Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Col Theilan

A friend in Tennessee made an off-the-cuff comment about a Garfield cheese that sent me into a tangential thought process in which I allow one thought to morph into a series of seemingly disconnected thoughts. Here's where my mind went this morning.

1908 - 18 December, Bernard Thielan was born in North Dakota to Michael Henry Thielan and Janette Thielan

1910 - they lived in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota

1915 - they lived in Clinton, Iowa and said they were Catholic. Michael said that his father was born in Germany and his mother was born in Iowa.. Janette said that both of her parents were born in Ireland

1920 - they lived in Clinton, Iowa

1921 - Bernard Thielan was an altar boy at his church

1930 - Bernard was a cadet at West Point

1932 - Cadet Thielan graduated from West Point and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army

1940 - Lieutenant Bernard Thielan and his wife Mary Sandro Thielan were stationed back at West Point after a tour of duty in Hawaii. Their annual income was $2,416.00.

1945 - 8 September, Col Bernard Thielan, flew from Japan to Washington DC and hand-carried and delivered the signed Japanese surrender documents to President Truman.

1945 - 15 December, LtCol Thielan testified before Congress as a witness to events prior to the attack at Pearl Harbor

1948 - LtCol Bernard Thielan and another officer, both from the US Legation in Budapest, Hungary, were arrested by the Soviet Army and held incommunicado for two days until they were seen by a US Military Police Officer who immediately and successfully demanded their release.

1949 - Dec 1, Bernard Thielan  who gave his address as 2841 Beechwood Circle, Arlington, Virginia, flew from London to New Your City via Pan American Airlines flight 101/30. The neighborhood where he lived is today a very sought-after address with some homes selling in the millions.

1951 - 17 January, Bernard sent a telegram to Rev Martin Thielan (probably his brother Henry Martin Thielan) telling that he'd been promoted to Colonel, that he was leaving immediately for SHAPE Hq in Paris, and that Mary was staying behind. 

1953 - 24 April, Bernard is the Commander of AROTC at Princeton University

1954 - Bernard and Mary lived in Princeton, NJ, where he served as the Chairman of the Princeton University Department of Military Science

1957-1958 - Bernard and Mary bought land in Meriden, NH and built a brick house with a hipped roof, ostensibly as their retirement home.

1958 - Bernard authored a mystery novel, “Open Season.”

1959 - Bernard released his second novel, “A Charm of Finches,” in which the protagonist is a retired naval officer with an interest in birds who gets caught up in a spy thriller. In one part of the story, he gets involved in a car chase driving a sports car.

1959 or 1960 - Bernard purchased a Sunbeam Alpine Tiger, a British sports car that had been upgraded ALA Carrol Shelby with a 260 cubic inch Ford V-8, thus endearing himself to this sports car-loving teenager. He once told me that the car was fun, but too torquey for many NH back roads, causing him to spin out on some curves. To my knowledge, he never did crash it.

Late 1950's or very early 1960's - Bernard became the General Manager for the Meriden Bird Club.

1960-61 - Bernard was one of the Supervisors of the Checklist for the town of Plainfield

At some point between 1961 and 1967, Bernard and Mary moved from Meriden, most likely back to the midwest where they were both born and where Bernard was to die relatively young. I suspect that they may have experienced a closed-in feeling in New Hampshire where the woods come right up to the edge of the roads and a vista of more than a half mile is considered rare.  I lived in the midwest for a number of years and always felt a bit hemmed in when I'd visit family in Meriden, NH.

In 1967, 1 October, Bernard passed away in Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa and was buried in the cemetery at the US Military Academy, West Point, NY

On 2000, 5 August, Mary died in Floyd, Floyd County, Virginia and was buried with her husband at West Point.

Now I suppose you are asking how in the world did an expatriot Yankee down in Georgia take the mention of smoked cheese and turn it into a treatise on an Army officer who once lived in Meriden, NH. That brick house with a hipped roof that Bernard and Mary built in Meriden in the 1950's now belongs to one of the Taylor brothers where he and his wife, maiden name Garfield, make fine smoked cheeses.

One more diversion - I grew up with the Taylor brothers, Steve and David, and knew their father well.  But the Taylor Brothers of Meriden who make maple syrup and cheeses and not those two, but rather Steve's sons.