Amelio, Ray

Ray Amelio was born August 5, 1945 in Pittsburgh.  He enjoyed what he remembers as the idyllic life of 1950s America, though he was aware of the Cold War and the ever present danger.  Still, playing in the street and early television counterbalanced those concerns.  Ray was attending Duquesne University, where he was struggling to

Tucker, Allen

Allen Tucker was born July 14, 1951 in Mound Bayou, Mississippi.  He grew up in a large farm family there, dealing with the realities of the Jim Crow South.  Allen recalls that the family did not go into town often, so the principal segregation the children encountered was at school.  He also remembers working on

Kersh, Mervyn

Mervyn Kersh was born December 20, 1924 in South London. He grew up with two older siblings in a middle class Jewish family in the neighbourhood of Brixton; he experienced significant anti-Semitism at school, until his parents moved him to a Jewish school. They also enrolled him in the Jewish Lads’ Brigade, and Mervyn too

Foreman, Stephen

Stephen Foreman was born August 3, 1946; he grew up near Pittsburgh, in the small town of Jefferson, Pennsylvania.  Life was good in that small, racially-mixed town; Stephen’s father worked at the steel mill, and the family raised its own chickens. Stephen was a boy scout, and later played football and other sports in high

Sprecher, Becky

Becky Sprecher was born in 1950 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky – the Baby Boom had begun. Becky remembers her elementary school teachers saying on the first day of school, “I’ve never had a class this big!”  There were certain advantages in small town America in those days in that the kids could ride their bikes just

Boneham, Tom

Tom Boneham was born March 21, 1923 in Warwickshire, England, where he grew up on a farm in the village of Shotteswell in the Stratford-upon-Avon district, not too far from the town of Banbury.  His father Tom worked that farm with Tom’s mother Hilda; the two of them had met after Tom’s father was discharged

Zipperer, Carl

Carl Zipperer was born on May 4, 1950 in Savannah.  He grew up in that part of Georgia, and most of his early years were spent in the country on the family farm.  Carl learned to be self-reliant there, a character trait that would serve him well in future years.  Coming out of high school,

Miller, Keith

Keith Miller was born March 11, 1946 in Pittsburgh.  He grew up in small town America in the 1950s, enjoying what life had to offer, from TV to baseball to playing in the street.  It was also the time of the Cold War, and Keith remembers that his childhood was also interrupted by “duck and

Claggett, Rick

Rick Claggett was born March 19, 1947,  not too far from Philadelphia.  Rick grew up against the backdrop of the “Fabulous 50s” – and the Cold War.  By his account he lived a good life, enjoying the outdoor life and just being a child in postwar America.  Vietnam entered the American consciousness in 1964-65; initially

Cottrell, Edwin

Edwin Cottrell was born January 17, 1922 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  His parents moved to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania the next year though, and that is where he grew up.  Edwin remembers a good childhood – and one where he played all kinds of sports.  His father – a Great War veteran –  worked at the

Woods, Larry

Larry Woods was born December 17, 1947 in Pittsburgh.  Larry grew up there against the backdrop of the 1950s, which he remembers as an idyllic time.  His father worked in a steel mill, supporting Larry and his many siblings as best he could.  Life in the 50s was good, and Larry recalls games with his

King, Wallace

Wally King was born October 31, 1923 in Cortland, Ohio.  He grew up in that rural part of the Buckeye state, not too far from the Pennsylvania border.  Wally recalls a pretty normal childhood, growing up against the backdrop of the 1920s and the Great Depression 1930s.  His father had two sons from his first

Goss, Warren

Warren Goss was born February 9, 1925 in Glenshaw, Pennsylvania, where he grew up in a large farm family.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, working around the farm and delivering papers and being a Boy Scout.  When the attack on Pearl Harbor happened, Warren recalls selling many newspapers – and

Mayer, Frank

Frank Mayer was born January 22, 1927 in Pittsburgh’s 27th Ward.  His father was a First World War veteran who died when Frank was just seven, so Frank grew up in the care of his mother, grandparents and uncles.  He remembers growing up against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of

Williams, Durwood

Durwood Williams was born November 24, 1921 in Godwin, North Carolina.  He grew up in that state, playing on the banks of the Cape Fear River, and looking for lost Confederate treasures.  The Great Depression impacted Durwood’s family; his father went to Fayetteville to work, and Durwood had to work his way through college.  He

Byrne, Jack

Jack Byrne was born March 13, 1925 in Sydney, Nova Scotia.  His parents had to come to Canada – from Newfoundland – just before his birth.  Jack grew up in the Whitney Pier area of Sydney, and he remembers it fondly.  When he saw footage of the Russo-Finnish Winter War, he was motivated to join

Mitchell, Don

Don Mitchell was born December 19, 1924 in the Tower Hamlet of Poplar, in London, England.  He was an only child, as his parents had lost an older child in the aftermath of the Great War, when conditions were still poor.  Don’s father was a veteran in that conflict, having served with the artillery, though

Kearl, Harold

Harold Kearl was born December 10, 1922 in Cardston, Alberta, where he grew up on a farm with nine siblings.   He attended school in that town, where he did well, and all the while he kept busy doing chores on the farm.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and while

Mockers, Michel

Michel Mockers was born December 17, 1922 in Nantes, in the northwest of France.  His father was a successful director of casinos, both in Nantes and Cannes, so Michel had a positive childhood.  He attended school at the Abbaye de Calcat, where he received an excellent education, and as a teenager he was even learning

Bein, Don

Don Bein was born June 5, 1925 in Davenport, Iowa.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the early years of the war, graduating from high school in 1943.  He promptly received his draft notice and headed off to Fort Benning, Georgia.  As he had passed the army IQ test he

Hewlett, Tom

Tom Hewlett was born October 18, 1938 in Toronto.  He grew up during wartime and the “Fabulous 50s”, where he has memories of Elvis Presley and the arrival of television; Tom also attended school, but at Forest Hill Collegiate he decided that he had enough.  He chose to leave and enter the RCAF.  Vision prevented

Marshall, Orville

Orville Marshall was born July 24, 1922 in Woodstock, Ontario.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, developing an interest in automotive mechanics and radio.  He also joined the Oxford Rifles Reserve, and when the war came he decided to join the RCAF.  He reported for Manning Duty at Lachine, Quebec,

Wortley, Colin

Colin Wortley was born January 18, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario.  His father was a decorated World War two veteran, having been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for RAF service in North Africa.  When he returned to Canada Colin’s father left the air force, but he decided to re-enlist in 1950, as the Cold War was

Gunter, Bill

Bill Gunter was born February 27, 1925  in South Hull, Quebec.  He grew up there in the 1930s, alongside his older brother.  When the war came, both brothers joined up, but Bill’s older brother was killed in a horrible elevator accident at the naval headquarters in Ottawa.  Bill joined several army reserve units while he

Davies, Cliff

Cliff Davies was born September 3, 1927 in Portsmouth, England.  By a strange twist of fate his 12th birthday happened to be the day that WW2 was declared in Great Britain, and it was a birthday that came to be characterized by gas masks and evacuation.  Cliff’s father worked at the Portsmouth shipyards, as did

Pennell, Don

Don Pennell was born October 16, 1937 in Grimsby, Ontario.  He grew up there and in Oakville, first against the backdrop of the Second World War, and the “Fabulous 50s”.  Don was young during the war, but he recalls an uncle who served, and he remembers the rationing from the time.  His father became a

Curtis, Des

Des Curtis was born July 16, 1923 in Caterham, England.  He was born in the Guards’ Depot there, as his father was a member of the Irish Guards, one of the foot guards for the monarchy.  Des’s father also happened to be a Great War veteran who served in the trenches and the major campaigns

Ellers, Lyall

Lyall Ellers was born September 7, 1923 in Perth, Australia.  He and his three siblings grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, going to school and doing all the things typical of Australian youth at the time.  Lyall’s father was a Great War vet who worked in the mines – and who certainly

McGeach, Hugh

Hugh McGeach was born May 8, 1921 in London, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm, and later in the city of London, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Hugh’s father was a Great War veteran whose health had deteriorated, necessitating the move.  Lloyd graduated from a technical high school and became an automotive

Morrow, Art

Art Morrow was born May 5, 1923 in Butler, Pennsylvania.  He and his younger brother Jack (whose story can also be found in the Crestwood OHP) grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the emerging war.  Art graduated high school, and as he was a strong student he went to Penn