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April, 2000


(As Related by Julia)

In memory of Dad, Leon, whose birthday was this month, 4/24/12...

(The book, Drums Along the Mohawk, by Walter D. Edmonds, has been in our family since Dad selected it from the library of a German businessman in Japan, on 2/23/47. After Mom and Dad had enjoyed it, Larry appreciated the work during his teen-age years, while the family was living in Oneida, New York. The following history is Mom's record of the circumstances by which it was acquired, as told by Leon.)

After World War Two ended Dad was stationed in Japan to investigate war crimes in his capacity as Intelligence Officer. I believe he was a Major at the time; later getting a promotion to Lt. Col. before his service in the Air Force ended. His investigative work took him to a number of places in Japan but most of the time his headquarters was in Tokyo where he stayed at I think the Dai Ichi Hotel. This was the same place as Gen. MacArthur had his headquarters; and Dad told of seeing him leaving the hotel; and it was common to see the Japanese people bow to him as he went by. It was often remarked that The General played the conquering hero to perfection.

During the course of one investigation Dad became acquainted with a German importer who lived in Tokyo. He had been accused of collaborating with the Japanese during the War. Dad was able to determine that the man was innocent; they became friends and this man had Dad come for dinner occasionally at his fine home. When Dad was returning home after his tour of duty was over the German wanted to show his gratitude and gave Dad a lovely strand of cultured pearls for me and asked Dad to choose a book from his library -- Drums... was Dad's choice.

I sold the pearls and bought the piano which remained with us until we left Austin. I had wanted to learn to play but after a few months of lessons I had to admit I had no talent and little time to try. (Added by Larry: Jeanie took lessons with this piano for years while she was growing up. Later it went to David at the first house he and Celia bought, when Mom and Dad were about to move from Austin to McGregor, near Waco, Texas.)

Dad didn't continue his relationship with the man. At the time I believe "Bobby Schnell" had a son in N.Y. and another in Tokyo, or Germany, working with him in the Import-Export business. They are probably all dead by now and so I suppose this ends the story.

This could hardly be regarded as "spoils of war" -- just a memento of a personal friendship.

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