German POWs

German POWs

A couple of years ago I heard a Radiolab podcast titled “Nazi Summer Camp,” and the topic has stayed with me for several reasons. First, I (among many, apparently) was unaware that the United States maintained an extensive network of branch camps for Axis military prisoners of war during WWII. I also couldn’t help but compare the treatment of these POWs with those like my father who were interned in Japanese POW camps during the war. The...

Read More

Islands

Islands

I am enjoying the Planet Earth II series that was released in January 2017. Produced by BBC Earth with state-of-the-art technology, the nature documentary follows wildlife on islands, mountains, jungles, deserts, grasslands, and cities. The occasional intrusion of whimsical anthropomorphism (adorable antics of befuddled mammals, zany courtship rituals, and tender family bonding moments) does not detract from the stunning photography in this...

Read More

“Atomic Cafe”

“Atomic Cafe”

Commonplace fifty years ago, nuclear metaphors are rare these days. When the term “nuclear option” popped up in the news a couple of weeks ago it stuck out like a sore thumb. It refers to a procedural option in the Senate (to sidestep a supermajority vote required to end an expected filibuster during the upcoming Supreme Court nomination) that is apparently so daring and politically explosive that it warrants the ultimate metaphor of utter...

Read More

Swede

Swede

“Sure, I remember Harry Olson!” laughed 98-year-old Walter N. “Swede” Hokanson the first time I called him back in January 2007. Swede called my grandfather a “roughneck, but a gentleman” and allowed that he and Harry “didn’t exactly hide behind the kitchen door” (I swear I could hear his wink over the telephone). The two met working on Grand Coulee Dam and went on to Wake Island, where one of Swede’s proud accomplishments...

Read More

Vote!

Vote!

The 2016 campaign for the presidency of the United States has shaken our democratic political system to its core, but it has also energized the public and tested the boundaries in ways that we can only hope will make our nation stronger down the road. With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, some voters are firmly encamped on one side or another of the presidential race and a remarkable percentage remain undecided. Then there are...

Read More

Wake Reunion 2016

Wake Reunion 2016

The Wake Survivors reunion was held in Boise, Idaho, last weekend, September 9-10, 2016, and a good time was had by all. Leroy Myers was the only survivor in attendance this year, but sixty family members and friends gathered to honor him and remember those who were not with us. Alice Ingham once again organized a wonderful weekend with hospitality room and evening banquet. Alice and her family have made the decision that next year will be the...

Read More