Showing you Oregon,one post at a time. Did you know that I post the links of many of my stories and articles on the sidebar? When you have extra time, please scroll down to see more. At the bottom of this page there are links to many other blogs that I enjoy.

Hello, friends, thank you so much for stopping by. I really hope that you will enjoy your visit to Oregon Gifts. Due to spam, I am not accepting comments from anonymous people. Please email me at: if you are unable to leave a comment on here. I write back through email when I can.

My words and photographs are copyrighted, and may not be used without permission, even on Pinterest.

~ Kathy M.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sepia Saturday's 200th Post Celebration!

Sepia Saturday is 200 weeks old today.  I have enjoyed participating in this meme, and interacting with the wonderful group of friends that I have met over the past several years.  It seems that I joined up with Sepia Saturday sometime around March 2011.  Sadly, I have been inactive on my blog, mainly because I began working full-time in March. (FB is so much easier, though it isn't the same as blogging at all.)  I miss you guys a lot!

To celebrate this special 200th milestone, the leaders of our group have come up with an outstanding idea, and Alan Burnett explains the rules:

"Trumpet fanfares :  My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to that celebration of old and curious photographs that is known throughout the world as Sepia Saturday. Indeed, welcome to a very special Sepia Saturday, because four years and 199 themes ago, Sepia Saturday was born. And we are celebrating this important anniversary by asking everybody who has ever joined in with Sepia Saturday to look back on their contributions and choose a favourite one. Simply republish that favourite Sepia post and we will gather together all the contributions and publish them in a little "The Best Of Sepia Saturday" book which will be available for anyone to buy on-line. As you would expect from Sepia Saturday, there are very few rules and regulations involved in this special Sepia Saturday post. It can be any of your Sepia Saturday posts, but unfortunately we will have to limit it to one per participant. If you would like to amend or update the post, that is fine so long as it remains recognisably related to the original post. I would also like to include a short paragraph about each of the contributors - something along the lines of the Blogger profiles that appear on most of our blogs."

I had so many options to choose from as I searched through my old posts.  I wanted something that would be interesting to others and also meaningful to my Mom and to me.  I decided on this one, originally posted on February 7, 2012:

The War Letters: Uncle John Visits a Cemetery in Natal, Brazil 
This is a War Letters post.  The War Letters are a manuscript compiled and typed by my cousin Lyle Hedrick.  Lyle was my Great Uncle Hobert Hedrick and Great Aunt Flora Fletcher Hedrick's boy, and Danny Hedrick's brother.  In the following letter, my Great Uncle John Hedrick (Hobert's younger half-brother) was stationed in Natal, Brazil in World War II.  Uncle John wrote this letter to his sister-in-law, Flora.  

I find the content of this letter very fascinating indeed.  Leave it to a Hedrick or a Letsom (ancestors on my Mom's side) to find it great fun to visit a local cemetery in Natal, Brazil in their free time!  

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
John Hedrick, World War II

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Hobart and Flora Hedrick with baby Danny 
and Flora's Dad, E.B. Fletcher in 1925

Source:  Google Maps
Brazil, in relation to the U.S. and Oregon, where John Hedrick is from.

(By-the-way, the AACS stands for the Army Airways Communications System, and that was Uncle John's job while in Brazil.)

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Oh, you must know that I searched and searched for images of cemeteries in Brazil during 1944.  I also searched in vain for The Belle of Napal.  All that I could come up with is this much more recent photo:

 Source: Deep

Just in case you are wondering what in the world the U.S. was doing in Brazil during World War II, I have gathered up some information about that.  Apparently, Brazil had decided to side with the U.S. and to boycott all things German.  In 1940, the U.S. began building and staffing bases in Napal and Recife (among other cities).  After Pearl Harbor was attacked, they increased their presence there.  Here is a comprehensive article of the ins and outs of that:

The Establishment of United States Army Forces in Brazil Navy

For a blog featuring lots of Navy photos taken in Recife, Brazil between 1931 and 1944 by Charles Rumsey, please check out this link:


So, there you are, my friends.  I hope that you enjoyed this post as much as I did!  That Uncle John is quite a writer, isn't he? 

Take care and God bless,

Kathy M.

Welcome to "Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy".  My name is Kathy Matthews and I live in Central Oregon with my best friend husband, Cary. I am a fifth generation Oregonian who loves to spotlight early Oregon history, take pictures, write, create, spend time with my large family, teach preschool and travel around the U.S.  My main blog, Oregon Gifts, is an online journal, where I try my best to celebrate the positive portions of everyday life. My other blogs are off-shoots into my particular interest areas.  I began blogging in November 2008, and this is my 2008th post on this blog! Please enjoy your visit, and leave a comment if you feel led. If you would like to email me, here is my email address: oregongiftsofcomfortandjoy@   

At Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy, if you miss a day, you miss a lot!  All material on this post is copyrighted and not for use without my permission ...Please click here to go to my home page and see what is happening in Mayberry today.
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Terra said...

Your Uncle John was a fascinating letter writer, I read the whole durn thing. Imagine renting a burial spot for a finite amount of time. John had a good sense of humor, didn't he?

Kat Mortensen said...

Mmm! Stewed liver and slum gullion! Yum-my! (Blech!)

He had a real wit about him. I can see why you chose this post. I hope your mom is enjoying it too.


Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Love Uncle John's writing - funny and informative. I can see your family all sitting around listening to someone reading it aloud. Great post.

Gail Perlee said...

I so enjoyed reading John's letter. Some people have a way of writing that simply catches your imagination and holds on and I think your Uncle John was one of those folks. I loved his description of the 'cute toilets'. Sheesh!! Thanks for sharing his letter and picture.

tony said...

John Wrote So Well! An Enjoyable Read.And the Brazil-connection is intriguing.A Great Post!

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

DEfinitely an inspired letter writer!

Little Nell said...

I’m so glad you joined us this week Kathy; imagine a Sepia Saturday book without your contribution - it just wouldn’t be right. I’m also glad you chose this particular post.

Doug Peabody said...

I'm glad you explained the Navy's involvement in Brazil. That is something I never knew. Great post for Sepia Saturday 200!

Wendy said...

Everyone needs one of those uncles. The letter sounds like the plot you'd see in a WWII comedy movie.

Miss you on SS -- glad to see you on FB though.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

So very interesting!! Seems like the USA was EVERY WHERE during WWII!

Mike Brubaker said...

Letters, handwritten or typed are a special voice that got lost when phone service became cheap and easy. Today's email messages are not the same either. John's personality and spirit must have kept his family entertained despite the thousands of miles separation.

Karen S. said...

Kathy, this is a treasure for you and your whole family as well. Such great research, which had to be time consuming, but well worth it. Wonderful photos too, this will be perfect for our SS 200 book!

Boobook said...

Your Uncle John was a fantastic letter writer. Someday someone will fill in the mysteries for you I'm sure.

Bob Scotney said...

That Durham meat that John wrote about must be from a shorthorn beast and a 'descendant' of the Durham Ox I wrote about. What a fascinating letter John wrote.

Pamela said...

Kathy, what a treasure you have in this letter! It was such a special read. It sounds like one my husband would write. He loves details. I enjoyed the pictures, too.

L. D. said...

That is a marvelous letter. The Uncle is a good writer. I am glad you shared why they were down there. He really did fill us in on what the living conditions were like and what it was like to be in the army down there. Great post. Enjoyed it.

The Silver Fox said...

Excellent post. Great to have that letter, isn't it?

Lisa Claro said...

Kathy - Love the letter, especially the second to the last line: "There's nothing like getting paid for your writing." :) Great letter, great post. Thanks for sharing!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Thank you, everybody for you comments. I am so glad that you enjoyed this post. I can't wait until the book comes out.

I'm off to visit you now, sorry that it has taken be so long to get back to each of you.


Kathy M.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

The pictures are terrific, but the letter is the best. How wonderful that you have it.

KathyB. said...

The history in this post is amazing and what a treasure trove of family history. By tagging it thus you have provided a source for any family doing on-line research. I wish I could persuade my husband to do this with his extensive family history research. Maybe after he retires ! As you well know, this takes a lot of time. :)


John sure wasn't afraid to express his opinion, whatever the subject.
"Eligible, not susceptible"...
Did he ever marry?!?

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Yes, he married Aunt Signa after the war and they went to Reno on their honeymooon ... getting a flat tire along the way.

No Copying!


Links to My Oregon Blog Posts (Except for Central Oregon):

"Oregon Bloggers"

"Sepia Saturday, Postcard and Stamp Blogs"

"Writing and Poetry Blogs":