[Clayart] february blues

Terry Lazaroff terrylazaroff at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 03:01:08 UTC 2023

You are right on the button when you talk of getting our life experiences down in print.
I follow many military WW2 face book pages.  I do so in hopes to find more information about my Uncle, who fought his way up the Italian boot.

I am trying to find more about the places and battles that took place when he was taken.  He was killed in Italy during the last push north in the Rimini area on the 14th of November, 1944.  I have a few of his letters to my mom, but the do not say much other than small talk due to censuring regulations. I have become the custodian of his medals along with my Grandmother’s Silver Cross, as well as his service records. 

While browsing the many face book groups on the subject of the Italian campaign , I came across someone who had about 70 letters that his Grandfather wrote home during his time in Italy.  It turns out that My Uncle was fighting in the same area as the fellows grandfather. They were not in the same regiment, but they we in the same ares at the same time.   This gentleman was kind enough to send me the entire set of the letters his Grandfather sent home. They were all transcribed into print. I learned a lot about the author and his family through these letters, and I became privy to the conditions the soldiers were living during 1944. 

The letters that were most interesting to me were those written  just days prior to my uncle getting killed.  His Grandfather spoke of the soldiers from all over the commonwealth, playing poker whenever they could whenever they were behind the front lines, in the rest areas. He mentioned one solder made a lot of money in one of these games. He went on to say, that money really didn’t have much value as the soldiers had no where to spend it. 

 To cut the story short, the unit Padre visited my grandparents after the war. He brought some of my uncles personal items along with an envelope with a tidy sum of money, that according to the Padre, my uncle had won in a poker game a few days before he was killed.  

I don’t know if these two soldiers ever met, nevertheless, less it was good reading these letters, and I would like to believe that these two guys were within talking distance.  I will never know.   

This is from one of the letters home, written on the 10 of November 1944:

“The main attraction at the time of writing is the orchestra, which is playing in the adjoining room. The orchestra is a small group of six pieces and they can really give out. The trumpet player in particular is very good. And it seems to be that Mussolini or no Mussolini the Italians were hip to the jive. The poker game has more spectators than and players, which didn’t surprise me in the least after I took a look for myself. It is a no limit game and the betting is fantastic when you take into consideration the amount of pay a soldier can draw. But money has little value here as there is nothing to spend it on and also the fact that no matter how large or small the denomination is, it is all paper money. It is more like playing Monopoly or millionaires night at a stag party.”

He mentions another poker game in a letter sent home on the 12th. 


Getting ready for 1001POTS Summer sale. 

Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 1, 2023, at 6:22 PM, vincepitelka at gmail.com wrote:
> Hi Mel - 
> I'm very sorry to hear about the kiln shed roofs.  Hopefully the repairs will not be too costly or complicated once the snow melts.  As you know, I am from California, and I have talked to quite a few friends and relatives on the West Coast who had trouble with flooding and water damage, or with heavy snow buildup.  You got what was left of the same storms, tempered by passing over large mountain ranges, but still very powerful - the "atmospheric river."  
> I certainly understand about the therapeutic effect of sitting at the computer writing.  I have done a lot of that myself.  I have often wished I had spent more time asking each of my parents about their childhood, their adolescence, what it was like for them in high school and college, how they met, what it was like when my siblings and I were very young, how they felt about the evolution of their careers.  While they are alive, it is easy to take them for granted, thinking that they will always be there.  And then they are gone.  
> So, what you are doing is proactive.  Getting all that information down, so that your grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc., will have that information.  I wish more people would do that.  
> All my life I've had a fascination for the Westward Movement, the California Gold Rush, and the growth of railroads, mining, and logging in the West.  I have read so many books that are based on exactly what you are doing.  Someone took the time to collect all their letters, or wrote about their own experience, and someone later on recognized the importance of it and assembled it into a published book.  What seems like casual communication, or therapeutic autobiographical journaling, can become priceless history in a hundred years - "The Mel Jacobson Papers."
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Potter, Writer, Teacher
> Chapel Hill, NC
> vpitelka at dtccom.net
> www.vincepitelka.com 
> https://chathamartistsguild.org/ 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Clayart <clayart-bounces at lists.clayartworld.com> On Behalf Of mel jacobson
> Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2023 10:08 PM
> To: clay art <clayart at lists.clayartworld.com>
> Subject: [Clayart] february blues
> It is that time again. it was -26F this morning. all of my ceramic, pottery equipment is frozen solid. we have had so much snow that three of our kiln covers have cracked rafters and are falling in. No  kilns hurt.  I did put some 3/4 inch pipe from concrete floor to rafters above my small stoneware.
> It does help the blues crash in on me.  But, it is winter and things happen. I am snug in my house, and all is well. And we are a bit concerned about flooding this spring. My house is 12 feet above the flood plain. No worries for me.
> I am full go in a new book.(about a hundred hours) the title is: "Letters to Colleen".
> the books direction is all the stories and adventures I have had in my life and have chatted with Colleen about, she has done the same and her stories are included. About 70% of the book is clay related. The book is not going to be for sale. Most of my older pals on clayart know the stories already.
> This book is electronic and will be put away for my GreatGreatGrandson to read when he is 35. His name is Melvin. A brand new "good" thumb drive, wrapped in water proof plastic and at the bottom of my fireproof safe.
> A great cure for the blues is sitting at a computer and writing your own story for your future family. it is the story of your life. And many forget that it is important. If nothing else, write the story of your clay life, how it started, how you love it. It will give future people a glimpse as to your value as an artist/craftsperson. Memorize that all the text messages and emails will be flushing down the electronic hole.
> It is like saving some of your best work for your future family, not born yet.
> They deserve to know you had great value and you were not marching down to the cliff with the lemmings in 2023.
> You are part of that valued gang of men and women potters that goes back thousands of years..Those that solved the problems. Earth,Fire and Water. The clay vessel.
> Love to all, mel
> website: www.melpots.com
> www.melpots.com/CLAYART.HTML
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