In the last several posts I have included individual pictures of the children of E.A. and Myrtie Winegar. Today, I finish this section with pictures of two or more of the children and their parents. I can identify most of the people in the group pictures if anyone wants the information.
Paul Ray Winegar, the youngest child of Edwin and Myrtie Winegar, was born in 1926. He served in the Navy during World War II and was stationed in Guam. A poem written by one of his shipmates, Satan’s Dreamboat, was published in the September 4th post. Paul married Mary Margaret Bergens in 1948 and had three sons and several grandchildren. He had a career in real estate and paint sales. Mary Margaret died in 1996. Paul married Pat Quigley Moses in 2003. He has recently had to give up tennis but still enjoys playing golf two or three times per week.
William Edwin Ashbel Winegar was born in 1917 and died in 2001. He married Ruth Elaine Palmer March 13, 1942 and had two daughters and two sons. During World War II, Bill served as Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and graduated from Advanced Flying School in 1943 and then served as a combat pilot. He made the Army his career.
Today, I continue with photos of the children of Edwin Ashbel and Myrtie Winegar. The photos come from my father, Don Winegar’s collection. I don’t have a great deal of information about my aunts and uncles but I hope at a later date to have some of my cousins write a short biography of their parents.
Esther Alta Winegar was born in 1906 and died in 1993. She married Clarence Kirkpatrick in 1941.
Edwin Ashbel and Myrtie Stephenson Winegar were my grandparents. They had six children. One, Mary Louise, died in infancy. Over the next few posts I want to share some of the photos of these children from my father’s collection. My emphasis will be primarily on old photos that other descendants may not have access to.
The first born child of the couple was Nina Irene, born in 1903. Nina attended school in Wacousta through 10th grade and then attended Central High School in Lansing. She then attended Michigan State College. She would have been the first of her family to graduate from college, but she developed TB and died shortly before she was to graduate. Apparently she completed the course of study because she is in the graduating class picture and is listed in the graduation program. She died in May 1932 and is buried in Niles Cemetery in Clinton County, Michigan.
My Uncle Paul Winegar served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, stationed in Guam. One of his shipmates, H.R. Penrose M2/c, wrote the following poem, which Uncle Paul sent home to his family. Satan’s Dreamboat tells a story that only a seaman serving in wartime can truly understand. After reading the poem, the ship’s Chaplain had it published. Commented Uncle Paul, “It’s very true as far as it goes.”
I ask that the readers of this post be understanding of some of the language and characterizations. This was wartime, and men felt fear, bitterness, and unbelievable fatigue as they fought to keep us free. God bless the USA and those who defend her!
Come listen to the story that I’m about to tell.
It contains but little glory and an awful lot of hell.
It’s about a floating dry dock out on the western sea,
On which we worked around the clock to set the whole world free.
She was not a very pretty thing, her lines were square and true.
But, my friend, she was built that way for she had a job to do.
Now sit a little closer friend; clean out your ears and listen well,
For I’m about to take you through a little piece of hell.
This story I’m sorry, must exclude many things that even now
Are just a bitter memory, of that God-forsaken scow.
But, my friend, I’ll tell you, before I do forget
Of steaming, reeking mess halls and bed made soaking wet
By days and nights of driving rain, where there was no place to sleep as yet.
I could tell you of a lot of things that happened every day
But friend, I want to head for home when points enough I’ve made.
Of course, there was the “buggy” bread and wormy pancakes too
And mouldy beans and smelly meat, and apples rotted through,
And sweat dropping off the mess cook’s nose into our greasy stew.
There was cold iced tea and lemonade, made in most any blend,
Then poured in cups so piping hot they’d raise blisters on your hand.
Enough of that for now, my friend, there is more that I could tell,
But we want to travel a little more on this, our trip through hell.
Of course there is another side of this story to unfold
It’s about the smashed up ships we fixed while living in this hole.
We brought them in here in ones and twos; sometimes as many as seven,
And one day when the dock went down she came up with eleven.
They had gaping holes and torn sides caused by the ‘Kamikaze’
There were twisted shafts and missing screws that damn near drove us crazy.
And bolts that stuck. While in the muck of some ship’s filthy bilges,
We worked and slaved, and cussed and swore; heaved up our chow,
Then worked some more — for the job had to be finished.
Some ships came in with missing bows, there were sleek new ships and dirty scows;
There were battleships and LSTs; Liberty ships, carriers and APCs.
Cruisers, destroyers, and mine-sweepers too: each one meant a job to do.
Our deck was slimy, it always stank, as we put the ships in rank on rank.
And we worked in filth up to our necks, scraped from their bottoms to our decks.
And always and ever beneath our feet, was dirty water shoe-sole deep,
And welding lines, hydraulic jacks, come alongs – to take up slack
Air hose, water lines, and electric too; twisted, coiled, bent in two
That wrapped around unwary feet and added their misery to the heat.
Overhead, in the self-same vane swung the long-neck booms of heavy cranes,
Carrying on their thread like cables, a-frames, steel plate, welder’s tables;
Chain hoists, planks, and ammunition: spot lights, strong backs stern tube bearings:
All parts of ships we were repairing.
And then the noise of crane bells ringing;
The irritating chatter of air guns singing,
The P.A. system on all ships blaring,
The throaty roar of “Hog-burners” swearing.
And steady thump of hand swung hammers; and then, above the noisy clamor,
The boatswain’s whistle’s shrill demand for “Attention” from some ship’s “All hands.”
And, if by chance you should look up and do it not with care,
A leaking scupper on a “head” will nail you fair and square.
And then at night, when we could rest from the labor of it all,
The slant-eyed nestlings of the devil’s brood would drop in to pay a call
And shocked from dreams by the siren’s scream and the whitle’s throaty bellow,
We’d put out lights, dog hatches down, and pray that we weren’t yellow.
The hungry guns would sniff the air, waiting to bark and bite.
And while smoke pots burned, and the air they churned into a choking, gasping hell
We would wait, my friend, and waiting is one thing we do quite well.
But Tojo’s sons never reached our deck, we gratefully thank our God for that:
And while “all clear” sounded around the bay,
We’d head for our racks and hope to stay.
But we must stop often on the way to choke and cough and spit
For “blackout” smoke was in our lungs, and it damn well makes you sick.
Finally our narrow bunks we’d reach, there to roll and toss
Trying to sleep some “double time” to make up for what we lost.
No, we’re not complaining, friend; not for just one minute,
For we knew we had a job to do, and by the grace of God we did it.
Now all we ask of “Uncle Sam,” now that our job is done
Is to find a ship that’s homeward bound, for each and every one.
To take each one back to his old home town,
Where for the next ten years or more
He can forget this “Satan’s Dreamboat”
And what they built it for.
Charles Roberts Winegar, 1868-1944
Charles was the oldest son of Ashbel and Mary. He married Lizzy Gertrude Early in about 1901. They had two children, Gertrude Marguerite 1902-1989 and Earl Don 1896-?
Ira Garrett Winegar 1875-1924
Ira married Frances Leta Mignin in 1908. They had a daughter, Marie Louise.
My grandfather Edwin Ashbel Winegar has been covered in other posts. Ashbel and Mary also had a daughter, Alice, who died as a young child.
Below is a chart of the Ashbel Winegar family.