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johnny dollar's vault

retro pop culture and various local observations and ramblings.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
johnny dollar's vault resides in the basement of stately dollar maisonTM, amongst the wine cellar, tiki bar, and finicky electrical panel. from time to time i will unearth various artifacts from either there or from the random crevices of my mind.

please visit the new and improved pig cookin' post!

NOTE: this blog will NOT deal with any recent pop culture (i.e. since about 1990) or topical issues, so if you're looking for discussion about britney baracko jacko flacco, look elsewhere, lol

Thursday, January 31, 2008

get me a bromo!

wow, the bromo seltzer tower has been renovated and transformed into artist's lofts and a gallery/coffeehouse!

i took a tour last nite, sponsored by the baltimore historic resources committee and led by baltimore office of promotion and the arts, and azola associates, the project contractor.

it's great to see such an iconic part of the city being put to a good use. it was originally the corporate offices for the bromo seltzer factory, which was right adjacent to the tower, on the site of what is now the fire station and a parking garage.

more info can be found at the website for the bromo seltzer tower here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ports of call 1944-1945: LST -708 in the pacific

i am rather pleased with myself; recently, having read tales of the south pacific and viewing the most recent ken burns documentary, the war, i was inspired to see what i could dig up about my grandfather's time serving with the u.s. navy in the south pacific.

(grandpa, top second from left, with

H.A. Kinney, 107 Blythe, Paris, Tn

Albert Perotto, 246 North Sr, Claremont, NH

Chas. E. Hedigan, 5618 Greer Ave, St. Louis, Mo

Joseph W. Anton, 324 Gardenia, Royal Oaks, Michigan

George N, Bell, 3717 N. Franklin St, Philadelpia, Pa

George McGinn, 40 Pond St., Orond, Maine)

my grandfather emigrated from herschfeld, germany in the 1920's and ended up settling down in st. louis. in 1944 he got drafted into the u.s. navy, where he proudly served as a seaman, first class aboard an LST. he was both the ship's cook/baker and a loader for the 40mm anti-aircraft guns.

so of course i started off with some internet research, after hitting up my dad and his siblings for any info that they might have had. my uncle promptly sent me a scan of the ports of call he visited, which i went ahead and transcribed, as shown below.

Initiation April 20, [19]44

April 21 – May 26 Boats
26 May – 6 June Home
6 June – 8 June OGU [Out Going Unit]
9 June – 21 June [Camp] Bradford [Norfolk, Virginia]
21 June – 26 June [Camp] Shelton [Norfolk, Virginia]
27 June – 2 July Chicago
2 July – 9 July Great Lakes [Naval Training Station]
10 July - Jeffersonville [Indiana]
[17 July 1944 USS LST-708 Commissioned]
17 July – 17 August New Orleans [Naval Support Activity]
23 August – 26 August Cuba
29 August – 1 September Panama
14 September – 19 September Deago [sic. – San Diego]
29 September – 14 October Pearl Harbor
31 October – 2 November Guam [Mariana Islands]
4 November – 12 November Ulithi [Caroline Islands]
16 November – 17 November Hollandia [now Jayapura, Indonesia]
19 November – 14 December Manus [Island, Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea]
15 December – 26 December Hollandia
29 December – 31 December Windy [Bay- USS Windham Bay CVE-92, a Casablanca Class Escort Carrier]
6 January – 8 January 1945 Leyte [, Philippine Islands]
11 January – 28 January Mindoro [, Philippine Islands]
31 January – 7 February Leyte
14 February – 17 February Manus
22 February – 12 March Guadalcanal
21 March – 25 March Ulithi
1 April – 8 April Okinawa
14 April – 19 April Leyte
19 April – 1 June Inamoc [, Philippine Islands]
1 June – 5 June Leyte
[4 June 1945 – Okinawa Gunto Occupation]
8 June – 14 June Ulithi
15 June – 29 June Guam
29 June – 1 July Okinawa
6 July – 8 July Leyte
9 July – 10 July Cebu [, Philippine Islands]
11 July – 16 July Leyte
21 July – 22 July Okinawa
22 July – 24 July Ie [Shima, an island off Okinawa Honto]
24 July – 25 July Okinawa
30 July – 1 August Leyte
3 August – 5 August Mindoro
6 August – 11 August Bataan Subic [Bay, Philippine Islands]
[14 August 1945: VJ Day]
16 August – 25 August Okinawa
29 August – 4 September Leyte
7 September – 15 September Manila [, Philippine Islands]
16 September – 17 September Lingayen [Luzon, Philippine Islands]
24 September – 1 October Wakayama [, Japan]
9 October – 11 October Manila
11 October – 18 October Cavite [ Naval Base, Luzon Island, Philippine Islands]
18 October – 8 November U.S.S. Mellette [APA-156: Operation Magic Carpet to bring U.S. Forces home]
8 November – 12 November Seattle
12 November – 16 November Train
16 November – 17 November Lamberts [sic.]
17 November [1945] Home

so this started to tell some of the story, but not really what happened per se. you could cross reference the dates with action that occurred through the various history resources out there - but i wanted more.

i came across a website for men who had served on LSTs, and it appears that they are doing their best to document the history of their time in service, as well as coordinate annual meetings of the remaining crews. it's pretty inspiring!

through this resource, cross referenced with an article about medals presented to crewmembers of LST 708 fifty years after the fact, helped me get the address and phone number of one of the crew members. i called him, and he remembered my grandfather quite well!

this guy very graciously emailed me the photo of the ship that is showing at the top of the post, as well as a history of the LST written by the first lieutenant of the 708. i still want to get permission from the author to post the story if possible, but i had to share this following passage, knowing that my grandpa was in charge of the eats on board:

"On the 6th Feb. with LSTs 625, 628, 227, 580, we shoved off for Manus and the Solomon Islands. Before we got to Florida Island, we encountered a sea of fresh cabbages all put up in new crates! This farm boy from Western New York State took a double look, as Phelps, NY, is the sauerkraut capital of the world! The cabbage must have been grown out there some place; we also soon had to take all a whole fantail load which we soon added, as our share, to the sea of cabbage. In my mind's eye I can still vision the sea of cabbage."

haaah, he came all the way from germany so he could make sauerkraut for the navy in the south pacific.

i still have more work to do with this, and would like to chart the course on a map based on the above ports/islands. i think it is important that we keep our gratitude alive for all the fighting men and women who went through so much for the sake of what we take for granted today.

to that end, i am going to make every effort to join up with the four remaining known crew members from LST 708 when they have their annual convention this year in washington, d.c. i'll let you know if i get any more good scuttlebutt.

epliogue: i have acquired the scrapbook of dean c. garnett and will share more about lst 708 in the near future.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

rosie the riveting

i've been doing a little personal research on world war 2, and whilst charging valiantly uponst my audacious quest, a friend turned me on to the following resource of wwii photos.

they are part of a general archival photo blog named shorpy, and i must posit that this blog's images of female world war 2 factory workers make me all warm and fuzzy . join me in enjoying, won't you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Meez 3D avatar avatars games


how my brain wrx

in the effort to maintain the high standards of my elementary school level blog (lollerpalooza), i thought i would share some useless personal information.

i was in a discussion where someone mentioned that their automobile was a WRX.

of course i feel compelled to read out this acronym as the word "works."

which makes me think "works for me."

which makes me think of "hunter." (which i never even watched by the way)

which makes me find an appropriate image of the actor from gis and make a lolcat out of it.

so know you know. and knowing is half the battle.

Monday, January 14, 2008

thought for the day for the locals

Monday, January 07, 2008

kitteh update: part the second

we we have has a kitty for two months now, and it is safe to say that mooch has made himself at home.

that is not to say we are not working out the bugs, so to speak.

one aspect that i am trying to figure out how to rectify is that he sleeps in the bedroom with us during the night, since if left the run of the house, he gets on top of the bird-tank and would probably eventually get in. we want the birdies to be on the outside of the cat, not the inside.

but it seems he wants out of the bedroom about 2am, and therefore proceeds to create quite the ruckus. his favorite "i want out" meow sounds like this: MAO-WOO!

i think we are doing pretty good with controlling the scratching with the dreaded squirt bottle, but it requires constant vigilance.

overall the little furball has been alot of fun.

*end of nauseating kittypost*

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

...he was a friend of mine...

had a lol brainfart this morning.
going through the calendar... i had made a note awhile ago to contact the local marvin rep to get prices for window replacements. i had written "call marvin guy."

this morning, i looked at that item and read "call marvin gaye."

shootz, i think that number might be unlisted by this point.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

happy shmoo year!

here's hoping that 2008 pwns 2007!