After my father died, I discovered that the drawers in his dresser were like the annex of the National Archives, filled with many documents pertinent to the history of his family. In fact, after visiting the archives several years ago and having the letters, documents, and memos from the Soviet consular section pulled, I discovered that what I found in his bedroom were the missing pieces delivered to me from those cardboard boxes in that historic building. All thoses materials were invaluable in helping me learn my father’s story.
Now I have his documents and photographs sitting in my house along with the copies from Archives II, and pictures that Dad carried with him from New Jersey to Leningrad, across the Soviet Union on the Trans-Siberian Express to Vladivostok, then onto a boat to Japan, a train to Yokohama, a ship to San Francisco, a train to New York, and then a car to South Carolina. Now my house is the new annex of the all those records. Who will be the caretaker of them when I am gone? I truly hope that one of my children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews will inherit my interest in our family history. But they should be warned that it is a load of stuff!
Periodically I review all those papers in my private files, hoping to find something I missed or that, perhaps, should be sent to an individual who would appreciate what I have more than me. An example is a photograph I found of his platoon at the hospital where he was stationed in Atlanta—Lawson General Hospital, Company C, 1st Platoon, January 1943.
I also found a program filled with pictures from the commencement exercises at the hospital: The Dental Section, Laboratory Section, Medical Section, X-Ray Section, Surgical Section, Headquarters Company, and the Administrative and Professional Staff.
Any takers out there? I will happily send, at a minimum, copies of these treasures.