Thursday, June 6, 2013

Those Thursday Places

Facebook is my Thursday Place. My sister has taken an interest in our family history and has been trying to connect with our Uncle Dick Dollen’s fellow seamen aboard the U.S.S. Washburn.

For those who might not know, our uncle was killed in a tragic accident. He was an apprentice seaman aboard the U.S.S. Washburn when it went into dry dock for routine maintenance. His job was to scrape and paint the left side of the rear of the ship. In the afternoon of 3 October 1952 the scaffolding in which he was standing gave way. His safety line failed and he fell to his death. Our mother and grandmother spent the rest of their remaining days mourning our uncle. As a result, very little was ever said about his life. Uncle Dick’s letters written to our grandmother provide our only clues to this uncle we never knew. Our curious minds sent us looking.

Facebook has played a key role in making connections. Timing is everything. As we searched the web, the U.S.S. Washburn was planning a reunion and created a facebook page specifically for the reunion. Nancy messaged the facebook page owner, as well as, the reunion contact person.

It is through these gentlemen, she was able to make contact with our uncle’s best friend aboard ship. His name is Bob Hall and Bob has agreed to tell us what he remembers of our uncle.

I don’t know if our mother would be happy with what we are doing but we do it out of love and with the hope of knowing our uncle just a little bit better.

Isn’t that what this family history thing is all about?


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