Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Fred Hanke: Cold Warrior

Recently my Aunt sent me some old family pictures. The pictures are mostly ones that my father sent to his brother over the years. When my Uncle passed away a few years ago, my Aunt began to give them to me as she sorted through things. In this most recent group, I found this gem:

I had never seen my dad in such a pose as that. The pose immediately reminded me of Gregory Peck in Twelve O'Clock High.

Dad was a crypto/radio operator in the Air Force, stationed in France in the mid 1950s. Thus the bomber jacket, white scarf, and radio handset. One other note: the insignia on his hat is one of my prized possessions. Here is a closeup of that insignia:

It is made of cast metal, not plastic, and is heavy for such a small object. They made men and metal of the right stuff back in those days. For comparison, here is his official Air Force portrait:

I like to think of dad as a Cold Warrior, in some small way. He was, in fact.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Swingin' Pop Standards

My friends know me as a lover of music. Lately my tastes have run to vocal jazz, trio and quartet, from about 1950 to 1965. Often I find my music while watching television, hearing some snippet of a song and Googling the lyrics to find the artist and the album.

Another place I find great music is at Accuradio. This site plays pop standards and swing. It is customizable so you can eliminate artists you do not wish to hear from the rotation (Streisand always gets the boot when I listen).

Check out the site and listen to great music in streaming audio at your computer. You will be glad you did.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Vincent Voice Library

Visit this site to listen to your history. The Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University [go Spartans!] archives one of the world's best collections of recorded voices and historical events going as far back as 1888. Have you ever actually heard a recording of Teddy Roosevelt? You can here. Check out the site and see how history comes alive when you can hear it for yourself.