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Posts Tagged ‘David Merle VanVleck’

I am a big proponent of going green.  We have looked at things that could save energy for years.  We would love to be off the grid, but it all costs money folks, and some of it big money.

My dad’s family were thought to be Dutch German.  My nephew has found out they are Norwegian, but I am thinking that folks might have thought they were Dutch because of the popular belief that the Dutch were a frugal lot.  My dad’s family was definitely a frugal lot.

VanVleck family 1940s

My dad's family in the 40s

This was the usual group who we would visit with, twice a month when we drove to Kankakee, Illinois to visit my sister.  That is Granddad and Grandma to the left, then Uncle Clifford holding Richard and next to him Aunt Lucille with David Merle VanVleck in front of her.  Aunt Laura and her husband were behind and then, at the right side is my mother, Phyllis DeWitt and my dad (in uniform) Harold VanVleck.  In front of mom is my sister, Evelyn, and next to her is my brother David Merle VanVleck  (1942-1990).   I was not on the scene yet.

Yes, you read that right; cousins each named David Merle VanVleck.  It was not as common a name as John Doe.  One lived in Indiana and one in Illinois so no one thought there was a problem with it.  However,  when my brother got out of the Air Force, he ended up living in Kankakee, Illinois and boy did the problems arise then.    If you are going to be frugal with a name, and use it twice in a family, make sure that one of them isn’t a rather shady character.  My brother had to repeatedly prove that he did not owe the money or had not done the deed.

Anyway, I realized just how frugal my family was when I walked in Grandma’s kitchen, after one family gathering, and saw paper plates hanging on a clothesline drying.
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JRock is singing in the Veteran’s Day program at school, today.  They put on a fantastic program but the flu just hangs on, so this is the first year we will miss it.  The first year we lived here, Gaffer did a slide show program for it that was, if I do say so myself, awesome.  The school does a great tribute to our Veterans.

I was from the VietNam era and remember the way the soldiers were treated.  No matter how the Politicians handle the war, our soldiers do their best and deserve all the thanks we can give them.

So, in keeping, I am doing a bit of a roll call/tribute myself today.  All but one of these guys are family, except one is a very dear friend.  They run from my grandson, who is serving today, back to the Civil War and I know I have missed a lot.  Some, I only have names for or documentation, some I have photos. 

matts-enlistment-photo

This is Army Grandson, who is currently serving.

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Dennis Lee – dear friend, who served in Viet Nam.  I do not have a photo of him.

 

To the right, with beard is James (JW) Wells, served in Viet Nam.

 

 

 

 

daviddad

 

 

This is my father, Harold Guy VanVleck, who served in WWII as an M.P. guarding German prisoner’s of war.

 

The little guy is my brother David Merle VanVleck, who served in the Air Force during peace time.

 

 

 

 

1943-donald_dewitt_s_obituarydonald-jpg
Pfc. Donald W. DeWitt, was killed in World War II during the Battle of the Bulge. He was my uncle.

 

 

 

Also in WWII, was my Uncle Edward DeWitt and my Uncle Johnny McCarter.  Johnny McCarter,  was a Medic.

 

1872-orrin-dewitt-one-lineorrinsmThis is a photo of Orrin DeWitt, Civil War soldier

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1861-richard-dewitt-on-wikipedia

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There are some things parents should not do; naming your child after beaches and spaceships may be yet two of those things.  But, definitely, do NOT name your child the exact same, albeit not common name of a relative.

 

My brother was named David Merle VanVleck.  Mom wanted to name him Allen.  She had loved the name Allen since she was a little girl, but since she also had a boyfriend named Allen-before she met Dad, he would not agree to name my brother Allen.  David was decided upon and Merle was picked by mom, because it was the name of the one cousin who treated mom nicely in Dad’s family.

 

It takes awhile to accept a new wife in some families.  Suddenly, everything the previous wife (who is deceased-which is even worse, especially for her) ever did is wonderful and besides, the new wife is a floozy. She must be; as she wears mascara, lipstick, nylons and high heels.  It was around 1940, after all and her new sister-in-law did not think too highly of her.

 

So, this baby boy comes along and they name him David Merle VanVleck, without ever once thinking about the fact that Dad’s brother and his wife also named their little boy, who might have been a year older or not, David Merle VanVleck.  This would have been fine if my brother had stayed in Indiana and not moved to Illinois and a neighboring city to his cousin.  But, he did.

 

Let me put a disclaimer here; as with all family posts, there must be a disclaimer.  Don’t sue me.  There, that’s it, ‘cause I’m going to tell the truth, as I remember it and I don’t have any assets worth suing over.  Unless you want that laptop with VISTA.

 

Unlike my brother, the other David Merle VanVleck; my cousin, David, had a mean look about him.  I didn’t like the way he would glare at me, when I was a young girl, and say mean things and then smile. That smile, I was convinced had a mass-murderer type of aspect to it and I avoided him when I could.  

 

When my cousin grew up, he made a lot of debts he did not pay, and then he stole money from his father and who knows what else.  I don’t because I still stayed away from him. He also left his wife, who is a beloved member of this family yet and loved him (and even cared for him at the end) until the day he died. His current wife did not show up for his funeral.

 

My brother, having moved to the nearby town in Illinois, would receive his cousin’s bills and collection notices, and all kinds of other troubles.

 

What brings me to this place is that even yet, eighteen years after his death, I think it may be haunting him still.  One of my search terms the other day was:

david van vleck sucks

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Two people, actually searched those four words.  Now, my brother’s name gets a lot of searches for it.  I know there are other VanVleck’s out there and some may even “suck”, but I gotta tell you that both of my families, the good and the bad, David Merle VanVleck’s are deceased now. Both from the cancer that haunts both sides of my family and both were way too young when they died.

 

But, I will guarantee you that my brother was not the David Merle VanVleck, who “sucked.” David was an outdoors, camping, camera toting, phlebotomist, computer nerd, Boy Scout Leader, and listener of The Irish Rovers that we all loved.   And, I am stating we all loved my brother, David, and not the Irish Rovers.  Thank goodness for head phones.

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