Curtis Twin - History

Curtis Twin - History

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The curious history of the rise and fall of twin beds

Twin beds—the end of an era in a marriage or a hygienic 'mod-con"?

For the best part of a century, twin beds were not only seen as acceptable but were actually championed as the sign of a modern and forward-thinking couple.

But what lay behind this innovation? And why did so many married couples ultimately abandon the twin bed?

Lancaster University academic Professor Hilary Hinds offers a fascinating insight into the combination of beliefs and practices that made twin beds an ideal sleeping solution.

"A Cultural History of Twin Beds," funded by the Wellcome Trust, challenges ingrained assumptions about intimacy, sexuality, domesticity and hygiene by tracing the rise and fall of twin beds as a popular sleeping arrangement for married couples between 1870 and 1970.

Professor Hinds, who heads up the English Literature and Creative Writing Department at Lancaster University, studied everything from marriage guidance and medical advice books to furnishing catalogues, novels, films (including the all-time great "Brief Encounter') and newspapers to glean the information.

Her key findings reveal that twin beds:

  • Were initially adopted as a health precaution in the late nineteenth century to stop couples passing on germs through exhaled breath.
  • Were seen, by the 1920s, as a desirable, modern and fashionable choice, particularly among the middle classes.
  • Featured as integral elements of the architectural and design visions of avant-garde Modernists such as Le Corbusier, Peter Behrens and Wells Coates.
  • Were (in the early decades of the 20th century) indicative of forward-thinking married couples, balancing nocturnal 'togetherness' with a continuing commitment to separateness and autonomy.
  • Never entirely replaced double beds in the households of middle-class couples but, by the 1930s and 1940s, were sufficiently commonplace to be unremarkable.
  • Enjoyed a century-long moment of prominence in British society and, as such, are invaluable indicators of social customs and cultural values relating to health, modernity and marriage.

The backlash against twin beds as indicative of a distant or failing marriage partnership intensified in the 1950s and by the late 1960s few married couples saw them as a desirable choice for the bedroom.

The trigger for the research came while Professor Hinds was researching interwar fiction written by women, when she chanced upon a reference to twin beds.

"I thought I knew what twin beds signified until I came across a comment by the protagonist in one of the novels. She looks across at her sleeping husband, on the far side of their double bed, and thinks 'modern twin beds' would be so much more comfortable and hygienic.

"I was fascinated by the perception that twin beds were seen as 'modern." I wanted to know what identified them as fashionable items.

"This then reminded me of a curious clipping in my great-grandmother's scrap book (covering the 1880s to the 1890s) which discussed 'the dangers of bed sharing' and indicating that a weaker person sharing a bed with a stronger one would 'leach the life force' from the stronger person.

The Story Of The Twin Otter— How The Plane Came To Be

I worked on the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter back in the 1980s and was convinced of the fact that this 19-passenger STOL aircraft is one of the most flexible planes ever built. Here is the story of this much loved turboprop.

My experience with the Twin Otter stems from a time when I was working for Southern Jersey Airways at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Here, the runway was only 3,000 feet long and the Intercostal Waterway was at either end. The only aircraft other than private planes that operated out of Bader Field were South Jersey Twin Otters and a De Havilland Canada DHC-7 belonging to Resorts Casino.

Regional commuter flights took passengers to Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC, and Islip (Long Island). On these routes, Southern Jersey’s Twin Otters were workhorses that kept on going just like the energizer bunny.

How the Twin Otter came about

De Havilland Canada (DHC) had a history for building well-constructed sturdy bush planes like the DHC-2 Beaver, DHC-5 Buffalo, and the tandem DHC-1 Chipmunk trainer. The manufacturer decided to make a utility commuter plane that could operate nearly anywhere. When the first Twin Otter was introduced in 1966, it could come straight from the factory fitted with floats, skies, or the more typical fixed triangle landing gear.

From the onset, the Twin Otter was a hit in remote regions of northern Canada, Alaska, and a popular choice for small commuter airlines operating from communities that were not profitable for larger carriers.

Despite the Twin Otter being a well-liked aircraft, de Havilland Canada was sold to Boeing in 1986 and the Seattle planemaker stopped making the plane. This move came about despite promises to the Canadian government to keep the Twin Otter in production.

As Boeing began to face stiff opposition from Airbus, the Chicago headquartered company sold DHC to Bombardier Aerospace in 1992. The Montreal planemaker had no interest in reviving the Twin Otter, preferring instead to concentrate on building larger regional aircraft.

The revival of the Twin Otter

While perhaps not of interest to large planemakers who were competing against each other for passenger jet orders, the Twin Otter remained hugely popular with many.

The rebirth of the Twin Otter can be credited to David Curtis, who, in 1992 became CEO of Viking Air. The company specialized in maintenance and production of DHC spare parts after realizing how popular the Twin Otter still was.

While working with companies still flying older DHC aircraft, Curtis often heard them decry the Twin Otter’s extinction.

What was attractive to Curtis was that out of the 844 Twin Otters built, 600 were still flying. Despite now having accumulated many flight hours, a second-hand Otter in good condition can sell today for three times what it cost new 30 years ago. Armed with this information, Curtis believed that if the second-hand market was so healthy, demand for newly built Twin Otters would be there too.

Viking to build the Twin Otter in Canada

By the time Viking had searched throughout the world for Twin Otter parts and peppered former DHC employees with questions about how the aircraft was built. To build new Twin Otters from scratch, Viking digitally scanned old plane parts so that they could be reproduced.

When the first Viking Twin Otter took to the skies in 2010, the British Columbia–based company had 41 confirmed orders for the reliable go-anywhere plane.

Today the Twin Otter can be found operating on every continent and is a favorite with the British Antarctic Survey ferrying crew and cargo around at the bottom of the earth.

Do you like me, share a love for the Twin Otter? If so, we would love to hear about your thoughts in the comments section.

Curtis Twin - History

By Martin K.A. Morgan

On August 7, 1942, Petty Officer 1st Class Saburo Sakai was piloting his Mitsubishi A6M2 “Zero” fighter in the skies over Sealark Channel in the Solomon Islands. He had flown down with a group of other Zeros from the Japanese airfield at Rabaul, New Britain, that morning for the express purpose of attacking the ships supporting the first American opposed amphibious invasion of World War II, the Operation Watchtower landings at Gavutu, Tanambogo, Tulgi, and Guadalcanal. Although Sakai would ultimately recover from the wounds he was about to receive, he wasn’t aware that he was about to be stung by one of the most lethal aircraft in the U.S. military’s arsenal: the Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber.

As Sakai and his wingman approached the skies above Tulagi, he spotted a group of eight American aircraft beneath him at an altitude of 7,800 feet. Wrongly assuming that they were U.S. Navy Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters, Sakai nosed his Zero over to begin an attack with his wingman obediently following.

Closing in on the American aircraft from behind at full throttle, he sensed that the element of surprise was his. But at a range of just 100 yards Sakai gazed at his targets through his gun sight and reached a sober realization: These were not fighters he was approaching. By this time it was too late to break off the attack. Sakai realized that he was attempting to pounce on a group of dive bombers. These aircraft were from the carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) and were circling above Tulagi, awaiting orders to drop their bombs on Japanese targets on the island below.

Unlike the F4F Wildcat fighter, U.S. Navy dive bombers were protected from rear attack by a tailgunner’s position. In the back seat of the aircraft piloted by Ensign Eldor E. Rodenburg, Aviation Radioman 3rd Class James W. Patterson, Jr., opened fire with his .30-caliber machine gun. “He came in fast! I fired at him, but I just don’t know if I hit him or not,” Patterson remembered.

Japanese “Zero” pilot Saburo Sakai, shot down by eight Dauntless tailgunners.

Sakai attempted to turn sharply to the right, pull up, and use the Zero’s horsepower to climb away from the Americans, but he was too close. In the rear seat of one of the other bombers, Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Harold L. Jones opened fire with Sakai only 100 feet directly astern of his aircraft.

What Jones saw next was a testament to the firepower that was available to the tailgunners: “His cockpit exploded, the canopy tore, and something flew out. I could see his face clearly, his body and head forced back against the headrest of the cockpit. The plane went almost vertically upwards and then fell smoking. That was the last I saw of him.”

As the eight tailgunners followed the Zero with their machine guns, slugs shattered the canopy glass and hit Sakai. Fragments from the bullets struck him in the chest, the left leg, the elbow, and the face. One tracer round missed his right eye by less than an inch and melted the rim of his goggles. In the brief encounter, the tailgunners expended over 1,000 rounds of ammunition and seriously injured one of the best Japanese fighter pilots of the war.

Making the Douglas SBD Dauntless

The Douglas SBD Dauntless was developed as an evolution of Northrop Aviation Corporation’s BT-1 and BT-2 dive bombers, which entered service in 1936. At that time, the U.S. Navy was transitioning from biplanes to all metal, low-wing monoplanes with retractable landing gear, and the BT series was on the cutting edge of that transition.

In 1937, Douglas Aircraft Company purchased Northrop Aviation’s El Segundo, California, factory and took over the BT program. With minor modifications by Douglas, the BT-2 Model 8 became the SBD-1 Dauntless in 1939, and deliveries of the aircraft began in June 1940. The basic airframe appearance of the Dauntless was established with the first model and would vary only slightly throughout production.

Its distinctive greenhouse canopy and round-tipped wings made it an easily identifiable aircraft. But perhaps the most recognizable feature of the Dauntless was its perforated dive flaps. In a steep dive, these flaps would deploy upward and downward from the trailing edge of the wing to maintain a constant airspeed of 250 knots. The three-inch perforations in the flaps allowed airflow to stabilize the aircraft, making the Dauntless a rock-solid bombing platform.

The Douglas A-24 Dauntless dive bomber, Army counterpart of the Navy’s Douglas SBD Dauntless, with certain modifications to meet Army requirements. It was designed for dive-bombing operations against ground troops and installations.The Dauntless was more maneuverable than the German Stuka and was capable of carrying heavier bomb loads.

The SBD-1 was equipped with the powerful 1,000-horsepower Wright R-1820-32 radial engine, but it had an overall flight range that was considered too modest for aircraft carrier operations. For that reason, the SBD-2 was developed with an increase of 100 gallons in fuel capacity that extended the aircraft’s maximum radius from 860 miles to 1,125 miles.

The SBD was also a well-armed bomber. The pilot could control a pair of ANM2 .50-caliber machine guns mounted in the cowling, firing through the spinning propeller using an interrupter. The radio operator/tailgunner’s position was equipped with an aft-facing swivel mount for the ANM2 .30-caliber machine gun to protect the aircraft from a tail attack (as Saburo Sakai so painfully learned in the skies over Sealark Channel on August 7, 1942).

Most importantly, the Dauntless was built to deliver bombs with precision, so it was equipped with underwing ordnance mounting points. A pair of 100-pound bombs could be carried on outer wing pilings, and on the aircraft’s centerline a fork-shaped bomb-displacing gear allowed the mounting of 250-pound, 500-pound, and even 1,000-pound bombs. On release, the bomb-displacing gear would swing downward so that the bomb would clear the aircraft’s propeller, and a telescopic sight mounted in the cockpit allowed the pilot to aim the delivery of his underwing ordnance. In all, these features made the Dauntless a simple, effective, and rugged combat aircraft.

The ANM2 .30-caliber machine gun mounted in the tailgunner’s compartment was a weapon with the general physical appearance of a downsized M1919 series .30-caliber machine gun. With a smaller receiver, barrel, and barrel shroud than the M1919’s, the ANM2 weighed a mere 23 pounds as opposed to the 31 pounds of the M1919A4.

In addition to having a different receiver and barrel than the M1919 series, the ANM2 was equipped with a different feed cover, extractor, barrel extension, and bolt. These parts were specially engineered to allow the weapon to feed from either the left or right side of the receiver, a feature that made the ANM2 .30-caliber versatile for use in aircraft. A 100-round fixed ammunition box was attached to left side of the weapon to keep the belted .30-caliber cartridges from snagging the inside of the compartment.

A groundcrewman loads linked M2 .30-caliber ammunition for a twin ANM2 mount into a Douglas SBD Dauntless at the USMC aerial gunnery school at MCAS El Centro, California.

The U.S. Marine Corps began operating the SBD-1 in 1940, and the Navy began using the SBD-2 in 1941. At about that same time, Douglas produced the SBD-3 version of the Dauntless with another increase in fuel capacity, extending maximum bombing range to 1,345 miles. This third model of the Dauntless entered service in March 1941 and also saw the introduction of self-sealing fuel tanks and armor protection for the crew.

The Navy began replacing its SBD-2s with SBD-3s immediately, handing the SBD-2s down to the U.S. Marine Corps. That process was still in motion when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Sunday, December 7, 1941, and the Dauntless went to war.

The SBD Dauntless Makes its Combat Debut

The Douglas SBD experienced combat from the very first day of the conflict, with the first losses the result of action with Japanese aircraft over Oahu. In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the Dauntless was one third of the team of aircraft that served on U.S. Navy aircraft carriers during the first six critical months of the war. Along with fighters and torpedo bombers, SBDs flew during each of the hit-and-run raids during the opening quarter of 1942.

American counterattacks on the Marshall Islands, Wake, and Marcus, as well as Lae and Salamaua on the west coast of New Guinea, included the Dauntless. When the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) carried 16 Army B-25B Mitchell medium bombers for the Doolittle raid on Tokyo in April 1942, SBDs from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) flew combat air patrol to protect them.

In early May, SBDs from the aircraft carriers USS Lexington (CV-2) and Yorktown (CV-5) flew combat sorties during the Battle of the Coral Sea and contributed to the notable sinking of the Japanese light carrier Shoho near the Louisiade Archipelago on May 7, 1942.

During the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Dauntless proved that it was effective at the job it was designed for—search and strike. In addition to that, though, SBDs in the hands of skilled naval aviators during that battle proved that the aircraft was good at something else too: air-to-air combat.

Three SBDs bank toward their target during a mission in the Pacific, 1943.

Air-to-Air in the SBD

On the morning of May 8, a section of SBD-3s was flying anti-torpedo-plane patrol to protect the Yorktown from enemy torpedo bombers. Lieutenant (j.g.) Stanley “Swede” W. Vejtesa, one of the pilots on the patrol, had put a 1,000-pound bomb through the deck of the Shoho the day before and was minutes away from still more excitement. Shortly after 11 am, the SBDs were attacked by a group of Zeros from the carrier Zuikaku. With superior speed and agility, the nimble Japanese fighters quickly brought down four of the SBDs, but then they came up against Swede Vejtasa.

After surviving the first attack, Vejtasa yelled to his radio operator/gunner: “Son, we’re in for a scrap—keep your head and conserve your ammunition. I’ll take care of the rest.” With guns blazing, the Zeros made pass after pass at Vejtasa’s SBD. Each time one of the enemy fighters attacked, Swede would turn into it and spoil the setup. Then Vejtasa would fire back at the attacker using the twin .50s in his engine cowling, while his radio operator/gunner in the back seat held off the enemy with his twin .30s.

Despite being harassed by three Zeros for an exhausting 25 minutes, Vejtasa’s SBD survived. And, although he was flying a dive bomber against fighters, Vejtasa miraculously shot down one of the Zeros.

SBDs fought air-to-air engagements with the Japanese time and time again during World War II and were credited with 138 victories. Clearly, the SBD was no ordinary dive bomber.

Lofton Henderson’s Douglas SBDs at Midway

Although it proved its mettle during the early hit-and-run raids and in history’s first carrier-vs.-carrier battle in the Coral Sea, the SBD’s finest hour came during the Battle of Midway in June 1942.

The Japanese descended on the battle area with naval might divided into a transport force, a main body, and an aircraft carrier striking force composed of the fleet carriers Kaga, Akagi, Soryu, and Hiryu. Their objective was twofold: capture Midway Island and lure the U.S. Navy task force off Midway into a final, decisive battle that would destroy it.

The U.S. Navy sent three fleet carriers into the battle area: the USS Enterprise (CV-6), Hornet (CV-8), and a battered and bruised Yorktown, each of which brought two squadrons of SBDs to meet the enemy.

The U.S. Marine Corps also contributed VMSB-241, a scouting/bombing squadron that included 19 SBD-2s. The Marine aviators who fought in the battle all flew from the naval air station on Eastern Island, Midway. They were led into combat by 39-year-old Major Lofton R. Henderson.

A 1926 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Henderson flew at the front of the squadron’s attack against the Japanese carrier strike force on June 4. The squadron took off from Midway at 6:10 am and flew to the northwest side of the island. By 7:55 am, it was within sight of the Japanese fleet and under attack by Zero fighters of the enemy’s combat air patrol.

Major Henderson led VMSB-241’s SBDs on a gently sloping glide-bombing attack on the aircraft carrier Hiryu from an altitude of 4,000 feet. His SBD was among the first shot down by the enemy’s fighters—the American airfield at Guadalcanal would be named in his honor. (Today it is known as Honiara International Airport.)

Although their commander was lost early on, the men of VMSB-241 drove home the attack on the Hiryu. One of the bombers pressing forward in the middle of the chaos of antiaircraft fire was SBD-2 #2106 piloted by 1st Lt. Daniel Iverson, Jr. As he dove toward the target through a thin cloud, two Zeros followed him.

Flight-deck crew on the USS Hornet pushes an SBD of Bombing Squadron VB-8 into position for takeoff during the Battle of Midway, June 2, 1942.

How the SBD Dauntless Fared When Dueling With Zeros

In the back seat of the Dauntless, Pfc. Wallace J. Reid fired burst after burst from his single ANM2 .30-caliber machine gun. With a pair of unrelenting fighters directly in his field of fire during the dive, Reid hammered away with his gun as Iverson’s plane fell almost vertically toward the target. At the appropriate moment, Iverson hit the release switch at an altitude of 300 feet above the Hiryu, and the displacing gear dropped the 500-pound bomb away from the aircraft.

The young pilot then leveled off close to the water, closed his dive-flaps, opened his cowl flaps, and pushed the throttle forward as far as it would go. The engine surged to 2,300 rpm. As #2106 raced away from the Hiryu, two more Japanese fighters joined the chase as Pfc. Reid desperately struggled to hold the attackers at bay with his ANM2.

Japanese bullets peppered the SBD’s horizontal stabilizer, rudder, wings, and empennage. One round slammed into the instrument panel, disabling the airspeed indicator. Another round severed the aircraft’s hydraulic system. Despite Reid’s best efforts to defend the Dauntless, bullet fragments wounded both him and Iverson.

After what seemed like an eternity, the Japanese fighters that had been hounding #2106 finally broke off their attack and turned back toward the fleet. A bleeding Lieutenant Iverson brought the aircraft back to Midway and made a crash landing. After he shut his engine down and he and Reid had jumped to safety, Iverson was surprised to see that there were some 250 bullet holes in the aircraft. As #2106 proved, the SBD Dauntless was rugged, reliable, and capable of absorbing lots of punishment.

An SBD Dauntless tailgunner loads ammunition for his twin ANM2 .30-caliber machine guns. The Stinger fed M2 .30-caliber cartridges from metallic disintegrating links.

VMSB-241 paid a heavy price for its attack on the Hiryu—eight of the 16 SBDs that flew the mission were lost to enemy action. Reid subsequently received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his persistent courage and determination during the harrowing flight. Major Henderson and 1st Lt. Iverson both received the Navy Cross for leading an attack “which contributed materially to the defeat of the enemy.”

The Japanese Weather the American Attacks

Although the Hiryu sustained no significant damage, VMSB-241 did indeed make a material contribution to victory in the Battle of Midway. The Marines’ strike against the Japanese fleet was part of a cascading series of attacks from various land- and carrier-based Army and Navy squadrons.

Before VMSB-241 arrived on the scene to harass the Japanese carriers, Navy Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bombers and Army Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers had already been there. After Henderson’s SBD-2s made their attack and departed the area, a group of Army Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers struck, followed by a group of 11 SB2U-3 Vought Vindicator dive bombers (also from VMSB-241).

All of these attacks were conducted by land-based aircraft and took place between 8 and 8:20 am on June 4. Although brief and responsible for almost no damage, these attacks forced the Japanese ships to maneuver defensively, caused their antiaircraft gunners to expend large quantities of ammunition, and made their combat air patrol planes burn fuel. For the next hour, the Japanese carriers were able to recover aircraft and begin the process of rearming and refueling, but then American carrier-based squadrons began a new series of attacks.

At approximately 9:20 am a formation of 15 Douglas TBD-1 Devastator torpedo planes from the USS Hornet began an attack on the carrier Soryu. With no fighter escort to protect them from the nimble Zeros, all 15 of the slow-moving TBDs were easily picked off within a matter of minutes they did no damage to the enemy fleet. At 10 am a formation of TBDs from the Enterprise commenced an attack. Fifteen minutes later, TBDs from the Yorktown closed in on the Hiryu.

Once again the Japanese fleet dodged the bullet and suffered no meaningful damage. But the cumulative effect of fighting off enemy aircraft for more than two hours stretched the Japanese to the limit. Although they had been successful in defending their carriers, their luck was about to run out.

The burning Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu, photographed shortly after sunrise on June 5, 1942. The damage that can be seen here was caused by hits from four 1,000-pound bombs dropped by SBDs during the afternoon strike the day before Hiryu sank a few hours later.

Destruction of the Japanese Carrier Force

The true decisive moment of the Battle of Midway began just as the Yorktown TBDs were concluding their attack. As Japanese gunners and combat air patrol fighters attempted to bring down the last of the Devastators escaping at wave-top level, lookouts on the Akagi noticed American aircraft high above the fleet. It was 10:22 am on June 4, 1942, and the course of World War II was about to be changed by 48 SBD Dauntless dive bombers.

At that moment, 25 SBD-3s from the Enterprise entered their dives in an attack on Kaga that quickly resulted in four direct hits. Moments later, six more Enterprise SBD-3s dove on Akagi and scored two direct hits with lethal 1,000-pound bombs. Simultaneously, 17 Yorktown SBD-3s dove on Soryu, scoring three hits with 1,000-pound bombs.

In four minutes’ time, three Japanese fleet aircraft carriers—each of which had participated in the Pearl Harbor raid—were raging infernos. A group of 13 SBDs flew from the Enterprise (10 of which belonged to the Yorktown’s air group) and found the Hiryu later that afternoon, hitting it with four 1,000-pound bombs, destroying it as well.

Thus the Japanese ended the day on June 4, 1942, having lost all four of their aircraft carriers to American SBDs. It was so significant a loss that it materially altered their battle plan. Admiral Yamamoto ordered a general retirement from the battle area that night.

Turning Point in the Pacific Theater

With the cancellation of the plan to capture Midway and the obvious failure to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet in a final, decisive showdown, the Japanese conceded defeat. Although technically the battle was over, the Dauntless was not quite done destroying ships.

The next day, June 5, U.S. forces pursued the retreating Japanese westward as they withdrew in defeat. Since all four Japanese aircraft carriers were now on the bottom of the sea, the cruisers Mikuma and Mogami offered the most tempting targets as they limped away at 15 knots. Having collided with Mikuma the night before, the Mogami was struggling with damage that caused a dramatic reduction in speed. Accordingly, SBDs from VMSB-241 launched an attack against the two ships the morning of the 5th, but they scored only near misses that slightly damaged Mikuma.

The following morning, June 6, a strike of 81 SBDs from Hornet and Enterprise found the two enemy cruisers and attacked them in three waves. After being hit by two 1,000-pound bombs, Mogami sustained additional damage but lived to fight another day. Hit by three 1,000-pound bombs, the Mikuma was reduced to a burned-out hulk dead in the water. The ship sank later that evening, marking the end of the battle.

The tally of Japanese losses was staggering: 248 combat aircraft and just over 3,000 men had been lost. Four fleet aircraft carriers and one cruiser had been sunk. The Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, and Mikuma had all been destroyed by the Douglas SBD Dauntless. (Get an in-depth look at these and other critical events in the Pacific Theater by subscribing to WWII History magazine.)

Prior to Midway, the Japanese were in the process of expanding a vast oceanic empire. After Midway, the Japanese transitioned to a defensive posture and began to fight the only war they could not possibly win, a protracted war of attrition. Together with El Alamein and Stalingrad, Midway was a turning point in World War II. The slow but deadly (SBD) Dauntless was the primary weapon that made this possible.

In one of the most famous images of the Dauntless from World War II, two SBD-3 dive-bombers from USS Hornet approach the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma during the early afternoon of June 6, 1942, near the conclusion of the Battle of Midway. Mikuma had been hit earlier by strikes from Hornet and Enterprise, leaving her fatally damaged and dead in the water. This photo was enlarged from a 16mm color motion picture film.

The Navy’s Douglas SBDs After the Battle of Midway

Although the Battle of Midway was definitely the Douglas SBD’s finest hour, the aircraft continued to serve prominently through the tumultuous events of 1942. Navy and Marine Corps SBDs participated in the Guadalcanal campaign as land-based anti-ship and ground attack platforms during the closing months of the year.

Carrier-based SBDs from the USS Enterprise and the USS Saratoga (CV-3) fought the dramatic Battle of the Eastern Solomons on August 24 and 25. In October, SBDs from the carriers Enterprise and Hornet fought in the Battle of Santa Cruz.

Then, in November, on the other side of the globe, SBDs from the carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) flew air support for the Operation Torch landings in North Africa. On November 10, 1942, nine SBDs from the Ranger sank the moored French battleship Jean Bart in port at Casablanca, Morocco. With the sinking of the Japanese battleship Hiei three days earlier in the Pacific, this was the second enemy battleship sunk by SBDs within one week.

SBD-3 Dauntless dive-bombers (without the folding wings of planes such as the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair and P-40 Avenger) crowd the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier during the summer of 1942.

The A-24 Banshee: the Army’s Douglas SBDs

During the early part of the war, the Army also used the Dauntless under the nomenclature A-24 Banshee. Essentially an SBD-3 without a tail hook, the A-24 replaced the SBD’s solid tail wheel with a large pneumatic tire. The Banshee entered service in March 1941 but had a far less distinguished career flying for the Army.

When the war began, the A-24 was to equip the USAAF’s 27th Bombardment Group in the Philippines, but the surrender of Bataan saw the Banshee diverted to Australia, where it equipped the 91st and 8th Bombardment Squadrons of the 27th Bomb Group. The 91st Bombardment Squadron took its aircraft to the Dutch East Indies, and the 8th Bombardment Squadron operated from the north coast of Australia.

As the Navy model changed, so did the Army model. In late 1942 the Navy SBD-4/Army A-24A began to enter squadron service with only minor changes from the previous model. By that point in the war, the Army was no longer using the Banshee in combat, but the SBD-4 went into full fleet carrier service. When the Curtis SB2C Helldiver entered service in late 1943, the Dauntless was no longer the Navy’s frontline dive bomber.

Despite that, the most produced variant of the aircraft was introduced at about that same time. The SBD-5/A-24B featured an increased ammunition-carrying capacity, an illuminated bombsight, and also introduced the 1,200 horsepower Wright R-1820-60 engine. A total of 3,640 SBD-5s/A-24Bs were produced during 1943 at the height of industrial production in the United States. These aircraft went on to fight some of the most dramatic encounters of the latter years of the war.

During this period, carrier-based Navy SBD-5s participated in raids against the Japanese garrison on Wake Island (October 1943) as well as the Operation Hailstone raid against the Japanese fleet anchorage at Truk lagoon in February 1944. The Dauntless also fought north of the Arctic Circle when SBD-5s from the Air Group of the USS Ranger participated in Operation Leader, a strike against German shipping in Bodo Harbor, Norway, on October 4, 1943.

Phasing Out the SBD Dauntless

Since the Army was no longer using the Banshee in combat, some A-24s were turned over to the USMC for land-based operations. Some of these aircraft flew antisubmarine patrols over the Caribbean from a base in the Virgin Islands, while others assigned to VMSB-236 participated in a raid on Rabaul on January 14, 1944.

The introduction of the SB2C Helldiver and the SBD’s lack of folding wings resulted in its gradual disappearance from Navy carrier air groups during 1944. The last major aircraft carrier operation it flew came on June 20, 1944, when SBD-5s from the Enterprise and the reborn Lexington (CV-16) flew a strike against the Japanese during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

The following month, when SBDs flew in support of ground forces fighting to liberate Guam, it marked the conclusion of the aircraft’s shipboard service. At about that same time, the final version of the Dauntless was introduced as the SBD-6. Although the most powerful and advanced variant of the series, the 450 SBD-6s produced mostly remained stateside.

Meanwhile, SBD-5s continued to serve in land-based squadrons overseas until the end of the conflict. For example, Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12) moved to the island of Luzon, Philippines, shortly after the amphibious landing of Army forces at Lingayen Gulf in January 1945. SBDs assigned to MAG-12’s famous VMSB-241—best known for its stunning performance almost three years earlier during the Battle of Midway—flew numerous combat sorties in support of Army units on the ground until V-J Day in August.

An SBD releasing its bomb. The Dauntless SBD-5 had a cruising speed of 185 mph, a top speed of 255 mph, a service ceiling of 25,000 feet, a range of 1,115 miles, and could carry 2,250 pounds of bombs.

Personal Life

The star&aposs career all but collapsed in 1962, however, when he divorced Leigh after having an affair with 17-year-old German actress Christine Kaufmann. By then, he and Leigh had two children: Kelly Lee and Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis and Kaufmann married in 1963 and divorced in 1967. Shortly thereafter, in 1968, the actor married 23-year-old model Leslie Allen. Following their 1982 divorce, he would have three more marriages—to Andrea Savio (1984-1992), Lisa Deutsch (1993-1994) and Jill Vandenberg (from 1998 until his death in 2010). In addition to six different marriages, Curtis engaged in several high-profile romances with icons such as Monroe and Natalie Wood.

By the 1970s, Curtis was struggling with an addiction to alcohol and drugs. In his later career, he appeared in a variety of low-profile films and on various TV shows, but eventually headed to rehab in 1982 and reinvented himself as a fine art painter. He also wrote published two autobiographies during this time: Tony Curtis: The Autobiography (1994) and American Prince: A Memoir. In 2002, he toured in a musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot. His final film was David & Fatima (2008). By then he was struggling with frequent health issues, which included heart bypass surgery in 1994 and a recurring battle with obstructive pulmonary disease.

Curtis died on September 30, 2010, at the age of 85, in Henderson, Nevada, of cardiac arrest. He was survived by his sixth wife, Jill Vandenberg, his daughters Kelly Lee, Jamie Lee, Alexandra and Allegra and his son, Benjamin.

Born Again

Honda revived the Africa Twin model in 2016 with the CRF1000L in one of the most-anticipated adventure-bike launches in history. The new bike had to both live up to its predecessor’s reputation and compete with a new generation of larger adventure bikes from BMW, Ducati, KTM, Triumph, and Yamaha.

The legendary Africa Twin was revived in 2016 with the introduction of the CRF1000L. The bike had more power, a parallel-twin engine, similar suspension travel to the original XRV650 model, and a dual-clutch transmission option.

Of course motorcycles had changed dramatically in the intervening years and Honda had to keep up, if not take the lead. Instead of creating a relatively tame, forgiving dual sport with roots in desert racing, Honda’s answer was a heavier, more powerful, adventure-class motorcycle with a very British parallel-twin engine configuration stuffed with modern technology like switchable ABS and tunable traction control. They included a bit of engineering razzle dazzle by offering their dual-clutch transmission (DCT) option on the new model, a feature that essentially makes the bike an automatic.

The idea was a bike that could go anywhere, from highways to dirt paths. To find that balance, Honda kept the overall length of the bike relatively short in fact the wheelbase was only a half-inch longer than the XRV750 at 62 inches vs. 61.6 inches. In addition, the new Africa Twin gained suspension travel compared to its predecessor, sporting 9.1 inches in front and 8.7 inches in the rear. The new Africa Twin’s parallel-twin engine layout, and an emphasis on keeping the mass of the bike centralized and low, made that possible. Honda employed tricks like a unicam head design similar to their CRF motocross bikes and balance shafts integrated with the oil and water pumps to keep the powerplant dense and low.

Along with the addition of throttle-by-wire, Honda introduced the Africa Twin Adventure Sports variant in 2018 featuring a bigger tank, longer suspension travel and many other extras.

Weight had grown on the new bike to 503 pounds wet (534 for the DCT model), but horsepower had also increased to 94. Fuel capacity was down to 5 gallons, but the new engine, equipped with modern fuel injection of course, clawed back some of the lost range with increased fuel efficiency.

Following the usual schedule of improvements every two years, Honda updated the CRF1000L in 2018 with additional riding modes, more options for the Honda Selectable Torque Control, improved intake and exhaust tuning, throttle by wire and other refinements. That was also the year Honda introduced the Africa Twin Adventure Sports variant, which got a bigger gas tank, longer suspension travel (9.9” front / 9.4” rear) and more wind protection in addition to all the other upgrades.

‘It’s Craftsmanship, It’s History’: Inside The Twin City Model Railroad Museum

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – From passenger trains to freight trains, for more than 80 years the Twin City Model Railroad Museum in St. Paul has been a destination for train enthusiasts.

Brandon Jutz is one of 100 members and volunteers who bring this museum to life. His grandfather was a member and began taking him here when he was a kid.

“The big layout behind me started construction in 1984. It&rsquos not done yet,&rdquo said Jutz. “In a world of this scale, there&rsquos always work to be done. Adding new buildings, landscaping, and of course, laying down railroad after railroad.”

Since 1934, the Twin City Model Railroad Museum has been asking visitors to leave the outside world behind, and enjoy what they&rsquove created inside.

&ldquoThe hobby got real big after World War II, and that&rsquos where a lot of our older generations have those memories&rdquo said Jutz. “And so for those younger generations to kind of see what their grandparents experienced is a lot of fun.”

There are Marx, Lionel, American Flyer and even Lego train sets of all shapes and sizes. The mainline track is 220-feet long. Some of the trains cover four miles a week.

Of course, the entire operation might just go off the rails — if it wasn&rsquot for the &ldquoTrain Doctor.&rdquo Peter Southard&rsquos background as a resourceful Iowa farm kid got him the job of train doctor. He fixes model trains from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. He can spend hours cleaning and re-wiring, and he&rsquos able to save about 90% of his patients, so to speak. Those he can&rsquot get back on track become organ donors, their parts used to make the rest of the operation go.

&ldquoIt&rsquos kind of a passion. I enjoy working with my hands,&rdquo said Southard. &ldquoThis is all art. It’s craftsmanship, it&rsquos history, it&rsquos a little bit of everything all tied together.&rdquo

That&rsquos the train of thought that many of the volunteers have. The hope is that the tracks left behind help connect the past, present and future.

&ldquoIt&rsquos multi-generational, so we have third, fourth, fifth generations of families that are here keeping these trains running, keeping these stories going,&rdquo said Jutz.

The museum has had restricted hours during COVID, but is looking to expand the hours and days they are open in the near future.

They will also be part of a model train exhibit at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in July.


Of all the famous aviation pioneers who have been honored for their dedication to the dream of manned flight and their genius for making that dream come true, few can match the creativity and determination of Glenn Hammond Curtiss.

Born in Hammondsport, NY, in 1878, his insatiable curiosity, mechanical ability and ambition soon became evident. By the time he reached his teens, bicycles and speed had become a near-obsession with the young Curtiss. He was a champion bicycle racer for years and naturally progressed to designing and building his own machines. By 1902, Curtiss, with three employees, was manufacturing his own motorcycles under the trade name, "Hercules". In a measured-mile run at Ormond Beach, Florida, on Jan. 23, 1907, Curtiss's V8 powered motorcycle was officially clocked at 136.3 mph. On that day, and for years afterward, Glenn Curtiss carried the title, "Fastest Man on Earth".

Curtiss's first experience with aviation came when famed balloonist, Thomas Scott Baldwin, ordered a V-twin motorcycle engine to power a lighter-than-air ship. Curtiss's engine was a success. In 1904, using this early engine, Baldwin's "California Arrow" became the first successful American dirigible. In 1907, Glenn Curtiss began his aviation career in earnest as a member of the Aerial Experiment Association, a group of men focused on getting a man into the air. In addition to Curtiss, this group included famous inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, F.W. "Casey" Baldwin, J.A.D. McCurdy and U.S. Army Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge.

By this time, the Wright Brothers had already made the first successful controlled flight of a manned aircraft. The Wright Brothers, however, had not allowed public viewing of the flight, and their tendency toward secrecy and continued distrust of the press had resulted in little public notice of the event. It was a mistake that would cost them dearly. On March 12, 1908, the A.E.A. "Red Wing" made the first public flight in America of a heavier-than-air machine with Casey Baldwin at the controls. The craft took off from the frozen surface of Keuka Lake and remained aloft for 20 seconds, covering a distance of 318 feet, 11 inches, before it went down on one wing and crashed. Two months later, the "White Wing" with Curtiss flying it, covered a distance of 1,017 feet in controlled flight. This success was made possible by the addition of "horizontal rudders" (Bell's term) to the wingtips, a precursor of the aileron.

Using knowledge gained from the Red Wing and the White Wing, Curtiss built the "June Bug", outfitted with additional improvements. This aeroplane responded so well in testing, that Curtiss determined to enter it in competition for the Scientific American trophy. Winning the first leg in the 1908 competition involved flying in a straight line for a distance of one kilometer. On July 4, Curtiss piloted the "June Bug" across Pleasant Valley for a distance of 5,090 feet - 1,810 feet farther than required. No less important, it was the first officially-recognized, pre-announced and publicly-observed flight in America. It won Curtiss the first leg of the trophy and established him as America's foremost aviation pioneer. In 1909, he flew his "Golden Flyer" a distance of 24.7 miles to establish a new world distance record and win the second leg of the Scientific American trophy. Later that same year, in Rheims, France, competing against Europe's top aviators, he won the Gordon Bennet Cup speed race, averaging 46 mph. In 1910, when the New York World Newspaper offered a $10,000 prize for the first successful flight between Albany and NYC, following the Hudson River, Curtiss again determined to be first, and did so in a craft he had named the "Hudson Flyer". He won the prize money, nationwide recognition, and in the process, won the third leg of the Scientific American Competition and permanent possession of the coveted trophy. It was his much-publicized Albany to New York flight that established the aeroplane as having some practical value. It was even suggested that it might have a wartime use. Some months later, Curtiss gave the first demonstration of aerial bombing to Army and Navy representatives at Keuka Lake. In addition to making the aeroplane a practical reality, he pioneered in the design of seaplanes and flying boats. His interest in water-flying led to an association with the U.S.Navy that was to form a basis for Naval aviation as we know it today. Naval seaplane, flying boat, and aircraft carrier operations are all a direct result of Curtiss's influence. A final high point in Curtiss's aviation career came in 1919, when the U.S.Navy Curtiss NC-4 Flying Boat became the first aircraft to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Curtiss's interests were not restricted just to vehicles of transportation.In 1921, he essentially left the aviation business and moved to Florida to become a highly-successful land developer. With friends, he developed the Florida cities of Hialeah, Miami Springs, and Opa-Locka. Opa-Locka was intended to be his crowning achievement, a planned community resembling something from the Arabian Nights. In the spring of 1930, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Miami for his many contributions to the development of the Miami area.

Curtiss's amazing career was tragically cut short on July 23, 1930. At age 52, while undergoing surgery for appendicitis in Buffalo, NY, he developed a blood clot that ended his life. Glenn Hammond Curtiss was returned to his home town where he rests today in a quiet spot in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, not far from the site of his historic flight in the "June Bug".

Curtiss is remembered today as the Father of Naval Aviation and the founder of the American Aircraft Industry.

Curtis Hotel

The Curtis Hotel was at 3rd Ave. and 10th Street in Minneapolis. Dick Long and His Curtis Hotel Orchestra was there as early as 1928 in 1933 he debuted his new 12-piece band at the Saturday Night Frolic. Long was also at the Nankin. It was reported by Stebbins that he was at the Curtis for 47 years, so this need clarification. Various venues included:

  • Turquoise Lounge, 1952
  • Cardinal Room, 1963-1970. Dinnerr fashion revuies by Jackson Graves on Tuesdays in 1963.
  • Garden Lounge. 1967: pianist Jimmie Cooper 1970: pianist entertains nightly.

Dick Long and His Orchestra at the Curtis Hotel, August 26, 1935. Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

Curtis Family C-notes hits big stage!

Listen to any song by San Francisco’s Curtis Family C-notes, and you’re bound to feel better. Really, any song: The musical range of this seven-member, all-family band – two parents and five precociously talented kids – is remarkable, spanning R&B, funk, gospel, jazz, Christmas carols and more.

If you live in the Bay Area and you dig music, chances are you’ve heard their music somewhere – the prolific family has performed at mayoral inaugurations, festivals, churches, city streets, pandemic testing and vaccine sites, gobs of online musical venues during COVID-19 restrictions and even a Warriors halftime show in 2020, before the pandemic.

The Curtis Family C-notes have been spotted on AGT’s television and online promos on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. San Francisco’s “First Family of Song” has landed a spot on one of television’s biggest stages, delivering their uniquely nourishing tonic of soulful spirited sound and deep human connection to a national audience.

Watch on Tuesday nights beginning June 1 to see what happens and whether the Curtis Family won over the celebrity judges. Check your local listing for NBC’s showtimes of America’s Got Talent.

This very cool big news was going to stay hush-hush, but the Bay View caught a glimpse of the Curtis Family on an “America’s Got Talent” season preview – just a couple split-second snapshots, including the family performing on that shiny glossy stage and 16-year-old Zahara flashing her big-wide smile.

That was enough for word to get out. But as Maestro explains: “Because we are under a contractual restriction, until we know for sure we are not allowed to reveal much about the show. So just stay tuned. I will say that AGT is a class act all the way and I can really see why they are so successful, a tribute to Simon Cowell. He runs a class act production. Everyone involved was professional, courteous and kind.”

Meet the City’s ‘First Family of Song’

Who are the Curtis Family C-notes, and how did they get to one of TV’s biggest stages? Performing at California Lt. Gov. Kounalakis’ January 2019 inauguration, the family inspired a standing ovation from an audience that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom and other dignitaries.

There and then, Kounalakis’s father, Angelo Tsakopoulos, a real estate mogul, dubbed the C-notes “San Francisco’s First Family of Song,” after which politicians and world leaders in attendance followed suit with their stamp of approval, giving the Curtis Family a standing ovation, with many leaders expressing that this was the best version of the national anthem they had ever heard. Quite an accolade and praise.

Even before that, the five children performed at the July 2018 inauguration for San Francisco’s first African American woman mayor, London Breed – wowing the crowd by launching into the “Black National Anthem” before segueing into the “Star-Spangled Banner,” prompting praise from former Mayor Willie Brown in his San Francisco Chronicle column.

When residents come to their doors, they get a hearty hello along with some “food for the body” – a bag of fresh nutritious groceries, courtesy of Mother Brown’s Dining Room. Then, they get a healthy dose of “food for the soul”: a song from the acclaimed seven-member Curtis family band, whose soaring, deep-rooted tunes are delivering smiles, tears and nourishment.

This unique mix of food and song is hitting all the right notes, and right on time for this simultaneous pandemic and recession. In these anxious days of isolation, the Curtis Family C-notes and Mother Brown’s Dining Room are serving up this blend of nutrition, R&B, rock and gospel, classical and jazz songs in an uplifting partnership called “Food for the Body, Food for the Soul.”

Beyond all their music, Maestro, Nola and the entire Curtis family are the kind of community activists who have been on the frontline as part of the first responders from Day One of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown – delivering free food to people in need and offering comfort through song for thousands of SF residents in Bayview Hunters Point, Lakeview, Ingleside and the Fillmore. They continue to do so now even as the pandemic wanes.

Although they have received little attention by the mainstream media or City Hall for their tireless efforts, they understand their importance to the community. When asked why no one from City Hall has called or why there has been no mainstream media coverage of their great work in the community, the Curtis children’s immediate response was: “We do our job to help as many as we humanly can in this city, and some have championed us, and we are so grateful to them. And although we have not been recognized for our work and our commitment, that’s not why we do this!”

“The people we deliver food to, sing and connect with appreciate us and that’s a good thing. Many have expressed to us through tears that they are so grateful that someone cared enough to do for them in this way, and that’s our real reward.”

Maestro elaborates, “We do this for love of humanity and our communities who need us. I suppose most see us as just singers and musicians! Whoever thinks this is sadly mistaken and that’s cool. I’ve been doing this since the late ‘60s and early ‘70s with my parents, mentors, and community activists. This is part of a legacy of doing and not just jaw-boning.”

Besides, Maestro notes, “The people we deliver food to, sing and connect with appreciate us and that’s a good thing. Many have expressed to us through tears that they are so grateful that someone cared enough to do for them in this way, and that’s our real reward.”

From Day One of the pandemic, through an initiative they call “Operation Food for Your Body, Food for Your Soul,” the family has been working tirelessly with many community groups to provide free food deliveries to people in need. They’ve worked directly on this crisis assistance with OMI’s IT Bookman Center and Director Felisia Thibodeaux, the Jones United Methodist Food Pantry (through the San Francisco Marin Food Bank) in the Fillmore with Director Yvonne Swift and with United Council of Human Services’ Mother Brown’s Dining Room under the direction of CEO Gwen Westbrook.

As Maestro puts it: “These incredible giving women asked for our help and we unanimously, without hesitation, did what was asked of us and more.” While giving to the community, the effort has also provided the Curtis children with a powerful learning experience. “Our children are well-grounded, and we have taught them the importance of community responsibility,” says Maestro, echoed by wife Nola Curtis.

In their songs and actions, the C-notes are standing for many things: The unifying power of music, justice, equality, community, human connection and, above all, a spirited rejuvenation of the family. As Papa C puts it, “Strong families make strong communities, making stronger nations, which create a better world.”

Songs and Power to the People

In a recent chat with the Curtis family on Zoom, the kids share what music means for them and the role it plays in their lives.

Music, Nile says, is about “spreading love and joy to the people.” Zahara calls music “a universal language we all know. Whether you speak a different language, you still connect to the feeling.” Kiki emphasizes joy: “It’s fun to play and fun to learn. We are all performing, we are all having a good time,” she says. “It’s exciting when other people see the whole family perform on stage together.” Phoenix adds, “I want to make people happy, want to make people feel part of something.”

On a slightly more serious note, Isis chimes in: “Singing with the family is special. It’s not something other people do a lot at the high level that we do.” In these times of emboldened violent racism, what’s needed is more love and families who stand up in solidarity against the deadliest virus on the planet, hate!

“A lot of people are making songs about how police are killing Black and Brown people and we need those – we should also continue making songs about self-love and love for all, unity and how to create change and never let up.

“This is not political it’s about being righteous without being religious and respecting all of humanity regardless of race, creed, so-called skin color or lifestyle. These issues are worn out without resolve and I believe we are moving in a way that is going to fix this broken world,” says Papa C.

Our music and songs are anthems for life, a way to create a high frequency, high consciousness and a healing connection.

Amid worldwide protests for racial justice and in between the family’s daily food and song deliveries in the community, the C-notes last year released a hit single called “Power to the People,” designed as an anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement, to which they’re donating half of the song’s proceeds.

“Power to the People” is a timely and unique response to the growing mass movement for racial justice: a family-powered anthem urging justice, peace and unity. “This movement needs music to bring us together, so we are contributing our song to help build peace and justice for all people,” said Maestro, who calls the C-notes’ musical style “a cross between the Staples Singers, Earth, Wind and Fire and Sly and the Family Stone.”

Papa C speaks of music’s power to lift people up and bring them together. “Our music and songs are anthems for life,” he says, a way to create a “high frequency, high consciousness and a healing connection. Music allows everyone to tap into their higher sense of self and existence, connecting us to our humanity and perhaps our ultimate purpose. Music heightens and quickens our awakening.” This is one of the main reasons why their debut album is entitled “Awaken.”

Music, says Maestro, is “where lies the center of understanding and compassion. Understanding that we are all in this game no matter what our differences appear to be.” While the C-notes’ music “is not political,” Maestro explains: “Our music is activating a high frequency. Our music speaks to love and truth. We celebrate real values in ourselves and in our music. Because our music is about love, there is nothing more revolutionary than love – be it tough love or companionate love – but it starts with self-love.

“By the way, love doesn’t mean that you take crap from unkindness. Never be afraid to speak your mind. Just make sure you’re in the right, and if you are wrong, stand by yourself if necessary and admit it.”

After years of hard work and deep dedication to both the music and the community, the Curtis Family C-notes are producing their debut album and about to hit television’s big stage. As Mama C reflects, “It’s been a long struggle, but our music has and is opening many doors and our hard work and efforts are beginning to bear fruit.”

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