bayou brothers


Today we had a date with our favourite Philly boys.

First row - this is quite possibly the school Babe attended.  Front Street is the street he grew up on - but it is a long street and we only saw a small section of it - most of this stretch was businesses but there were a few houses - so Babe probably grew up in a place like this.

Babe’s statue is at Herron Playground - which is a kids water park.  Gosh he was a bit of a hottie, and he could dance (he won Jitterbug competitions), which is always extra points.

We then went to Winton Ave, which is where Wild Bill Way is, but once we got there I rechecked an article and discovered that Wild Bill Way is only one block of Winton Ave - about 2.5km away, and we were not in the mood for spending more money on another bus or walking so we didn’t get to Wild Bill Way.

We did however venture out to the Delaware County Veterans Memorial - which is about an hour by train and bus out of central Philly, and visited Bill!  It’s kinda nice that this statue portrays Bill later in life instead of as a young soldier - it brings a certain reality to things - many vets did not return whole, but a lot of them still managed to soldier on as best they could and make the most out of life.  The statue is much larger than life - like Bill himself.

A real conversation with my brother about "Wild Heart"
  • Me: *forces my older brother to watch the vamps concert DVD*
  • *wild heart starts playing*
  • Him: They made this song?! It comes on at my job all the time! It's part of our playlist.
  • Me: *starts singing along to wild heart* She needs a wild heart! I got a wild heart.
  • Me: ??? What'd you think he was saying?
  • Him: I thought he was saying "water park." And I'm like...why does he have a water park.
  • Him: and like...why would she want a water park?
  • Me: no. Dude stop 😂
  • Him: but most importantly, how would he even give it to her. It's not like he can carry it around.
  • Me: *scream-laughs for ten years*
Further notes about those photos in my last post.

- Hoobler had already acquired a Luger in Holland.  In the Bois Jacques he probably had pilfered a WWI era pistol.  He would keep it in his pocket and fiddle with the safety.  It could have been something as simple as turning to brush snow off his shoulder that caused him to accidently pull the trigger.  He was dead within about 2 minutes.
- Julian died in Christenson’s arms, not alone in the snow like is portrayed in BoB.  They did have to abandon his body for 10 days though.
- One of my favouite stories - Frank told us he was actually there when it happened.  Bill and Babe were revisiting this part of the woods (something they frequently did), and a young child asked Bill why he only had one leg.  Bill replied that he’d lost his other leg somewhere around here, if the kid could find it he’d give him 5 bucks.  The kid was quite distressed that he was unable to find the missing leg, but Bill gave him 5 bucks anyway.
- Dike should have been reporting to Batallion HQ - which is Dick’s foxhole, however he would take the road to Luzery up to Regimental HQ, located in a warm, dry building.
- From this view into Foy (pronounced Fois - like in Fois Gras), one morning Shifty Powers noticed a tree that had not been there the previous morning.  He pointed it out to Lipton who had a look through his binoculars and spotted a gun emplacement.  They were able to call in artillery to destroy the gun.
- Earl McClung and Buck Taylor spotted the sniper who had shot Smokey and immediately crossed the road to go after him.  They managed to shoot him in short order.
- Tour guides, historians and vets are 95% sure which foxhole Smokey (and Frank Mellett, his assistant machine gunner) was situated in, as it’s the only T-shaped foxhole on that line, which is the shape of a foxhole for a machine gunner.  To the right was Buck Taylor and Earl McClung, to the left Frank Sobeleski and Herb Suerth. The foxholes are extremely close together, because otherwise Germans could just pass through their line during foggy days where soldiers sometimes could not even see their hand in front of their face.
- I got to sit in Smokey’s foxhole omG!!
- Easy Company had been moved further to the west into an area known as the Bois Fazone on January 10.  This was where Skip and Penkala were killed during a shelling.  Easy then moved back east - attached to third battalion which had been decimated - to launch the attack on Foy.
- In the stream heading towards Noville, Tony Garcia was carrying mortar rounds, they unbalanced him as he crossed the stream and he fell in, getting soaked in freezing water.  He didn’t go on the patrol that night because his clothes kept cracking from the ice.