Sandra’s Occasional Newsletter – April 2021

Sandra's Occasional Newsletter, Publicity photo of author Sandra V. McGee


A little bit of news… but not too much. 


My Mantra of the Moment

Sandra's Occasional Newsletter - February 2021

This mantra has been serving me so well, I’m repeating it for this month. In February, a friend gifted me with a little book, Empowering Mantras for Awesome Women, and the lipstick mantra spoke to me (surprise, surprise). The book is on my desk and opened to this page. With the onset of spring, I have changed my lip color from winter red to springtime coral.

Shameless Promotion: Operation Crossroads 75 Years Ago

Operation Crossroads 75th Anniversary

The image above is from one of the posts in the 75th Anniversary of Operation Crossroads Retrospective. I found this card in Bill McGee’s box of memorabilia from the war and postwar Crossroads. The card (its actual size is shown above) is from the Honolulu Beer Garden… think the 1953 movie From Here To Eternity and Mrs. Kipfer’s dance hall.

For more photos and excerpts from Bill’s naval memoirOperation Crossroads, Lest We Forget! An Eyewitness Account, Bikini Atomic Bomb Tests 1946, see Operation Crossroads 75th Anniversary Series. 

Gin and It

Sweet vermouth and gin combine to make a simply perfect Gin & ItRaise your hand if you’ve heard of the Gin and It cocktail. I’m on a reading binge about female spies in World War II. I was introduced to the Gin and It when I was listening to A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell. This woman of quite a bit of importance was Virginia Hall. At the end of the day, if she wasn’t crossing the Pyrenees on foot in waist-high snow or hiding out in a forest with her Resistance agents, her favorite cocktail was a Gin and It served room temperature (the “It” is for Italian sweet vermouth). The Gin and It became my signature cocktail as I listened to the amazing exploits of this brave American woman who, by the way, managed it all with a prosthetic leg she called “Cuthbert”. (Getty Images/svetikd)

Divorce Western-Style: Gaming, Divorce Bills Signed, March 19, 1931

90 Years Ago – On March 19, 1931, in the depths of the Great Depression, Nevada Governor Fred B. Balzar signed two highly controversial bills: one, to legalize gambling in the state; the other, to reduce the residency requirement for a divorce in the state from three months to only six weeks. The Nevada State Journal headlines shouted out the big news in boldface type on page one. Thus began the glimmering Reno divorce era, when Reno was the “Divorce Capital of the World” and divorce ranches were the residency of choice for the wealthy who wanted privacy from the press and an out West experience. The era flourished through the 1930s, ’40s, and early ’50s. Read all about it in The Divorce Seekers – A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler. (Currently under option for a streaming series.)

Back When: What’s In A Code Name?

Operation Crossroads 75th Anniversary

75 Years Ago: On 24 January 1946, Vice Admiral W. H. P. Blandy, USN, announced to a Senate Special Committee on Atomic Energy the plans for postwar atomic bomb testing. After dropping the atomic bomb in August 1945 on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States military wanted to test the bomb postwar on warships and other vessels. Blandy would be the Commander of Joint Task Force One. The location would be the remote Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Code name: Operation CROSSROADS.

In Blandy’s words, “In the face of this new knowledge, these recently discovered truths concerning the atom, so suddenly thrust upon an already chaotic world, not only warfare but civilization itself literally stands at the Crossroads. Hence the name of this Operation.

(Image courtesy of Hoover Institution Library & Archives. Beth Flippen Scheel papers, Box 1. Beth Flippen was an American Red Cross nurse at Operation Crossroads.)

Thank you for reading this month’s missive and take care…

– Sandra



2 thoughts on “Sandra’s Occasional Newsletter – April 2021

  1. Thanks so much for the “mantra”! Love reading all of Bill’s history! Best regards & God’s blessings to you Sandra!!

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