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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His book is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2018/03/1978-pjc-vedders-modern-mushroom.html

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

72 Years Later... Gevaphone Spoken Letters to Military Brother Employed Overseas

It is hard to imagine the feeling of touching those Gevaphone records.
Even more so when finally HEARING THEIR CONTENT!!!
Spoken Letter was for Pieter's eldest brother Thé (Theodorus) Vedder who was in the military for nearly 3 years, during the Indonesian National Revolution, without ANY time visiting home!
Tough times for Pieter's Parents who managed to live through the Depression years with their three little sons.
Lived through WWII and the Evacuation while their home got severely damaged and ALL greenhouses flattened...
Then the eldest had to go overseas in 1946 to Dutch Indonesia for the Indonesian National Revolution.
Gevaphone Record
These came from the Belgian company Gevaert and they produced them in large numbers in the late 1940s.
They consist of a carrier of cardboard with a layer of (nitro) cellulose lacquer. In this coating the grooves were cut.
NO WAY you could play those with a regular record player...
Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie
Ministerie van Defensie
So for years, since the death of Pieter's eldest brother Thé, in 2012, when we received them (had no idea they still existed) we searched for a possibility to extract their SECRETS...
Finally, the day before flying to The Netherlands to see Dad one more time while he was still alive, I got a tip from a Dutch history writer whom we had helped with info about Horticulture and Mushroom Cultivation in my Province of Limburg after 1945.
We packed all 7 Gevaphone records carefully and took them with us on the plane to The Netherlands and mailed them from there.
They got received by May 25, 2019 and we agreed to donate them to the Dutch Institute for Military History and in return receive anything that could be extracted from them.
The wait was long till December 18, 2019 when I finally got them via WeTransfer!
Now the speed was such that Pieter could not understand it...
Found a dear friend Gil Gillis from Gillis Video click it, who slowed the audio down so we could understand it.
For about 3 years, Pieter was the only child.
This is at Easter, March 28, 1948, peeling a decorated goose egg and Pieter is almost 19 here!
Pieter's Dad wore a hat often and hence his skin coloration difference.
Thé's task was in the military liaison element...
The Gevaphone record with spoken letter by Pieter's Mom and by Pieter himself, written down in Dutch.
With the slower version, I did manage to capture it and write it down.
Sure, they did try to cram as much as possible into their given 1.5 minute!
Not easy to understand at an old age with hearing difficulties...
Translated into English:
Hello Theet (his Mom called him that always!), here's your Mother's voice.
I've already written a lot of letters to the East but now there's something new under the sun.
And I'm here to have a chat with you.
First, we're all still doing excellent.
What are you saying? With you, too? Yes, I believe so!
Especially if you're making a trip to the Bandung with your boss in such 125 Horse Power truck.
Along the sawas and those beautiful overgrown mountains, a beautiful natural beauty.
And then again in a short time, eight days on leave to that beautiful city from Cirebon to Bandung.
If you let your eyes absorb a little bit of  it, then you can enjoy a lot.
The three of us have talked so many times about Indonesia and said what do these guys benefit in such a beautiful country.
Not only the population but above all the beauty of nature.
We've made the plan by bike, but because the bike's saddles are too hard we opted out.
Now Thé, another point; winter is almost past and sleeping in is over with.
Now pressure is again on horticulture with sowing and planting and in the greenhouses the lettuce and cauliflower are beautiful, and the plants under the flat-glass as well.
So you can see, we're busy again and we'll get a green leaf soon.
Well Thé, now I have to say goodbye with a firm handshake from your Father and Mother and Piet and he will fill up the rest.

~
Pieter: I’m here with the assignment for chatting one and a half minute into such a thing you call microphone, but I’m sure that is by far not easy to do, at least you should have seen and heard the preparations.
You're crazy said the one, how can you put that in now?
That doesn't make sense, who knows where these things are being played, and especially at your office, there’s a big chance in the presence of some high ranking ones. 
Yes, but that then says another - oh go away that is of absolute no value for him and so on.
That we're all doing well, you've already heard and the same you are writing, so in that regard we're even.
You have to see Toon in a few months.
You reckon that in his capacity as a cook-assistant he will not do bad, at least as far as belly gaining is concerned.
What I can gather from your letters, they're not so generous with food at your location. 
But yes if you can only get along, a human does not easily starve as you can see in Gandhi!
If you're going to last as long until you get back home, by then we'll make sure we have another pig fatted.
It's not going to be that easy to bite into a skinny piece of bacon with a mouth still tasting of chili sauce.
Ah well, I'll grab the accordion and play for you “ON THE BEAUTIFUL DANUBE"
If the musical performance isn't that great, it might still be good for ousting extremists.
Well there it goes with the best greetings from your brother Piet Vedder

This photo is from all three brothers with Parents during the 1940s...
Husband Pieter is to the left and his middle brother Toon is next to him and Thé is seated next to Mother.
~
Those were scary times, not knowing when and IF they would return home safe; so many lost their life while overseas.
For Pieter it was also hard, especially at his young age for dealing with all the emotions and for helping out as much as he could; being the only one.
Here his Mom's sister with husband and children are with them.
They lived across the street, and were very close.
Luckily in Indonesia, the two brothers somehow got to be together at times... as seen in this photo!
But none of them could get home for all those years!
It has been quite a job for putting some old photos with text into a slide show and then adding the audio in order to upload it as video on YouTube
Audio is in the original speed, not the slow version!
A little part of history being preserved...
Next post you will hear Pieter playing his accordion !
Related link:
{MEMORIAL DAY - FREEDOM HAS ITS PRICE} | previous post by me mentioning the flattened greenhouses and home...

30 comments:

  1. I had never bears of these.Treasures for certain..oh my how times have changed.good girl for translating everything.
    Remarkable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Monique,
      It was our first encounter with them too. Pieter had never seen them again and there they were, from his eldest brother.
      Quite a puzzle for finding where to have them extracted but it worked out well.
      Had to listen quite a few times for getting the translation into text!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  2. WOW, great memories, dearest Mariette!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Wishing you and Pieter a grest rest of the week and a relaxed weekend ahead!
    Love and hugs, Claudia xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Claudia,
      Those are historic treasures and great for all descendants to hold on to.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  3. Liebe Mariette,
    herzlichen Dank für deinen interessanten Post.
    Liebe Grüße
    Elisabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liebe Elisabeth,
      Gerne und so froh das wir endlich die Stimmen hören könnten.
      Liebe Grüße,
      Mariette

      Delete
  4. Hello Mariette, So many people are called to serve their country, and you can be proud that your and Pieter's families did their parts--the soldiers directly, and also those who kept thing going at home, took the hits, and rebuilt the damage.

    I used to collect 78rpm records, and I have a number of those cardboard recordings to/from soldiers. Not too surprisingly, the American ones have advertisements on them! They should play on any record player that has 78 speed, but the records are so light and sometimes warped that extra stylus pressure is sometimes needed. Also, most computer audio processing programs have pitch and speed controls on them, but they can be difficult to find or use if you don't use the program a lot.
    --Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jim,
      Yes, those depression years, followed by the devastation of WWII and immediately having two sons deployed overseas was a rough ride. But it proves again how strong humanity is in rebuilding and recovering well.
      You are an avid collector and so knowledgeable about a range of things but we both did not have the nerve for playing these ourselves... Glad we held on to them and finally found the right source for handling that.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  5. Wat prachtig opgezet Mariette en Pieter. Deze plaatjes waren wel heel goed te verstaan. Groetjes van Jo en Anne-Marie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beste Jo en Anne-Marie,
      Ja, al het lange wachten en vele werk met oude foto's en vertalen etc. heeft zich geloond!
      We zijn er beiden heel verguld mee en bovenal omdat Pieter het nog mooi kan meemaken.
      Liefs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Dearest Anne,
      Some treasures unearthed and so great to hear the voices of a young Pieter and his also young Mom.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  7. Such a hard time period. Thanks for sharing this part of history with us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Likes Chocolate,
      Yes, those were indeed very trying times.
      But proud of this well preserved piece of history!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  8. Wow, this is incredible, Mariette, that you got to listen to the spoken letters after all these years! This must be a great treasure for you and your husband Pieter. It's beyond my imagination how hard those three years were for him. Glad you get to preserve this part of the history. Thank you for sharing xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Tamago,
      Yes, those were very rough years, Pieter's entire youth and teen years in fact and then he had to serve but not going abroad anymore.
      So delighted with this work, so well done for extracting it.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  9. Such a lovely post, I find such old letters amazing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Jo-Anne,
      Yes, to hear such a 72-year old spoken letter is really amazing!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  10. Oh my goodness, Mariette. This is absolutely amazing. How incredible to have this piece of history and then be able to have it transferred so that you could actually listen to it and translate. Really and truly incredible. I can imagine how exciting it finally was to get the information after so long. And to have pictures to go with it is absolutely wonderful. So much was lost during those long years of war. The picture of Pieter with his family is priceless. I imagine this must have been one of the most satisfying moments to put all this together. It really is an incredible part of history and especially of personal importance for the family. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Tammy,
      Indeed this was a long project and especially the patience and not yet knowing IF at all they could extract something still... Touching up the old photos and finally fitting it all together was a great feeling!
      Personal history indeed.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  11. Oh my gosh, what a manifest record of history! Handsome family, Mariette.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Debbie,
      Yes, this has become a very unique piece of family history!
      Thanks for your compliment.
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  12. Mi piacciono le fotografie in bianco e nero, appena ho visto la prima mi sono rivisto quando ho fatto il militare nel 1970, la divisa è uguale.
    Serena e felice giornata a te.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caro Giancarlo,
      Ottimo per riconoscere l'uniforme e per pensare al proprio tempo di servire. Tuttavia questo è stato durante il periodo di guerra però e soprattutto, sentire ancora le voci su quei vecchi dischi è incredibile.
      Abbracci
      Mariette

      Delete
  13. You document history so well. Very interesting,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Janey,
      Thank you, trying hard to do it right...
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  14. It's amazing what modern technology can do. So happy for you and Pieter that you managed to be able to finally listen to Pieter's voice again.
    The black and white photos are so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Sami,
      Yes, that's exactly what husband Pieter also said, amazing what they still could extract from such an old and damaged record. A true treasure.
      Happy with these photos and it tells a story of a family's hardships during depression, WWII and afterwards...
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
  15. Una serena e felice domenica per te.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caro Giancarlo,
      Grazie e anche per tutti voi!
      Un abbraccio,
      Mariette

      Delete

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Mariette...

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