Posted by: SJS | April 22, 2011


Family dinner 1945It was always a major event when the family could gather around the table to celebrate the visit of a relative in a the military who was home on furlough.  In this photograph, the sense of pride and joy in having Red back home on Fishers Avenue in Philadelphia is almost tangible.  In his dress blues, already adorned with a campaign bar for his service in the Mediterranean, Red settles in for a meal prepared by his mother, Mary.

As the recipient of many, many meals prepared by my grandmother over the years, it is not hard for me to imagine the happy anticipation of the family as they await the arrival of the feast at hand.  I am certain that no one left the table disappointed after the meal that followed this photograph taken by Pop Stahley.   Nana had few rivals when it came to the art of holiday meal preparation.  And during the war, every visit home by her son was a major holiday – whenever it occurred.

Included in this photograph are Joe Young (uncle), Red, Diane Young Testa (cousin), Peggy Ann Schoolcraft Berry (cousin),  Mae Young (aunt), Peg Schoolcraft (aunt),  George (Reds) Young (uncle), Mary Stahley, George Keichline (cousin), and Miriam Keichline (cousin).   The date of the photograph is probably late 1944 or early 1945.


  1. Your Nana, Mary Stahley, loved to reminisce about those days. She remembered every one of your Dad’s wartime visits home so vividly. I think it must be hard for most of us to imagine the anxiety of that time; not only the terrible fear of losing a beloved son to the war, but the fear of invasion, the advent of nuclear war…the threat of the whole world literally ending.

  2. Lis,

    Thanks for your comment; Nana did love to tell those stories about the war years. The anxiety she felt from those years stayed with her for a long time. Losing her mother when she was 13 years old in the flu epidemic of 1918 and then seeing her son go off to war in 1944 were difficult things to contend with for Nana, as they would be for anyone. Having the opportunity to celebrate Junior’s time at home was something she relished deeply.


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