[This post was the second installment of the life history of… well, Me. The first time it appeared was in 2015. For my VCBs: Very Cool Bloggers, this post will be a re-run, please bear with me if you’ve read it before, and please enjoy it if its new.]
In the first installment of this feature, Who Am I to have an About Page? https://mumbletymuse.com/so-who-am-I-to-have-an-About-Page-?/ I started out as a newcomer to the world on a Friday the 13th, and by the end of Part One I had been to California and back, eaten part of a persimmon and part of a gourd, and had finished Kindergarten. Which pretty much sets the stage for the second part of my life story.
Part Two: ME AND THE WAR
That would be the Second World War, WWII, The Big One– the catalyst for the rise to world dominance of the United States. I was eleven when the war ended in 1945, and I must say that I was one patriotic little girl. I was so proud of the accomplishments of my country, in which we had emerged mostly safe and sound (those of us who had not been killed during the war years, of course) and had the distinction of being THE leader of the Free World.
But let me skip the rhetoric and get on with MY part of the War, which began in 1941…along with the arrival of my baby sister when I was eight and a half years old; my brother was six. It was just us three until near the end of the war in 1945, when another sister joined our merry band.
One thing I recall about grade school is that there was a Congresswoman who regularly was permitted to leave fliers advertising her prowess in the U.S. Congress on our school desks. She would come in and talk to us about how important it was for our parents to vote for her. Despite having been told, on my very first day of first grade, by the teacher to “go home and never come back again,” as I explained to my parents when they picked me up walking home from school about an hour after classes began, I did indeed continue with my education. I remember well the adventures of Dick and Jane, Baby, and Spot, the stars of our first level readers.
The main thing going on everywhere was THE WAR. We went to the movie theaters, and were treated to black and white newsreels showing bombs dropping from airplanes, Hitler’s marching troops in huge showy choreographed formations, and in-coming shipments of USA- flag-covered coffins. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, and read The Weekly Reader, a newspaper produced especially for school children at various levels. My grandfather taught me about television. He had a floor-model radio, which had a large window area for tuning various stations on the radio, and he said that some day, after the war, we would be able to look at windows like that and see actual movies and real people talking and singing and the like. I was properly impressed…this was undoubtedly the source of my great love of electronic stuff.
Then the newspapers, The Cleveland Press, The News, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer told us every day how many soldiers had been killed in battle, and kept us well informed about the terrible evil enemies of the United States on all areas of the world. Toward the end of the war there was news about Hitler’s atrocities, and the Japanese cities evaporated by TWO atomic bombs. The pictures were everywhere in magazines and newspapers. The newsreels at the movies were relentless in presenting the horrors of war, and these were incomprehensible to American kids, who had thankfully never had bombs dropped on them.
Movies themselves, presented on monster screens in huge movie theaters that always reminded me of palaces (not that I had ever been in a palace) also presented the great block-buster films of the 40s…complete with horror stories about the war. So this brings Me to the end of the Great War, and the beginning of the phenomenon known as THE COLD WAR.
The newspapers treated us to daily headlines screaming of annihilation and pending doom. A particularly horrible series presented by the newspapers contained in part a huge bulls-eye, with segments indicating the extent of the death shadow that marked Cleveland…with its four NIKE missile sites forming at once a horrible defense capability of retaliation. The center of the bulls-eye, of course, meant instant end to everything…out in the suburbs the threat lessened sequentially until by a distance of thirty miles out some percentage of life might survive.
BUT that survival would depend on bomb shelters, which might delay death by radiation by a couple of weeks. As children we were conversationally proficient about hydrogen bombs, pros and cons of including guns among bomb shelter supplies, and just how bad radiation poisoning was. So that was pretty much what one little girl knew about THE WAR… The next era of MY ABOUT PAGE will be coming up soon: THE 1950s
please stay tuned…
15 thoughts on “Me and The War, reblog, Part 2 of Who am I to have an About Page?”
I’m loving your about page writing. Did the teacher really tell you to leave and not come back???
The teacher never knew I was there or that I was gone…I did not want to go to school, and when my parents saw me walking home I explained to them that the teacher had “told me to go home and never come back.” I was six years old, and thought I’d had enough education.
I figured it was something like that. My parents put me in a little home kindergarten down the street. That was well before kindergarten was part of public school. I don’t remember anything about it, but my folks said I walked home. They decided it was hopeless to make me go, so they waited until first grade when they knew I had to.
One of my daughters would hide in the garage when the school bus came to pick her up. I couldn’t see her from inside the house, but the bus driver could see her and radioed the bus garage and someone there called me on the phone.
Busted!!! My children tried to skip school legally by pretending to be sick. It worked a few times.
The principal of one school called me and told me that Dau1 was hanging out behind a nearby school building smoking. They just couldn’t get away with anything. lol
Those were the days!!
That was during my newspaper reporter days. I covered the schools, so they all knew me.
I used to have a rule about kids who were too sick to go to school had to stay in bed ..if they were really sick they didn[t mind.
That was a good rule.
I had another rule whereby they were supposed to do their homework immediately when they got home from school. Usually most of them did. lol
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After the Hungarian Revolution  my Dad got us out and decided we’d to to Australia because it was the furthest you could get from conflict, especially the Cold War that was heating up. As a young Aussie I was sure we’d be pretty safe if the bombs fell ‘over there’ somewhere. Some time later I read On The Beach and revised that opinion. I wonder how much the fear of that total annihilation influenced the generations that lived through it, and the ones who came after.
I was 11 when the war ended. During the war years we were in school, and the war and daily propaganda was our way of life.
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I was a fifties baby so I’ve lived in safety virtually my entire life. Hard to imagine what life would have been like during the war years.
All my kids were born in 60s except Dau1 in 57. Yes, the Cold War rffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ
QQQQ oops, that’s what Alice has to say about that.
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