My Uncle Tony. SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2012 v6n1 p0528
little boy with a dog in Sussex, England. At the end of his life Uncle
Tony was still hanging around dogs, he always had one if he could. He
was in France after D-Day in 1944, and his kidney and spine took 2
bullets and shot out his ability to walk or have children. Really
thrilled me a few months ago to see his name on the South England film
society which he founded in 1949.
His cousins told me he loved
to put on plays when the daughters of Agnes Doherty gathered for
holidays in Norfolk. He told me he watched the Battle of Britain, just
by looking up at the sky in Sussex. He told me how he watched amazed as
one bullet hit him and the second bullet traveled up his arm. Pure
He could not walk, but he could watch movies, drive a
car with his hands, marry a sergeant named Beryl, watch cricket and dye
his thick hair red, black, plum. He had the big blue eyes of my
grandfather, he had very long arms and legs, I never saw him stand but
he was clearly once taller than my father who was 6'3". Anthony Dalziell
Dodgson, 1921-1984. You were truly loved.
Having to have a military sucks. We only need it because we all refuse
to behave ourselves.
I don't buy the argument that young people join the
military to get us freedom, young people join the military because
idiots are bombing and shooting them and
their family, because their government makes them, because they are
given accommodation and food and clothes and a job with cash, or because
local cops are harassing them and their mothers want them out of the
neighborhood in a paying job that also gives a trade.
Shed a tear for
those who died in battle, like my relatives Uncle Toby, Uncle Guy,
Campbell, Robert, John, Maurice, and those that died of wounds years
later, Uncle Tony, Dad, click here.
we have had so many wars in Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia.. And
the military, the young people, they have come from everywhere.
the month of March, the month of burial in a Nigerian state funeral of
the commander of the shortly lived Republic of Biafra, I was in Nigeria
as the guest of the man who had been the Chief Pilot of Biafra, click here.
Captain Augustine De Hems Okpe was busy bombing military and economic
targets in Nigeria, his wife gave birth to a son, and a year later, to
identical twin daughters whom I saw strongly influence fashion in Lagos
today. They are all, with a younger brother, US citizens. Augustine Okpe
jr, known as Austin, joined the US military during Desert Storm, and is
a decorated veteran. He runs a construction business in the US and
Nigeria. Seeing how hard he works, what beautiful buildings he
constructs, he is soldier I want to remember on Memorial Day. Because so
many heroes did not get to be him, did not get to come back to the
United States and finish school and start a successful business.
Day is all about what if? What would these young people had done if they
had survived, or if their confidence and good health had not been shot
out of them.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.
Mutiny in the Air Force. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2012 v6n1 p0507click here.
United States Air Force. Mutiny in the air force? Pilots have spoken publicly about their unwillingness to fly raptor F-22 fighter planes. Very expensive planes, the 187 planes cost the US taxpayer USD79 billion, the most expensive plane in the air force, according to ABC news. Even with all that cost, they forgot to give pilots something to breathe continuously.
Quote from ABC news: "Despite being the most advanced fighters on the planet, none of the
planes have been used on a combat mission since they went combat-ready
in late 2005. Critics told ABC News that's because the jet was designed
to fight rival, sophisticated fighters – an enemy that doesn't exist
When are the Bush presidents when we need them? I bet they could find an enemy.
No nonsense like that back in the day when we had the Tuskegee airmen and Count von Rosen and the Biafran Air Force.
But one thing has never changed. Air Force pilots are the brightest and the best in the military, and rarely has a country been good enough for these heroes.
We are moving towards Memorial Day, and the Aces museum in Philadelphia at 5801 Germantown Avenue has a terrific program on May 26.
I was hoping that Captain Okpe would be talking about his experiences as Biafran Chief Pilot at this event, but he has flown off somewhere. You can however listen to him speak on this website, watch videos made of him and read about him. A good place to start is by clicking here.
And the Aces Museum, which is the Black Veterans Museum, watch the video,
May is always frenetic and fluorescent, even the azaleas and rhododendrons look like they should glow in the dark. We have only a month in South Jersey before we really do have things that glow in the dark, fireflies. So the global war ending operations n Europe with the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945 was huge, huge news, and a great excuse for a party.
The war ended in Europe on that day, but it not end for Africans, many had ended up in the British Army one way or another; my father Dr MCH Dodgson was 25 and Captain and medical officer for an African regiment? troop? in Burma. My father did not return home to England and his bride for another 2 years because the limited number of ships ferrying soldier out were fewer because of bombs and they had to go all the way back to England to unload soldiers before they traveled all the way back again around the Horn of Africa.
The war ended in Germany, and immediately a German Catholic woman, classified Jewish by the Nazis, and her German Lutheran husband marched up to the local mayor and asked if they could finally be married, immediately! The next day, Ruth Noerdlinger married Gilbert Lothar Blossfeld, and their 4 year old son tasted ice-cream for the first time, read more and listen to the story Roses for Ruth, click here.
When Ruth died in 1993, 3 years after Gilbert, I was given her wedding ring, and I have never taken it off. That enormous promise of hope and love that was born of devastation and genocide is with me 24 hours a day.
VE Day brought a wedding to my children's family, and also a death.
My father's maternal grandmother, Agnes Doherty Dalzell-Piper Canbie (she was widowed twice by Anglican priests) dropped dead on VE Day when no-one could get to her.
I think it was a great day for an old lady to die; the world was fresh and blooming, her grandsons were mostly coming home (Robert Thomas, dead in Italy; Anthony Dodgson, bullets shot the use of his legs out of him in France). Any time I talked to any of her grand-children about her, they laughed before they said anything. Clearly a lot of fun.
How did this affect Africa? Greatly. Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Ghana were all British colonies, and the soldiers came home.
Meanwhile in Germany a highly trained Air Force (called the Luftwaffe) was suddenly unemployed and its commander, Hermann Goering, on trial for crimes against humanity. Click here for stories about his nephew, Count von Rosen, and click here his predecessor in the World War II air squadron known as the Flying Circus, the Red Baron.
The Luftwaffe somehow, I really do not understand how this happened, signed a contract with Nigeria after independence in 1960, agreeing to set up the Nigerian Air Force. Read about that in the book written by the Biafran Air Force Chief Pilot, August Okpe, in The Last Flight, click here.
Biafra was the eastern third of Nigeria that tried to become its own
nation on May 30, 1967 because other Nigerians were murdering them, on Jan 15, 1970 the
rest of Nigeria stopped murdering them and they became again part of
Nigeria click here
physician Althea Hankins MD in the basement of her building at 5801
Germantown Avenue. Read about the ballroom at the top of the building
that houses her medical practice, click here.
I am preparing for the May 25, 2012 Memorial Day celebration at the Aces Museum in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and drove there yesterday to chat with the professional woman who daily puts her heart and soul into running the museum to honor Black veterans and into running her medical practice, Althea Hankins, MD, MEdu. For story about and pictures of the Aces Museum, click here.
Dr Hankins is very proud of her MEdu, that came in the last few years with great effort. She went back to school when she was not seeing patients because she sees the Museum as an opportunity to teach children about science, about health, about the fact that the worst thing that can happen to your health is violence. Nothing like a bullet or a bomb to destroy your health or your education.
Why war? Why ever? My wise daughter, whose father survived the German genocide of Jews, tells me to follow the money. I saw an article yesterday in an Australian news source. The Australian dollar is higher than the US dollar, as it was when I arrived in Philadelphia as a post-doctoral scientist in 1978. Then, the war in Vietnam had recently finished; now, the war in the Middle East is winding down, and Australia cannot recruit enough soldiers to fill its military. So they are asking US soldiers to become Australian soldiers, because they pay more.
I was having trouble wrapping my head around this. But then I remembered, since World War II, and especially since the Battle of the Coral Sea when the US military unquestionably stopped Japanese conquest of Australia, Australian has relied n US military. National boundaries are arbitrary, both countries started off as British colonies, and each country thinks the other country is the coolest on the planet.
Maybe this is the start of a new country called United States of America & Australia. named like the country of Trinidad & Tobago. And Antigua & Barbuda. Why not. Hawaii is midway between Australia and the west coast of the USA, so Honolulu could become the capital.
last few days I have watched a documentary on the 1940 Battle of
Britain. After watching the fictionalized account. The documentary was
far more exciting, and listening to the speeches of Winston Churchill
made me feel that I was there, with my parents who were so young and
beautiful, both young physicians patching up the civilians after
horrible bombing raids in which more than 40,000 were killed.
to leaders declaring war on Germany after Germany launched the first
tri-force invasion (air, land, sea) of Poland in 1939, click here. All I am hearing is sorrow that war had not been prevented, and that war has been declared to block Germany, not conquer it.
Watch videos of Churchill giving stirring speeches, click here. And read the declaration of independence of the nation of Biafra, click here.
exciting times at Ganymede Movies LLP. The movie script and the
financial plan are in the middle stages, and will be ready for a meeting
of the Ganymede Movies LLP Advisory Board in South Jersey in September.
first movie project is slated to be a fictionalized version of the
stories of Biafran Air Force Squadron Leader Augustine De Hems Okpe, who
was Chief Pilot of the defunct nation of Biafra, and after enormously
difficult times, went on to become Chief Pilot of Nigeria's defunct
national airline, Nigeria Airways. You can read a lot about Captain Okpe on this site, a good place to start, click here. (In April he sent me 200 copies of his book in April, you can buy a copy from me, click here for my book review.)
have good people on the Ganymede Movies LLP Advisory Board, mostly
African, African American and Caribbean African. You will not read their
names on any of my sites, the working of the Advisory Board is secret,
but you will see how well they do by what comes out of it.
Don't get diabetes! If you are of African descent,
you have a higher chance of developing diabetes, and you have a higher risk of
dying from it. You can remain diabetes-free forever, or you can cure yourself
of diabetes in the early stages.
Far easier than treating a disease which will cripple you, blind you and then
kill you when your kidney dialysis no longer works or you get a stroke or
massive heart attack. You may have genes that mean you will get diabetes if you
drink sugar drinks, eat salted, fatty foods and are not active.
I have these genes, and I knew that, in 1982 when I gave birth to a big
baby (my 2nd, Miles Pekala, was 9lb 13oz; my 4th, Patience Blossfeld
Dodgson, was 10lb4oz). Once I knew that my body was programmed for
diabetes if I was not vigilant, I decided I did not want diabetes. And
day, my blood sugar is normal, blood pressure is normal and blood
cholesterol is normal.
I have compiled some of the diabetes resources on MJoTA.org, to access them, click here.