17 Years ago today - A fun filled day at Great America
Aren’t we all just having a blast? My only real question is what happen to Derek? Did he stick his head into a vat of Vaseline, or was it “Happy Days” Appreciation day?
On Sunday, December 7, 1941 the Japanese Navy attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor in the US Territory of Hawaii. The following day the United State of America declared war on the Japanese. Like many young American men, and women, Harry Crovo Jr. chose to join the armed forces and fight for his country. He chose to enlist in the US Army. His dream was to become an Officer in the US Army Calvary. He was attracted to the idea of riding horses. He was not aware of the fact that, since the end of the Great War, horses were no longer used in battle.
With a great deal of vigor he headed to the recruiting center to start his career with the US Army . Sadly for Harry, he was classified as 4-F. This meant he was unfit to serve in the military. For most men this would have been the end of their military career, not Harry. He would find a way around this obstacle. If the US Army did not want him, he was sure that the US Navy would.
Before going to the Navy though, He sought a cure for what ailed him. He had been classified as 4-F due to the fact that he was color-blind. Fit in every other way, he could barley tell the difference between black and white. Not really, but he had it bad. In the 1940’s there was the opinion by some that it could be cured in various ways. Harry went to work right away attempting to cur his problem with vitamins.
After a month or so he was positive that he had improved enough to pass the exam, and so made his way to the recruiting office for the US Navy. Now you might think that the Navy would have asked if he had been denied by another branch of the service, and you would be correct. Harry lied, and off to the physical exam he went with confidence. However his confidence got him nothing. He left the US Navy exam with the same 4-F classification he had received from the US Army.
Harry did not give up. This time he researched the situation and found a training guide that guaranteed success. For the next two months, between being a full time student at Boston College and working full time in his father’s gas station, he and his girl friend, Bunny, sat on the living-room floor of his parent’s home studying the colors of the oriental rug. He finally had his problem licked. He knew the colors of that rug as well as any in the house. Unfortunately, the US Coast Guard did not use the same Oriental rug when issuing the exam for color blindness. As you might have already guessed, Harry received the same classification of 4-F from the US Coast Guard.
It was at this point in the game, Harry Crovo Sr., entered his proclamation that Harry Jr was remain in Woburn working in the family business and stop this “foolishness”. He felt that idea of joining the US Marines, the only branch Harry Jr. had not attempted to join, was paramount to suicide. He put his foot down. It didn’t do any good, but his foot was down.
This time Harry Jr. was going to get the job done his way. He had a “friend” who told Harry, that for a price, he could get him the answers to the exam. Harry agreed to pay half up front and the balance when the test was passed. The agreement was made, and Harry was off to the Recruiting office of the United State Marines. After swearing that he had not been denied by any other branch of the US Military, he headed off to his physical exam, which he passed with flying colors. No pun intended.
BUT Wait! Here is the whole point of the story. The Doctor that administered the physical exam for the US Marines was indeed the Crovo’s family doctor. It is also a fact that he knew that Harry Jr. was color blind, because he was also the very same Doctor that had administered the three previous physical exams that Harry Jr. had failed. Woburn was a small town and only had the one Doctor doing Military Exams for the local Draft Board.
So, 71 years ago today, on June 9, 1942, Harry Crovo Jr. was inducted into the United States Marine Corps
41 Years ago
The Class of 1972 at Ygnacio Valley High School. Grad-night at Disneyland. Total cost, $48.00 for Park tickets and round-trip plane tickets
12 Years ago
Top photo is of Harry A Crovo Jr with eight of his grandchildren
Bottom photo is of Harry A Crovo Jr with his sons and grandsons
Spent the weekend with my kids. Had a GREAT time! Sean and Elisabeth spent the weekend with us while on their way to Reno.
35 Years ago today
I left for Lackland AFB for Basic Training in the US Air Force. Wanted to see the world … I saw Texas, Mississippi, and Washington DC
May 31, 1943 - 70 Years Ago
The Wedding of Helen F Birmingham and Harry A Crovo Jr.
However; the story really began in the year 1936 … The place was Woburn, Massachusetts …
While attending Woburn Memorial High School the lives of two young people became entwined. It went something like this … Helen, aka Bunny, was dating a young man named Jack. Jack’s best friend, Harry, was dating Emma. Emma’s Best Friend was none other than Bunny. The problem was that Bunny and Harry did not get along. The rivalry between the two finally got to the point where the two couples just could not double date anymore. In time each of the four teenagers drifted apart and went their own way.
Fast forward to 1940; Harry is a student at Boston College. As he is walking across campus one day he hears his name called out. Haling him is an old friend from Woburn High. After some small talk the friend coolly inquires
“You used to hang around with Bunny Birmingham in high school, didn’t you?”
“Not really” Harry responds. “She dated my friend, Jack. We went on a few double dates, but I just couldn’t stand to be around her. Let me tell you, she was a pain in the neck! Why do you ask?”
“I was just wondering. Do ever talk to her?” At this point Harry realizes where this conversation is going. He attempts to save this guy a whole lot of suffering by insisting that the friend wants nothing to do with Bunny Birmingham, even referring to her at one point as a ‘Pretentious Little Princess’. Yet this guy was insistent. Harry finally agrees to attempt to arrange a blind date for the friend.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you!” Harry calls back as he continues to his next class.
Being a man of his word, a day or two later Harry calls Bunny’s house. Not wanting to just blurt out the reason for his call they engage in small talk. After about 30 minutes the conversation ends with harry setting a time for the date. However Harry forgot about his friend, and arranged for Bunny to go on a date with him.
Sometime later, Harry again runs into the old friend.
“Hey! Did you ever get a chance to talk with Bunny Birmingham?” The friend inquires
Shifting in his shoes Harry responds
“You know, a funny thing about that … “
Needless to say, the friend never had his date with Bunny Birmingham.
Above are a few photos of their wedding and life together.
48 Years ago -
1965 Ygnacio Valley Rd as it looked when my family moved to Walnut Creek. The building in the middle is John Muir Hospital. What you can’t see in this photo, just off to the right, was the slaughter house
Not my photo so please DO NOT repost
5 Years ago today - May 24/25, 2008
Derek’s graduation from SF State
Anthony’s parents were in this building when the tornado struck. Thankfully they came out unharmed.
56 Years ago this month
May 1957 - Harry A Crovo Jr and his twins, Jane and Steven
93 years ago this month.
1920 May - My Grandmother, Gretchin Crovo, and my Aunt, Elizabeth. Aunt Betty lives in Gainesville Florida now. She will be 94 years old next month.
The house on the right side of the photo, 59 Arlington Rd, is the house in which both my father and Aunt were born. It is a duplex. My Grandparents live in the left unit and my Great-grandparents lived in the right. This house is also just across the street from where my Grandparents would build the house in which they spent the rest of their lives.
Just a few fun facts to know and tell at your next party.