Of magpies: WWII black veterans edition

I wrote a blog post, in part, about an Ebony article from October 1946 about black GIs in Germany after World War II, of which my father was one.

Dustbury noted that he and I have something in common: we are both magpies. As he put it: “The Eurasian magpie… is wicked smart, especially for a bird… I am not quite sure how “magpie” became a descriptor for humans who flit from topic to topic, unless it has to do with the bird’s tendency to be attracted to Shiny Things, but I’m pretty sure I fit that description, and I have several readers who seem to do likewise.”

The problem with that is that I often move onto the Next Thing, less out of boredom, but the need to find something mentally Shiny, I suppose. Intellectually, at least, the phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none” is pretty true of me. I know very few things in depth, but I know a little about a lot of things.

Sometimes, people have suggested that I ought to focus this blog on one or two topics. There’s only one reason why I don’t: I don’t wanna. But it is interesting that people look to me for whatever expertise I might have.

When I stopped working at FantaCo, the comic book store in Albany, in 1988, and subsequently quit collecting comics, I figured that was the closed chapter of my life. Yet I find myself working on a FantaCo bibliography this month.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post, in part, about an Ebony article from October 1946 about black GIs in Germany after World War II, of which my father (pictured above) was one. A German documentary filmmaker wanted a high-resolution scan of the story, and thanks to a Facebook request, I was able to get one.

Incidentally, one of my sisters is convinced that one of the guys pictured on this page of the Ebony story is my father. I’m not entirely convinced. What do you think?

In any case, even though I’m not an expert at much of anything, I can be rather useful.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “Of magpies: WWII black veterans edition”

  1. The picture on the right, with his arm behind his head, looks a lot like your father. Check out his brow line and the shape of his mouth, as well as that kind of wistful look!

    Wow, the translation of the German song… yikes. Who do they think they are, white American men? Er… Amy

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