Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mother's Plight

by Carolyn Cecil

Life sentence.
Penance for over-mothering,

Her tears,
five hundred miles away;
I own them,

bear them,
willingly.  Her wounds I wear;
they are mine.

eating all day, tearing my hair,
wringing hands,

on self-inflicted pain;

I fear I am going
mad and, in the midst of it,
already have.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Oslo, 1945

Editor’s Note:  Tony Leone posted this descriptive note on the old before his death a few years ago.  Recently I was contacted by Erik Brun, the son of a soldier in Oslo in 1945.  You’ll see Erik’s addition at the end of Tony’s article.

By Tony Leone (Archangelo)

Our Coast Guard LST 
( Landing ship,tanks)
transported elements of the 99th Infantry Battalion made up of 2nd and 3rd generation Norwegians who were to be stationed in the Oslo-Drammen area. At the time, it was estimated that 375,00 Germans were still running around fully armed. We were there to insure repatriation of the Germans into Sweden. Many of the 99th's instructors were officers of the Royal Norwegian Army and wore a sholder patch with a Viking ship depicted on it. During my brief stay in Oslo, I had the good fortune to meet an ex-member of the US Merchant Marine who was operating a puppet show in the center of the city and also a night club next door.

I still have the ticket to the puppet show, believe it or not! I also sat down with a German Port Security officer who treated me to the first cold beer in years. I was amazed to find the little children of Oslo so polite. By the way, more than 50 of your ladies returned home as brides of the guys from the 99th. Incidently, the 99th left Le Havre, France on the 30th of May 1945, arrived in Drammen, Norway on the 4th of June 1945 then Oslo on the 5th of June 1945. On the 15th of October, the unit left for the USA, arriving in Boston, Mass. on the 1st of November 1945.

The Norwegian outfit had fought in the Normandy campaign, the North France campaign, the Rhine campaign and the Ardenne-Alsace campaign. 52 had been killed in combat and 207 wounded. 6 were lost in action. They earned 15 Silver Stars, 20 Bronze Stars and 305 Purple Hearts for suffering wounds in action. I wish I knew someone who could tell me more of these splendid Norwegian troops while they were stationed in Oslo from 5 June to 15 October 1945.  And I always wondered about the identity of the officer as he was no die-hard Nazi but an educated man who had relatives who fought in the Battle of Jutland during the first World War.

Is the American University still on the hill in Oslo? I loved the children of Oslo. Is it possible to obtain a map of Oslo during WWII?  A lot to ask but I have so little time left to complete the books I want to write. Cheers. 


Tony "Archangelo" Leone

 77 year-old body with a young mind

Erik writes:

Here is the rest of the story Tony was looking for:

Tony Leone, CSC, had been featured on most D-Day websites  and filmed on many local veteran programs and on Tom Brokaw's "The Greatest Generation." Featured speaker on local school programs and the subject of newspaper stories by the local paper,  the Glens Falls Post-Star reporter David Blow.    “Archangelo” was a columnist and cartoonist for a California industrial newsletter and was the former editor/post adjutant of the American Legion Post 553 newspaper. He died in 2010.

To learn  little more about Tony, you can read my salute to him here:


Friday, February 1, 2013

Foster Child Visits Real Mom


by Carolyn Cecil

                            Above North Avenue,
summer sweat on once
scrubbed marble steps,
90 degrees dripping.
Upstairs, plastic covered couch,

lead-paint chipped windows,
grimy halls, mystery stench,
exterminator toxins.
Poverty's perfume.
Ponytailed six year old,

quietly distressed, best
dress on; awaits decision.
Legs sticking to the couch,
what does she think of
the monolithic question.

Who gets to live with whom?
A frenzied social worker,
blindly guides.  Chooses.
Stuck on rewind decades
later; prickly doubts loom.