When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, an opportunity had arrived for Joe Delay to escape what he felt was a ho-hum life on the family farm near Sandpoint, Idaho. “I volunteered the minute I got out of high school. My dad didn’t know this. Never knew this. Not even to his grave, I never did tell him.” Originally intending on joining the Navy, Delay was disappointed to be redirected to the Army recruiter, desperate for men to fill their depleted ranks. Instead of clean white sheets and three meals a day, he would now be carrying a rifle and sleeping in the mud. Eventually, Joe fought at the Battle of the Bulge, and he was there when Allied Forces pushed on to Berchtesgaden, and to victory in Europe.
When I was a kid in the mid-1960s, we traveled to the West Central neighborhood of Spokane every couple of months to spend the afternoon at Grandma’s turn-of-the-century home on West Boone Avenue. And a couple times a year we’d have get-togethers with dishes of hot and cold comfort food placed end to end on her kitchen counter and in the center of her big round dining table. And all the while, a soft image in an 8 X 10 frame smiled down over every Easter ham, every burning birthday candle, every card and board game. Nobody told me he was important. Nobody had to. I just knew. It was a photo of my Uncle Verne, who gave his life during World War II.
What would urge a young couple to move to a far and distant land? A land where the customs are not only strange but in some instances completely different. A land where they did not speak the language. A land with hostility to those of a different color, and a special hostility at that time to those who were arriving from Asia. A land, in many instances, of harsh climates. But, it was a land where there was hope. Like many other Japanese immigrants, it was their hope that after a few years of hard work, they would be able to accumulate enough so that they could return to Japan with enough means so that they could find a comfortable living. That was certainly the hope of the Shiosaki Family, although they remained in America, and their grandchildren live in Spokane to this day.
The 20th-century icon Josephine Baker was so much more than a sex symbol who danced in a skirt made of bananas. Yes, she took Paris by storm in 1925 with her “Savage Dance” – performed in little more than a strategically-placed feather – and went on to increase her fame with the infamous banana skirt which, legend has it, she designed as a joke for her first revue at the Folies-Bergère. Spokane author Sherry Jones’s novel Josephine Baker’s Last Dance goes on sale December 4, 2018 at Auntie’s Books and everywhere.
On a special Centennial Veterans Day episode of the King’s Guide, Chuck King takes a look at Spokane’s Lincoln statue, dedicated on November 11, 1930. Episode 12 of the King’s Guide features rare footage from the Swanson Family of the very moment the statue of Lincoln was unveiled in front of a crowd 40,000 strong.
Second-hand stores can often be treasure troves for discerning browsers. Nearly twenty years ago, a “Montana peak” caught the eye of one such buyer. The campaign hat bore the logo of the “The Cadet Store, West Point, N.Y.” Without provenance, it was just a curiosity, at least until recently, when serendipity stepped in. The faint handwritten letters on the sweatband — “Ward, C. S.” — turned out to be Charles Stuart Ward, Class of 1918. That discovery led to a tale of two young Lewiston people who married in haste and regretted at leisure. Taking a twisted path of nearly sixty years, their story began with a murder, required a Presidential pardon, and ended up in the Idaho Supreme Court.
The Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit, “Mail Call,” shows at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum from May 9 to July 15, 2018.
There are other Charles and Dianas in the world, even some we have all heard about, like those in the British Royal Family. But this story is about everyday people, and a loving marriage that stood the test of time. Charles and Diana Vogel met, fell in love, and had three daughters, all born in the month of November in different years. It seems Valentine’s Day was Charles and Diana’s favorite holiday.
Cindy Hval is a free-lance writer for the Spokesman-Review and her book, “War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation,” tells the stories of dozens of couples who met, fell in love, and married during the tumultuous years of World War II. Read Cindy’s chapter about Jack and Fran Rogers, offered here as a Valentine’s Day treat to the readers of Nostalgia.
By Ed Clark Above, E. Lee Rae Clark and the Bataan Death March, which he survived. Photo of Clark courtesy of the Clark Family Archives, and Bataan Death March photo, Public Domain. Remember Pearl Harbor! What most people don’t remember is December 7, 1941, that