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Archive for the ‘Travel Tuesday’ Category

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania conjurs up thoughts of the Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, the Founding Fathers, and even the movie “National Treasure.” My first trip to Philadelphia was in about 1965 when I was about four years old. Not only were we going to visit some of the places I mentioned but also to visit my dad’s sister, Marie. On the way from Dayton to Phlly, we stopped in Hershey and toured the chocolate-maker’s manufacturing plant (this was before OSHA and other laws prevented a tour right by the gigantic vats of milk chocolate!). As a young chid, I was fascinated with the street lights shaped like Hersey Kisses candy! We left with oodles of chocolate and other candy.

We stayed at my Aunt Marie’s for at least two nights and also enjoyed the sights of Philadelphia.

My Aunt Marie

Carpenter’s Hall

From Pennsylvania, we went to Manhattan and while my dad had business meetings, Mom and I saw the Rockettes, Rockefeller Center, and shopped at  department stores.  One of my mom’s class mates (and sister to my uncle’s wife) lived on Long Island, so we spent a day visiting them and taking a ferry boat ride out by the Statue of Liberty. Either going East or returning home, we stopped at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Many years later, as a high school student the summer before my Junior year, I went with my church’s Youth Fellowship back to Philadelphia. We stopped on the way in Johnstown and spent the night at a church and then on to Lancaster and spent two days sight-seeing and enjoying the hospitality of a family who opened their home for 22 of us kids and many adult sponsors plus our Christian Education director and the minister and his family. Then on to Philly to walk the cobblestone streets, visit Christ Church, get a close up view of the Liberty Bell, and tour Independence Hall. We saw the home of Betsy Ross and the U.S. Mint. Outside of town we took mine cars deep into the coal and iron ore mine.

Now, I would like to visit again, but this time with the knowledge that some of my ancestors lived near to Philadelphia before the Founding Fathers set quill to parchment with their signatures on the Declaration of Independence.

 

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WELCOME TO BREMERHAVEN

My grandfather, Glen R. Johnson, was transferred to Wiesbaden, Germany in 1950 (before the Army Air Corps became the Air Force). Upon arriving at the Port of Bremerhaven aboard the Gen. Patch on July 20, 1950, the U.S. Band greeted him and my grandmother, Vesta. Wikipedia says that Bremerhaven means “Bremen’s Harbor” in Bremen (which was in the free Federal Republic of Germany).

The ship – USNS General Alexander M. Patch (T-AP-122) (picture of it as it is berthed at Bremerhaven in 1950 can be found here – exciting to think that this might just be at the same time my grandparents had arrived!) was named after the General who took “command of the Allied Forces in New Caledonia” in 1942 (from NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive; 2012; NavSource Naval History)

Luckily, while they were in Germany, they were able to take side trips to other places on the weekends. The picture above was taken on August 5, 1950, when they went with another lady, Mrs. Mulligan, along with a Bavarian guide to see the Nymphenburg Castle, Home of the Bavarian Kings.

Besides all of the photos, I also have several years’ worth of letters my grandparents wrote my parents. Those letters detail all the little trips around Europe they took as well as their day to day life in Wiesbaden.

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