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Features

  • Personal Note: When my first column appeared in The Sentinel-News on April 27, 2007, I had no expectation that nearly ten years later, at the age of 100, I would be writing my 183rd column.

    June 27, 1938

    [At Secondary Battery Gunnery School on board USS Nevada (a 2-month course) and having spent only a weekend aboard USS Tennessee, I took a boat on June 20, 1938 to the USS Nevada another battleship, to attend the two-month Secondary Battery Gunnery School. Here I joined a number of ensigns and 2nd lieutenants, new to the Fleet.

  • Tribute to the U. S. Navy

    Eternal Father, strong to save,


    Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,

    Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep

    Its own appointed limits keep;

    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,


    For those in peril on the sea!

    --The “Navy Hymn” sung at the U.S. Naval Academy

    As I reach the date in my Journal that records my reporting aboard the Battleship USS Tennessee (BB-43), it seems appropriate to pay Tribute to the U.S. Navy.

  • [On May 24,1938, immediately after graduation from Basic School, a short ceremony lasting only a few minutes, I departed for my next duty station, USS Tennessee (BB43), a battleship based off San Pedro, California. I travelled with a classmate by auto as far as St. Louis. There I took the train to Portland, Oregon where my parents met me for the drive to their home, about 50 miles to the north, in Longview Washington,. In order to save travel expenses I had taken a coach rather than a Pullman sleeping car.

  • April 14, 1938

    Those of us who are going to the West coast received the best break of our school year when Col. Jackson said today that we will get overland transportation at 8 cents a mile. The transport San Miquel is loaded with Army men I imagine. That extra $170 will come in mighty handy.

    April 16, 1938

    Boston: Pel Withers and I left Phila [Philadelphia] 4 p.m., arrived Boston 1:30 a.m.

  • Randall Stivers took a long drink of his Powerade Zero while pondering the question just put to him – How did he maintain the willpower to loss a third of his body weight in less than a year? 

    “Life,” he said simply, his eyes – usually full of laughter – candid and somber.  “I wanted to live. I wanted to be there for my kids. I don’t want to go back there – I don’t want to go down that path again.” 

  • March 21, 1938

    Some recent quotations from Puller in his Small Wars Course –

    “It’s no more trouble to carry a rifle than it is a swagger stick.”

    “Don’t overload with provisions. When you run out of food turn back. Two days without food won’t hurt you.”

    “Get up with the leading element of your patrol. Your life is no more valuable to you than an enlisted man’s is to him.”

  • Children can tug at your heartstrings, especially when they are in need.

    Uganda, located along the equator in eastern Africa, is home to 2.3 million orphans, and two women – a mother and daughter from Shelbyville – are doing what they can to provide for a small fraction of them.

    After a trip to Uganda last year, Hannah Jones and her mother, Linda Jones, came back home determined to make a dream come true for some children in a village near Jinja, 54 miles east of the capitol city of Kampala.

  • February 20, 1938

    After the last class on Friday, I left with A. J. Stuart on my way to N.Y. It was a beautiful day. We took the skyline route to the Holland Tunnel, under the Hudson to N.Y. “Jeb” drove up Riverside Drive on his way to Boston, letting me off at about 50th St. There at seven P.M. I landed in the Big City. I took a bus to Broadway and walked down that famous street to Times Square. I was certainly not disappointed at the electric signs there. It was as light as day on the great white way. Had my first glimpse of the famous Wrigley sign.

  • Note: For original hand-written Journal, see the Ronald. R. Van Stockum Papers, The Filson Historical Society. Throughout this series, actual Journal entries will appear in regular type, with my explanations or amplifications in bold enclosed in brackets.

    December 4, 1937

  • All the talk of a contested Republican convention reminds me of my experiences at the fringe of the 1976 primary campaign. In that year, I was Chairman of the Louisville Armed Forces Committee, whose primary mission was to organize Louisville’s Annual Armed Forces Banquet, scheduled that year for May 14. As this was to be the Committee’s Fiftieth Banquet, the first having been addressed by Gen. Pershing in 1919, I thought seeking President Gerald Ford to be our guest of honor would be appropriate.

  • Note: For original hand-written Journal, see the Ronald. R. Van Stockum Papers, The Filson Historical Society. Throughout this series, actual Journal entries will appear in regular type, with my explanations or amplifications in bold enclosed in brackets.

    October 30, 1937

  • Note: Throughout this series, actual Journal entries will appear in regular type, with my explanations or amplifications in bold enclosed in brackets. My original hand-written Journal is included in the Ronald R. Van Stockum Papers in the Archives of The Filson Historical Society in Louisville.

    Sept 26, 1937

    Received a nice letter from Colonel Kimmel yesterday. [Head of the University of Washington ROTC unit who had been very supportive.]

  • Note: Throughout this series, actual journal entries will appear in regular type, with my explanations or amplifications in bold and enclosed in brackets.

    Aug 20, 1937

    First week of regular instruction is now over. We are working every minute of the day, doing in three weeks, four weeks work. We are thus catching up with the boys who were commissioned earlier and who are now firing on the range at Cape May [New Jersey].

  • When artistic inspiration hit Travis Adams, he didn’t blow off the urge.

    Instead, he ran with it.

    Adams, newly graduated and working in Nashville with a degree in financial economics, came back to Kentucky to pursue his lifelong dream – blowing glass. And now he is preparing for his very first show to display his creations.

  • Introduction

    Nine years ago, at age 90, suggesting that I might run out of years before running out of columns, I arranged with Walt Reichert, then editor of the Sentinel-News, to write a newspaper column. My first column, under the heading “History Researched and Recalled” was published on April 27, 2007.

  • Valentine’s Day is Sunday, and lovers all over the globe are gearing up in many different ways – some traditional, and some not so much.

    Preparing for a perfect Valentine’s Day means something different to everyone, but a common theme in Shelbyville seems to be anything to do with food.

    “I’m hoping we can go to the Bell House for dinner,” said Mary Jo Netherton. “I will plant that suggestion in my husband’s head.”

  • “We were going to the prom, and she had on this pretty dress, and that was the night I knew she was the one,” said Paul Morris, the memory of that moment still alive in his eyes as he smiled at his wife, Ethel. 

    Paul Morris celebrated his 80th birthday last week; his wife is 76. Outwardly, they look very different from a photo taken 60 years ago that graces their room at Amber Oaks Assisted Living Community.

    But their love is still as strong as ever.

  • In September 1995 my son Reggie took his mother Susanne, then 80, on a trip to France, including a visit to the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, near the border between France and Spain.

    She had first visited the shrine with her father in 1926 when she was eleven. Susanne described her impressions:

    I touched Reggie’s cheek and he touched my cheek. And there was an atmosphere of prayer, no giggling, no laughing or anything. Just a very comfortable place to be because everybody else was doing the same thing. And it was very emotional.

  • During our several trips to France, while we always visited our good friends Jean-Michel and Guillemette Dunoyer de Segonzac in Brittany, we did not neglect beautiful Paris.

    We stayed at small reasonably priced hotels, and dined at inexpensive restaurants frequented by Parisians.

    Such informal trips would have been impossible without the entrée provided by Susanne’s family background, warm personality and capability to shift in mid-sentence between French and English, in easy conversations with patricians and functionaries alike.

  •  

    The Sentinel-News, since 2008, has honored at year’s end five Shelby Countians we think have had a significant impact on our community during the year. We sought your nominations on our Facebook page, and we believe each person – or team – selected for what we call Shelby County’s Fabulous 5, has in his or her own way left an imprint that merits our honoring and emulating, represents a broad spectrum of a diverse society and truly is one of the best of our best.

     

     

    Sam Eyle