Friday, November 14, 2008

For My Dad (and Mom)

With COL Benson’s permission, I’d like to do a little something for my Dad, Hillard R. Barkley, Sr. Pop turns 89 in January.

CPT and Mrs. Barkley at the Officers Club at Ft. Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina, c. 1950s.

A retired Army infantry major (1960) who was a combat veteran of World War II (Pacific Theatre) and Korea, Hill Barkley retired a second time in 1982 as a personnel officer with NASA at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

A fatherless boy (his father was a sheriff who was killed when Dad was a baby) who was a native of Macon, Georgia, Dad entered World War II with his National Guard unit and was later commissioned through OCS at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He fought in New Guinea and in the Philippines and later served in General Douglas MacArthur’s honor guard in Tokyo during the occupation.

1LT Barkley in 1949. Check the hashmarks on the Master Sergeant’s sleeve.

I was born in Tokyo in 1950 while Dad was fighting in Korea with General Edward M. Almond’s X Corps (Almond was a former Army instructor here at MMI).

Dad in Korea.

Playing Horseshoes in Korea.

Dad married the former Violet Beatrice Taylor of Byron, Georgia, in 1946 at the Justice ‘o Peace in Dillon, South Carolina, in route to assignment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Mom was a farm girl, one of ten children, who had worked in a Georgia ammunition plant during World War II. Hill and Vi became the parents of three wonderful children, two boys and a girl! Married nearly sixty years, they were separated only by the death of my Mom in 2005 at the age of 82 (on her birthday).

Pop served a three-year hitch in Karlsruhe, Germany, during the late 1950s, serving as a staff officer with the small Army garrison there. Returning to the States, we went next to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky (101st Airborne Division), where Dad served on General William C. Westmoreland’s staff, and where he retired from the Army as a major after twenty years in 1960. His military decorations include the Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Army Commendation Medal, among others.

Dad’s German ID.

My parents with the Mayor of Karlsruhe (left) and COL and Mrs. Pooley, the base commander, and close friends of my family.

Dad coaching the Little League baseball team, the mighty “Pirates,” in Karlsruhe (all were military dependent kids). My brother, J.R., is just below Dad to the left.

Me and Pop in Karlsruhe! My sister, B.J., may be taking the picture.

Dad’s retirement from the Army at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, in 1960. That’s not General Westmoreland, but the two families were friendly and my older brother actually dated the general’s daughter! J.R., by the way, is ex-Navy and a Vietnam veteran.

A “double-dipper” with the government, Dad worked as a personnel specialist first with the Army at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, and then with NASA at Marshall in Huntsville. He retired again in 1982 at age 62 after another twenty years of service.

My parents, Sweet Peas both!

During Dad’s unique military career, he came into personal contact with such notables as Generals Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall (visiting Korea), and William C. Westmoreland, and also with such entertainers as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, drummer Buddy Rich, and even a chance encounter with soldier Elvis Presley in Germany.

I couldn’t end this without showing you how much fun my parents could be. Here’s Elvis and Mom in her Poodle skirt getting ready for the costume party at the Officers Club on Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville (clothing, etc., courtesy of my sister-in-law, Jeanne Della-Calce Barkley)!

Elvis definitely has left the building!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Glimpses from The Skirmisher, MMI’s Cadet Newspaper

It appears that The Skirmisher, the MMI cadet newspaper, goes back to at least 1920, if not earlier. The earliest newspaper (a Xeroxed copy) I have here in the Archives is from 1923, and the latest copy is from 2000. It appears that this student-run newspaper went through various changes throughout its run, from being published usually twice a month to becoming an annual issue, then back again to something approaching a bi-monthly publication, etc.

Here are some interesting tidbits from The Skirmisher through the decades:

The newspaper’s depiction of the Mess Hall in its “Annual Issue,” dated April 28, 1923!

Before the Gentleman Cadet leaves MMI on furlough in 1923…

The football schedule from the September 25, 1926 issue of The Skirmisher.

Football “fight” songs from the same 1926 newspaper.

Here is the new Editor-in-Chief of The Skirmisher for 1961-1962.

The championship college basketball team in 1972 included Nate Crawford, MMI’s first African American cadet.

Since the University of Alabama football team is currently rated No. 1 in the nation (sorry Auburn, sorry Tennessee!), I just had to bring “The Bear” back for an encore!

Celebrating the birthday of the United States Marine Corps on November 10, 1994. From the November 18, 1994, issue of the newspaper.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Images of Student Life, 1880s-1890s

Howard College Cadets with Old South (Lovelace Hall) in the background, c. 1880s. Note the variety of headwear including one shako, kepis, derbys (bowlers) and one straw hat (boater).

Company “B,” Howard College Cadet Corps, c. 1880s.

A cadet company, c. 1880s.

The Corps of Cadets on parade, c. 1880s.

Philomathic Hall, the earliest literary society hall, c. 1880s.

Halls for the later two literary societies at MMI, the Jefferson Society and the Franklin Society.

The “Franklins” of 1893-1894.

The Corps of Cadets on parade, 1899-1900. Note the Drum Corps in front.

The Cadet Corps in front of The Chapel in 1899-1900.

The Football Team in 1894-1895.

The Baseball Team in 1899-1900.