Dad's Timeline
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Dad's Timeline

1939: year book of 1939 with clippings of Dad’s writings for the North High Oracle, school paper.

3/10/1941: Dad listed as a High School Graduate for June 1941 at North High School.

11/1941: in a letter from 1/17/44 Dad makes reference to a little blue bible given him by his mother in 11/41.

9/26/1942: Dad’s certificate of service (as ordinary Seaman) and identification documents: Port of San Francisco, Ca.

Date of “1,2-14-42”  (probably 12/14/42; see following entry -- that date) for “opening this book” with entry date of 1/4/1944: Soldier’s Individual Pay Record.  Lists mother “Helen M. Burns” as living at 7315 44th, Apt. 4, Seattle, WA (after having “X”’d out an earlier address -- probably Iowa).

12/14/1942: Enlisted in Army.  Inactive service for time being.

3/2/1943: from envelope of 7/29/1943 -- War Department discharge effective 2/11/1943 as a “Mechanic Learner (Radio)”; Civilian Personnel Branch, Sig Sec.  Reason for discharge: Enlisted Reservist to be ordered to active duty.

3/23/1943: Entered active duty in Army.

1/17/1944: letter to home.

1/24/1944: Departs for APT (Asian Pacific Theatre?) arriving 3/21/44.

8/22/1944: Receipt from Cuthbertson & Harper, Calcutta, for 36.1.6 for curing deer parts?

8/29/1944: “Restricted” orders: Dad sent to APO 627 (China Theatre).

9/23/1944: Army Exchange (PX) ration card “Good  in all C.B.I. Exchanges”; also has card bearing name “Earl F. Lambert”, a Private who had been sent with Dad on the Restricted orders of 8/29/1944.  Also undated ration card “Valid only in China Theater”.

1/8/1945: “Wolf Call” -- the daily newspaper of the S.S. Marine Wolf sailing to Seattle, WA, ETA 23-25 days.  Sailed from Kanchrapara, just out of Calcutta.  Camp Kanchrapara was a post that consolidated soldiers for the trip back home after the war.

2/2/1945: Three theatre tickets for the “Ta Kwan Ming Theatre” in China.

1945: Chungking YMCA Restaurant Menu

Post-8/1945: The “War Area Service Corps” brochure printed on “World Victory Day” in Chungking, China.

10/1945: Farewell dance invitation from Mayor of Chungking Municipality.

10/9/1945: Pass with Chinese characters.

12/4/1945: “Restricted” orders: Dad listed as 3152D Signal Service Co.:

          ARM OR               Mo SERV
         SERV                     V-J DAY          MOS            ASRS
          SIG C                     29                805              55

MOS 805 = Cryptographic Technician
Essentially being released... sent to APO 494 for transport back to the States.

Service record shows Good Conduct Medal and China Memorial (whatever that is) as “Decorations & Citations”.  Shows Battles and Campaigns as “GO 33 WD 45, Burma, China Offensive”.

Total length of continental service: 10 months, 11 days; foreign service: 2 years, 13 days.  Total: 3 years, 2 months and 4 days.

1/4/1946: departs from wherever to return to USA arriving 2/6/1946.

2/17/1946: Honorable Discharge at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

3/22/1946: Identification card for  “Readjustment Allowance” (veteran’s unemployment).  Various entries through 9/6/1946.

3/26/1946: envelope postmarked/addressed for PFC. Robert Burns at 4047 2nd Ave., Des Moines, Iowa.  From Sherman Barrett, Dad’s army buddy.

3/23/1948: Vocational Counseling Recommendations: Lawyer, Literary Writer, or Reporter.

June-July/no-year: sample scripts for KXEL Continuity Radio Station in Waterloo, Iowa (Blackhawk County) in the northeast quandrant of the state.

4/11/1950: Graduate certificate in Radiology from “State University of Iowa Hospitals” for Robert J. Burns

5/1950 - 9/1950: Dad worked for Josh Hughes Broadcasting Co. (KXEL) writing copy in Waterloo, Iowa.

10/15/1950: Receipt for car for Helen Burns ... address 205 S. Western, L.A., Calif.

1951: California Highway Patrol Press Identification Card: for Chico Enterprise Record.

1/1951 - 1/1952: Dad worked for Chico Enterprise-Record.

Jan.-Sep./1951: membership card for The Chico Judo & JuJitsu Academy.

6/9/1951: Dad writing for The Chico Enterprise-Record

Unknown date: picture of Mom and Dad, apparently somewhere in San Francisco, walking hand-in-hand at night.  Taken by “Fox Movie Flash” with a pitch for copies, etc. Scans of materials <here>.

Unknown date: AA tract with Sherman Barrett’s address in Van Nuys handwritten in pencil, as well as 5445 Sunset Blvd... (AA meeting place?)

7/11/1951: envelope addressed to Mr/Mrs. Robt Burns, 545 W. 2nd St., Apt. A, Chico, Calif.  Sherman Barrett (Dad’s army buddy in India) passed away; letter of thanks for [funeral?] flowers from wife Era S. Barrett of 8365 Colbath Ave., Van Nuys, Ca.

11/23/1951: letter from Erskine Johnson of NEA Service (Newspaper Enterprise Association) thanking Dad for some plug.

1/18/1952: letter from Robert O. Bailey, City Manager of Chico, California, as a letter of recommendation/introduction.

1/1952 - 5/1952: Dad worked for Mills Iron Works in Los Angeles doing copy and layout for a company catalog.

5/1952 - 11/1952: Dad worked for Hazel Junkins Agency in Los Angeles doing copy writing.

7/29/1952 and 8/20/1952: letters of introduction for Dad as he campaigned for Leonard Roach; from California Tavern Association and Southern California Retail Liquor Dealers Association.

10/15/1952: Dad receives rejection letter from My Baby - and young years, apparently a baby magazine geared to young/expectant parents; manuscript submitted: We Christen Thee X.  Dad’s address listed as 1525 N. Van Ness, Apt. 409, Hollywood 28, California.  Subject was Robbies’ pending birth and the naming of him.

No date: story, The Deep One, about “Deep-Sea Jimmy” taking place in the mid-1930’s, by John S. Arrington, 244 South Olive St. Los Angeles 12, California, with photo of old man dated 3/22/35 (31375-M).  May have been written prior to XXXX as reference is made to the forty-eight states.

Oct/Nov, 1952: Dad campaigns for Leonard Roach for Supervisor of the Second District.

11/10/1952: letter from Bill at Chico Enterprise-Record congratulating Mom and Dad on Robbie’s birth on 10/17/52 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Hollywood.

12/1952: Dad worked for Broadway as a floor walker (keep an eye on different departments) for about a month.

2/18/1953: Dad receives certificate of completion from UCLA for real estate finance course.

10/19/53: Lived at 1401 Magnolia, Long Beach, CA (dated film package).

1954/1955...: Dad worked at some bank in Long Beach.

12/30/1956: Dad joins Westside Church of Christ in Long Beach, CA.

2/1957: Robbie dies. Lots of cards and letters of sympathy. One from “Uncle Tom Burns” and his wife May at 3932 10th St. Des Moines, Iowa. Telegram from Ray DeNeve family in Moline, Ill. Card from Mrs. Fred DeNeve, Victor, Iowa. same from Van Horne, Iowa. Lots of others, Wilsons and all.

8/6/1957: letter from Great Northern Railroad (specifically serving Minot, N. Dak.) to Dad declining to bill Dad in reference to a letter from him to the Northern Pacific Railroad.  Seems Dad bummed a ride on a freight train and wanted to pay; they suggested he donate to his church.

11/15/1957: letter from Davidsons in Des Moines, Iowa (“Furnishers and Decorators of Homes and Institutions .. Women’s Apparel) thanking Dad for his letter of 11/6 and “...the $5.00 enclosed therewith.”

7-12/1958: letter of introduction for Dad from “Mexican Missionary Headquarters” as a promoter of the organizations interests.

10/1959: Missionary and Soul Winning News reports (with group photo) that Bob Burns is a student training at “the compound” in preparation for “the mission field.”

10/1959: Dad sends out mailing.  States, “A 36-year-old loan officer at Long Beach Federal Savings until two  weeks ago, I resigned my job ...” and describes his “training” anticipated to last until Christmas, then preaching in the States, then on to the Far East.  Family to remain in Long Beach, “Helen working as an X-ray technician, Greg attending school.”  One of my earliest memories is of my mother and I taking Dad to the point of embarkation (I’m pretty sure he took a boat over there).  It was dark, either very early in the morning, or more probably in the evening.  We walked with him to near the dock area where there were warehouses, said our good-byes, and then walked back to the car and left.

11/9/1959: Dad writes a summary of his life in a missionary phamplet.

11/1959: Dad writes in a missionairy tract that in January he’ll be in California/Iowa and points in between. In that tract he shares prayer request for camera. Gives his return address as 15521 S. Washington Ave., Compton, Calif.

1960: Feb/Mar.  Bill Robarge (Dad’s missionary partner) writes that they have their “five year visa’s” and an outboard motor (?).

2/1960: Dad’s missionary letter tells that he’ll be leaving LA on the SS Iberia via Japan for Manila, arriving 3/22.  Then to the southern part of the islands where the Moros will build the gospel boat, a 35-40 craft to reach the headhunter tribes along the NE coast of Luzon.

4/1960: Dad writes to his parents from Manila.  Preparing to “go south” apparently to Jolo, perhaps a week away.

May 29/ no-year (1960): Telegram from Mom to Robert Burns, General Delivery, Jolo Sulu: “Are you all right?  Please answer at once [,] love.  Helen” from Long Beach, California.  Appears to be penned versions of response on reverse culminating in final version: “Your telegram went astray and just received.  Irishmen indestructible.  Much Love.  Bob” (resulting in calculated charges of $15.00).

1961: Jan/Feb. Dad writes in a missionairy tract that he’s spent his first Christmas in the Philippines.

1/3?/1961: envelope to Dad at “Gen. Delivery, Zamboanga City, Philippines”. From Selective Service -- supplemental questionnaire on selective service status; second paragraph (form letter) reads: “Since you are in a deferred or exempt classification, you need not furnish a physician’s statement as to your wife’s pregnancy.”

3/1961: Dad writes that in mid-Feb. he boarded a plane in Manilla and returned to states for “... a personal emergency in my family that required my presence.” Advised readers that he no longer required maintenance gifts.  When I awoke one morning Mom told me that there was a surprise for me in the living room.  I went in and there was Dad.  What a thrill, I had missed him so.

4/14/1961: Dad returned maintenance checks to “Missionary & Soul Winning Fellowship” and received receipt for $1.00 he included to help with postage.

9/20/1961 through 11/29/1961: University of California; class in Essentials of Residential Design and Structure, grade A.

2/5/1962: Bought 1962 Ford Fairlane 500, 2 door for $2752.27 -- brand new.

1962: In summer moved from 2630 Gondar, Long Beach, to Sepulveda at 16900 Kinzie Street, Sepulveda, California.  I was seven and a half years old, and promptly fell in love with a little girl named Stacy, but I called her “Sweetheart”, yuck!  I may have even tried to kiss her.  The new house was across the street from a ranch with horses.  Could look out the front windows and watch them in the pastures.  Beautiful.

7 or 8/1963: Photos show Dad with Virginia and their parents.  This must have been the year we took the rented red pick-up truck with camper back there for a vacation.

2/5/1964: receipt from withdrawal of $2000 from CalFed for grandpa/grandma Burns with letter dated 2/3/64.  I remember (I think) going with Dad to the bank to get the money. Grandpa included a buck for ice cream for “Gregg”, and apologized for “loosing [sic] my head when you folks were here to visit us.”

4/11/64: Dad wrote check for $5.00 to “Granada Hills Little League”.  My sole experience with organized sports.  Didn’t play the season, just attended the first couple of weeks of practice I recall (I seem to remember that Dad told me I couldn’t play anymore because I was outside the geographical area for the league).  But Dad and I would toss the ball around in the front yard just the same.

3/1965: various calendar entries for Greg’s allowance and deductions.

6/1965: various calendar entries relating to my going to camp.  Went twice a week (Tue/Thu) throughout mid-June, July, all week the first week of August, then it appears a week off, then another week on.  A bus used to take me to the day camps (I think they were in the Malibu mountains) and then back again.  I loved to come home and have a big bowl of chocolate ice cream and a bunch of grapes (doesn’t sound like they would taste too good together -- but then, I don’t remember eating them at the same time).

11/1965: calendar entry on 11/2/65 for “7:30 Scouts?”  I didn’t enjoy the Scouts too much.  Indian Guides were better.  The Scouts had a summer camp on Catalina Island.  I went.  Fun to paddle around in the ocean in a canoe.  But there was a boy from one of the other troops that made some threatening gestures with a knife he had.  I don’t think I much liked that.  I remember being sent during breakfast time to the other troop’s cooking areas to ask for a left-handed smoke shifter (ha, ha, real funny guys).  I’m not sure how long it took me to figure out I was being had.  Perhaps years.  I think I just got tired of asking for something that nobody seemed to have; probably just gave up and wandered elsewhere.

11/30/1965: Mom serves Dad summons & complaint for divorce.

1966: Medal from Indiana University School of Business

8/7-9/1966: Garage sale after divorce.  Pingpong table, wheelbarrow, mower, misc. furniture and garden things.

Dad moved to 430 S. Burnside, L.A., CA 90036 (was there at least on Jan/1967...calendar; 1/16/68...dated envelope)

1/1967: calendar entries for “Greg? Rifle Range”.  We belonged to a gun club out in San Fransiquito Canyon.  I found it decades later when we moved out to the Saugus area.  It later was bulldozed and made into a housing tract.  We’d go on Saturday mornings and I’d shoot .22’s with a bunch of other kids at targets paced at 50 feet.  Lots of fun.  After that was done, I’d go to the other range where Dad was and we’d perhaps shoot pistols (at various points he had a .22 revolver and a .38 special), or sometimes his .280.  The first time I shot the .280 (it had a scope), I had just been on the range with my .22.  Well, the .280 had a bigger kick for which I was unprepared.  It knocked me backwards off of my bench seat, the scope smacking me in the eye.  It didn’t turn black, but the next day at school (gee, we must have been at the range on a Sunday) while being sent to the office for some minor offence, I got a terrific bloody nose.  At least it got me off the hot seat for the time being.

2/1967: calendar entry of 2/6/67 notes “special day - G[reg]”; guess we went to see the Lakers on 2/19/67; last week and a half has “beech” (for Uncle Beecher?).

3/2/1967: Final divorce papers completed.

3/1967: more rifle range entries in calendar. 3/27 notes “mother home”.

4/1967: calendar...rifle range, Youth For Christ,  and Dodgers on 4/28.

5/9/1967: torn “Last Will & Testament”.

8/1967: calendar marked...8/10 to 8/25 marked for fly/school (of business?).  Last week marked vacation through 9/8/67.  Certificate of attendance to Indiana University for Graduate School of Savings and Loan for 8/13 to 8/25.

9/1967: calendar marked 9/23 “hunting - G[reg]”.  Perhaps the trip to Catalina?  Also beginning of several notations about a tutor for me.  For a short period (a couple of weeks or a month) I had a tutor for math.  It was a help, but didn’t last too long.  I don’t remember what happened to make it stop, but it did.

12/1967: calendar marked 12/17 - “mom airport”.  End of calendar marked with chili recipe:

3 lbs. chuck coarse grind
brown in iron kettle
2 or 3 onions chopped (add)
1 bell pepper (add)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (add)
1/2 teaspoon oregano (add)
1/4 teaspoon cumin seed (add)
2 small cans tomato paste
about 1 quart water
add ?, black pepper
then 2 or 3 tablespoons of chili powder for starer
Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or longer then add
2 - 15 or 17 oz can beans
pinto best, kidney 2nd best
simmer 1/2 hour

5/11/1968: calendar entry for Saturday: “Disneyland - G[reg]”

5/24/1968: Dad writes Marshall’s Roman Spa that he leaves town 6/15/68 and wants to suspend membership.

7/10/1968: calendar notation: “Leave for Mich[agen]”

8/7/1968: Dad resides at 1909 6th Ave. Des Moines, Iowa 50314.

8/9/1968: calendar notation: “Leave for Indiana”.  8/11 through 8/23 marked as “school”.

8/20/1968: Dad receives mail at Indiana University.

8/23/1968: Dad graduates Indiana University Graduate School of Savings & Loan.

9/8/1968: calendar notation: “Greg flies home”.

6/1969: I scribe my name and “Summer - ‘69” on the top of the brick wall next to the cafeteria at Sequoia Junior High School.

1970: After his mother’s death Dad calls Mom.  Mom says she knew he had been drinking.  Some time after that they talked again, and she says that he then said that he was okay.

11/2/1993: Dad dies.


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