked to be one of the pallbearers for my grandmother's casket. Like I said before, they have things down to a science, so there was only a minimum of heavy lifting, just helping to transfer the casket from the hearse to a wheeled cart, then holding the handle and escorting it to the committal shelter. The pastor from my grandparent's church said a few things, then we escorted the casket back to the hearse and helped transfer it back inside.

We were then allowed the rare opportunity to watch the interment, which was actually mostly rather unimpressive. The Cemetery staff had already cleared away the sod and dirt and removed the concrete lid from my grandfather's vault, and had covered it with boards to keep people from falling in. The staff transferred the casket from the hearse to a special cart. The casket was placed on two large straps which supported it. They then used a small tractor to move it over to the grave, placed a couple rails over the hole, then backed the cart over the opening. Once they had it in position, they released a mechanism that slowly lowered the casket into the ground. They unhooked and wound the straps back up, then drove the cart away. They brought in a back hoe and lowered the concrete lid back onto the vault. Then a small dump truck full of dirt showed up and they dumped it into the hole. And finally another cart showed up and another staff member used a machine to tamp the dirt down firmly and replaced the headstone. Not really the way they do things on TV or the movies.

My relatives have a 6:00 am flight out from Lindberg Field, and what with airport security being they way it is now, they recommend arriving at least 2 hours ahead of time. Add to that the drive time from here to San Diego, and we'll need to be leaving here at about 3 am!

I haven't bothered to try to get any sleep yet, I'll wait until I get back, though by then the sun will probably be coming up.

Sorry if I've rambled or I'm a bit incoherent. I'm rather tired.
captpackrat: (Plush)
My grandmother passed away today at 5:35 pm. Just 2 weeks shy of two years since my grandfather died. She passed away quietly in her sleep.

Fortunately I went over to see her this morning.

My future has been thrown into chaos, I have no idea what's going to happen, or if I'm even going to have a home a few months from now.

I really should eat something. I haven't had anything since breakfast, but I really don't feel like cooking.
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
My grandmother has wound up in the hospital yet again. This is the 4th time in the past 12 months. Thank God for Medicare and secondary insurance.

A couple weeks ago she was sent to the emergency room because she had fallen flat on her face in the shower. They kept her overnight for tests and observation that time.

Today, she was sent to the ER because she was unresponsive. No wonder, her blood sugar level had dropped to 40 (normal is 100). But they discovered she had a MASSIVE urinary tract infection, so they've admitted her to the hospital. She's been treated for UTIs several times in the past couple years, so there's some worry that she might have some kind of antibiotic-resistant infection.
captpackrat: (Default)
Visited my grandmother at the nursing home. Her condition seems to be unchanged.

Went to the mall to get some exercize walking around. Bought a folding fillet knife at the cutlery shop.

Went to the grocery store to buy some potatoes, which I baked for dinner and smothered with butter, sour cream, herbs, bacon, chili and cheese. Yum.

Bought a $3 lottery scratcher ticket, won $4. Whoopie.

Currently baking some brownies. Double Yum.
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
Stopped by 5 different nursing homes today, looking for a place for my grandmother. They ranged from "Where do you flush this place?" to 4-star hotel (for a mere $10,000 a month). Ended up selecting a place which lies exactly on my route home from work, costs a "mere" $165 a day, and looks fairly nice. It's got lots of garden areas, activity rooms and they provide free telephone and cable TV (something that costs an extra $75 a month where she is currently). Medicare will pay for up to 100 days, or until she reaches a plateau and stops improving, then it will cost about $5000 a month, which is a LOT cheaper than the $7000 a month she's been blowing at the place she was at. And I think they'll be able to provide better care for her.

I'm going to have to take time off from work to get her moved in, and then I will need to rent a U-haul to drag her stuff home from the old facility. They won't have room at the new place for her old bed, or the closet full of clothes, or the big screen TV, or the recliner, etc. I'm not sure how I'll manage to move those things, or where I'll put them here.
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
For the past year and a half my grandmother has been in an assisted living facility. She was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure, and one of the main side effects of this is pulmonary edema, a build up of fluid in the lungs. This makes her very prone to infections, and she has been in the hospital for the past 2 weeks for a staph infection.

The hospital and the assisted living facility both agree that she should not return to the facility but should be moved to a skilled care facility.

This was something totally unexpected, so I've got to run about today trying to find one. I have no idea how to get the paperwork done, as my grandmother isn't exactly 100% right in the head anymore, and her Power of Attorney for Healthcare lives in Indiana. Thankfully, I have the day off, so this won't be too bad. And I'll have to figure out how to move her stuff from the old facility. (I need to buy a trailer for my Caprice)

At least Medicare will pay for the skilled nursing facility (up to 100 days), whereas we were having to pay out of pocket for the assisted living facility. The nursing home should also be a bit cheaper than the old facility, which will help stem the hemmorage from her bank account, which means I have more time to get my shit together before buying this house. I won't know how much more time until I find out how much this is going to cost, but this will at least buy me 100 more days.

I have to go running out to find a facility and get things started. The fun never stops around here.
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
Spent a couple hours at the hospital with my Grandmother. She looked better today than she has in months. She was alert and full of energy, and her hands were very warm. When she went into the hospital on Monday, she was barely conscious, kept falling asleep, and her hands were ice cold.

I should have gone home earlier, as I was starting to develop a headache, but I wanted to stay with her a bit longer. By the time I got home, my head was killing me.

I took 4 Advil and 1-1/2 Tramadol.

A couple hours later, my head is feeling better, but it still hurts. And I'm REALLY sleepy. And I'm starting to get itchy. Tramadol always makes me itchy. Bleah.
captpackrat: (Parents)
Got a phone call today, my grandmother was sent to the emergency room. She's apparently got a urinary tract infection and a respiratory infection, and is going to be admitted to the hospital for observation at least overnight.

It'll be about an hour before I can get off work and head over there to check up on her.

Hopefully she won't be there as long as the last time she went into the hospital, when she stayed there for nearly 2 weeks with the doctors making misdiagnoses.
captpackrat: (Grrr)
I got a call this morning that my grandmother was being discharged from the hospital at 1:00 pm today. I knew that Medicare wouldn't pay for an ambulance to take her back to the nursing home, so I volunteered to do so.

She'd been in bed for 10 days, so she had absolutely no strength in her legs at all. It took myself and two nurses to get her into the car, and at the nursing home it took two people to get her out again. She's never done anything to try to build up her muscles in the past, so I'm afraid that she's going to be bedridden for the rest of her life now.

They said they'd be arranging for a physical therapist to come in to see her, but I doubt my grandmother will cooperate.


captpackrat: (Default)
Captain Packrat

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