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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 SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 8 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html

Thursday, January 30, 2020

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

Pieter's Mom and Pieter himself went again to the special studio for a spoken letter to Marine Brother Toon
Marine Antonius (Toon) P.M. Vedder
The second son  had to go overseas in 1947 to Dutch Indonesia, for the Indonesian National Revolution. He'd joined the Marine on March 5, 1947 and after some special training they left for Indonesia.
On July 30, 1947 he left on the old 'Volendam', from Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Once again: Grateful to NIMH The Netherlands for extracting its contents! See for more info link below from first post at bottom where I explain about donating these records to the Dutch Institute for Military History 
Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie
Ministerie van Defensie
Pieter still being only child at home and this was with Easter, on March 28, 1948, a goose egg being boiled and  painted.
Pieter on the left, his Mom and his Dad.
This is my hand, holding the thin paper envelope around this Gevaphone record mailed out to Marine Antonius Vedder...
The Gevaphone record with spoken letter by Pieter's Mom and by Pieter himself, written down in Dutch.
Again it turned out to be 'speed-speech' for trying to say as much as possible in 1.5 minute!
Thanks to the help of Gillis Video we could hear it in slow motion for capturing the words!
Translated into English above:
Mother: And now I'm going to talk to you, it's not going to be that smooth yet, but I'll do my best.
First, Toon, everything is still going well with us. What are you saying? Are you as healthy as chicken? Yes you looked like you used to look like you were with us and now, according to the picture, I can't say you've changed a lot.
And now that you’ve become assistent cook now your tummy will grow in size. 
Because the proverb says who's closest to the fire warms himself best.
Has everything been repaired again that they don't need so many technicians and bench mechanics anymore?
Then you're ahead of us here in Holland.
And now I first want to move to our own surroundings.
We slowly are moving into summer.
Now I'm glad we've had the winter behind us because sitting in the cold isn't always fun either.
If only we had a bit of the cold here (she means warmth!) from you!
We live in the country for heat you can say, so every human has something.
East West, it's not that good at home.
To stay in Groessen, we are gradually sowing and planting again.
In the greenhouses, the lettuce and cauliflower are fine and the plants under the flat-glass also.
Finally, Toon,  thank the nuns on behalf of your parents for all the fun time you have spent there.
And now I end up with a firm handshake from your Father and your Mother and Piet will fill the rest of the record.
the plants under the flat glass... like in this photo showing flat glass gardeners click it
Yes, that is to say the voice of mine.
I'm talking to the microphone here for a minute and a half, but that's not that easy.
Oh, dude, you should have seen and heard those preparations! You'd have roared with laughter. 
You’ve lost your mind says one, you can't put that in, who knows who's going to be there when they play that record.
You know what you're doing, said another, you can just write everything you said to Theet, you'll change a few things. 
Yes, that's all well, but if they ever will switch it, you'll end up looking stupid.
We're all fine, you've heard that.
And a lot more, I don't have a towel for you either.
If you start picking on someone, you'll say exactly as Willem Kruis: 'You don't get any supper tonight.'
But then Thé, who writes that they're not so generous with the food. I told him see to it that you're pretty much back home again with Henk Lubbers, by then we'll make sure we have fattened a pig.
We are now also in the big fasting (Lent)!
But now no nonsense. I'll take the accordion and play a tune.
For Theet I played the Blue Danube but for you I have to turn down a few others because you're not that classic and then you can always trade it.
Well there it goes with the best greetings of your brother Piet Vedder.
Genbat is genie bataljon or genius battallion...
Pieter still only child, with his Mom to the left and Dad to the right, while his older brothers were at war for almost 2.5 and 3 years...
Pieter's Mom enjoying her cup of tea while reading one of her son's letters from Indonesia...
Pieter's Mom, penning letters to her two eldest sons at war...
Difficult times but they made it back home safe!
Listen to Pieter's Mom (side A) and Pieter talk (side B) to Toon... All merged together.

De Indië-Gangers 1945-1950
The Indonesia-Goers 1945-1950
A book with compilation of stories by e.g. A.P.M. Vedder about his Marine period.
He proudly shows his received copy on December 9, 2003.
Pictures from his eldest daughter Myriam, Pieter's Goddaughter.
Toon died almost 3 years later but he leaves quite a legacy behind for his descendants...

Next post is about Pieter playing his accordion for his Marine Brother.

Related links:
1948 Gevaphone Record with Young Pieter Playing his Accordion for Brother in Uniform | previous post
72 Years Later... Gevaphone Spoken Letters to Military Brother Employed Overseas | previous post


  1. Dearest MAriette,
    it really is so nice to see all your wonderful memories!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Wishing you and Pieter a lovely weekend!
    Love and hugs, Claudia xo

    1. Dearest Claudia,
      This was not about seeing but about hearing incredible memories!

  2. This post is full of interesting memories.

    1. Dearest Endah,
      Yes, it is a valuable piece of history!

  3. Wars are cruel events that deprive millions of people of life of senseless fights for an idea.
    As if it were great to live in a world filled with love of harmony without proving who is saliva and is right.
    If there was love in us and then poured out on our neighbors, there would have to be no wars,
    She remembers interesting and good that they are alive but they have a lot of experience of suffering senseless death.

    1. Dearest Agnieszka,
      There is no war without unnecessary suffering; from both sides...
      Throughout history, our nations leaders have always tried to enrich their territory or for whatever reason empower them... They forced their fighters to do the dirty work for them...
      Poland has been invaded from the East and the West, over the ages. Our dear Polish friend lost his brother and Parents in Auschwitz, they all were born in Lodz. Because he was at the University in Tel Aviv, he survived...

  4. Liebe Mariette,

    Herzlichen Dank für deinen schönen Post.
    Alles Liebe

    1. Liebe Elisabeth,
      Schön ist nicht das Wort hier, aber ein reicher Post wobei men die Stimmen von damals hören kann...
      Liebe Grüße,

  5. Hello Mariette, It must be strange for Pieter to hear his voice and music (let alone his mother's) from so long ago. What memories these records and photos must bring back!

    Farming under those glass frames looks like hard work. Together with all you have taught us about mushroom culture and your family's farming operations, we should appreciate agriculture workers to a much greater extent.

    1. Dearest Jim,
      There are hardly words that can describe the feeling. So unreal and yet, we both are grateful for having received this in time! The two brothers have never been able to listen to them, since the war and their return.
      The flat glass was only minimal, and often just for raising seedlings in pressed squares, that would be planted out into the field, weather permitting at a later stage. Look here at such a press: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/375980268894097161/
      Underside of such press with indents for hole where seedlings were pushed inside: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/375980268894097280/
      This is how Dad did his lettuce and cauliflower etc: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/375980268894097255/
      Yes, it always has been and still is hard work, even with larger scale and mechanizing.

    2. Jim, the flat glass was merely for advancing the growing season, for having certain products early at the auction for sales. It sure was very labor intensive and is no longer being done.

  6. Replies
    1. Dearest Anne,
      It is pure bliss to hear their voices NOW!

  7. When I pushed play to hear the recording, I did not think it would be as clear as it is. Remarkable after all of these years. What treasure you have. I like the sepia tone picture of Pieter's Mother penning a letter to her two sons, the lamp, curtains and Mom sitting at the window with sunlight coming through the curtains. She has such a pleasant look while writing, the love she has for her sons shines through. Great post!
    Hugs Betsy

    1. Dearest Betsy,
      Thank you for your kind words and yes, it sure was amazing for both of us to hear what they still managed to get off these records. So happy with them and that at least Pieter could hear it himself.
      Those sepia tone photos do have character and this particular photo is very special as it captured so well the emotion. Will write later another post with it... quite a story to tell still.
      Parents endured a lot during those years!

  8. Dear Mariette - before you showed us this and also the previous post I had no idea that it was possible to do these kind of recordings so many years ago, and then to be able to send it overseas. It must have been a huge comfort to Pieter's brothers and also to the family themselves to know that this was possible.
    The photograph of Pieter's Mom, penning letters to her two eldest sons at war is very poignant.

    1. Dearest Rosemary,
      Yes, those were popular in the 1940s and what a blessing for loved ones to hear the voice of their mother or sibling.
      No doubt it gave them huge comfort and for that purpose Pieter captured this photo, for sending along in a letter...
      Pieter said that they only once did go to this special make-shift studio for a recording. Guess they travelled through the country...
      That very letter I will do a follow-up story about later.

  9. How fortunate to have so much memorabilia from that time period. It truly is amazing. And what a gift to be able to hear these remarkable tapes after all this time.

    1. Dearest Tammy,
      Those truly were long preserved treasures and hearing the voices of my young Pieter and his Mom is precious and also hearing him play his accordion.

  10. It’s really wonderful that you could listen to those spoken letters and put in written form as well. It must have been quite a task to speak as fast as possible to record everything in a limited time. Saying cold instead of warmth is very understandable! Such a hard time to have family away at war...glad they came back safely.
    Thank you for sharing this, Mariette xo

    1. Dearest Tamago,
      A very joyful moment to finally hear them! Having to hurry up for delivering their message in only 1.5 minute must have made them a little nervous and yes, mixing up some words is kind of build in.
      Those were very tough years but they all lived through it being stronger.

  11. Dera Mariette
    These memories are precious. The memory of a lifetime is important. You are the key master of memory.
    Big kiss

    1. Dearest Nathalie,
      Yes, they are and especially for the next generations to keep.
      So far I've tried hard to help preserve some of these precious moments !


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