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The Wait is Almost Over!

Two – count them – TWO more days!  At midnight on April 2nd, the United States National Archives will release the 1940 census – the first to be released in 72 years.  For those of us that research our family history – this is like the Super Bowl on steroids!  I am essentially foaming at the mouth.  I can’t wait to find my father (and many other family) in the 1940 census.  And then there are the brick walls – will the 1940 census solve some mysteries for me? 

Stephen P. Morse in his article published in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (December of 2011) stated that a complete name index will not exist until at least six months after opening day.  Consequently, if you hope to find your ancestors in the 1940 census, you will need to find them by location – and specifically you will need to know which enumeration district they resided in.  You can read the entirety of Mr. Morse’s article here.  Additionally, Stephen Morse has a tool on his website which he calls the “One-Step.”  This will enable you to quickly figure out the enumeration district that your ancestor lived in and hopefully give you a head start into the search for your ancestors in the 1940 census.

                                                           Fun facts about 1940: 

….the average car cost $1,611

….a gallon of gas cost 18 cents

….a loaf of bread cost 8 cents

….a typical man’s suit cost $24.50

….nylons cost 20 cents

….an Emerson radio cost $19.65

….a Philco refrigerator cost $239

….a pork loin roast cost .45/pound

….the average home cost $3,920

….a Sealy mattress cost $38

….the movie “Rebecca” by Alfred Hitchcock won the Academy Award

….the song “Frenesi” by Artie Shaw was a top song

We laugh at these costs now – but keep in mind – taking inflation into account – $100 of their money would translate to $1,433.771 in today’s market.

For those of you who are working on the same family lines – let’s partner up – no sense in duplicating effort!  As I find family in the 1940 – I will post here.  As you find family – send me the image. 

I know what I’m doing this weekend – I’m hunting down enumeration districts !

 

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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Odds and Ends

 

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Sins of the Father

Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.

The heartbreaking truth is that most of us don’t have to look very far into our family history to find trauma and tragedy. The majority of us can trace back to within a generation or two and find an ancestor who struggled with an addiction.  It has been said that certain crosses must be borne by certain families – alcoholism/drug addiction, depression and mental illness are but a few examples.

As I work through the genealogy of each particular family line, I always take note when I see that a certain addiction or illness seems prevalent among its members.  I often ask myself: “How did this person get so far off track”?  Does addiction run in families because a child learns to become an addict from his parents?  What role does the home environment play in the development of an addict?  Or alternatively does he become an addict because he inherited the predisposition genes from his parents?  Perhaps the addiction stems from a combination of these factors?  Researchers are conflicted – and so am I.

We have many examples of both scenarios in our family lines. Here are two:

Georgia Zimmerle by all accounts came from a loving and stable family home. Neither her parents nor her siblings were known to have issues with drugs and/or alcohol. She was the youngest and only daughter of William Riley Zimmerle and Sarah Agnes Patterson – born in the small west Texas town of Lawn, Taylor County, Texas. She was doted upon by her parents and older brothers. She met, fell in love with and married a baseball player by the name of Bill Shores. Bill went on to become a Major League player, playing for the Giants and the White Sox. Georgia traveled with him and lived in places far from her home in small-town Texas. Georgia and Bill had two beautiful daughters – two more little girls died in infancy. I don’t know if Georgia’s drug addiction and alcoholism played a role in the subsequent dissolution of her marriage. Georgia remarried a man by the name of Oliver Jennings Gibson. Not much is known about Georgia’s life in the ensuing years.

Georgia Zimmerle

The addiction that Georgia suffered from (some say prescription drugs – her death certificate indicates barbiturates and alcoholism) eventually took her life. Her family agonized with her through it all and tried their best to help her overcome the demon of addiction. Tragically, Georgia lost her battle on a summer day in August of 1951 at the age of 46. Her body was discovered many days after she had died at home in Dallas from a barbiturate overdose. Georgia was brought home and laid to rest in the small cemetery of Dewey in Lawn, Texas – back among her family who loved her. In this family line, Georgia’s addiction seems to have been an isolated incident.

Georgia Zimmerle - News Article

However, in some family lines the addiction seems to follow a generational (and predictable) pattern.

Tilman P. Curbow, in the spring of 1876, at the age of about 55 years, was charged with aggravated assault when he “cut” the bartender in a “barroom difficulty.” The article leaves many details to our imagination. Am I insinuating that Tilman Curbow was an alcoholic? No, but the story is intriguing nonetheless, particularly when you look at the lives of some of his children and grandchildren and then beyond.

Tilman’s son, Henry Harrison Curbow, died tragically young at the age of only 26 years old in Waco on 10 Jan 1885 of causes not known to me. He was apparently boarding and being nursed by a non-family member to whom he was paying room, board and nursing care. In his estate papers I found a notation that Henry owed the caretaker $3.00 for “three quarts of whiskey at $1.00 per quart.” Again, I am not jumping to a conclusion that Henry was an alcoholic, but it is an interesting pattern.

Tilman’s grandson (and son of Martha Isabell Curbow), William Franklin Bedwell was said to be an abusive alcoholic who died young at the age of 46. At the time of his death William was incarcerated in the Tarrant County jail on a drunk charge. While imprisoned there he was murdered by a fellow inmate. William’s brother, James Monroe Bedwell was said to also be a “drinker,” though not at the level of William and not abusive or violent. James’ daughter Floy Bedwell, when writing her life story, often laments about the addiction that ran through her family and how it adversely affected the lives of many of her siblings.

If you follow this family line, you will find many of its members who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction to this very day.

Again, the question must be asked – is this genetic or is this a learned behavior? As Jan Shafer (daughter of Floy Bedwell) so aptly stated: If we can learn anything from our genealogy as it pertains to addiction issues, it should tell us to be vigilant with our children. If the issue is openly discussed and recognized – early intervention could be the difference between life and death.

If you or a family member are stuggling to overcome an addiction – get help – now.  Alcoholism isn’t a spectator sport. Eventually the whole family gets to play – Joyce Rebeta-Burditt.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Curbow, Zimmerle

 

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Always a Smile

I’ve heard it said that a sacrifice without a price is meaningless. Today, I wish to speak to you of a mother’s love and sacrifice for her children. To be sure, our family tree is full of wonderful mothers; however, this one continues to stand out. Olive May Waldie Bedwell – wife of brothers William Franklin Bedwell and James Monroe Bedwell – protected and nourished and bestowed each of her many children (and some that weren’t biologically hers) with love and continued devotion. She sacrificed many things in her life time – and always did so with a smile on her face and joy in her heart.

Olive was one of eight children born to Thomas Harrison Waldie and Josephine A. Wylie on 28 April 1882. She spent her childhood in McLennan County, Texas where she presumably met William Franklin Bedwell. William was the son of Martha Isabell Curbow and the grandson of Tilman P. Curbow. According to granddaughter, Jan Shafer, Olive was in love with William’s younger brother James Monroe Bedwell; however, her parents pressured her into marrying William because they thought that he could provide a better life for her. The couple married in McLennan County on 21 Jan 1901. William and Olive had four children: Evelyn in 1901; Preston Wiley in 1903; William Langston in 1906; and Merrill Fern, 1912. Due to William’s apparent alcoholism this couple eventually divorced – formally sometime around May of 1916. Later, in 1927, William was incarcerated in the Tarrant County jail on a drunk charge where he was murdered by another inmate.

In the meantime, the love of her life, James Monroe Bedwell had married and subsequently lost his wife (Clara) in child-birth – leaving him with two small babies, Homer and Paul Bedwell, to care for. Whether or not Olive and Jim ever “formally” married is not know; however, they began living together in a common law marriage sometime between 1913 and 1915. Olive took Jim’s two babies and raised them as her own. Jim and Olive subsequently had six more children together: Llese Deloris in 1915; Maurine Lillian in 1917; James Madison in 1915; Floy Laverne in 1920; Joy Lavonne in 1920 (twins); and Nana Ruth in 1921. Sadly, James Monroe Bedwell never saw the birth of his youngest child, Nana Ruth.  He died of an unexpected heart attack – he was only 38 years old.

The death of Jim Bedwell must have come as a heavy blow to Olive and the family. Granddaughter Jan states: Olive’s life was a very hard one. Jim worked for the railroad. The family lived within a block of the tracks and after Jim’s death they continued to live there until sometime in the late 50s. Olive worked as a laundry woman washing and ironing for others from her house. The older children helped a little with supporting themselves. As my grandmother aged she earned money by babysitting children (something she had experience with), so you see her house was always full of people. Every year she won the prize at church for having the most children. (She had 14 pregnancies total but some did not go to term). I was told there was an agency that wanted to remove the children from the home because they did not think she could support them. A newspaper picked up the story and there was a huge public support for her to keep them. The children stayed with their mother. I saw this crumbling article once. It had all the kids in the picture standing on the steps of (maybe a church or mission). I have looked for this newspaper article but have no idea what paper or date. My mother told me they never believed in Santa because he couldn’t visit them. She remembered sitting on the floor as a small child with Jimmie and Maurine wrapping a brick with newspaper and taking turns unwrapping it with surprise like it was a package – this story broke my heart and every year I gave my mother a big beautifully wrapped package with a toy inside for the child that Santa forgot.

Just this last weekend, we were able to locate the newspaper article that Jan mentions above.  It was published on 4 July 1926 in The Advocate:

Fort Worth, Tex., July 3. – Twelve children are growing up in the Fort Worth home of Mrs. Olive Bedwell. There is only Mrs. Bedwell to support and care for them. She supports them by taking in washing. They are healthy children, and happy. “Sweet children,” adds Mrs. Bedwell, “and such a comfort to me.” The story of them is an epic of what two hands can do. Nana Ruth is the youngest. She was two some time ago. Nine of the others are Nana Ruth’s brothers and sisters. Two are orphans whom Mrs. Bedwell took to raise.

Always a Smile – Mrs. Bedwell’s husband died several years ago. Since then she has earned $10 to $15 a week by washing and ironing. And though her hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., no visitor to her home finds other than a smile on her face. When her husband died, there was $6 due from his employer. Mrs. Bedwell offered it to a doctor who aided when Nana Ruth came. The doctor refused it, and Mrs. Bedwell spent the $6 for a Bible for the children to read. Every Sunday she takes her flock to Sunday school, along with a dozen other children of the neighborhood. “They like quantity at my church,” Mrs. Bedwell laughs, “and I’m a mighty popular member.” Two of Mrs. Bedwell’s children are old enough to earn a little money for themselves now. Another, a girl, now in high school, has been given a business college scholarship and is ready to study shorthand and typing. “My goodness, what have I to complain of?” this mother asks. “Lots of people ask me how I can be so cheerful. I just don’t have time to get blue.”

Were Seven Others – Somebody gave Mrs. Bedwell an electric washing machine. Once in a while people give her dresses for the children. The Union Gospel Mission of Fort Worth gives $10 of the $25 per month Mrs. Bedwell is paying on the little house in which she and the children live. “We get along beautifully,” Mrs. Bedwell sums up. “We never have been hungry. If people bring us things, I am thankful and accept them as gifts from God, who always will provide.” In addition to her ten living children, Mrs. Bedwell was the mother of seven who died. “I wish they all were with me,” she says, as she tells the striking story of what two hands, simple faith, unfaltering courage, and unwavering love can do.

Olive – you built a wonderful legacy, and here’s to a job well done!

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Bedwell

 

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Little Boys No Longer Lost

A new and fresh genealogy find always gets my heart to pumping. I so love how the genealogy community works together to solve each other’s mysteries. My hat is off to those of you that started out “pre-internet” – I don’t know how you did it!

Today I received a comment on the blog from Norma Thronburg. And guess what? The little sons of Jennie Curbow and Robert Alexander Story have been found! Not that they were ever lost – we just didn’t know where they were laid to rest! We always assumed that the boys were laid to rest in Axtell Cemetery along with their parents and brother Frank Story (the only son to survive to adulthood). However, they are not listed on the burial index nor did my husband and I find markers for them when we visited Axtell last summer.

Well, thanks to Norma and Find-a-Grave volunteer Mark Dutton, we now know that the boys are laid to rest in Yowell Cemetery. I haven’t been successful in finding any history on this cemetery but it appears to be a small abandoned family cemetery located on ranch land near Axtell in McLennan County, Texas. Many of the stones seem to be toppled and some are broken. Thankfully, the Story boys each have a stone that is still readable.

How our Story family connects to the Yowell family is unknown to me. It looks like most of these burials took place prior to 1877 when Robert purchased his farm in Axtell. So perhaps they were neighbors? Or perhaps Robert worked for the Yowell family? In the 1880 census Robert and Jennie are in McLennan County with their sons (on Page 55). At the top of page 55 directly above the Story family two Yowell family members are enumerated: Frank Yowell, age 20, born Missouri, indexed as “son”; and John Yowell, age 19, born Missouri, indexed as “son.” However, when you check the previous page (page 54) there is no Yowell “head of house” listed. This is apparently an enumerator error – so the relationship between the families remains unclear.

The following is a listing of the Story headstones that were located in Yowell Cemetery:

Levy Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 27 Nov. 1869
Died: 20 July 1871
Levy lived only about 30 months. Robert and Jennie married on 23 Feb of 1869. He was born practically 9 months to the day!  Levy was 8 months old when the 1870 census was enumerated. He was with his parents Robert and Jennie Story – his Curbow grandparents lived a few doors down – all living “east of the Brazos River” in McLennan County. Also in the home was Harriet Hamilton (and her relationship to the family is also unknown.)

E. Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 17 Feb 1870
Died: 17 Mar 1870
Lived about 1 month – it is unknown whether E. was a male or a female – and we did not previously have this child listed in our database.  E. does not appear in any census record – the 1870 census was enumerated in July of that year, after the time of death.

T. Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 20 Nov. 1872
Died: 29 Dec 1873
Lived about 13 months – it is unknown whether E. was a male or a female – and we did not previously have this child listed in our database.

John F. Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 20 Nov. 1873
Died: 7 Nov. 1882
John lived almost 9 years and can be found with his parents in the 1880 census. We know the circumstances of John’s death through this newspaper article published in the Waco Daily Examiner, on Tuesday, November 7, 1882:

Mr. R. A. Story, who lives seven miles east of the city, on Williams Creek, lost a son, Sunday, about nine years old from a very peculiar attack of sickness. The child was recuperating from chills and had got strong enough to pick cotton. Friday morning, while going to work, he was attacked with a spasm, and from that time until death never moved or spoke, dying at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. Two physicians were called in. Dr. Pitts, of Mt. Calm, described the malady to congestion of the brain and spine. Dr. Howard of Waco, said it was black jaundice. The stricken parents only know that their child is dead and buried.

Henry A. Story (click on the link to see a picture of the headstone)
Born: 20 Jan 1875
Died: 27 Jan 1883
Henry lived 8 years. We can find him with his family in the 1880 census where he is misindexed as “Kenny A.” It is believed by me that his mother’s grandfather was Henry Curbow of Cass/Bowie County, Texas. Perhaps he is named after him?

In addition to these children, we know from the 1880 census that Robert Alexander and Jennie Curbow Story also had a son named Joseph who was born sometime in 1879. He can be found with the family in the 1880 census. Jennie stated in the 1900 census that all of her children but one had died – and it is presumed that Joseph died prior to 1900.  Joseph’s burial location is unknown to me at this time.

The only son of Robert Alexander Story and Jennie Curbow to reach his adulthood was Frank Edward Story (1892-1954) who is laid to rest in Axtell Cemetery in McLennan County with his parents.

While performing this genealogy study, I have come across many family stories of drama and trauma – but this story strikes me as one of the most tragic.  I simply cannot comprehend what it must have been like for Robert and Jennie to bury one child after the next. The death of one child would change your life forever – but this couple lost 6 of their 7 children – incredible heartache and an incredible testimony to their perseverance.

Thank you again to Norma and Mark for their time and effort and dedication to the genealogy community.  We appreciate you!

Yowell Cemetery; Axtell, McLennan County, Texas; From the collection of Mark Dutton

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Curbow, Story

 

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Year in Review

What a whirlwind this holiday season has been!  I’m enjoying my last few hours of freedom – coming off a 17-day vacation – it’s back to work for me tomorrow.

New Year’s is very often a time of reflection for many of us – the contemplation of the year gone by – and the excitement of the new opportunities yet before us.  I remember precisely what I did on New Year’s Eve 2011 – our family history blog was born!  I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning learning Word Press and setting up the blog.  At that time I only knew that I wanted a blog but I had no clear vision of what it would look like and what its purpose would be.  So needless to say, I am stunned that the blog has been viewed by 26,221 people this last year!  We have 57 subscribers that follow the 114 posts that I made.  NOT BAD for the first year!  According to the statistics, the busiest day of the year was May 30th with 358 views. Most of our visitors are genealogist enthusiasts from the United States; however, the United Kingdom and Canada were not far behind.

Here are the posts that received the most views in 2011:

(1)     A Death at Gettysburg

(2)     Growing up in Nurnberg, Germany

(3)     Happy Birthday Texas!

(4)     Henry Curbow – Puzzle Pieces

(5)     Tilman P. Curbow – Civil War Soldier

In addition to launching the blog on Word Press, I was pleased and excited to launch curbowfamily.com in June of 2011.  While the learning curve has been steep – and the work nonstop – I am very pleased with the end result.  I receive multiple emails each day from family, friends and distant cousins who are each climbing their own family tree.  It has been a pleasure to work with each and every one of you.  I look forward to making more discoveries with you in 2012 – as we continue this fascinating quest together.

Wishing you and your families a blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous NEW YEAR.

Judy

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Odds and Ends

 

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America – On the Move

As most of you know, when I delve into the life of an ancestor, I very often am not satisfied with only obtaining their statistics – I want to understand the time period and the circumstances that they lived in. In addition to learning about the various family branches, I have truly enjoyed receiving a lesson in American history – in fact – learning much more than I ever did in history class!  As I scoot around town in my little Nissan – whether it’s heading off to work or to church or running a spur-of-the-moment errand – I, like most of us, take it for granted – not realizing the many difficulties and challenges our ancestors faced when traveling from place to place.

My father, Richard Montoya - can anyone tell me the year, model and make?!

In the 1800s, the most practical (and quickest) mode of transportation for our ancestors was via our country’s waterways. Because of this, many towns and settlements cropped up close to rivers, lakes and coast lines. By way of example, the family of Richard Spencer and Mary Earnshaw, my gg-grandparents, sailed from the Port of Liverpool, England on 7 Feb 1841 and arrived at the Port of New Orleans six weeks later on 31 Mar 1841. The family then made their way up the Mississippi River (presumably by riverboat) to the “Kanesville Branch” in Pottawattamie County, Iowa (present day Council Bluffs).

George Washington Grantham

A few roads did exist during that time period; however, they were clustered in and around settled areas and were time-consuming and difficult to travel. After Richard’s death, the widow Mary Earnshaw Spencer and her children began their journey across the prairie from the outfitting post at Kanesville, Iowa on 7 Jun 1852. Their journey lasted over three months. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on 27 Sept 1852. The company consisted of 293 individuals – 10 total families – and about 65 wagons. Many of these people walked, pulled hand carts, rode horses, etc., etc. Those lucky enough had oxen which pulled their belongings in a covered wagon. It is no small wonder that many of our ancestors lived and died in the same region – some never leaving the county they were born in. I can speak for myself – I probably would not have lasted one day!

The coming of the railroad changed the course of American history. Between 1830 and 1860 America experienced a massive railway building boom. The railroad began to transport food items, livestock and coal to outlying areas – something which would have previously been impossible to undertake. The railroad provided jobs to thousands and was a boon to many industries. People began to spread their wings and many settlements began to sprout up along the new rail routes. By 1869, rail workers completed the first coast-to-coast rail line. By about 1900, the average American was enjoying such things as fruits and vegetables from California and store-bought clothes from the Sears & Roebuck catalog – all thanks to the speed and efficiency of the railroad.

Atwood Family – Migration from Missouri to Texas

And then at the turn of the century came the beloved American automobile. At first only the upper class could purchase this new contraption. By 1920, eight million Americans owned their own automobile. The burden of travel was slowly lifting; however, automobile travel remained difficult for some period of time as few good roads existed. In addition, it should be remembered that in the 1920s and even into the 1930s, horse-drawn wagons and cars shared the same road.

By the 1930s, more than half of America’s families own an automobile. This further fueled businesses such as repair shops, tire stores and gas stations. By the 1950s, nearly 50 million cars were on America’s roadways.  And we do love our cars, don’t we?!  In fact, it became part of the much spoken of “American Dream,” symbolizing our freedom and independence.  Today, most American households have multiple vehicles.  We have the freedom to shop and work practically anywhere we want.  Our cities have grown large and sprawling.  We started with riverboats and horses – and for most of us, the automobile is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.

Samuel David "Mack" Ham with new bride Ruby

And then there was the Saturday morning that my husband quit his job – and we promptly went to the car dealership and bought a new car AND a new pick-up.  That’s just how us Curbows roll – I wonder what the ancestors would have thought about that?!

Floyd M. Puckett and new bride Mable Jemima Ham

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Grantham, Ham, Montoya, Times and Places

 

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Bravo Blast

Gene Oliver Curbow was born 5 Nov 1933 in Roswell, Chaves County, New Mexico, the middle son of Roy Oliver Curbow and Allie Ernestine Ham. He married Thelma Bernice Raincrow, a member of the Cherokee Nation, in 1952. This couple had one son and divorced shortly after his birth. A few years later Gene married Cleta Fern Payne in July of 1952. This couple had three daughters. While I never had the opportunity to meet Gene Curbow personally, what interests me about him is his military service to our country and how he played his role in American history. You see, Gene Curbow was the weatherman on Bikini Island on the day of the Bravo Blast.

Gene enlisted into the United States Air Force in August of 1951. According to his younger brother, Gene was stationed on an island as a weatherman and was discharged from the Air Force with some type of disability. Many years ago Don saw Gene being interviewed by Linder Ellerbe on television regarding a radioactive contamination incident.

At military enlistment - with father Roy; mother Allie; and older brother Roy

After some research it was confirmed that Gene Curbow was one of twenty-eight servicemen present on Bikini Island the morning of March 1, 1954 when the Bravo Blast occurred. Detonated on a reef on Bikini Atoll, the Bravo test was the first United States explosion of a deliverable hydrogen bomb. The scientists (having grossly underestimated the size of the explosion) produced a yield of 15-megatons, making it more than 1,000 times the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The blast tore a crater more than ½ mile wide and several hundred feet deep and threw millions of tons of radioactive debris into the air. The fireball was almost three miles in diameter.  The Bravo Blast resulted in the worst single incident of fallout exposure in all the U.S. atmospheric testing programs. Twenty-three Japanese fishermen, 28 U.S. servicemen (Gene among them) and more than 200 Marshallese were caught in the fallout.

Quote from Gene Curbow, HQ Weather Reporting element (U.S. Air Force) on Rongerik Atoll, 1954: Prior to…and for weeks leading up to the blast the prevailing upper level troughs indicated that wind was blowing to the vicinity of our island.

In an article entitled, Deadly Snow written by Robert Milliken in 1986 he states that: One of the weathermen, Gene Curbow, is suffering from leukemia and is suing the U.S. government. He attributes his cancer, like that suffered by many Marshallese since Bravo, directly to radiation exposure

Actual Photograph of Bravo Blast Mushroom Cloud

It appears that there were numerous lawsuits filed in the aftermath of the Bravo Blast; however, one of the most significant included: Curbow, et al v. United States.  The lawsuit sought damages of $10 million dollars on behalf of five of the American servicemen who were subjected to the Bravo Blast fallout on Rongerik Atoll. I do not know if any of these cases ever went to trial or were settled. From the Petition:

The wind had been blowing straight at us for days before the test. It was blowing straight at us during the test and straight at us after it. The wind never shifted. Gene Curbow, senior weather technician on the neighboring atoll of Rongerik, who took radio-sound weather measurements up to an altitude of 30,000 meters before and after Bravo. Curbow and U.S. veterans stationed there have suffered since from a variety of illnesses, including cancer, tumors, heart and thyroid conditions, and urinary and bladder disorders that they say were related to Bravo. Three of them said they had difficulty fathering children or had had sickly offspring.

From a newspaper article dated 13 Feb 1983, when asked why the servicemen waited so long to file suit, Gene Curbow, replied: It was a mixture of patriotism and ignorance. The article goes on to state that: The government admits that the men were exposed to large doses of radiation but denies that their injuries are related. They say the U.S. and its contractors knew that east winds would carry the bomb’s fallout to the Marshall Islands but gave the go-ahead for the test and later attempted a coverup. You can read the article in its entirety here.

Weatherman

There is a series of videos posted on YouTube entiled “Half Life” which pertain to the Bravo Blast coverup.  See the video here – scroll to about minute 4.40 and you will see Gene Curbow giving a statement. 

After Gene’s retirement from military service, he spent time in Texas and Kentucky and then settled in Roanoke, Virginia with his wife and children.  He died there 12 Feb 1994 at the age of 60.  He is laid to rest in Evergreen Burial Park.

To Gene Curbow – and all others involved in the Bravo Blast – it doesn’t appear as if America treated you honorably in this instance.  But we, all these many years later, nonetheless acknowledge your sacrifice and service and thank you for your service to America.

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Curbow, Times and Places

 

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