In my collection of family records, obituaries, marriage announcements, etc. there are a small group of items that I consider little “gems.”
My grandfather, Robert Lee Updegraff served in the United States Army during World War Two. He was a Platoon Sergeant in a Special Operations Group and spent the majority of his service in the American Theater of Operations, specifically the Panama Canal Zone.
I came across two articles in the Youngstown Vindicator that definitely fall into that “gem” category. The first one is a short mention of my Grandfather, serving in the Canal Zone among “snakes and skeeters and such” and what happened to his vehicle upon leaving for war.
I wonder what kind of car it was. As a young man, I’m sure he worked hard and saved to purchase it. Also, the random acts of kindness from Letter Carrier William Butler and Leonard Quinlan are heartwarming. I wonder who they were and what their relationship to my grandfather was.
The second article is pretty amusing. It appears as though my grandfather wrote the Vindy, requesting a few mouth organs be sent to his camp. Youngstown came through and sent a variety of instruments for the soldiers to entertain themselves in the evening.
For further reading, here is a great article about soldiers in the Panama Canal Zone being entertained by their own “khaki-clad buddies:” Panama Soldiers Turn Down Passes for Own Jungle Shows