We recently learned of the U.S.S. Spangler reunion which will be starting on Monday October 25, 2010 in San Antonio, TX.
Prompted by a great visit from Kristine’s cousin Jeannie, both nieces of the Purple Heart recipient the ship was named for, we began reading through a large stack of Uncle Donald’s letters and clippings that were still in the possession of his only living sibling and my outstanding father-in-law, nonagenarian Robert Kent Spangler.
Amid the sorrow of losing so much promise so early, what fun it was! New discoveries led to other new discoveries.
For instance, we found a letter written on the Fourth of July 1943 to Mr. and Mrs. Martin and Myrtle Elizabeth (Blue) Spangler (Donald’s mother, Mrs. Spangler christened the U.S.S. Spangler).
It was from Miss Velma V. Vogelman of Baltimore, MD who knew Donald from his Naval Academy days. She had just learned of his death through LIFE magazine, and she was writing on the anniversary of a significant day.
“On July 4, 1940 he came to Baltimore and spent the day with me and my parents. This day I shall always remember as one of the happiest in my life. He spoke often of his home and parents and how he would have enjoyed spending that particular day with you in Albion, Ind.”
We had never heard of a mention of Uncle Donald in LIFE. So we used Google Books and quickly found it in print in the July 5, 1943 issue on page 21.
We’re looking forward to following up on other discoveries from the letters and clippings. What other interesting insights to history are waiting to be found?
Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Fourth of July, Genealogy, history, Independence Day, Reunion, Uncategorized, USS Spangler, Veterans Day, Women's History Month, World War II
Before Women’s History Month ends, please let me remind you that I believe the Family Forest® Project is the most woman-centered genealogy resource available, intentionally by design.
There was a telling scene in the excellent Faces of America program where Meryl Streep tells Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. that basically, she is not nearly as interested in the lives of her male ancestors as she is in the women who stood with them.
Wow, that sums up the direction I have been steering the Family Forest® Project in for 15 years. Wouldn’t cousin Meryl be the perfect celebrity spokesperson we need?
Countless choices appear before me each day as I perform my tour-guide service to of strategically growing the amazingly interconnected digital system of links we call the Family Forest®. I spend my days journeying through the nooks and crannies of thousands of years of human history and I leave a well-marked trail of everywhere I visit. The problem is that time does not allow me to enter nearly as much as I see.
So when faced with decisions about the most important parts I should tell you about, I have almost always chosen to follow the lines of the mothers and daughters. This deliberate intention consistently applied over the last 15 years has grown the Family Forest® into the most woman-centered genealogy resource available.
A number of examples of Family Forest® woman-centered genealogy can be downloaded free. They include some well-known and currently topical women such as Amelia Earhart, Julia Child, Sarah Jessica Parker, Meryl Streep, Brooke Shields, and Sarah Palin.