The Hawaii Years 1954 – 1955

Russell in Hawaii in 1954

This is a picture of my Uncle Russ when he was stationed in Hawaii at Hickam Field from February 1954 to October 1955.  He loved photography and was pretty good at it.  Most of his pictures from Hawaii were on slides.  I thought they were beautiful.  Unfortunately I do not have them.  In the 1980’s he was living in Arizona and and moved back to Illinois.  He left the slides with some friends who were suppose to send them, but never did.  So I am afraid they are lost forever now.  I remember he sent me a doll and a grass skirt from Hawaii.  In the picture he has the camera around his neck.  I love his crew cut and he wore his hair that way for many, many years after he was discharged from the Navy.

My son loves photography too and inherited some of his camera’s and lenses.  Below are a couple of more pictures from the Hawaii years.  In the one picture he has his camera in his hand.  Uncle Russ married three times and divorced three times.  He never had any children.  After the last marriage and divorce he said he was done and never married again.  He lived alone and became somewhat of a hermit in his old age.  Uncle Russ passed away on October 4, 2011 at the the age of 80 years, three months, and six days.  We all love and miss him.  RIP Uncle Russ!

The Navy Years

Uncle Russ in Navy 001

My Uncle Russ was 16 years old when I was born and oh how I loved and adored him!   When I was 5 years old he joined the Navy and the thought of him being gone for four years seemed like an eternity to me.  He was our mailman and I saw him everyday.  I would follow him down the street as he delivered mail to each house.  Before he left, he bought me a parakeet, and he sent me gifts from wherever he was stationed.  Of course, I saw him now and then when he had leave, but it was quite a change from seeing him everyday.  Here are a couple of pictures of my Uncle and me during those years.

Uncle Russ and me 1952
Uncle Russ and me 1952 at Great Lakes Naval Base
Uncle Russ and me 1952

Uncle Russ and me 1952 in front of Grandma and Grandpa’s house

Notice my sailor suit and I am wearing Uncle Russ’ hat.


Uncle Russ and me on September 7, 1953

This was taken in my grandparent’s backyard and that is my mother in the background.


Uncle Russ, me, and Grandpa 1953

This was in front of my grandparents house and that is my grandfather in the doorway. The dress I had on was homemade by my Aunt Frances. The shoes I had on were loafers. I remember how much I wanted loafers, but I had narrow feet and it was hard to find a pair that did not fall off my feet. My mother must have taken me to every shoe store in town and surrounding towns until we found a pair that didn’t fall off my feet.

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst