Category Archives: Humor

Remembering George S. Eisenberg, February 16, 1921 – August 5, 2014

Remembering George S. Eisenberg, February 16, 1921 - August 5, 2014

 Remembering George S. Eisenberg  –  February 16, 1921 – August 5, 2014

For those of you who do not know me, I am Joe Janson, George’s son-in-law.

I ‘ve always felt fortunate to have known the man who has meant so much to so many. Over 2Remembering George3 years ago when we first met, George’s appearance was that of a running back;   tall, cut and hands like bear paws. It was not what I expected of a man of 70 years.  he smiled, reached out and shook my hand, and it dwarfed mine. I was amazed those same hands were capable of such extraordinary precision with a paintbrush and pencil.

Over the years, I came to realize that George was the personification of gentleness, kindness and strength.

He seemed most happy just sitting and admiring the activities around him, as long as he had his pencil set and could draw his favorite subject: FAMILY….people.

I will miss watching George transform a blank piece of paper into a cherished memory. His genius capturing the moment both on canvas, and conveyed in his verbal observations, were uncanny.

I will miss our discussions on politics, science, religion, and our common bond of shipboard life. George was well versed on just about everything, and I always gained new perspectives from him.

I will miss his jokes, albeit not necessarily funny to the rest of the family, he always made me laugh.

Remembering George S. Eisenberg, February 14, 1921 - August 5, 2014

Joe Janson and George S. Eisenberg

Example: George are you comfortable? I said when he was seated in the cockpit of our sailboat.

George Responded: I make a living!

I can’t tell you how many times I heard that one liner, and to this day it still makes me think of him.

I always watched in amazement the collection of diverse friends that would gather during a holiday or family event. I could just feel the bond and love between them. It’s an energy that was, and still is, awe inspiring.

Whether the topic was science, politics, religion or just daily life, George’s perspective made us re-consider our prior wedded convictions.

George was always the optimist. He sought the GOOD in people and never dwelled on their mistakes in life. He had a calming power about him, another gift I will always admire.

Remembering George

George, the always loving grandfather.

Those of you who knew George also knew that he was not a religious man in the formal sense, but extremely proud of his Jewish heritage. His faith came from his loyalty to his family, friends, and the human race.

His abundant love for his family was a constant. He always had time for his grandchildren and their friends. He would spend hours with Eric and Margot either on his lap at any given time, or sitting side by side conveying the basic principles of drawing.

His extraordinary and radiant admiration for his beloved Gabrielle was an example to me, and to any husband, of what true love looks like.

Remembering George S. Eisneberg

Gabrielle and George Eisenberg

I knew I had been accepted by George when I appeared in a drawing, now transferred to a metal plaque on display in the USS Cassin Young DD793, a floating Naval museum in Boston. George depicted me bandaging a wounded WWII sailor. He made me look fitter and much younger than I was. I really appreciated that George!

George S. Eisenberg’s drawing of what the wardroom during battle would have looked like on the USS Cassin Young DD793; a floating museum at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

I then came to find out from my wife Julie, that George did that with many of his portraits, always seeing beauty in everyone.

Bottom line…He would just make his subjects better.

George and I had a common bond, both being in a sea going service and sharing stories of shipboard life. Though I was in the Coast Guard, McHale’s Navy to George, he still considered me a part of the bretheren. Thank you George.

I think George would agree with these words, so I would like to close with a quote from Carl Sagan:

The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective… is precious. If a human disagrees, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another!

George enjoy the Cosmos!   Love you more.   Joe

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Eisloeffel and Ennico Enjoying Liberty on Fiji Island

Eisloeffel and Ennico on Liberty in Fiji, WW2 1943Â


At a 1982 USS La Vallette reunion, George and his shipmates attended A Sailor’s Diary exhibit at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historic Park. Looking at the drawings from forty years prior brought back many colorful memories.

George shared narratives about trading his Navy issued cotton underwear for local carvings and shell necklaces. One lively shipmate claimed the native women cut accommodating holes in the front of the sailors’ tee shirts.  Found no evidence of this in George’s sketches, although it may be true.



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Crossing The Equator

The Royal Court of the USS LaVallette crossing the equator during WWII

Molly McGee is sitting front row center. George is dressed in white holding a paintbrush on the far right. His shirt reads Royal Censor, while the clergyman on the left appears to be exhibiting a Royal Crying Towel.

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Enter Pollywogs

Cover of the Radio Press News, Enter Polliwogs, USS LaVallette, March 15, 1944

Crossing the Equator initiation ceremonies provided a humorous outlet during World War II among the crew of the USS LaVallette. Pollywogs, or those who were crossing the line for the first time, were subject to all kinds of harassing and required to appear before King Neptune and the Royal Court. George remembers one crossing where he was the Royal Barber, applying creative license to his subjects.

WWII Crossing the equator Queen on the USS LaVallette.

The identity of the above crew member in the crossing the equator ceremony on the USS LaVallette (sometime between 1942 and 1945), has recently been revealed. Shipmate Robert E. Lynch claims it is “Houston.”

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Radio Press News featuring Frank

Cover of the USS LaVallette's Radio Press News, February 24, 1944 "My Gawd Frank! What are you doing in there?"

During World War II on the USS LaVallette, “Frank” would be tracking targets on the round screen of the PPI scope in the Radar Room, identifying incoming planes. Television was not available in 1944. Based on this cartoon, George was way ahead of his time!

Everyone was encouraged to buy bonds to finance the war. Typed on the bottom of this February 24, 1944 cover, crew members Berg, Palmer, Dickenson, Pritchett, Shedd and Johnson were all recognized for being “yesterday’s bond buyers.”

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Washing Dress Blues

Washing "dress blues"on deck of the USS LaVallette, WWII.

There was always a “joker” who believed the “scuttlebutt” that our ship was scheduled to return to the States for a long overdue and well deserved rest. Washing “dress blues” at this time was the first signs of over zealous optimism.

Jack Wilkes was officially in charge of the ship’s laundry. If the “scuttlebutt” was true, our affable friend Jack, would have been busy day and night.

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Christmas 1943

Christmas on the USS LaVallette, South Pacific 1943

Santa finds his way into the USS LaVallette via the ship’s stack.

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Mess Hall Mess

Mess Hall mess on the USS LaVallette, 1943.

Rough seas on the USS LaVallette provided crew members with a different challenge, and a source of humor at best.

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Marine Bath

"She is going to show us the official way to take a marine bath."

When water is scarce, an upturned helmet becomes a wash basin in the standard military “marine bath”. George’s cartoon was one of many humorous drawings he circulated among his shipmates while serving on board the USS LaVallette during WWII.

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The Powder-Blue Brig

May 14, 1944 – Noumea, New Caledonia

I couldn’t believe we were dropping anchor in this bay at the southern tip of New Caledonia. The word was passed that only ten percent of the crew would get ashore on liberty. We all knew that the senior officers and higher rated crew members would be given first preference. I definitely was not among this elite level. I really didn’t mind that much because I had so much to do for my own pleasure aboard ship.

One of many cartoons making fun of fellow USS LaVallette shipmates aspiring for female affection on liberty during WWII in the Pacific Theater.

I do admit that Noumea is considered a great little liberty town. It would have been a welcome relief to see some pretty young French girls whose reputations had already given us good reason for winning the war, just to accept their feminine tokens of appreciation.
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