Holy Tornado

To see the soul of your comrade listen carefully to his music.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

WARTIME-1943




I'm the barefoot four year old, third from left.
Two of my Soldier uncles were overseas fighting in the war at the time this picture was taken.
I heard the big people talk. They were afraid. So was I.
They spoke of bomber planes and people dying. When I heard a plane I hid.

We planted Victory gardens. I helped my mother plant the seeds. Our garden grew very well and we had a variety of fresh vegetables.

There was rationing and some things were hard to get. Sugar was scarce. Mother said it was needed for the war. I expected all the Soldiers to come back home with rotten teeth.
When dads monthly gas ration was gone he had to walk to and from work. Even in the icy cold.

We had to make our shoes last. It seems we were only allowed a pair every six months. maybe it was a year.
When the sole came loose we tied a cord around to keep it from tearing off.
If we wore a hole in the sole, we put cardboard inside our shoe so the rocks wouldn't hurt. Streets were gravel then. If it rained the cardboard got all soggy and fell apart.

We ate off the land a lot. Venison, ducks, mushrooms and other wild foods and a variety of seafood since we lived within walking distance of the bay. Family and neighbors shared and helped one another every day. That's how it was back then. We didn't do it because we would go to hell if we didn't, but rather because there was a genuine concern for one another. War and hard times can do that to a community. It draws people close, causes them to unify and work together. Borrowing and sharing was a way of life.

Everyone we knew lived like we did. Some would say we were poor. Maybe we were, but as children we didn't know it. We had enough food to eat, a warm bed and lots of family and friends to love us. Really, what more does one need?

When the war was over there was a lot of noise in our little village. Horn's honking, guns and fireworks, people crashing their kettle lids together or beating the bottom of their soup pots with a large spoon. They were yelling, screaming and crying. Some sang Patriotic songs at the top of their lungs, and I saw an old man sit on his front stairs with his head in his hands crying. Mama said his Johnny wouldn't be marching home.

All the commotion frightened me until I saw my mother smile through the tears streaming down her sweet face. She said, "It's over darling, the war is over."

I got a brand new pair of red sandals.


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