Pearl Harbor Day

I was a kid, but I do remember the broadcast that Pearl Harbor had been bombed.

Life changed a lot soon after that broadcast. We lived in Los Angeles with the very real possibility we might be attacked. (In fact, shells were fired along the coast.) We had to put blackout curtains over our windows and during an air raid or what they thought might be one, the only place we could have any lights on was an inner room. We had one, a hallway that opened to the front room, bath and 2 bedrooms. Mom kept games in there and a camping light and also a stash of food including yummy snacks. We spent many an hour in there playing board games.

Food and gas were rationed and we had to use stamps to buy both. Dad rode his bicycle to work so we could save gas stamps for our vacations. Sugar and chocolate were in short supply so stamps were saved for special treats and birthday cakes.

At school we had air raid drills which meant we all went to the first floor hallway (in a two story brick building--how safe was that?) and sat on mats which we all brought from home. A few times they weren't drills so while we were down there, we were entertained by some of the talented of our school chums.

Mother grew a Victory garden and tried to raise chickens. (She wasn't successful at the latter.) Our grammar school also had a huge garden and all of us kids worked in it. Don't remember if we ever got to take home any of the food.

Every neighborhood had a Block Warden and there were meetings where everyone who lived there attended. The grownups learned first-aid and other important things while all of us kids ran around and played hide-n-seek and had a great time.

We had interesting meals and ate lots of beans with no meat. Mom was the champion at making casseroles and using left-overs.

Sunday dinner was our big meat eating day--often chicken or roast beef.

We went to the movies every Friday night and watched frightening news reels about the War. I really thought we'd be invaded by Japan and figured I'd make a pretty good spy since who would suspect a young girl. A friend of mine and I also concocted poisons to be  used to kill the enemy--a mix of various insecticides we found in her basement. We also dug some tunnels in a vacant lot for our hideout.

I was in Junior High and at our graduating classes trip to the Griffith Park Zoo when it was announced the war was over.

That was an exciting and scary time of my life.



Vicki Rocho said…
Thanks for sharing. It's personal details like this that bring things to life. I remember my mom talking about that time period.
C. N. Nevets said…
Great personal perspective on the history, Marilyn. Hope you lost no family to the war.
I always seem to make a typo and this was a biggie. I do know how to spell Pearl, really I do.

Thanks for your comments, Vicki. And Nevets, my dad tried to enlist but at that time they said he was too old, too near-sighted, too flat-footed and had too many kids. (There were only 2 of us.)

Popular posts from this blog

it's Not a Cozy! by Mar Preston


The Power of Identity by Donna Urbikas