My name is Cindy Farrar Bryan and I was born in the 1950’s in Atlanta, Georgia. I have wanted to be a writer for a very long time, but just didn’t know where to start.
My husband and I moved to Ocala, Florida in 2012 and I started reading the local Ocala Star-Banner, a small, but wonderfully written newspaper. My favorite column is Emory Schley’s Bits and Pieces.
Emory, or Sly Guy, as he is better known around Ocala, started a challenge to readers that, like me, were wanna-be writers. He started a fictional story and challenged readers to send in weekly installments of 100 words each.
I entered each week and managed to be selected for one of the installments. Imagine my excitement – with those mere 100 words, I was a published author!
Several months later, Emory repeated the challenge, but this time the readers got to start the story. This story would be limited to ten 100-word installments. I submitted my 100 words each week and my installments were selected four times, including the beginning and ending installments of the story.
Well, now with all these publications under my belt, it’s time to move on to more challenging writing. My plan is to write fiction and non-fiction, and use this blog to share my research and connect with readers.
So where did the name of my blog, The Arrowhead Club, come from?
When I was a kid, it was a special occasion for my dad to take the family out to dinner. My mom, being raised on a farm, was a great cook, and really, what was the point of spending hard-earned money on expensive restaurant food when my mom made the best fried chicken in the world.
Eating in a restaurant was more for the entertainment experience for us than for the food. Well, that and, for a kid, the adventure of checking out every restaurant bathroom in Atlanta.
When dinner was over and we were all in the car driving home, my younger sister and I would invariably ask “where are we going next?” We wanted to continue the fun of the evening, but my dad always had the same thing in mind.
“We’re going to the Arrowhead Club,” he would say. We lived on a street in Atlanta named Arrowhead Trail and going to the Arrowhead Club meant we were going straight home. No stops for ice cream or anything else. Any further entertainment for the evening would be had at home.
Sometimes there were board games or card games, especially my favorite, Crazy Eights. Sometimes there were stories out of our favorite children’s books, but the best stories were the ones my parents told about their lives.
My dad grew up in Atlanta in a family of nine children. He was a waist gunner in the Army Air Forces in WWII and was a prisoner of war.
My mom was the middle sister in a family of three girls who grew up in Meno, Oklahoma, a small wheat-farming community twenty miles from Enid.
Now that they’re both gone, those stories my parents told about their lives are what I miss the most. It was amazing to me as a child and still amazing to me today to think about the fascinating lives they led before they became parents to me and my sister.
My first major writing projects will be to write about my parents’ lives.
I am going to start by researching my dad’s WWII years. I have a lot of information on his experiences, but have many more questions than answers. I welcome any information readers can give me to help complete the story.
If I were to compare what I know about his story to a painting, right now the penciled outlines are in and some of the color has been applied. It needs much more work to become a beautiful work of art.
And I am going to honor my mom and dad by using the name The Arrowhead Club. After all, I am a lifetime member. So let’s get started…
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013
Cindy, I am glad that I found your Arrowhead site the other day. I am still working on our George’s genealogy. Do you have the same email address? I have enjoyed reading the information about your family and I will send this link to my brother Bob. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Regards, Cousin Ken in Seneca.
Fascinating. I didn’t know this about you. I knew about your research into your father’s unit in WW II. Did your father tell yo about his experience as a POW?
Yes, Rochelle, his war stories were my bedtime stories as a child. He told me many times about the mid-air collision, his time in the POW camp, and his march across Germany. It’s something I will never forget.
Hello Cindy, Greetings from East Texas. My name is Mike. I’m a navy veteran who lives in Canton TX and does some volunteer work for our local Van Zandt County Veterans Memorial (plus an aspiring writer like you!) We have a memorial plaza with an air force F-4 Phantom, a Huey helicopter, a 105mm howitzer and an army truck (of some kind). The people who worked for years to commemorate our veterans have done a stellar job. We have a small gift shop and museum that volunteers man for a day each and its a wonderful way of meeting veterans, their families and people with in interest in our country’s past and present military.
I was recently appointed as gift shop/museum manager and was attempting to exhibit more of the “artifacts” in our museum and came across a small stack of photos, flat boxes, certificates and a folded US flag. They had been put in a display case but not where they were seen clearly.. Upon examining them I was pleased to find medals, aircrew wings, pictures, high school diplomas, aircraft mechanic certification and a 3X 5 48 star US flag. The flag was not of “casket” size but folded as a towel would be folded and appeared old. These are items belonging/related to S/Sgt Robert Doyle Crumpton of B-17G “Lazy Daisy”. Although Robert was from a nearby county, his effects were in possession of his sister-in-law who donated them to us upon the death of her husband, Robert’s half-brother.
As an amateur historian, I was so pleased with this collection and have set up a small exhibit of Robert in our museum. I enjoy aircraft modelling and I intend to replicate “Lazy Daisy” so I was pleased to find pictures of her and history on various web-sites. However her nose art is a little indistinct in those pictures and I hope to find something clearer. In my search for more info and better pictures, I ran across your story of your father and “Lead Banana”. I would like to express my admiration for the wonderful job done in commemorating the aircrews of the two planes involved in the tragic mishap. Perhaps at a later date I could talk to you about including the story of “Lead Banana” and your father in a related exhibit. For now, just wanted to greet you, say “well done”, and thanks for sharing your work with all of us.
Hi Cindy, Thank you for putting this tribute to your Dad, George Farrar, and the 384th together! My Dad, Robert E. DeMille was the Co-Pilot on the Donald S. Morrison Crew. Dad flew 32 Missions but was probably done with his tour by the time your Dad was at Grafton-Underwood. My Dad’s log show 2 missions on D-Day as the last entry. I am still piecing information together, and like you I come up with more questions all the time.
Bruce A. DeMille
Yes, before my dad’s time there. I only see 20 missions for your dad with the 384th. Did he also fly with another group? And I see he flew his last 384th mission with Commanding Officer Dale Smith!
My dad, 1st Lt. Fiorino Anthony Cinquanta, was the co-pilot of Starsust, the B-17 that was hit by flak and forced to ditch behind enemy lines in Poland. All crew survived, managed to repair Stardust with spare parts, and returned to Grafton via Italy, four months later. Meanwhile, he was reported missing in action. He was 17 years old at the time. His Italian mother wanted all her sons to be pilots so they wouldn’t die in the trenches. My dad flew 22 missions, flew POW’s out of German prison camps, remained in Army Aviation as a NATO pilot, retired as a Lt. Colonel, and remained a pilot for the rest of his life.
Toni, thank you for connecting. I read your father’s personnel record on the 384th website, https://384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/person.php?PersonKey=7929, and about him on the American Air Museum in Britain website, http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/63371. You may not know that a 384th navigator (Edward Field) on that same February 3 mission to Berlin, wrote a poem about his own crew’s experience on that mission – they had to ditch in the North Sea on the way back to Grafton Underwood. He mentions your father’s crew in these lines,
“That morning at briefing
we had been warned not to go to nearby Poland
partly liberated then by the Russians,
although later we learned that another crew in trouble
had landed there anyway,
and patching up their plane somehow,
returned gradually to England
roundabout by way of Turkey and North Africa.”
You can read the entire poem here: https://thearrowheadclub.com/2018/04/11/world-war-ii-by-edward-field/
And watch the short film made from it here: https://vimeo.com/499733344
I thank your father for his service and again, thank you for connecting!
Cindy Farrar Bryan