Adventures in blogging
I was saddened and astonished to receive an e-mail message earlier this week from a man in Miami Beach, Fla., identifying himself as the grandson of Owen Crenshaw.
In December 2006, I published a story in this blog entitled "Tales of the 903rd Signal Co." (That was the Army outfit in which I served in India during World War II.) The posting contained a photo of six soldiers, one of whom was Owen Crenshaw. I am standing next to him in the picture.
"My grandfather passed away two days ago at age 92 in a San Antonio, Texas hospital," the grandson wrote. "Until he suffered a severe stroke three weeks ago, he continued to live 100% independently, including driving himself to breakfast every morning from the house he built for his retirement in 1975."
Out of curiosity, I assume, the grandson Googled his grandfather's name and came up with a reference to my blog piece about the 903rd Signal Co. Unfortunately, when he downloaded the story, all he came up with were the first several paragraphs in which his grandfather's name is mentioned. The group photo also failed to appear. The blog archives had evidently deleted or damaged the material.
The grandson asked whether I could send him a copy of the picture and the full text of the blog piece. "I would love to know if there is anything you remember about [my grandfather]," he added.
I am not very skilled in blogging technology, but after considerable effort, I was able to extract both the full text of the nearly two-year old blog piece and the photo from the bowels of my computer. I successfully e-mailed them to the grandson. He was delighted to receive them. He told me that the photo would be displayed at an upcoming memorial to his grandfather.
I am now in my Florida winter home, not far from the grandson's residence. We are planning to meet so that I can tell him everything that I can recall about Owen Crenshaw. I had not seen or spoken to Owen in 63 years. But I remember him well because of the intimate bond we had formed during our two years of World War II Army service together in India. He eventually became the outfit's first sergeant. I was the company clerk, so we had an especially close working relationship.
The grandson e-mailed a photo to me of his grandfather which was taken shortly before his death. I could not recognize him.