10-12-23

18 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY october 12-18, 2023 www.montereycountyweekly.com “Stilwell’s family was his fortress where he felt secure, where he loved and felt loved,” his greatgranddaughters said in remarks in Chongqing, China, in August. The photo above shows Joseph and Winifred Stilwell and their children at home in Peking, circa 1922. From left to right: Joseph Jr., Winifred (“Doot”), Alison and Nancy. Joseph Stilwell was at home in both Carmel and in China. Now he is a catalyst in a new type of diplomacy. By Dave Faries and Sara Rubin In General Dignitaries gathered in August at a museum dedicated to an important figure from World War II. As with most such events, speeches were made and cameras rolled to capture the occasion. Newspapers and television duly reported on the ceremony—except in the U.S., where recognition of the 140th anniversary of General Joseph Stilwell’s birth year was met largely with silence. The setting was counterintuitive, perhaps: Chongqing, a city in the People’s Republic of China and home to the Stilwell Museum, the only venue in that country dedicated to the life of an American officer. “Vinegar Joe” was the scourge of many a less aggressive colleague, but also a quiet Carmel family man who liked to, as he described it, “putter around” the yard and roam Carmel Beach with his dog. The war took him to China, where he tirelessly set about the unenviable task of holding together a fractured resistance during a critical period of the war. For this reason, says John Easterbrook, grandson of the general, “The Chinese know him better than Americans do.” Easterbrook did not attend the ceremony in Chongqing—his daughters did, and delivered remarks—but he extendCourtesy John Easterbrook

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