Heard on the Ferry going back to Cambridge, from a recreational venture to Revere Beach in 1941

     My good old dad, Col. Charles Webb Abbitt, of Appomattox, Virginia,  is a ‘well-spring’ of timely stories and sayings.  I have memories of laughing to the point of tears over some of them. But this particular phrase has stuck with our family for four generations.  I find it a brilliant description, one that stands on it’s own, as a culturally significant sample of the New England way of speech. Hopefully, that region’s accent remains with us today and has not acculturated into’ SVEN SPEAK’, but what can you do?   Traces of it’s unique quality will still be there, where and when people still talk to each other, there “where each Winter is too cold  to smile.”(1.)   Sometimes they even listen; but that is an acquired taste, for sure.

    This saying has stuck with me all my life as a useful and wonderful, discriptive key phrase — with out peer.   It is a true conversation blocker, no question.    This particular phrase was heard by my dad, in 1941 back when I wasn’t around to write about some of his more, amazing adventures.  But in the fall and winter after graduation, with a new degree in Electrical engineering.
, after he graduated from Virginia Military Institute, in May of that year, after some strange shuffling around the country in the Army Infantry (!), he was assigned to a Research and development graduate program at Harvard.  No summer Vacation for him that year. 

     This time period was before America’s official involvement in WWII, as those History Buffs that know stuff  like that would remind you.  He (my dad) was participating in the study and research and development that became Radar, something really very pertinent to the present day advancement of technology, but often overlooked as a “given.”  But it’s development we owe to the unforgotten, with-out equals, brave World War II Veterans of  The United States Army Air Corp and those other guys: (just a tad of comic relief, with the help of our Alies at that time…)

     Times Changes, and so do names:  “The Army Air Corps ” was then, what is now “The United States Air Force”.

My Dad has had some of the most amazing experiences–  But Soldiers, in keeping to their purpose in what seems to be insurmountable,  personal destruction, here in the United States, anyway, tend to have their own  special brand of  humor, with Wit and Wisdom, and a certain “Can-Do” attitude.   Notice each Branch of the Military seemed to create their own funny phrases, just to get through what must have been more than horribly tough times, more horrible than we civilians can begin to  imagine.

     This is our infamous family Key Phrase; It is the kind of thing that floats thru the air if you listen closely, and have sufficient acting skills and knowledge of correct deportment and use it quite formally and naturally. With out causing a ruckus or reacting, my father and his then companion held a dead-pan-facial-expression, even when a knee slapper like this one came along. And for this dissonant sort of comment, great protocol, repressed hilarity and calm acting skills were used.  Even as I goof-up the editing of my story, I am laughing while trying to hold my sides together.   So many people ,even now–have problems with my Dad’s comic delivery;  just like that day back then when he returned from a balmy afternoon spent at in recreation at the always entertaining “Rah-Veeah”  “beach.”   It happened that way that day, when a shrill very loud voice belonging to a strange young woman said very publicly:

Geeze, Freddy,Aint it Row-manic? …  The Sky am lousey ‘mwit Staahrs.”

     Thanks Dad!,  And to all our remaining Veterans of WWII,  as well as our current soldiers over seas. (with special apologies to those with the Boston-Proper accent, which I acquired (temporarily) when I was 15 years old, then dropped like a stone.
     Don’t forget…”The Sky am lousey  ‘mwit  Staahrs”, and that  just maybe, we’re all looking, and wishing on the same one.

     With great respect for our soldiers no matter who, what branch, when and where they are. 

     I have a picture of my Dad,when he was about the same age, when he was in a most serious and attentive pose while addressing the Commanding officers, as well as the whole group of Troopers and Crew assigned to this mission, which was indeed the biggest air strike in the history of the planet: The Army Air Corps were in the process of getting supplies, gasoline and one overwhelmingly serious  and tenacious air support for General (5 stars)-George Patton when he drove on cross the Rhine River into Germany, at the beginning of the end of Germany’s tendency to overshoot it’s realistic goals.



Caroline Abbitt Sauer (AKA) Kay Buena

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