May 292016
 

There are quite a few veterans in my family tree, and even more in my husband’s. But where my research currently stands, there’s only one among them who paid the ultimate price.

Albert Clifford Joyce, Jr., was the son of my great-grandfather’s sister, my first cousin twice removed. He was born in 1919, in Salem, Massachusetts, the youngest child and only son of Margaret Theresa Catherine (Whelton) and Albert Clifford Joyce, Sr. He was educated at Boston Latin School and then Harvard University, which he graduated from in 1942. He had intended to become a lawyer, but because of the war he instead ended up in the US 8th Army Air Corp (390th Bombardment Group, 568th Squadron).

On April 18, 1944, Albert was co-pilot on a B17 Flying Fortress under the command of Ben C. Wassell, when it took off from Suffolk, England, on a bombing run to try to take out an aircraft factory about 20 miles from Berlin. When their tail section was shot off, almost directly over their target, they went down so quickly that witnesses reported no parachutes at all. None of the 10 crew members aboard survived.

It was their 6th mission.

Albert and his crewmates were buried near the site of their crash, all except pilot Ben Wassell in a common grave. In 1952, their remains were moved, Wassell’s to Ardennes Military Cemetery in Belgium, and the others to Arlington National Cemetery, where they still share a grave.

goodpickin-crew

Photo of the crew taken upon completion of training.

Back, left to right
1st Lieutenant Ben C. Wassell, Schenectady, NY – Pilot
2nd Lieutenant Albert C. Joyce, Jr., Salem, MA – Co-Pilot
2nd Lieutenant Anthony C. Formato, Bronxville, NY – Navigator
Flight Officer Leonard Hersch, Brooklyn, NY – Bombardier

Front, left to right
Staff Sergeant Robert D. Stetler, Van Wert, OH – Waist Gunner
Staff Sergeant Eugene J. Harpster, Furnace, PA – Radio Operator
Staff Sergeant James T. Finch, Wantagh, NY – Tail Gunner
Staff Sergeant Pete N. Rayhawk, Sharpsville, PA – Waist Gunner
Staff Sergeant Leon J. Sarnowski, New Britain, CT – Ball Turret Gunner
Staff Sergeant Victor B. Ratliff, Hellier, KY – Engineer & Top Turret Gunner

May 082015
 

Having recently discovered that my far-from-cutting-edge old Android phone can run the Google Docs app with only occasional (5 or 6 an hour) crashes, I’ve begun writing during my commute the last few weeks. It started with some fanfiction I’d begun awhile back and never finished, and led me back to the novel I haven’t touched in a couple of years.

This morning, I was on the Green Line rethinking a scene that wasn’t quite working for me, when the young woman sitting next to me said, “I don’t mean to be reading over your shoulder, but what are you writing?”

My very first thought upon hearing this? Thank all the forgotten Gods this didn’t happen yesterday. Yesterday, I was working on a sex scene.

I told her about my project — because, really, what writer doesn’t like to be asked about her writing? It turns out, she’s a writer, too. Poetry and superhero fiction and comic books. We shared a lovely bit of commiseration about the mid-book slog before she went back to her in-progress SMS conversation.

Nice way to start the day.

Oct 282014
 
  • The weight of her against the backs of my knees on a cool night
  • Her complaints if the food bowl wasn’t filled within seconds of my rising in the morning.
  • The warmth of her snuggled into the living room chair next to me.
  • Her purr when I scritched that perfect spot, and the way she rolled her head into it.
  • The sounds from the bedroom while Andy’s getting dressed of the two of them playing.
  • The way she’d follow me into the bathroom as if to say “You’re not doing anything important while you’re sitting there : pet me.”
  • Her snoring, which on a quiet day could be heard across the room.
  • The “how could you be so thick” look she’d level at me if I didn’t do what she wanted.
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Revival

 Posted by at 1:27 pm  Life Offline, Life Online  No Responses »
Oct 182014
 

The recent advent of WordPress 4.0 (“Benny”) had me looking at this site and the tech that drives it again, and it looks as though newer installations of WP are configuring their databases in a way that will actually accommodate non-English characters properly. So I’ve reinstalled in the hopes of finally getting my conlangs online.

Plus, now that the twins are toddlers, they’re spending more time playing on their own, so maybe I can squeeze the occasional blog post into my schedule again.

Stand by.

Apr 122010
 

It’s a beautiful spring day in New England, and I’ve just been impaneled on a jury at the Superior Court.

On the one hand, like everyone else, I hate having my life put on hold while this happens. The interruption of my routine. Having to make arrangements for all sorts of stuff at the office. You know the drill.

On the other hand, I’m very aware of how important trial by jury is to a free society. This is vital stuff, damn it.

I’m still wearing my sneakers, though. Just because I’m doing my civic duty doesn’t mean I have to be uncomfortable.

Jul 312009
 

My mother’s cleaning lady was in today, just as Mom and her girlfriends were convening for the start of a trip. They left while she was working, and when she was done and wanted to leave, she discovered that her purse was gone. It was in the kitchen while they were sorting out their bags so they could all go in one car.

That’s right: my mother and her friends seem to have taken the poor woman’s purse on an overnight trip to Maine.

I hope it’s having fun.