- tj reviewing some Oklahoma exerpts (sp?) sent to me by Gail.
DB had a buddy in WW2 who's wife had a baby daughter. The daughter was 1
month old when the poem was written. DB's buddy was Jim Roosa who had only
seen his daughter for a couple of hours while on leave. No dates on this.....
Young Lady! Oh, so young and small
Your soldier-daddy sends his greetings.
We've really had no time at all
To get acquainted in our meetings.
I have to dream just how you look,
Your face asleep - - Your baby laughter.
The folks must keep a picture book
For me to see some day hereafter.
Your first brave step - your first hard bump.
Your second step (let's try again!)
I'd like to kiss that bruise or bump,
And soothe away the ugly pain.
We'll have to wait (life runs that way)
So learn one word. Please do not fail.
And when I do come back some day
Say "Daddy" when I call out "Gail"
There was no date on this poem but it was the first time I had read of
it. Actually, quite touching of DB but very characteristic of him.
FROM THE ENID DAILY EAGLE 9-21-42 (tj was 4 months old!) A letter from DB
to Kenneth ( no last name):
Your can't keep on Oklahoman out of a fight. Here I am again in the old
uniform, private Donald B. blanding, T-147, "I"-4, Second Receiving Company,
Camp Upton, N.Y., and loving it. It's tough sledding, but what the hell. I
had to get in. The minute they raised the age of enlistment above 45 that
let me in at 471/2, so I hightailed it down and enlisted as a private in
infantry. I've been wanting to know what this generation is thinking, and
where better than in the ranks where the entire cross-section of polyglot
America is being sorted, sifted, prouned and placed. Just these 10 days have
been so rich in human experience that I'm slightly dizzy with it. One of my
buddies is Finn, and the other is a peppery Irish boy.
Now I can talk from the inside, but before, I felt like an overstuffed
canary twittering while the cannons boomed. I'm talking at night after
drill, to the hospital, service clubs, etc, telling amusing stuff of Hawaii
before Peral Harbor, and such things to take the fellows' minds off
home-sickness and give'em a laugh and something to dream about. Here's why I
I am weary. Yet, if fate should
say to me,
"Rest Soldier, rest. Dismissed. Put
Down your pack."
Each nerve and muscle would
make tired, urgent plea
To listen and obey. A moment's
While sleep's insistent fingers
press against my eyes
And Langour's slow, drugged wine
lulls sounds of strife
Until my verteran heart, protesting
Fall in, Soldier, Forward March!
So, now tj has some better personal insight into why WW1 Lt. Blanding joined
up as a WW2 Corporal. I think this was the object of some past discussions
with our group. It seems to be typical Blanding style. I like it.......tj
As I read through this, I will put it out on line for everyone to enjoy.
The first poem is "Soldier's Baby" from 'Pilot Bails Out' (page 36)
and the second poem is from page 85 (last page) of 'Pilot Bails Out'