Moss the Mom Three

Dating was indeed sweet and very innocent, at least they were for me in those early days.   Sure, some kids got in trouble but the fabric of society demanded adherence to a set  of norms that kept us pretty safe.  Most of us knew that straying from moral and other behavioral norms would  bring down the wrath not only family but the censure of the  entire community.  So, that gave us lots of personal freedom to explore and be.and to hold each other softly as we danced.  Those dances were every Friday night—ah–grand.

There was,however, the war.  World War II that is.  One Sunday morning our world changed in the most dramatic way conceivable.  Americans were frozen in front of their radios.  We listened to the voice of our President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, telling us of this day of infamy.  Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor. I was nine years old but the frozen faces of my family were not lost  on me.  Three weeks later, Uncle Bob, who was just nineteen joined the US Army.  At that time the new troupes were trained and shipped out very quickly.  Bob, was at the front all the way to Germany for those four long years.  Uncle Charles later  joined the Air Corps and was a pilot.

Dad (Fred)  became an Air-raid Warden and Mom (Camille) volunteered to go to some unknown place at night and relay messages of sightings. Black curtains were the ‘order of the day’ for those four years so that no light would direct enemy fire.  The entire country became black as pitch at night.  The whole country saved the grease from the bacon frying, along with string, tin cans and turned them in for the war effort.  Our country had to turn regular businesses into factories over night in order to quickly build and turn out planes, jeeps, ammunition, military clothing, etc. etc. etc.  Rationing was mandatory so that we could only get butter, coffee , fuel, and other items with our rationing tickets.  Aunt Jeanne gave so much blood for the boys overseas that she ultimately got pernicious anemia.  She took vitamin B shots for a long time to overcome this.  All the medals she received and her feeling of contributing made up for the anemia.

A couple of German U boats were detected close to the East Coast and at times like this their would be air raid sirens screeched sometimes night and sometime day.  We took cover.  No one stayed on the street at those times and those foolish persons who did were quickly reprimanded by the Air-raid Wardens who had significant authority.  It was not long after Pearl Harbor  that Dad put up on the dinning room wall a huge map of the European Theater of War.  As Uncle Bob moved from Africa and up through, Anzio,  Paris and on and on, little colored pins followed Bob and our Army throughout those four years.

Uncle Bob saw General Patton take his shirt off in the bitter cold before marching into a town that had been conquered just to show his Army and the People of the town that he was tough.

Do I ever remember VE Day.  Every car in Baltimore and surrounding counties drove down to the middle of Baltimore. What a happy moving  traffic jam.   I can still hear the car horns blowing in celebration and people leaning out the car windows waving and shouting at each other.  My oldest brother,Uncle Fred, did not go in Military Service since he had children by then.   But he did have a big new Buick in which we joined that big, happy, crazy bunch of Americans joined together to celebrate our final victory in Europe.

I do not remember the dates but before the war was over, President Roosevelt died.  Then there was the Pacific Theater of War which was still very much at war  until , President Truman decided to use the A Bomb on Hiroshima.  The President’s rationale was that since the Japanese were intransigent and the numbers of soldiers who would be lost was still so astronomical that this president by default,  needed to make that unthinkable decision as mentioned above:  The Atom Bomb was unleashed. Which side of the argument you come down on belongs to you. We needed to end the war and Japan wanted to fight on.  Ending wars takes courage because there is no good answer– just courageous answers.

During these war years,  I was still taking piano lesson from dear, Sister Eustacia but the glitter of the Coloratura across the street pulled like a magnet and I began voice lessons at thirteen with Mrs. O –who also managed and directed a Little Theater Group called the Valley Players.  I was cute and a nice little dancer so I became the youngest member of the cast.  Gosh, I can only remember of few of the Light Operas and Broadway productions that we did:  Chocolate Soldier, Desert Song, Roberta, Dolly Bloomer, Brigadoon, and many more.  Cast parties after the shows and other rehearsal parties at our local Rathskeller was more than any little Catholic girl could want. This was not a neighborhood troupe.  This was a well known Theater Group.

This group kept my attention until I met your Dad.  By then I was twenty.

Your Dad was introduced to many of the cast but it was clear that this was not even of vague interest of his.  Besides he had to go back to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.  Upon his return to Camp, he wrote me a letter telling me that he intended to marry me.  He had said this via letter prior to this.  He was a handsome and charming man in uniform and quite persuasive.. So- we met at Aunt Jeanne’s home Christmas time.and drove up to see Grandma the night we met.  Your Dad presented me with a ring two  weeks later on my birthday and we were married three months later on Easter Sunday.  Very irregular in the Catholic Church but we got a dispensation.  Uncle Charles and his wife Lee provided the reception and I who thought string beans grew in cans was introduced  to Lancaster County.and gardening.

Well, you know the rest of the story.  You are the rest of the story.



~ by mosswood on July 11, 2012.

2 Responses to “Moss the Mom Three”

  1. Momma Bear, keep blogging! I love it. You take me back in time and elicit much emotion from this reader. Keep going please.

  2. Not quite what era you want to remember.

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