|Creator:||Wood, Leslie Crozier, 1911-2004|
|Title:||Col. Crozier Wood collection|
|Quantity:||0.4 Linear feet (3 oversized folders, 1 folder housed with minor collections MS 2066-MS 2156)|
|Abstract:||The collection consists of two ledgers or arithmetic books. Also included are German newspapers and a color political poster.|
Leslie Crozier Wood's life passed before my eyes this week, and they have been blinking uncontrollably ever since. I see him everywhere in the historic photos he took, the stunning caricatures he drew, the souvenirs he brought home from World War II and the extraordinary people he met along the way. His face is full of resolve as it stares back at me from an Atlanta newspaper page, dated 1931. He is in his ROTC uniform, charging up a hill on the back of his horse, sword drawn. hat seems to be the way he lived his life full speed ahead except that over time he learned to rely more heavily on his wits and personality to make his point. He was in Europe before World War II, warning his wife, Margaret, in a letter that war was coming. The next minute, he was photographing the coronation of King George VI. One minute he was instructing recruits at a Civilian Conservation Corps site in Yosemite, Calif. The next he was studying anatomy at the Art Student's League in New York. He was standing over German Gen. Max Simon's shoulder the day he surrendered to Gen. Maxwell Taylor as nine officers, some SS, some U.S. Army, crowded around a simple wooden table. The next minute he was on a four-masted schooner, posing for photographs with Prince Juan Carlos de Borbon, who later became king of Spain. The more I learn about a man I had never heard of until I read his lengthy obituary in The Oklahoman, the more I realize how much he could teach me about not wasting a single day. But I can't help but want to know the flavor of tobacco he packed in his pipe or the sound his harmonica made when he played it every evening. I want to know the depths of the yearning in his soul that led him to work his way across the Atlantic on a freighter in the 1930s. And I want to know whether he tingled inside the day he broke the seals on two railroad cars of a suspicious train found by the 116th Cavalry group in a tunnel south of Bad Gastein in Austria. One end of the first car was filled with priceless rugs and tapestries, the other with paintings. The other car held gold. Who is Leslie Crozier Wood? Well, he was either the inspiration for "Where's Waldo? or he is Forrest Gump. His wife describes him as a gentle man who was interested in everything in the world and saw much of it, from Europe to Panama to Japan. "It was a wonderful life, it really was," she said. Wood died quietly a year ago after living the last 27 years of his life in a modest home on an ordinary Oklahoma City street. From the size of it, it would appear that the magnolia tree in the front yard must have been his most prized possession. The real treasures are the photos and words that emerged from the boxes he packed away in his study in expectation of writing his memoirs. It's not surprising he never got around to penning his life story. He was too busy living as an artist, writer, photographer, radio announcer, musician, actor, horseman, soldier and volunteer at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. "He's somebody you read stories about, except he's somebody who did it," said Danny Davidson, an auctioneer who is assembling Wood's collection for sale. Noteworthy items include a set of stars and a burnt orange antennae flag that adorned Gen. George S. Patton's jeep and a brown leather, wool-lined flight cap worn by German plane designer Willie Messerschmitt. "He liberated it," his wife said when asked how her husband came across that cap. Somewhere along the line, Wood, who was assigned as a special services officer of the Seventh Army, picked up a letter from German Gen. Erwin Rommel to his wife, in which he talks about the weather and the slow progress of the war. The collection includes photos Wood took and observations he made upon discovering the Landsberg concentration camp, along with transcripts from the Nuremberg Nazi war trials, which he attended as a sketch artist. NewsOK Website. http://masterweb1.newsok.com/veterans-photos-give-history-tour/article/2888179 Retrieved 5/1/2009.
Col. Crozier Wood collection. MS 2091. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.
The newspapers and poster contained in this collection are located in the oversize drawer.