Monday, March 26, 2012

Who's in the pool?

No, I am not talking about the pool for the current NCAA March Madness.

Some of the Joyal clans gathered at the Barrette's pool in the 1970's.

Sherlock and Barrettes '70 pool

Who is in the pool?

If you have any ideas or guesses, you can either comment or send an email to me at

Thanks to my sister Joan for making this image available. There are a bunch of photos that she has taken the time to convert to a digital format so we will be able to share this history.

Friday, March 23, 2012

He Earned It

A few years ago, I had the honor of meeting Gerald F. Sherlock, United States Marine Corps, a WWII veteran of Saipan, Tinian, and 36 days on Iwo Jima. I was a Marine reservist from 1980 to 1984, and I've always been, and will always continue to be proud of the title, United States Marine. Never, however, have I been so proud to be a Marine as I was after having met Jerry. Meeting a man who fought in some of the most momentous battles in our history was like a young baseball fan meeting Ted Williams, or a young music fan meeting Elvis. All that aside, his best quality was his humility and sense of humor. Jerry was just a regular guy.

Shortly after meeting Jerry, I saw a contest, announced in small print, in the Sgt. Grit newsletter. It was a Marine Corps trivia contest, and the first 10 people that answered the questions correctly won a small bit of sand that had been taken home from Iwo. When mine came in the mail, it was like someone handed me the Holy Grail. I made up a small triangular box, painted red, with the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor symbol on the front, to hold my prize. I cherished it.

Once I got to know Jerry Sherlock, I felt it was only right to give the sand to him, from one Marine to another. He earned it. It was his. On the night of the last episode of The Pacific on HBO, a bunch of Marines got together with Jerry and his son, and watched The Pacific in reverent silence. After dabbing some moist eyes, I gave the box with the sand to Jerry. He was so appreciative, for once he was without words.

The next year, 2010, those same Marines and I took over as the committee for our local Rhode Island Marine Corps dinner. It is an honor to have over 175 Marines from all over Rhode Island break bread with us as we celebrate the birthday of the Marine Corps.

This past November, on the day before the dinner, Jerry was diagnosed with cancer. He came to the dinner as he always has, in good spirits, despite the bad news. We were once again honored to have Jerry in our midst; but we were also graced by the presence of Pat Femino, another Iwo veteran from Rhode Island. What we found amazing was that Jerry and Pat had never met! They became fast friends. Jerry's son in law Frank often took them out to lunch and made sure they stayed in touch.

In the last few months, he fought valiantly, as he had done for our country and for the honor of our beloved Marine Corps. PFC Gerald Sherlock stormed the beaches of Iwo Jima with the 4th Marine Division on February 19th, 1945. He left this Earth on February 19th, 2012 at the age of 86, 67 years to the day from when landed on Iwo Jima. Rest in peace my friend. Semper Fi.

Carl Weston

Originally posted to the Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Iwo Jima - Reunion of Honor

Iwo Jima Survivor Veterans recently made a trip back to Iwo Jima for the Reunion of Honor held this March 2012.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kids couch

Stepping into the archive from a Joyal gathering about 1959:


From left to right:
Stephen - 5 years
Eileen - 2 months
Michael - 17 months
Susan - 2 years
David - 3 years
Alan - 1 year
Elaine - 2 years
Bobby - 3 years
Paul - 4 months

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gary Sinise Makes A Moving Tribute

Academy Award Nominee Gary Sinise Makes a Moving Spoken Word Performance, honoring one of our brave servicemen from WWII

Monday, March 12, 2012

Soldiers Deck of Cards

There has been a pause in posting here. Another passing in Jerry's extended family occurred suddenly and unexpectedly. Another weekend spent with a family funeral. Necessary time. Family time. Celebrating the life that was, the lives that will continue to go on - remembering.

Aunt Viv sent this along via email and I just had time to view and share here. Well worth watching.

Enjoy each day! Make the most of each day!

Friday, March 2, 2012


The flag from Jerry's service and two recognitions

Flag and recognitions

The House of Representatives, State of RI sent this formal recognition for Jerry

State of RI - inside

Some folks may quibble about the timeliness of state services, in this case, Jerry's obituary was in the newspaper on Wednesday and this arrived in the mail on Friday. A very quick turn and much appreciated!

St Raphael Academy, where Jerry was not only a graduate but then later served as President of the Parents Association while the boys were attending school, sent along this recognition:

St Raphael Academy recognition

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rita and Jerry

Rita and Jerry down at East Matunuck, RI

east Matunuck

Dad and Mom in the hallway at St Raphael Academy. One of the times that Dad headed the parent association there (as indicated by the gavel).

sixty's M&D

One of my favorite photos of Mom and Dad. The holiday (Christmas) table at Division St

mom and dad 5

Another photo at Division St. Would be later in the 70's I think.

New Years Eve