Monday, November 12, 2018

Veterans Remembered, and Veterans Day Observed.


This is my lovely Grandmother -
Mary Margaret Malcolmson Wilkinson Buckbee.

While yesterday, November 11th, 2018 was the traditional day for Veterans Day, Veterans Day is observed as a state and federal holiday in 2018 TODAY Monday, Nov. 12th this year.

A federal holiday means that local, county, state and federal offices and agencies are closed.  Which includes the Post Office – but not Quiltville!

Yesterday was a busy travel day for me, on the way to the Indianapolis airport by 7am, making my connection in Atlanta and home by early afternoon.  It didn’t give me much chance to write a veteran’s memorial post the way I wanted to, so like the federal agencies mentioned above, I’m observing TODAY and keeping these folks in my thoughts.

While not a typical veteran herself, my grandmother was raising small children while her husband, my grandfather was in the US Navy.

This picture was taken in 1943 when grandpa was serving as a Naval Officer in the South Pacific.  She occasionally earned money working as a photographer’s model.

When the Navy office in Minneapolis asked for a picture to use for WAVE recruiting, Mary’s friend, George Miles Ryan, photographed her and submitted the result.  

WAVES, my friends were lady sailors.

An explosion went off in the world of public relations.  The beauty of the model and the appeal of the picture caused it to sweep the country.  Ryan commented, “That picture was tacked on every telephone pole in the country.  Lord knows how many recruits it brought in.”  And it was published everywhere.

Neither George nor Mary accepted a fee for their work.  They worked for Uncle Sam. 

Mary did add, “One of the first showings took place at the old State Theater, and they sent me two complimentary tickets to the show.”


My Grandpa Wilkinson -
My dad in striped shirt and shorts on Grandpa’s knee.

The title to this article reads “Sees 7 of 9 in Squadron Hit, But He Escapes.”

Navy Lt. Bill Wilkinson figures Dame Fortune had him by the hand when he came through two years of Pacific campaigning unscathed. "And that’s unusual", Wilkinson said "because four of the nine ships in the destroyer squadron were sunk and three more damaged."  He was gunnery officer on one of the two of the craft untouched by enemy fire.

The Navy Officer, just discharged from service, was home today with his wife and three sons, William, 5 1/2, Frederick, 3 1/2 and Robert, 6 months.

When the American fleet began its defense of the Solomons, Wilkinson’s destroyer made daring night runs to cut Japanese shipping lanes.

In a two and a half month period, four guns on his destroyer fired some 3,500 rounds of ammunition at enemy targets. “The hunting was good.” he said.

The article goes on further from there, evidently but the scan I have is cut off.

I never really knew my grandfather – he died when I was two. Finding these stories through newspaper searches and genealogical sites has been so thrilling. Reading the words of both of my grandparents about their war efforts either from the home front or things experienced in the midst of the Pacific gives me a glimpse at their early life together.  It couldn’t have been easy.

My uncle Bob, shown in the above photo as a 6 month baby would grow to also serve in the military during the Viet Nam war. I don’t have a photo of him in uniform, but I remember him vividly when he would come visit us when we lived in San Jose, California.  He passed away a few years ago.

My cousin Jeff Wilkinson (Son of my uncle Fred) was also a military man – he lost his life to cancer while I was pregnant with my son, also Jeff.  The reason he is named Jeff, after my cousin.  His service to our country will also not be forgotten.


My brother Scott, another Navy man!

When I see this photo, I am astounded with how much he looks like my son Jeff.  Same eyes, same strength.  He served in the Navy for many years and now owns Wilkinson Pest Control in the Boise, Idaho area.


Favorite photo ever!

My brother Rick also, a Navy man (I sense a theme with this family!) served for many years and now works IT for a company in Utah.  I searched his Facebook profile for a photo of him in uniform – alas, I couldn’t find one!

We are also remembering Dave’s dad who also, remarkably, was in the Pacific serving in the army at the same time that my grandpa was on a ship with the Navy.  Fighting for the same cause.  Little did they know how our own paths would have the chance to cross while they fought for our country.

For all of those who risked all to give us so much – thank you!

There were cheers and great thanks yesterday at the airport when the veterans were called up to board our flights FIRST ahead of other passengers with gratitude for all they have given.

May it ever be so.


There was more stitching on the way home -

The perfect way to end a 2018 teaching year – with a first class upgrade!


Lola is reminding me it’s time to get back to work!

An order of 200 Simple Folded Corners Mini arrived while I was gone.  They are in the store, and bound to go fast.  I’ll have another order AFTER Thanksgiving. 

I will do all I can to get these out to you before my dad arrives one week from today – and Thanksgiving will be in full swing!  We will be up in Virginia for the week, and shipping will resume on Wednesday, November 28th after dropping Dad back at the airport the evening of the 27th. 

We will also have String Frenzy in the house around the last week of November, so if you are planning on ordering that as well as the Simple Folded Corners Mini, you may want to save yourself some shipping and wait to order both items together. It will also mean less packaging for me!

November 12, 2018 at 07_55AM

Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Vintage Irish Chain quilt found in Virginia.

Time and time again it happens.

What was once thought a failure was actually a blessing.

A bit of hindsight can show how you were guided to your greatest good all along!

Have a wonderful Monday -


  1. You have your grandmother's eyes.

  2. a wonderful legacy of service..my great uncle, one of many vets in our family, was on the uss trenton when it exploded...he and 2 others were in the gunnery nest, he was burned badly but survived, other 2 did not...

  3. many thanks to all who served and are serving. Will you take a moment please and advise where your string pumpkin was published, was it a Quiltmaker magazine? Thank you and blessings for a wonderful laughter-filled holiday season, esp. visits w/dad.. Cats, Carlsbad, CA

    1. Sept/Oct 2017 Quiltmaker magazine, and included in my new book STRING FRENZY to be released soon.

    2. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you.... was so hoping, cause i missed that issue of Quiltmaker... but oculdn't recall seeing it as you teased us with the flip thru... I want Frenzy for Emerald City... now there's TWO already on the bucket list!!!! smiles and happy day

  4. Your grandmother is beautiful - a perfect figure for the WAVES.

  5. Really enjoyed your family history of veterans. My dad too served in the Phillipines and New Guinea in the Pacific during WWII. He made it home with just a slight bayonet wound to his leg. He served in the infantry. My brother served in Viet Nam and made it home safe and sound. How grateful we all are for everyone's service!

  6. What a cool story about your grandmother. And what a beauty, inside and out!

  7. I hope you will someday publish a quiltville quotes of the day coffee table book. So many days they are just what i need at just the right time.

    1. That is a wonderful idea! In your spare time Bonnie....

  8. You look so much like your grandmother.

    Beautifully written post. Little bit choked up here. Thank you.

  9. Awesome History Lesson. Proud of all who SERVED! At Home and Abroad.
    I'll wait to get the Simple Corners Mini with my Book. It will be my Christmas Gift to to myself. Excited for the Mystery, after we Celebrate Thanksgiving.

  10. Excellent post today, your family has a proud history of serving our country. Quite a few men in my husband's family served. His father served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific on New Caledonia as an airplane mechanic, an uncle served in Europe, a couple other uncles during the Korean Conflict and cousins in Vietnam. Hubby and his brother were in the National Guard. We now have a nephew who has served in the Navy for 20+ years, mostly in Japan. A big thanks to all who have served in any way.

  11. Thank you sharing all your memories and pics of family members in the military. I can understand why your grandma was a model - beautiful!

  12. I loved serving in the WAVES, and had the privilege of standing the very first Flight Line Watch for Squadron VXN-8 that was ever stood by a WAVE.
    A small first, but a first none the less.
    Hello to all the present and former WAVES out there!

  13. Thank you for your Veterans Day post and the service of your family for all of us.
    My father was in the navel air corp then he was discharged and could not find work with a family to support he tried to re-inlist in the Navy but he had a heart murmur so they said no, but the Air Force had started and since he was already trainer etc he was able to inlist in the Air Force
    My brothers and husband were in the Air Force

  14. Is that your grandmother on your mom’s side because I think your mom looks like her? Great and interesting blog post.

  15. Your Grandma was a beautiful lady:) You look like her. Thanks to all in your family and all Veteran's for their service.

  16. I have never understood why it is only on Veterans Day that our military personnel get recognized. They serve our country 365 days a year and sacrifice much but only on Veterans Day do they get a thank you.

    1. NOT TRUE. I, and many others thank them all of the time, each and every day. Do not generalize. Why is there only one independence day to celebrate our nation's freedom?

    2. One way to help thank our veterans is to make a Quilt of Valor or join a Quilts of Valor group. You can look the site up and get information. I made my first one last year and it was presented to a friend's husband, a Vietnam veteran. His wife arranged to have the presentation made where they live in Florida and he was terribly touched. I also donate to the USO to help those serving. there are many ways to help thank our active service members and veterans.

  17. Your grandmother was absolutely beautiful!

  18. While your Grandfather was in the Pacific, my dad was in the Alps of Europe, part of the first 10th Mountain Division. Then he was stationed in Korea with my mom and oldest 3 siblings when the war broke out there. Consequently, many in my family have been in the Army. I'm a proud Army brat, that grew up in Germany and Italy, because of my dads service. I'm always thankful to any military person I see, anywhere and anytime. Love my freedom!

  19. Hi all dear !!
    great article and information, with your blogcomment.
    I see your blog daily, it is crispy to study.
    Your blog is very useful for me & i like so much.

  20. A perfect tribute to your family who served and the picture of your grandmother is so beautiful.
    This reminded me of my own grandfather who served with the UK Royal Hampshire’s in WW2, my grandmother was evacuated from Guernsey to the UK mainland and worked in a munitions factory with her sister and my great grandmother. Whilst they were away from the Island it was taken occupied by the Germans, and the remaining islanders suffered many hardships. We celebrate on May 9th our Independence Day when we were finally liberated and it’s a public holiday and many events are organised. When my grandfather returned with his family they had to start again as they had lost everything but I remember him as a wonderful happy man who loved all 10 of his children and would spend hours with us grandchildren.
    Thank you for the memories
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  21. My dad served in WW2 as well. He was in the Rhodesian Corps as a Dispatch rider, that meant that he carried messages from Headquarters to the Frontline on a motorbike. I remember him telling me about some of his adventures while in Italy and Cairo, he was in Northern Africa, Egypt and the stories he told of the times in the desert, he never told us about the bad times and the horrors he experienced there, think he didn't want to upset two little girls at the time, as I have grown up I so regret not recording his tales, he was such an amazing story teller. I will regret this to the end of my days. He passed in 1979, three months after the birth of his first grandchild, my son who was named for him, Riaan Pieter (the Afrikaans spelling for Peter) Unfortunately here in South Africa, this day is not celebrated as a holiday, but there are some associations like the MOTHS (Members of the Order of the Tin Hats) that still remember what we in Rhodesia called Poppy Day. I remember as a Brownie and a Girl Guide every year laying a wreath at the memorial. Such lovely memories. Thank you to all the Veterans all over the world for keeping us safe! Amen!!

  22. Your grandfather was indeed blessed to return unscathed. I have been reading a number of books about WWII and recently saw a documentary on TV about the Indianapolis ship that was sunk by a Japanese sub. We can't really imagine how awful it was. However, my son is a Lt. Col. in the Air Force and he has seen a lot - about 8 deployments to the middle east - with some very close calls. We are fortunate that he is stationed in the US now and will retire soon. Thanks for your post about your family.

  23. We are indeed grateful for all who have served to allow us to enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy.
    My grandfather served in Europe in WW1, my father was in the Army Air Corps, a brother served in the Navy and my husband served in the Army in Germany in 1960's.All returned home safely and we are thankful to have had their presence in our lives.

  24. Bonnie... I love hearing your family’s story! Your grandparents seemed to be beautiful people, inside and out. Thank you to all of your family for serving.... we are blessed in our Country. And your family are all “beautiful”! I know how excited you are to be home and getting ready to celebrate the Holidays with your family. May you have peace, joy and love in your home! Thank you again, for all you do for us!

  25. Wow Bonnie! Amazing how much you look like her! Margie/NY

  26. Your family's service to our country is wonderful. Were it not for the sacrifices of our service members, our nation's history would be completely different. Thank you for your stories and photos. My mother was a WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilot) in WWII. I don't have a photo of her to upload. Dad was in the Navy in WWII. I honor and respect the service of all our veterans.

  27. Love this post about your family, Bonnie. What a tradition of service! I think you resemble your grandmother a great deal--that winning smile that extends to the twinkling eyes :-)

  28. Bonnie- I can certainly say Amen to your Quiltville Quote of the day, and your comments after it! Your Grandmother certainly was a beauty! A lot of Great history here with your Navy family.Thank You for sharing this great information about your family. Navy was my first choice, but since they wouldn't put women on ships 44 years ago, the Army got me. But, my son served in the Navy. It all works out the way the good Lord plans it. Glad you're home safe and can now take a little rest (ha ha)!

    Kasilof, AK

  29. I love your posts and everything looks wonderful. I love your idea thanks for sharing.

  30. You will not recognize your house when you move your shipping area to Quiltville Inn. You will actually have a dining room. What will you do with that space. If you are like me your craft will creep like little scarpering feet to that room


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