March 25, 2021

Little brothers Delbert and Elbert


Such a strange thing that these four cousins serving in World War II had such little siblings back home in Athens!  Leroy, Ralph and Hoyt Cate all served in the military—Leroy and Hoyt in the Army and Ralph a Navy pilot—mostly in Europe.  Glenn Hurst served as an Army medic in the Japanese. The “surprise” children in both families were the Cate twins Delbert and Sally for Glenn’s mother and stepfather.  Although our “grown up” siblings thought we were quite cute and paid us some attention, we didn’t share those “growing up” experiences with them. They were almost parental figures.

This sweet photo shows the Cate twins decked out in their “military” uniforms—perhaps a gift sent by one of their big brothers overseas. They look appropriately serious and soldierly. 

Sally goes Hawaiian

Glenn (or Bob, as he was called in the Army) sent me a little sweatshirt I loved wearing—it said “My Brother Is In the Army” on the front.  But he wins the “best big brother” trophy for this outfit he sent from Hawaii for my fifth birthday!  The grass skirt was made of multicolored straw/grass with artificial red flowers on either side of the waist.  Mother made a little silky white top for me. I had artificial white flowers for my hair—and on my arm and ankle were Hawaiian seashell bracelets Glenn sent. I remember going to the photographer’s studio to have pictures made. I think Glenn wrote Mother instructions for an authentic hula pose. Barefoot, with my left knee forward and standing on tiptoe, arms extended for the hula dance movements like the ocean waves.  Blonde, blue-eyed, with a couple of missing teeth, I felt like a beautiful Hawaiian dancer!

I still have the little sweatshirt—but the hula skirt didn’t last.  But there is a photo to tell the story and remember my big brother.

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