10/05/07: The Langdells

The next day I got up early to visit what I’m calling my “god parents,” even though, as you know, non-theism reigns supreme. Heh. Libby and Joe have known my mom since she was in College. She and Libby went to the Chicago Institute of Art back in the 40s.

Joe is 93 and had a medical mishap, but is recovering nicely. I never saw anybody zip along faster on a walker. Joe has spent many of these last years organizing (most of the organizing being done by Libby I must mention) reunions of the survivors of the U.S.S. Arizona in Hawaii. He was serving on board the U.S.S. Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbour. He retired a Lt. Commander. He said I should google him and 11,400 listings come up on his name. Bob Schieffer of CBS interviewed him on the 50th Anniversary of Pearl Harbour. He died in 2015. You can read his obituary here.

Here’s a quote from the biograhy:

“Mr. Langdell is one of three principal figures in the television documentary, “USS Arizona: Life and Death of a Lady” (it’s now on You Tube) which aired on the A&E cable network in 1991 and 1992. During an historic moment aboard the USS ARIZONA MEMORIAL, former ARIZONA Officer Joseph Langdell accepts a floral wreath in memory of ARIZONA’S entombed from former Japanese Lt. Commander Zenji Abe, a pilot who dropped a bomb on the ship.”

When I asked Joe if he forgave the Japanese, he laughed and said “Hell no,” as only he could say it.

Libby has been a second mother to me, helping me greatly from time to time in working with my mom. She has a wonderful memory for telling stories and has kept the family and house together lo these many years. And, not has much now, has been a wonderful cook and gardener, and specialist in the colour purple, which fills her home.

Teddy, their son, is an amazing fellow. When I googled Ted, I got 7,710 listings. He’s what I’d call an alpha geek — a high compliment in geek circles. He specializes in Macs and as you can see from the pic we both have MacBook Pro laptops. He
asked me in some puzzlement “When did you get yours?” About a week and a half before I left. Heh. He lickety split got me up and running on iChat so I can video conference real time with others who have iChat. This was very useful when I got to my son Stan who set me up on Skype with the same video ability.

Ted has a great business where, besides creating commercials and business videos, he creates “documentaries” of personal stories. He can use old photos, records, antique video (like Super 8 or whatever) to create a mini-documentary for a family, which has been used to great effect for memorial services. He knows how to restore all these things and has recently become the sales rep for a restoration machine made in Germany. His website is: http://www.tedlangdell.com/.

He whizzed around taking zillions of photos with my Canon Rebel that could be viewed at one second intervals and have the effect of a video. He somewhat annoyed Libby when he started recording her as was telling my a story about my mother’s last meeting with her father, Burt, before I was born. Burt wanted to know what she planned to do after College. He thought being a teacher or nurse, or perhaps secretary was the appropriate thing. My mother did get him to send her to Art School. She later became a cartographer for the OSS (precurser to the CIA) during WWII and then developed a career as an industrial designer.

Ted did manage to document my departure.