Past Life Recall #1, A memory to get us started

July 4, 2007 – 10:05 am Print This Post

I remember living in Jersey City back in the 1920’s through the 1940’s. I died in a plane crash over the English Channel just before the US joined WWII. I lived with my parents, a sister and I remember a very good childhood friend who lived nearby. We went to school together until I graduated High School. I went to a school in Weehawken NJ where I graduated. My son’s recent High School graduation (June 2007) reminded me of the cap and gown we wore. White and Red, the school colors.

I recall it as the “Liberty” school on Liberty Street. I think it’s still there. Liberty ave runs between Jersey City and Weehawken. I recall being able to walk to school. I thought this may be where I went to school and graduated. I went to Weehawken because I was finished with HS graduation requirements as a freshman in HS. They wanted me to go there because it had a more challenging program and I could graduate early. My mother reminded me that social development is more important than books so I stayed in school for the last three years as a student instructor.

From the link above It’s called Weehawken High School, 53 Liberty Place, Weehawken NJ. I recall it being about 1.5 miles from our home in Jersey City but this school was built in 1940, I graduated the same year so it’s possible there was a student overflow. It was a lot different back then and the memories are confused by age differences, perceptions, current events, and other issues. I’m also confused about dates. It’s still possible that I did graduate in 1940 but I know WWII had not included the US when I was shot down over the English channel and I also taught geometry to students in Chula Vista before being recruited into the Air Force and sent, surreptitiously to the UK. I was taking barometric pressure readings in the back of an old WWI RAF bomber. My captain was in the co-pilot seat with a stopwatch saying “Mark” ever 30 seconds so we knew when to write down the information. His name was Capt. Stewart. I clearly recall the brown leather flight jacket and talking about getting caught. We wore our Air force khakis but had no insignia on our caps. The flight jacket alone would have been enough to get us executed but Germana never got the chance.

I also remember my Mother who loved her small upright piano in the dining room, and my aunt who lived in Philadelphia. I specifically recall two events. One was a Thanksgiving dinner at her house. Her son lived with her at the time. We all ate upstairs because there wasn’t enough room in the dining room. The house had a long hallway that was more than big enough for the dozen or so of us to sit together. I also recall my nephew and myself in a car that had been “Hot Rodded”. I don’t know exactly how it was hot rodded but I do recall it had been modified some way to make it faster. And I think it was… I don’t recall the fast car part but I do recall being with my cousin sitting at a stop light talking about hot rodding cars.


These are pictures of a car I remember my Father owning when I lived in Jersey City in the 1930’s. I think it was the five passenger touring sedan. I recall it noted as a 38 Packard-Estate, the one with suicide doors. I don’t recall the exact model but I do remember driving in one of these things from Jersey City to Philadelphia where my aunt lived. Ours was dark blue, very quiet and very fast.


I also recall my father owning a Ford Model T Flatbed truck. This is a picture of the same model, a 1923 TT truck. It was painted flat black and my father kept it very nice and clean. It had an electric starter installed that we hardly ever used. It was really easy to crank start. It has a lever on the steering column to set the timing back so it won’t bite you when you crank it. We used it to haul things for people and it was kept in tip top shape.
Model TT Photo courtesy:MTFCA Photo Gallery

Recently I began to recall more tidbits about this life, as short as it was. I clearly recall additional details about events that were occurring which has helped me place myself in history. I was a young man at the time and was not very interested in the technical things I am now. Consequently I don’t seem to have as detailed a recall of the period.

I do recall that war had broken out in Europe (1939) before I graduated High School, so graduation has to be class of 1940. That means I was just 19 years old when I crashed in that plane. It also means I was only an instructor in California for only a short time. I recall teaching students the basics of geometry. I drew a line and a circle on the chalkboard and noted that a line has one surface whereas a circle has two. For many students it was the first time they had been exposed to the philosophy of geometry. Most were Spanish speaking immigrants.

I recall seeing the early radar devices used in the UK during early WWII. It was basically a dual channel RF oscilloscope. One channel was fed a signal from a transmitter that had been smuggled into France (or so I was told), and the other was a reflection from the transmitter tower. The test signal supplied a linear range so reflections on the other channel had distance meaning. Very simple. No rotating transceivers, no sweeping decay display, just frightened men and women sitting in front of green phosphor tubes trying to interpret the meaning of two lines. I found pictures and some details that can be found here. Additional images are available in the album below.

Swingate Home Radar

This article names “Swingate Chain Home” as being one in operation during the period in an area called White Cliffs, near Dover. This information also matches my recall of having flown sorties over the Dover cliffs. I found an article last year noting there was an RAF air station in that general area used during WWII which adds even more credence to my recall, but I didn’t keep the URL. I’ll look for it as my research continues.

Last updated Jan 20th 2008

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