Friday, February 13, 2009


Longtime readers of this space know that Umlaut is a History Geek.

Skychick's father served in World War II as a medic with the 84th Division (The Railsplitters). He was awarded the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and other commendation during combat in Belgium and Germany in 1944-45.

For years the medals and citations were on display at Skychick's parents' house and had probably been framed sometime in the 70's. I'm only guessing at the era because of the awful orange VELVET that the items were mounted on. ORANGE VELVET?! WTF..

The first time Umlaut saw the medals I was horrified that such historical items were (1) framed in such a horrible and tacky way and (2) they were hanging in a house occupied by 2 chain smokers. Who knows what kind of damage these precious items sustained in that environment over the years!

Fast forward to the 21st Century and Skychick came to inherit the beloved frame honoring her dad's heroism and service. They were eventually relocated to the safe geek confines of Casa de Umlaut.

I kept nagging Skychick that this heirloom needed to be properly preserved with framing and mounting techniques that met museum standards. Umlaut became kind of obsessed with it and I'd go off on mini rants like "OMFG the UV rays from the sunlight are destroying the documents!!"... but I only spoke the truth.

Thankfully, the Umlaut Nation has members with an astounding variety of skills and professions. We were able to consult with Umlaut friend Heather on the subject and benefited from her knowledge, experience, and skills in the field of archiving and framing. It was also a huge relief that the treasured items could be left in the care of a trusted friend instead of at some anonymous frame shop... and Heather did a FANTASTIC job!

The difference between the original framing and Heather's museum quality work is astounding.. 100% archival materials throughout... linen background.. UV protection.. etc. etc. The items have finally been given their proper respect. Everytime I look at the frame now I'm amazed that such a piece of history hangs in Casa de Umlaut; I almost want to salute it...

On another WW2 Geek note: Holy shit, dude! Band Of Brothers on Blu-ray is astounding!

The Band Of Brothers episode 'Bastogne' is very profound at Casa de Umlaut since it follows the story of the unit's medic Eugene Roe. Not only because the story follows a medic during The Battle of The Bulge (which mirrors the experience of Skychick's dad), but also because Roe was from Louisiana, just like Skychick and her family. Eerie!

Click HERE to see Umlaut's geek photos from the National World War II Museum.

The Geeks shall inherit The Earth.