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Thursday, December 15, 2011

It is a unit that will live in infamy...

... and we didn't even buy it.

But, we did get to see it-- and that's half of the battle!

The other day we were discussing a few things with our friends, clients, and associates-- when they started telling us about a unit they had bought a long time ago and still had a lot of the items from it, unsure of how to proceed with said items.  We asked what it was, they said military memorabilia-- and we hear this a lot, but typically it's things like a few badges or uniform pieces or pictures--  things that don't really have monetary value, unless you can find the right type of collector--  and it's very hard to do that.  Either way, we're always interested in that kind of thing, despite it's value or age -- Brian and I both have some military (current and former) in each of our respective families, plus we have a respect for things that are older (why do you think I hang out with Brian? HA!)   -- SO....  we were pretty eager to see the things from the unit regardless.

What we saw...  blew us away.  it was a gentleman who had served in World War II in the 1940s-1950s, and saved EVERYTHING.  He had pictures upon pictures and had painstakingly written the names of all of his comrades and their hometowns on the back.   He had memories of the day and age (including celebrity photographs),  pictures and letters from friends and family members back home,  and relics from his father, grandfather, and great grandfather-- dating all the way back to the early 1900s.   Possibly even back to the Civil War era.      Here are just a few of the pictures:

This letter begins "My Dearest Dorothy, if you should receive this letter, it is very probable that I am no longer alive..."
 It goes on to talk about what the gentleman's military assignments are-- where they are stationed, what he has volunteered to do that no one else would, etc, etc....

 He continues by thanking his wife for being everything he ever wanted and apologizing for anything he might have done wrong over the years.  It's so simple, but so very romantic.

 Another view.  It was folded heavily and kept on the man while in war.  We've surmised that because the letter made it home (But ALSO with his other memorabilia)  -- that the gentleman indeed lived.  We found records to indicate that he lived a long life and passed away many years later.

One of his many scrapbooks:

One of many old pictures inside the scrapbook:

A James Cagney headshot-- I guess he sent these via mail to his fans or handed out at USO shows!

Super old book, one of many!  There were dictionaries, bibles, works of fiction, and cook books:

Some type of... I have no idea.  Certificate for meals or lodging?   It seems to be written in German but has Japan mentioned in the text.    Any clues, post them in the comments!

Pictures of the planes with the different lady logos:

A vintage postcard from Rock City!  I went there when I was a kid, but this card outdates THAT by 30 years or more!

An old lock-box filled with tons of more treasures.  That thing on top?  It's V-Mail, sent from our sailor to his family back home:

This photo box is one of the oldest things-- turn of the century or older:

The inside of the box:

A picture of a fellow ship our sailor passed in 1951:

I knew right away what this was from my ex-boyfriend, Steve (see, every relationship has it's learning experiences):    it's a certificate that sailors get when they cross the equator for the very first time. Otherwise called, "Crossing the Line."  Before-hand, they are referred to as Slimy Polywogs, and afterwards they become Trusty Shellbacks.  I'm not sure of the exact rituals (very secretive) but I'm told that some hazing occurs (of course!) that would be just like some type of Fraternity pledging procedure.  I also know that there are separate awards for Crossing the Line at the International Date Line or the Prime Meridian.

An original (we think) drawing by pencil:

Signed/Dated:  A. Marie 1912!

More scrapbook pages:

More pages/pictures:

One of many old letters -- some had 2 and 3 cent stamps!

Another book-- an original version of a dictionary:

A graduation program for Francis T. Nicholls Senior High School-- at the Municipal Auditorium which does not exist in New Orleans anymore.  This graduation occurred in 1955.

An original brochure for the Fountain Lounge at the Roosevelt Hotel-- which just reopened a few years ago:

Some promotional napkins:

A program for a Loyola night of music from November 23, 1958.  I went to Loyola University New Orleans so this was particularly interesting to me!

Another Loyola concert program:

And a few more:

Along with a history of the music program, by typewriter of course!

In 1957, you could redo pretty much your ENTIRE house - doors, windows, paint, ceilings, trim, plumbing, electrical, etc- for the low, low price of $450.  Damn you, inflation!

Our final picture.  Proved very true for our young man!

Our many thanks to our friends for letting us share these pictures.  They certainly didn't have to, and we are well aware of that.  If they are okay with me naming them I will but for now let's just say that we really appreciate it.   If someone knows any collectors who would be interested in this memorabilia please let me know and I can pass your information along to the owners of this material.  We (Storage Heroes) are super grateful that we had the chance to get to see, read, and touch these things firsthand--   storage units are a beautiful thing, and they're not just about finding treasures or re-selling things and making money--- they're sometimes very educational, and "time capsules" of knowledge and emotion---   it doesn't matter WHO buys/finds them, sometimes, just that they are shared with all who can learn from them.

Storage Heroes Tip #12 (revisited):  Remember when we said that contacts are important? Contacts, contacts, contacts!  It's true.  If you don't treat others with respect you don't ever get opportunities like this one!

Until next time,

Storage Heroes


  1. Being that I am love American History and into family genealogy, I find these findings a joy! If there are any names in any of the papers, I may be able to find descendants if you wish to search for them and return them. Shoot, I film the whole thing and it could be the pilot for your new show!

  2. Interesting. Also, my mom graduated from Francis T. Nicholls in 1955, too...

  3. That was extremely awesome to be able just to see pictures from all of that. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this & I know how much it must've meant to you & Brian to be able to be there firsthand.

  4. They need to give that stuff to the D-Day Museum!

  5. Pretty sure a lot of it will end up in the D-Day museum!



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