I remember going on picnics, going to the ball field to watch my dad fly his model airplanes, going the beach, swimming, going for walks, lots of parties, playing board games, playing charades, it was simply the best of times…

In the photo on the right my dad George “Gus” Gustafson is in an intense game of ‘Don’t drop your Turtle’! I did a Google search looking for the real name of this game, but came up with nothing. The object was to place all the turtles on the 3 coaster sized pads. The 3 pads were joined in the middle and balanced on a tee. There were 3 colors for the turtles and each turn you spun a dial to see what color turtle you put on. The trick was not to make any other turtles fall off. Then you would do the same thing in reverse taking them off.

Picnic on Midway Island Lucky Lager Olympia Polaroid 1961     Turtle Game Midway Island  

Here is a big gang at a picnic table. I don’t know if these table were all over the place or just down by the beach. I zoomed in to see what kind of beer they were drinking—it’s Lucky Lager and Olympia. Some of the cans are upside down. Back then you could open any end of the tin can with a “church key”. I wonder what beer or any other beverage tasted like outta tin cans?!

It also looks like there is a metal trash can lid in the middle of the table and our brand new Polaroid cam era case. These cameras took “instant” photos. Meaning you took the picture, pulled the film out a certain length, waited a few moments, then peeled the processing paper off, then took come film developing goop and spread it across the paper and viola instant photo. There were also several preparatory steps you had to take before you snapped the picture too! You can see that the case is fairly large, the camera was about 10”-12” wide by 6” tall by 5” deep—before you pulled the lens out of the front of the camera. 

I sure hope someone recognizes themselves or friends in these photos. It will be so cool to have names to go with the faces!Picnic Midway Island Card Game Olympia Lucky Lager 1961


 In the photo below it is my guess that this was one of the islands night-clubs, probably the Enlisted Mens (EM) club. For some reason my mom-Doris Morrow Gustafson, in the foreground, looks perturbed.

Looks like every table is well stocked with adult refreshment. I think you had to bring your own liquor, and then you would buy the mixer there at the club. I remember being carried on my dad’s shoulders when he went to the little tiny liquor (class-VI) store. I remember it being really tiny.

Enlisted Mens Club EM Club Midway Island Seagrams Vo Lucky Lager1961

I don’t know if this was a special occasion or not. I really only remember my parents going out at night, without us once while we were on Midway. Our baby-sitter was a friend of my dad’s–he didn’t particulary like the mouse I caught and brought in the house! I think he had a French accent.

I read a comment on a Military forum about Midway—he said that the mice on Midway were rampant (he didn’t have any fond memories of Midway). I’ve often wondered how I could just catch a mouse with my hands—no trap! Maybe because they were running all over the place.


Here are a few of my dad’s mates. In this photo he is on the left, and one of the guys is Jesse Carnes—I wish I knew which one. But, the guy on the right may have been the babysitter! Midway Island Jesse Carnes Lucky Lager 1961








Midway Island 1961

Midway Island 1961

I think this is Chief Long with my dad. My dad is on the right in the first photo and on the left in the second one.

Midway Island 1961 Skip Rhoadie

This is Skip Roadie (left) with dad. He and his family were at Barbers Point with us. I don’t think he lived on Midway when we did, I believe I have photos of his boys while we were in Hawaii, but there are none of the boys on Midway.