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