Never Leave a Good Friend Behind

The man from the suitcase was buried three times.  First in 1995 at Woodlawn Cemetery, surrounded by his loving wife, Juanita, his extended family, and his remaining friends and colleagues.  It’s a beautiful spot; I’ve shed my own tears there.

I don’t know who presided over his next burial, who selected the much smaller coffin he occupied for a  year after Juanita was put to rest by his side, but I presided over his first exhumation. Continue reading

Here’s to the Happy Old Maids – Amende Honorable

Amende Honorable is a poem typed on thin vellum.  It’s been folded into uneven quarters for so long that the creases refuse to lay quiet and tug at the page, like unfolded origami trying to snap back into shape. Continue reading

Queensberry All-Services Club Programme – From the Archive Library

In the summer of 1944, Glenn Miller and his Army Air Force band travelled to England to play over 800 performances for service men involved in the war effort.  After the U.K. tour, they were scheduled to head to France to begin a six week tour of American air force bases and field hospitals.

That tour never happened. On December 15th, three days after his last performance, Glenn Miller’s aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel.  He was not missed until his band landed in Orly on December 18th.

Glenn Miller’s last performance before his dissapearance was at the Queensbury All-Services Club in London on December 12th, 1944, and the man from the suitcase was there.

Learn more about the Queensbury All-Services Club and the mystery that surrounds Glenn Miller’s disappearance in the archive library.

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From Girl Friday to Woman of the Year – Meet Juanita Jones

You know, I think everyone has a place in this world which they make for themselves.

-Juanita Jones, 1969

Last week, we set aside John Paul Jones and turned our attention to the Lady from the Suitcase: Mrs. Juanita Jones.   The beginning of the post focused on Juanita’s childhood and her conservative education at the Southern Junior College.  We were introduced to a young woman who, in her youth, met the camera with a bashful blush.  Later in age, we were served up a cool reserve.  Continue reading

The Puzzle of Juanita Jones – The Lady from the Suitcase

You get a new jigsaw puzzle for Christmas.  Excited to start, you extract the box from the hermetically sealed plastic wrap, jostle off the lid and dump the pieces out on the dining room table.  First, you locate the corners and start to build the edges.  Little by little, the picture begins to form and you pretty much know how the rest is going to turn out…you just have to keep plugging away.  Then you realize you have more holes than remaining pieces.

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Flowers for his Grave – Catching up with John Paul Jones

Over the past couple of months, I have been immersed in Armchair Genealogy, researching John Paul Jones from the comfort of my home via the convenience of the internet.  Like my newly found Genealogy pals say, online research only gets you so far before you hit the fabled ‘brick wall’.

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This Old House – An Open Door to the Past

I have an advantage over some of my new-found genealogy friends, I live in the same area as the family I am researching. I can stroll down their sidewalks, visit their houses and lay flowers on their graves. This past weekend, I did all three.

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