Interview with GP (and Smitty talk)

Hello readers,
As Memorial Day winds down here in the states, I wanted to feature this brief interview I did with GP from the Pacific Paratrooper blog here: https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com

Q: Can you please provide a brief Introduction to what your blog is about -how long been blogging, etc.

GRATEFUL

GP:
I started blogging because I noticed how worn and damaged my father’s scrapbook was getting and I wanted a digital copy of it for posterity. Little did I know that WWII had developed a renewed interest and it took off on a life of its own. This blog simply continued to grow and it has lasted 8 1/2 years so far. I publish only once a week these days.

YP: Thanks G, and I would like to add that I think the Pacific Paratrooper blog also took off because of the way you connect with readers. The time you make to interact really makes a difference. In fact, that is why I wanted to interview you for this post. And so thanks again for saying yes. And here is a photo of Smitty, GP’s father who inspired the blog!

Pvt. Smith Camp MacKall


“Pvt. Smith was as cocky and proud as the next trooper, but he also thought of the Army as a learning experience and considered his new adventure as a chance to experience things he would not otherwise have the opportunity and on April 23, 1944, he stepped off a train near Camp Stoneman, California.  It was here the troopers would learn how to live aboard ship, operate life boats, raft kits and climb up and down rope ladders.”



https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2021/05/10/camp-stoneman-part-1/

Q: Memorial Day has just passed – can you share some thoughts about this holiday – what readers should consider?


GP:
I don’t think I could say anymore about Memorial Day and our military that the readers don’t already know by simply reading a post. Also, I think it is important that we maintain an honorable Memorial Day! We tend to take our day-to-day lives for granted in this country and forget what every generation went through to give it to us.

YP: Well said – especially noting what every generation went through – Freedom is not free and some have truly paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives – others – had to recover and repair after their sacrifice – and while recovery situations are not perfect nowadays – I am glad that we continue to offer more resources for those Vets who are recovering – and all of this just makes me grateful.

Q: Can you share about the Farewell Salutes section in your blog posts.

GP:
To me, Memorial Day is every day, hence the Farewell Salutes. I locate the information from military emails, announcements I receive, the POW/MIA Accounting Agency, varied sites online, and Legacy.


****
Q: If readers were to visit your blog, which post would you want them to check out?

GP:
The Pacific Paratrooper reboot
https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2021/03/04/pacific-paratrooper-reboot/
I also noticed that your categories section on the main page is helpful as you have the different wars and themes ready to access,


Q: What are things that might be viewed as challenges to blogging?

GP:
A challenge might be the time it takes to research for posts on Pacific Paratrooper blog – but as a whole, I would have to say the time it takes to do it right.


YP: You have an interactive comment section on your blog– and here is a snippet to show what I mean

Q: can you share how the blogging activity works for you ? Do you have a routine for checking comments or creating posts?

GP:
I usually hit the computer for the blog in the early morning and a short time in the afternoon.
I have basically had the same guideline and aims all along my blogging journey- but my approach to blogging has adapted as new information was located, as new information was offered to me and/or discovered, with further research, and then as new documents came from the National Archives declassified.


Q: I think you know many readers enjoy the comics you include in posts – how do you find them? Do you keep a master folder of comics or do you get them as needed? Has a comic ever started a post?

GP:

As you know, Yvette, I feel that humor has been (and still is) extremely important for morale in the military. So I try to show that in the Military Humor section on the blog.
And yes humor has led a post, like this one here:
https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2019/11/25/strategy-pages-military-humor-and-more/

YP: Thanks and here is a fun snippet from your blog:

Military Humor – Some definitions to keep in mind:

ARMY – a body of men assembled to rectify the mistakes of the diplomats

DRAFT BOARD – the world’s largest travel agency

MILITARY EXPERT – one who tells you what will happen next week – and then explains why it didn’t

NEW GUINEA SALUTE – waving the hand over the mess kit to ward off the flies

PACIFIST – a person who fights with everybody BUT the enemy

WAR  a time that starts off paying old scores and ends up by paying new debts


YP: I have enjoyed reading posts featuring some of the letters Smitty wrote to his mother, your grandmother. I enjoyed reading how he offered to pay the phone bill for the long distance phone calls (reminded me how expensive that used to be) and how he noted he did “not” forget her birthday (would try to get her a card). In the letters, you can get a feel for his fun personality and serious side as he shared his thoughts. It was smart for him to start to number the letters in order to make sure they were all arriving. So many little details remind us of what times were like back then- long before instant messages and the web.
Here is a snippet from a letter:

Where we might be bound for is still a very big question that will no doubt be answered only when we finally arrive there.  After all, if we knew, we might tell it to the stars and that would be just awful.  I realize this doesn’t sound like a very pleasant letter, but then you must take into consideration this isn’t a very pleasant trip.  None of those romantic moonlit nights.  Well, that is all for today, so until later on when I will be back to add to this, 

I’ll say so long for now and all my love,  Everett

****

Q: G., so how do you decide what to feature in blog posts throughout the year?

GP:
I tried to follow Smitty’s route, plus what he must have been reading about in Yank magazine going on around the pacific. Some posts were requested by readers.


Q: What are you doing when you are not blogging? Enjoying that beautiful state of Florida?


GP:
I was transplanted to the state of Florida 50 years ago after experiencing the beautiful Florida weather on vacation here for so many years.

I was born on Broad Channel, the island where both my parents grew up and there are photos of Broad Channel on the blog. Then, like many Veterans, the family moved out to the suburbs on Long Island. Nowadays, I can no longer enjoy the Florida sun as I did in my youth. I have other hobbies outside of blogging and then there is always something that needs to get done around the house.


YP: I have had a few seasons connecting with you and here is the image I made with Smitty- goodness, it was a few years ago now. I smile to see it posted on the sidebar of the blog

We have also connected with other bloggers – like Mustang Koji.

Q: If any other readers want to explore more – can you suggest blogs for us to check out?

GP:
Koji Kanemoto is outstanding in my book. Where else can you locate information about both sides of the war in the same family?!! Plus, he’s a great person.
Pierre Lagace has about 30 blogs, individualized for Canadian and American data, in both French and English. You have to see his Profile to believe it!
((I will add links later this week))
There are quite a few history blogs out there and some actually follow me and I do theirs, so it would be easier if people went to Tags on their Reader page and typed in WW2, WWII, etc. and visit what interests them!

YP: That is a good tip to follow tags in the reader! It is fun to discover and the tags sure help us find more of the rich resources that are layered here in these WordPress blogs.


Q: Now that Covid is winding down – any travel plans and if so – where are you going?

GP:

I am not sure where we will travel to just yet, but I am nagging my better half to get us somewhere!!

I wish each and every one Good Luck, have a happy and healthy week and look forward to connecting with you if visit the blog.

YP: Thanks again. I grabbed a little snippet from your blog to end this post with.

GP:

“The Pacific Paratrooper website is ever changing and always being updated, because further knowledge is always being learned.  Smitty told me and many others, “I try to learn something everyday.  When I stop learning, please close the lid.”  I have never forgotten that motto to live by and I sincerely hope you all do the same!”

***
okay readers, appreciate your visit.

If you have any questions or comments for GP – or for me – leave them in the comments.

If you have any history tidbits to share or interesting blogs to suggest- please leave a note.

And let us all try to appreciate our freedom ever day of the year!


49 thoughts on “Interview with GP (and Smitty talk)

  1. An excellent interview with good questions of a man I am pleased to call a friend. GP and I have followed each other for a number of years – when we go into the New Forest for pictures it is often Jackie who says “something for GP”, which means we must find a pony or two 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Derrick – that is awesome to imagine Jackie thinking of GP with photo opps – and services as another example of how bloggers come to mind in our everyday life – and how potent these connections are. I think of GP with a lot of things WWII – and also, not surpassed you all have been friends for years – I can imagine the chemistry 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you very much for going to this effort for Smitty and our fellow bloggers. I hope in some way I have helped a new blogger or two. You are very creative – you actually made my boring comments sounding interesting! Thanks again, Yvette!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh well thank you so much G, and your succinct replies gave me the structure I needed and then the blog had the rest as needed. And I just left you a comment on your blog – because your mature blog reminds me of a well-built sailing ship, with lots to offer – and your years of investing there have really produced a find resource – to honor Smitty – and so many others in different ways. And then I know for me, it has helped me find more of my own way of “always remembering” and appreciating freedom – where “memorial day” is not just one day in May.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for letting me learn a little more about one of my favorite bloggers. I have learned so much about the war , and the places where my father fought. I feel like I understand my father’s experience better, reading about Smitty’s. GP has given us the history we never learned in the classrooms, i.e. the stuff that happened between those dates we had to remember. I look forward to every post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dan, I really like the way you pointed out a few extras that we get with Pacific Paratroopers blog and GP = we do get the extras along with the community.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. A new blog to follow! What a wonderful interview and since I’m in a military family it will be great to follow along. Thank you for all you do Yvette sharing others blogs so it reaches more people! I enjoyed this immensely!! ❤️ ~ D

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Cindy – I have missed you and a few other blogging friends and so seeing your comment come in made my day – I shall be over soon
      and i did not mean to have the army many twice but the “block-head editor” um I mean block editor was tricky for me on a mobile device when I posted this – sigh – and so actually this post was not really what I had intended it to look like but I pushed on and made it happen and glad you liked the jumping jack and of course you would Ms Fitness and Wellness Woman

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhhh so glad you enjoyed the visit and I’ll look forward to yours when time permits.
        Oh don’t even begin to tell me about these glitches that I know too well. But guess what?
        We didn’t even know it. Sorry for the frustration tho and You jumped on it with a fitness boost and ya know I LOVE That💖💖👏👏👏👏👏

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Prior, it appears some of the pictures associated with this post have gotten confused with another. I want to link up with this post Monday.

    Like

      1. I continue to use the Classic and I hope WP doesn’t catch up to me! When I first get into my post, I click Posts on the left. Then click All Posts. On that page ,at the top, it says Posts again. Click on that and it will drop down with Block editor and Classic. I click on classic, but I do a complete post – or when I come back to edit, it will be Block and there’s no changing it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi – I fixed the photos and side note – I wanted to add a Florida photo so that is why the sand and palm trees are there – 😊

          Liked by 1 person

        2. GP, I understand your angst at times with WP. I lost an entire lengthy post recently after completing it while trying to deal with another “unwanted” upgrade they had Instilled. I have found in those circumstances, it is best to contact WP directly and they will direct you on a solution to continue working most entirely in the Classic mode which is what we “ole timers” are comfortable in using. We don’t need all the bells and whistles that come down the pike!

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Karen, thanks for your helpful comment to GP – and I really like how you noted that the “ole timers” are comfortable using the classic version – because I had someone offer to give tutorials on the new block-head editor – and while they were being nice – they were emailing the complaint – it was not that new folks did not understand the technology – it was just that they preferred the old format. Comfort, preference, and for ease. My biggest thing was the familiarly and ease of use – and like APPle had overdone their changes with iTunes (to lead to decline) I think that all folks should consider that as they change

          Like

  6. A wonderful interview, Yvette and GP. I’ve been a fan of Pacific Paratrooper for years. The posts are fascinating, the humor makes me laugh, and the farewell salutes always make me pause and wonder about those lives and experiences. My mom and her family were in Indonesia during WWII and my grandfather was a POW in a Japanese camp. I just recorded my mom’s memories of that time (she’s 87). GP’s accounts add another perspective of many. Thanks so much for the wonderful post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh wow / so glad you were able to record the account of your mother’s memories – do you have any next steps for that data?
      And thanks for chiming in on the interview -😊❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you for the introduction to this very unique blog. My dad was a WWII vet. He served in Italy and Northern Africa. I will check out the link.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. my pleasure and thank you for the visit and comment.
      i sure like the name you have on your user – brizzymaysbrooksandbrushetta
      i will be over to check out your blog

      Like

  8. Thank you for this great interview, with GP! I am honored to know him, and his great work on remembrance, and important information everyone needs to know about the important service of the soldiers. I am also honored getting to know GP’s father much more better. He had served at a very difficult time, with great enthusiasm. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hello Michael – thanks for the visit and for taking the time to leave that awesome comment – and GP’s blog has helped fill a gap for many folks – have a good well

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A great interview and post. Thanks. GP found my blog (subliblog.com) five years ago and we’ve been following each other’s blog ever since. My blog is about the history of the Philippines and that includes WWII. Smitty participated in the war against the Japanese in my country and so we just hit it off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hi John
      thanks for the nice comment and for taking the time to visit – i think i know a few other bloggers that you are good friends with as well! in she ways it is a small world / have a good week

      Liked by 2 people

  10. This interview warmed my heart. I have followed GP for some time and I don’t even know how that came to be. As you say his interaction with readers, and willingness to answer questions really made me feel connected.
    A well deserved feature!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. hello Sue! thanks for the comment and cheers to bloggers that come our way even if we are not sure how that came to be. reading your comment reminded me that this blogging world allows us to meet folks with diverse interests and blog themes
      wishing you and Dave a wonderful week and be over to visit soon
      😊

      Liked by 2 people

  11. GP, reading this interesting interview has brought several thoughts to mind. I wonder how many of us have created our blogs based on our fathers’ WWII service. You created an entire and interesting body of work in paying homage to Smitty who served his country well, whereas I created a single and extensive post to mine who diligently served his WWII duty and then I progressed to the history of other veterans. We are both very proud of our fathers and rightly so. In not having seen your blog from inception, I wonder if your father was aware of your wonderful tribute to him in his lifetime. Sadly, my father was not and I wish he had been alive to see it. You also mentioned that Smitty never referred to himself but rather to the “11th.” My father’s notes from WWII referred to “we” which I initially interpreted as his PT boat crew but later deduced was indicative of his squadron. I was also surprised and amazed recently to receive a wonderful response to my father’s service post from the Chief Researcher of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial: “Thank you so much for posting this wonderful salute to Duty, Honor & Country. It provided me with additional insight to those that served on PT boats in the Pacific War. Preserving the memory and honoring the service of these veterans keeps them alive in our cherished history of America’s participation in WWII.” This comment further exemplifies the importance in preserving our WWII service to Duty, Honor, and Country of the Greatest Generation by sharing with others to keep them alive in the annals of history. Thank you GP for the wonderful work you have accomplished and your steadfast interaction to all who view your postings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, thanks for taking the time to share your wonderful comment and I wish your dad was alive to see your blog. And that note from the Chief Researcher of the Pearl Harbor National Memorial was really special.

      Like

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