Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012, Remembering Jimmy Cook

Taking time this Memorial Day to do something my family has never done:  collecting as many photos of my father, James Cook, from his time serving in the Korean War as we can find.  We always use this day to honor the sacrifices our veterans made for us, but from my end, I've never taken the time to pull together my father's photos, both from overseas as well as stateside.  So, here's a first effort at trying to rectify that oversight.
For those who don't know, my father faked his age when he was 15 to join the Merchant Marines after his brother and hero Gerald, was killed in Germany in 1944.  The military found out his real age, though, and sent him home.  He re-enlisted, though a few years later, for the Korean Conflict, and went overseas to serve just after marrying my mother in 1951.  Funny thing is, he never talked too, too much about his experiences during the Conflict.  He spoke sparingly of certain incidents, but never with great detail.

Unfortunately, there's not many markings on the photos, so it's hard to place them with a location, but these were taken just after he married my mother, Marie.  He was deployed less than two months after their wedding.
From the date on this photo taken in Korea, apparently my dad spent some time working the film projector in August of 1952.  Looks just like a M*A*S*H unit, doesn't it?
From the same day, that's my dad on the left
Must have been a camera in camp that day
 That's him in the middle, apparently at parade rest 
 That's my dad on the left with a pipe in his mouth
Don't know much about this series of photos taken in Korea, but if they were busy digging foxholes, at least it looks like they were having a good time of it
My dad on the left - he would have been 23 in this picture
While overseas, my father continued with his passion for boxing, and specifically, training.  He trained boxers in Korea, and here, sits at a desk with the Boxing designation on his inbox.  Might be the ONLY desk job my father ever held
 Writing home, no doubt, to my mother
No, your eyes aren't failing you, it's a hazy photograph of my father and mother
 That's him on the right, have no idea who's he with
 In the foreground, another shot from Korea nearly 60 years ago
And finally, I just don't know what the heck this picture is all about.  As far as I know, my father never played a guitar in his life.  Though if he did, that might explain where his daughter, and three grandsons' penchants for guitar-playing comes from.
So that's it for this round, I'm going to see what I can do about rounding up another batch of photos from various albums scattered around the area for future blog posts.
Once again, appecation to all of the men and women who served our country, and for me personally, a special thank you to my dad.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sons of Beaches

Fathers and Sons, back to the beach for this weekend's long run in Boston Marathon-like temperatures.  Whole lot of sweating going on today.
Finn tries in vain to explain the concept of Angry Birds to Tommy
Basking in his victory over an inferior player, Finn readies his next level
Beloved Pamela Anderson wasn't available to do a Baywatch promo, so we stepped in 
Funny thing is, the beach was crowded until the sunbathers saw us coming and cleared out
Okay, if you can get the Baywatch song out of your head, can't you just hear Chariots of Fire for these pics?

Sean Kenny, El Rey de Fish Tacos

With no lifeguard in sight, Andrew is ready to fill the void
 A boy, his old man, and an old lady 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Walking the Walk

The troops of the extended Clan Nicholson were out in full force again for this year's Cancer Walk sponsored by Lowell General Hospital.  Finally, a great day of weather, with no rain in sight!
Andrew and I ran the 10K loop around the Merrimack River, then joined up with the rest of the walkers - sounds like a zombie TV show I know and love - to do the 5K loop around the downtown.

A crowded start on the riverwalk behind the Tsongas Arena and the Boott Mills, but the crowd would thin before long.
Fresh off his role in the blockbuster Avengers movie, the Incredible Zach. 
The Nicholson grandkids strike a victory pose at walk's end 
Finally, waiting at the finish was he of the Boston Bruins National Anthem and fist-pump, Rene Rancourt, who couldn't have been nicer to the fans.  He brought his Stanley Cup championship ring with him, which he was only too happy to let others try on.  Like I said before, it's not Green Lantern's ring, but it was still pretty cool hardware.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The E Streeters Go Commando!

This weekend saw the return of warm weather as well as the E Streeters BBQ, complete with Baggo matches for the ages, commando ninja stalkers, and great food - all of the keys to a rollicking great time!

Here, Scott imparts some of his Baggo wisdom on young, pliable minds.  But really, they aren't even listening to him.
 Count on Andrew snagging a place at the Norman Rockwell table
As previously seen on Facebook (for those who have it, and let's face it - who doesn't these days?), the brains behind the E Streeters
 And if they're the brains, this must be the brawn (note the ball in Finn's hands.  It'll be back later.)
I don't blame Shea for striking this pose after seeing that line-up!

Heather and Courtney still know how to channel their inner playground
Andrew and Mary play house
The Killer Griller
Give him a hammock, and Andrew is in his glory
Shea, a kindred spirit, takes time out to read a couple of comic books during the outing
And finally, the night would not have been complete with a visit from Commando Finn, who set traps throughout the Westlawns neighborhood, silently stalking and then ensnaring his prey.  Here, he lies in hiding, ball in arms, waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting Andrew.
Thanks to our hosts, the Kennys, for the first of many of our summer BBQ outings.  For those who couldn't make this round, we'll see you at the next go-round! Bring your own Baggo!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Running's a Beach

Picture perfect day for a great 10 mile run up the New Hampshire coast today - not a cloud in the sky, great temperatures, and as always, the wind always in your face, no matter which direction you run in.  Here, Barry, Tommy and I found a woman who'd agree to take a picture with us.
Despite his surroundings, Barry did not have a rocky run.  He was a machine out there today, saying hello to all his fellow runners, hanging ten with the surfers, and admonishing overweight men who opted to go shirtless.
With a constant wind in their face, the brothers Scanlon forged ahead.  Seconds later, Michael Jackson would kick in on Tommy's ipod, and he would leave us in his dust.
You've heard of runners hitting the wall?  We climb it.  And take pictures on it.
Thankfully, Ryan wasn't with us today.  He couldn't have handled the sight of Cristy's being closed.  Ryan, we missed you, but there was no Coke to be had out there today.
 The Scanlon brothers have logged a lot of miles.  It's true, they run softly and carry a big stick.
 And finally, perhaps the greatest picture you'll ever see of Barry.  Tommy finally cracked the code.