Joyanna Adams

Nobody's Opinion

Joyanna’s Family Album

Nobody Flashes

I don’t share too many personal stories on my blog, first because I think that they wouldn’t interest anyone, and second, because of the fact that now that the government is keeping every piece of information about every single person in their Brave New World NSA files, why offer any of it up?

But–yesterday I was talking to my son, and he was very upset that he found out that all the pictures on the cell phone that he dropped might be lost. He doesn’t have a computer. And that got me to thinking about those people in California…and the horrible fires, and what do you take when you only have an hour to get out of your house?

People take their pictures and their pets.

So, I was cleaning out the storage room, and found some old family photographs that I thought I would share with you…..The first three…were taken by my dad, who was a Seabee in WWII. He was stationed all over the islands of the Pacific, and as I look at this FIRST picture I remember a story he told me about sleeping…because sometimes my father when he was taking a nap, he would actually sleep with his eyes open! I kid you not. When I asked him how he learned to do such a trick he told me he got in the habit when he was sleeping on the islands, because the rats were SO big, they would eat you while you slept. Of course, being I kid, I thought he was kidding me. But he was serious. He was scared of rats. I have no idea what island this was, like most men of his generation, he never talked about the war.

Rats. Big Rats. Okay Dad, I believe you.

In that SECOND picture, looks like they were getting fired upon, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sure he took this one. They were waiting orders to go ashore.

And…sweet victory…THIRD picture–an abandoned Jap Tank.

In the FOURTH one down, that’s my grandfather George Hart, and his new wife Anna, whom I’m told is the woman I looked most like. My mother said she looked at me the day I was born and exclaimed “She has the Toelle eyes!” Anna’s father was a Prussian farmer, and the “Toelle’s” eyes were shaped…different than most. Anyway, I picked this picture because I believe that was one of the first Model T’s…anybody good at cars? The other woman was a friend of my grandmothers, who moved from Missouri to California, lived in a trailer park in Yucaipa,  and died a horrible death of emphysema as I remember. But in this picture, they are all young, happy, and going for a Sunday drive. Check out the license plate.

Big enough?

Moving down to the FIFTH picture–we see Anna’s father, great-great grandpa Toelle. He and Anna, and her mother, had moved to the United States from Prussia, and bought a farm right on the banks of the Mississippi, about 30 miles North of the St. Louis Arch. The reason I love this picture is that is my mother on grandpa’s horse. He adored my mom, and my mom adored him right back. I believe the happiest days of her childhood were spent on grandpa’s Toelle’s farm, where she learned to work for her keep and rides on BIG BLUE, by climbing into the hen house and getting all the eggs. Grandpa Toelle, was just a farmer, but he had over 1000 people attend his funeral, and had a street named after him. My mother said he was the kindest person she ever knew.

And on to the SIX picture…that’s Grandpa’s Toelle’s favorite little girl all grown up, about 16, and she had just bought her first horse and named her Lady. Her father made her pick weeds in the yard all summer, and for every big basket of weeds, she got five dollars. She was of course mad because her father had bought her older brother (by two years) a car, and he didn’t have to do a thing for it. While it seemed cruel, at the time, later on in life, she fought the brother for control of her father’s printing company, took it out of the hands of her brother (who was running it into the ground because he was never there, and then, when she got complete control…ran it successfully.

And last picture: I have no idea who took this picture, someone in our family, but I THINK that is the Spirit of St. Louis. I do know that is Lambert Field. Or it could be older. Anybody who knows anything about planes (snopercod?,amfortas?) could actually figure this out for me, I would be of course…grateful. I think my grandfather Hart took the picture, but I’m not sure.

My son today, reminded me that it’s our memories, our families, the times of our lives that are important. And I want to personally thank you for letting me share them.


May 17, 2014 - Posted by | History, Uncategorized |


  1. Thanks for the family photos! That plane in the last photo isn’t the “Spirit of St. Louis”, but if you imagine the photo was probably taken with a wide-angle lens (which made the wings look longer), it could have been “Sergeant Bell’s Experimental Biplane”:

    P.S. My grandfather (born in1898) was a SeaBee as well. He a Chief Electrician’s Mate on Luzon (among other places). Maybe he and your Dad knew each other…


    Comment by snopercod | May 18, 2014 | Reply

  2. Truly a fine archive, Joyanna. I am not sure of the plane though.

    I am sure that pictures of my past and antecedents are few and I have even fewer. I am hoping that St Peter has filed many snaps away in his Big Book of Amfortas’s crimes against myself, others and God as part of his indictment evidence. I may get to take a copy downstairs.


    Comment by amfortas | May 18, 2014 | Reply

    • God already has a post waiting for you. He’s surely going to have you write for him in heaven…or let you go to hell and report back. 🙂


      Comment by Joyanna Adams | May 18, 2014 | Reply

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