Friday, February 25, 2005


Weekend Assignment #12: Thanks to time travel and invisibility, you can be on the spot for any important event of the last 100 years (1905 onward). Which important historical event do you choose? As a twist, if you actually were at an important historical event, you can't pick that one. Why? Because you were there already. What, you want to be there twice? Think of the paradox!

Extra Credit: Think of a piece of now-dated slang that should be brought back into circulation. Make it reasonably clean slang, please.

Um, am I allowed to invisibly jostle Lee Harvey Oswald's arm?  According to a The New Twilight Zone episode from the 1980s, saving JFK would probably result in World War III, but I'd like to give it a shot.  Ditto stopping Mark David Chapman from killing John Lennon.

If I'm not allowed to "put right what once went wrong,"  then I'd rather witness a happy event than a depressing one (naturally!).  In my lifetime, that includes the moon landings (I remember the first one, and I've seen Mission Control, with its clunky old computer terminals), the fall of the Berlin Wall, and, well, not much else, really.  I wouldn't mind watching JFK's inaugural speech live and in person. (But see below.)

Is this my dad? Copyright 1999 www.b24.netmy future parents in 1949.

A little farther back (ooh, Freudian!  I typed "father" instead of "farther"), 22 years before my personal lifetime, was the end of World War II. Since my dad was a POW in Germany, I'm more interested in VE Day (and the events leading up to it) than VJ Day.  The liberation of Stalag Luft 1 would probably have me in tears, though.  Those guys weren't terribly healthy by the time the the Germans moved out (late on April 30, 1945), the Russians arrived  (May 1-3, 1945) and the POWs were evacuated (about May 6-15, 1945).

Aww, the heck with it.  Even if it would make me cry, that's what I'd choose to see: the liberation of my dad.

Update: aside from forgetting the  Happiest Historical Event On Earth (but  Barb didn't!), I failed to mention a number of fun historical stops I wrote about in previous time travel tourism entries many months ago.  Chief among them: watching the Beatles on a Temporal Mystery Tour.  I did mention Disneyland in one of the entries, but only as a great place to shop in 1957.  Perhaps I can cheer myself up with such diversions once my dad is safely out of 1945 Germany.

Extra Credit: In keeping with the rest of this entry, I went looking for World War II era slang, but what I found was mostly about old equipment for killing people.  Even "Ace!" or "Aces!" (meaning "Great!") probably relates to flying aces (pilots who had shot down at least five enemy aircraft.)  Aw, the heck with it.  I could go with a Beatles era term like "fab" or "gear" or--wait a minute!  I've got it!  "Heck!"  People (other than me) hardly ever seem to use that any more.  They go for the stronger stuff.  But I prefer the relatively inoffensive substitute.


Photos:  left, a photo from Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany.  From the collection of A J Zywiczynski. Copyright 1999; used without permission.  But doesn't that guy look like the man in the picture on the right?  That's my dad with my mom in 1949. Photographer unknown.  One of the photos would have to be reversed to make the hair match, but otherwise, that's got to be him, don't you think?

As Many Wars As People Who Were There

My Favorite Veteran


chasferris said...

In accordance with your wishes: my first stop in catching up with missed journals and well worth it.  Great entry into assignment number 12.   (12 follows 47 in blogville, doesn't it?)  
The prisoner of war is most certainly is your dad.  He never got a chance to see that photo I guess.  
The assignment is fascinating...what would you want to watch, close up, though you couldn't participape?  
(I did check By theWay first, but this is my first journal)
Thanks, as ever, for watching over me.

sistercdr said...

Great choices here.

mosie1944 said...

I agree, that has to be the same man in the photo!

ryanagi said...

Oh that photo is TOTALLY him! No doubt! You should let the website owner know you've identified one of the people in their historical photos. Good choices of historical events to peep in on. I've never been to Disneyland. Now I'm curious just what the similarities and differences are between FL and CA.

marigolds2 said...

well, my dear, this is entirely a fabulous entry.  you brought tears to my eyes with this. i can say no more.  - mary ellen