Showing posts with label WWll memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WWll memories. Show all posts

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween, 1943-2010

     It’s fall of the year, a season I always love and October has flown by even faster than usual.
     Today is Halloween and Halloween always reminds me of the night I arrived in Corpus Christi to begin my married life. This year, Halloween is on a Sunday, just as it was sixty-seven  years ago, The night of my arrival in the huge Greyhound bus station was on Saturday night and the Halloween celebration was in full swing with the building reverberating with celebrating sailors who were there either waiting for their special arrivals or perhaps waiting for their bus to take them away on their leave.
      As I disembarked into the sea of white caps and shouting voices, I had a few qualms about my future life, for the surroundings of the moment were not what I was expecting, although to tell the truth, I don’t know exactly what I was expecting. I was seventeen, had completed one year of college, had worked one summer at a pilot training field and was presumably ready to meet the world head-one, but this mass of sailors and their shouting was not the world I expected.
     Then I saw him; that special sailor I had made the trip to marry on the following Monday, November 1, 1943, and all was well.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wartime Rationing

Wartime Rationing
I am wondering how many of you reading this remembers those ‘good ole days’? Every thing necessary to our way of life was rationed. We accepted it. We knew it was necessary because we were at war---a different kind of war from that of today.
We had been attacked and there was no questioning who was responsible so the American people became a hornet’s nest of angry people intent on one thing: to show our enemies that no one could do this without extreme retaliation.
The American troops were in desperate straits. Our boys were drafted by the thousands and they had no supplies. Censorship kept us from knowing how desperate the situation really was, but because we were an angry and determined nation, we accepted without question, all that was necessary to support our armed forces: Censorship, shortages, and rationing.
Besides our troops’ priority on certain food items, they had to have uniforms and shoes. There were some commonplace items needed in the manufacture of munitions and guns. The list was endless.
The rationing of gasoline caused the worst inconvenience. No unnecessary cruising down Main Street, very few trips of any distance, rides were shared, and sources for black market gas were in demand and kerosene was added to the gas tanks.
Tires were also rationed. There were also places to get black market tires. There was a rationing board to take applications for new tires and if a person changed cars and needed new tires for it, the rationing board had to approve. My sailor husband traded cars so often, appearing before the board so often that they were positive he was reselling the tires. He almost didn’t talk his way out of that.
The next most critically needed items on the rationed list were sugar and meat. Recipes using tuna, salmon and a minimum amount of ground meat mixed with crackers or bread crumbs abounded. Some were even tasty enough to be used today. Cooking was definitely a challenge; even shortening and butter were rationed.
As I recall, there was a rationing book for food items and another for clothing. I don’t remember whether each family member was issued an individual book or whether family books based upon the size of the family were issued. Each book contained stamps for the allotted amount of items. It was a rather complicated system of points and time limitations.
Two pairs of shoes per year were allowed….leather for our troops’ shoes
quickly curtailed the amount available for civilians. Other clothing was rationed but I remember only one instance: That of the arrival of a shipment of white batiste, a fabric used in making baby clothes. In a town filled with sailors and their wives, most of whom were expectant mothers, the rumor of the fabric’s arrival caused a minor stampede to get the allowed amount. Remember that this was 65 years ago when baby clothes, by choice, were completely handmade and traditionally babyish.
Those are my memories of rationing. What are yours? If you have any, it definitely places you in a certain age bracket: One with lots of unique memories!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


When WWII was still raging, a day off from duty was still a day to relax and putter at what ever you choose. Our best friends lived across the street in La Armada, our navy-housing complex. My sailor boy and the one across the street, were in the same squadron and had the same duty hours so on their days off they were often together tinkering on some old car.

Our friend, who was nicknamed Boob, a name that seems rather fitting according to this day’s events, was almost recovered from a broken leg, the result of a football accident, and was still under the doctor’s care.

On this day, he had a motorcycle he was trying to tune up and unfortunately; he was unable to get it started. The natural thing to do was to call upon his buddy across the street to pull him and his motor until he could get it to fire up.

So, the guys hooked the motor to whatever old jalopy we owned that time and they maneuvered their way out to some wide-open space. Then away they went until the motor fired and began to purr and then to pick up speed. That’s when the rider realized he had no brakes. His immediate thought was that he was approaching the rear end of his buddy’s car at an undesirable speed so he quickly swerved and roared pass the tow car. At that moment, their eyes met, and they both realized the unavoidable was only seconds away. 

One hit the end of the rope; the other hit his brakes.

Explaining to his fiery Creole wife why there was gravel embedded in the numerous scrapes on the not quiet healed broken leg took considerable creativity and managing to present an open honest face the next day as he told the doctor that he had fallen down the stairs fazed him not at all.

His wife, an excellent housekeeper, was a bit miffed that he had indicated her waxed and polished floor could have held such filth. Boob’s assurances that the doctor could not have believed such an absurd tale, cooled her temper only slightly.

He was in the doghouse for weeks.