There was a radio message from our President of the United States. I liked his voice. He sounded like a grandfather should sound like. He had a comforting voice one I liked listening to. He didn’t speak of good things around about that time. He used words I never heard before. I knew they weren’t good words by the way my parents spoke. Our home was then in total silence as if my parents were in mourning. Mr. Roosevelt spoke of a place called Pearl Harbor, an attack, our country was at war. Not many people had every heard of Pearl Harbor let alone where it was at. No TV in them days there were no instant pictures as to where it was at nor what the place looked like. Only words speaking of a big Pacific Ocean. How big was big. I had no idea. The only large body of water I had ever seen about that time was Lake Michigan each 4th of July when dad had driven us all to South Haven to see and visit his grandmother. Sitting a harbor pier, Dad showing me how to fish for perch with a cane pole in that lake that was so big to this little kid. I couldn’t see the other side and an ocean was even bigger? For the next four years national speed limits were only 35mph when we’d saved enough gas stamps to go anywhere. Dad was drafted three times, those induction notices from his marines, the navy, and army were rescinded because his civilian math and anti-aircraft gun inspections job was more important to the war effort.
To ever see what was going on in a whole world at war was seeing the movie theater news-reels. Good toys so hard to come by they were made of paper, wooden sticks, and olive drab paint; guns and machine guns, Paper air ports with paper air war planes. Paper layout with army camp tents, barracks, and parade fields. As children we played war games no body on the other side. We fought imaginary Germans and Japs.
Starting school fall of ‘41 saw class sizes double before New Years and double again before school’s out next vacation. 35 kids to a class half a day. Teachers having no time for a dyslectic kid (even before there was a name for it) my ass polished an oak bench across the hall from the principles office for days on end. I had learned to love the country, farm animals, and the solitude away from the to busy un-understanding people. My best teachers, Mom and Dad. Mon taught me how to tell time and I didn’t gt it right until she showed me how wrong. Dad patiently taught me a trade and the way of the forests and uplands.
Okay, I got carried away one thing invertibly leads into another.