MEMORIES OF THE DEPRESSION, WORLD WAR II, WALLINGFORD,
HAMILTON, AND LINCOLN.
AND MY PERSONAL CONCERNS ON VARIOUS ISSUES
By Doris Clark Cannon
Generation Of Our Parents:
Our parents born at the beginning of the 1900's were children about the same age during the First World War, as we were during the Second World War. They saw the automobile, airplane, telephone, movies, and radio when they were new inventions. They were teenagers during America's prosperous and wild Roaring Twenties. They watched their parents reel in financial shock when the Stock Market crashed in 1929. We all became part of the Great Depression that encompassed the World, and was followed by -
The Second World War! Our Generation Are Their Witnesses:
We, our generation, born into the era of the Great Depression of the 1930'S are their witnesses, when a quarter to a third of our nation were unemployed. We watched our parents and grandparents show their ingenuity and courage, as they endured hunger and hardships, in hope of better days to come, while the Financial World collapsed about them. It was the memories of the Great Depression and those hardships before World War II that filled them with compassion for future generations. Their generations passed legislation to provide food stamps for future "hard times", so that no one in our nation would ever suffer like they did from hunger in a land of plenty.
We, our generation, are a generation of witnesses of mighty deeds of our parents and grandparents during the 1940's World War II. We, as children, witnessed the courage and determination of a nation truly united in defending itself against the evil world powers who wanted to destroy us. We, felt the fear, while being witnesses of bravery and sacrifices made by our family members, friends and even strangers, because our nation was one united family, and our Allies around the World were our cousins. Many gave their lives to protect our nation, our freedoms, and the futures of all the children of this World. We witnessed the two WORLD WAR II VICTORY CELEBRATIONS in 1945. We knew that The United States and our Allies had won the war on both Fronts! We, and our descendents, have lived to enjoy life and those freedoms won for us in these United States and around the World by the marvelous love, courage and lives given for us by:
OUR HEROES OF THE TWO PRECEDING GENERATIONS! AMEN! GOD BLESSED AMERICA!
We, our generation, are blessed as witnesses of our parents and grandparents loving compassion and heroic deeds, of these times in our lives...
MEMORIES OF OUR COUNTRY AND THE WALLINGFORD DISTRICT DURING WORLD WAR TWO!
During World War II my folks had the Candy Kitchen restaurant, one block East of the Mountain Creamy, across from Interlake Elementary in the Wallingford District. We had a jukebox that played all those popular wartime songs, some I still recall are; "When The Lights Go On Again All Over The World", "Pistol Packing Mama", and "Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition!" Lincoln High School students often came in after school for 5-cent cokes and 25-cent hamburgers. After graduation, many came in to proudly show off their new uniforms after enlisting in the Army, Navy and Marines to fight to save Our Country, and few returned home. We all had to face the fighting and a frightening wartime world with courage, brave deeds, and sacrifices. Many neighborhood windows displayed a Patriotic Star Flag! How many Blue Stars on it showed how many in that household were in the Service of Our Country, and a Gold Star meant they wouldn't be coming back home alive.
My childhood was surrounded with men and women in U.S.A. Army, Navy and Marine Uniforms, and having intense anger about Pearl Harbor, directed toward the Japanese Empire, and Hitler's Nazi Germany. (Italy was also one of the Axis, for Mussolini, an evil gangster who had taken over Italy had joined their nation in a military alliance with Hitler, but in 1943 the Italians rose up and killed him!). I still remember the encouraging voice of President Roosevelt coming over the radio from houses on every Wallingford block. On the sidewalks of the side streets of the Wallingford District, we kids did not play Cops and Robbers or Cowboys and Indians, but about the War and killing the enemy with our imaginary guns, and planes... The young people of today have no conception of what a nation truly united is like, when threaten for survival. We were fighting the Japanese in the Pacific and the Nazis in Europe! A war on Two Fronts!
The Japanese were just off the shores of our West Coast, when we kids at Interlake Elementary began having Air Raid Drills as well as Fire Drills. The 45th Street Theatre newsreels, movies, and cartoons were filled with fighting the Japanese and Hitler's Nazi. Big searchlights scanned the scary night sky for enemy planes that are now World War II remnants used to advertise different business events.
The entire West Coast had Blackouts, patrolled by men too old to fight in the War wearing Civil Defense helmets; their job was to be sure no lights were visible to enemy aircraft. Dutch Harbor, in the Aleutian Islands, had people killed on their front porches by Japanese planes in machine-gunning attacks! The Japanese were coming closer! Using ocean air currents, large Japanese balloons with explosives attached, were reaching our West Coast. Children found one in West Seattle and it exploded killing them. The Puget Sound was filled with our warships having large defense balloons on tall ropes to provide an interceptive sky web against low flying Japanese Zero attacks, like they had done at Pearl Harbor. The sky was filled with our airplanes heading west over the Pacific for combat with the Japanese. Loyal American Japanese suffered because of Pearl Harbor, as all Japanese were feared to be spies of the Rising Sun Japanese Empire.
Our ally was China, and Asian children in Seattle wore yellow signs, "I am Chinese", to protect them from the wrath of American hatred and fear of all Japanese. While the German Nazi spies could hide easily within our mainly Caucasian America, the Asian races stood out among us, and Asian faces became enemies. No matter how loyal Japanese American's were, or how brave those who were able to enlist to fight the war in Europe, fear and hatred toward the Japanese intensified with every horrific news report of Japanese atrocities. Internment Camps for the Japanese violate today's feelings against racial discrimination, but many American Japanese families probably are alive today, because they spent World War II in Internment Camps that were more like protective custody. My uncle's wife spent the World War II in a Japanese Concentration Camp in the Philippines, people died of brutality and lack of food. My stepbrother was an American "Hump Pilot". They flew supply planes over the Himalayas into China fighting the merciless Japanese; they were heroes along with the American “Flying Tigers"!
My childhood memories recall that three tax tokens bought as much as one penny. (You could buy things with just one penny), and three Seattle bus tokens cost 25 cents, but no matter how much money you had, for some items you also needed Ration Stamps or Ration Tokens to make a purchase. Banana's and bubble gum were hard for me to find to buy. It cost 11 cents for me to see the Saturday Movie Matinee at the 45th Street Theatre, which left me a dime for a comic book and some penny candy, out of my 25-cent weekly allowance. A yummy thick chocolate coated candy bar, a single gigantic scoop ice cream cone, each cost one nickel, as so did a cup of coffee.
Rationing was so everyone shared and got enough; meat, butter, eggs, sugar, shoes, gasoline, tires, etc., during those war years, and to be sure nothing was wasted. Our boys fighting in World War II were to have whatever, they needed to fight for us, and protect themselves. There were War Bond drives to buy United States Defense Bonds, school paper drives, tin can and metal drives, and parades with Movie Stars and big bands to raise money, to fight the War! It's hard to believe in the 1940's we had to buy War Bonds to help pay for the needs of World War II and to save our own lives. Times change!
Comics were very important to adults as well as children. Cartoonist Al Capp created "Little Abner". It was a comic strip about hillbillies who had a yearly Sadie Hawkins Day Race, where all the unmarried women in Dog Patch would try to catch the unmarried men. Those men caught, were forced to be married to whoever caught them, by the mule traveling parson at..."Sundown!" Daisy Mae was beautiful and always chased Abner, but never caught him. Then there was Leap'n Leana who was so ugly nobody ever saw her face. Al Capp had a nationwide drawing contest for the ugliest face imaginable. Comics made one laugh, a break in the pressures of war. After the World War II was over, we found out that Al Capp, who kept us laughing drawing hillbillies during the war, had lost both legs. Most of us didn't know that President Roosevelt was a Polio victim in leg braces, on crutches, and sat in a wheelchair while he gave us courage with his inner strength "Fireside Speeches".
To help provide families with food, there were fruit and vegetable "Victory Gardens" planted in the parking strips along the neighborhood sidewalks of the Wallingford District. Under panties and under shorts had drawstrings instead of elastic waistbands, as the rubber was needed for the War. Skirts were short to save on material, stockings then having back of the leg seams were painted on, as silk and nylon were used for parachutes. Women's shoulders were broadly padded to show that when women took off their kitchen aprons and went to work in our camouflaged defense plants, they could handle the heavy load at the "home front". Women were determined to build the very best planes, ships, tanks, and guns for their men fighting the War. Almost all the able bodied men in Our Country were fighting in World War II. If men didn't enlist they were drafted, but most enlisted determined to kill our enemies.
Women wore platform shoes to make them look taller. They wore nets over their long locks to protect them from the danger of the machinery they operated, or piled their hair on top of their heads in a pompadour style. People walked long distances, took the bus, rode bikes, and car-pooled. Everybody seemed to smoke! Popular cigarettes were Camels, Lucky Strike, Dominos, and Chesterfield.
Lipsticks were a brave bright red! Short nails were needed for many jobs, but they were covered by brightly painted false nails for an evening out with your Sweetheart, on Leave from the War. Perfume was heavy, mascara thick, with red rouge on women's cheeks. Earrings were large screw on, and almost no one had pierced ears. In spite of handling a man's job, women took great care in looking like women. Nobody wore jeans, but men who were farmers or heavy laborers. Slacks became very popular to replace the skirts women had always worn, no matter what they did before World War II. Katharine Hepburn no longer was a rebel wearing slacks in the 1930 movies. Skirts when worn were above the knee, which not only saved material, but pretty legs reminded our men in uniform that they were fighting for their women and children. There were pin-ups provided our guys in service by some of the most beautiful Movie Stars, like Betty Grable in a bathing suit, and Rita Hayworth in a daring nightie.
WORLD WAR TWO ENDED ON BOTH FRONTS IN 1945. It was a short bloody war, taking a lot of young lives! We defended ourselves from the Japanese Empire, and Hitler's Nazi Germany, and helped defend England and our Allies in Europe, as well as China and the Pacific Islands. Russia became our ally in Europe, and jointly we captured Germany. Hitler committed suicide! Japanese generals that started the War II with their attack on Pearl Harbor committed their own style of Japanese suicide after our two Atom Bombs hit Japan.
Those in power in both Nazi Germany and Japan had ambitions to take over the whole World, and they showed no mercy to the countries they conquered or whoever they captured. Those that didn't live then do not know the heartaches over the loss of limbs and lives of thousands of our American boys. We were not the "bad guys", as some now try to make us look like. The Atom Bombs were a blessing the day they were dropped on Japan, to bring our remaining boys back home alive to their families and loved ones from World War II, from a war that the UNITED STATES DID NOT START! The Axis had tortured and killed millions of innocent men, women, and children in Europe and Asia, because they felt they were superior to all other races, and all other human life was worthless, except to serve their needs.
Twice our Country and that of our Allies had Victory Day Celebrations. First on V-E Day for winning the war with Germany and on V-J Day for Japan's surrender.
Church bells were ringing, horns were honking, people were thanking God, crying and laughing, hugging and kissing each other, like the famous picture of the sailor kissing the nurse on the street in New York. Rolls of toilet paper (war limitations) were the unrolling fluttering streamers out of the tall building windows. And, like the song "When The Lights Go On Again All Over the World", soon lights filled a once darkened world no longer afraid of enemy attacks.
US NEVER FORGET - WE ARE THE WITNESSES OF WHAT HAPPENED IN HISTORY DURING THE
GREAT DEPRESSION OF THE 1930'S AND DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR OF THE 1940'S.
MY POSTWAR MEMORIES
After the World War Two was over, some of those returning were followed by their European and Asian War Brides. Our tax dollars helped to rebuild both the conquered countries of Germany and Japan.
Our Country pridefully had invited the defeated Japanese to come see our factories, see our inventions, and learn our American manufacturing know-how. They were good students that came with their smiles, bows and cameras. American businessmen and happy stock holders eagerly approved having their merchandise shipped to Japan to be built at lower labor costs and shipped back. They made a greater profit and sold their merchandise at lower prices then their competitors. We, American customers, bought them, because they were cheaper though not made as well. Soon our wonderful American businesses having lasting and good quality merchandise, paying union scale wages, were driven into bankruptcy! We gave Japan all kinds of financial benefits in the World Trade Markets to help them long after their country had financially recovered. We finally realized we were in competition with the Japanese and eroding our own economy.
With the surplus of materials, styles changed quickly after World War II, and for a short time long wide skirts and the puffy sleeves of the Gibson Girls of Great Grandma's era were in style, along with wider ties and cuffs on men's trousers. Two of the popular songs were "Ballerina" and, "Golden Earrings", a movie about a downed flyer during WW II in Europe, who was hidden in a wagon from the Nazi by a beautiful gypsy. Ballerina style black suede flats, worn with full skirts became very popular, while people adjusted to peacetime living. Men returned to jobs, and women returned to being just mother's and homemakers, but for some it was with reluctance, as women had found they liked their new independence, earning abilities, and freedoms they had during World War II.
Though World War II was over, the Mushroom Cloud of the Atom Bomb still filled our newsreels in the movie theatres, as those early postwar years were filled with further testing of Atom Bombs to see if Science could harness Atomic Energy to help mankind? They caused some real long lasting harm to the Earth and humanity to satisfy their curiosity and good intentions. Screaming Jet Airplanes flew overhead breaking the Sound Barrier. There were many sightings of UFO's. Newspapers had a three-day story of UFO'S over the restricted area of the White House. When our jets would appear to protect the White House the UFO'S just went straight up into the sky overhead and out of sight, just like in a movie! They would return after the jets left. This went on for three days. Then all was silent about the UFO's? Does anyone remember that?
Radio, movie newsreels, party line telephones, telegrams, and newspapers were still our main source of public communication following World War II. Television was a new frontier and their large cabinet sets with small screens were beginning to find their way into our living rooms replacing the large radio sets. Families that once gathered around the radio to listen to the News or radio programs like, The Lone Ranger, Jack Benny, or One Man's Family now watched a picture tube competing with the movies. Most movies were still in black and white, just like T.V.
It's hard to imagine Our Nation during, and preceding World War II, mainly dependent on telegrams, and trains crossing our continent to connect the East and West Coasts, without the wide interstate highways of today. There were no big shopping malls like we have now. Seattle's Smith Tower was the tallest building on the West Coast. It's hard to imagine propeller warplanes when today, jet airliners fly across oceans, in hours not days, to other continents. Since World War II, we’ve had Moon landings, space explorations, satellites, computer emails to friends across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans not dependent on telephone lines, and cell phone connections while mountain climbing, sailing, or just walking around shopping and talking to an unseen. There are far too many modern marvels to mention all of them, but which may not have happened if the Second World War had not been won by our country and our allies. The young people of today to whom everything comes so easily, would have a hard time to accept the struggles we had, and that of the previous generations to bring us to this point in history.
The First World War didn't end wars, and we witnessed that neither did the Second World War. On June 25, 1950, after finishing our Freshman Year, the United States took part in the Korean War. On July 27, 1953 this war ended, right after we graduated from Lincoln High School. Since then there have been wars between countries but, none as colossal and encompassing the whole world like the Second World War.
MY CONCERNS FOR OUR COUNTY:
While opinions differ on the subject of global warming, my personal concern is that so many of our wonderful inventions may be in jeopardy now with the warming of our Earth and melting Poles, that it's going to take the current and future generation, incredible ingenuity to find solutions to keep our world inhabitable. HOPEFULLY GOD WILL HELP US, FOR IN GOD WE TRUST!
Everybody blames elected officials for everything that goes wrong, but they receive their information and advice from government administrators having their own agendas. There seems to be a networking system between city, county, state and national public employee's, which includes the taxing districts, like transit. They appear to work together for the goals of their own agenda. These are not evil people, but they want the most money and job security they can get, like everybody else. However, manipulating temptations are in their hands and mouths. It's like the Fox watching the Hen House!
Often the best people for the job don't win the election, and there are those who get brainwashed by their staff into always doing what staff advises them. How would our forefathers have known, that the guy with the quill pen would someday be running the country from behind the scenes? He sets the table, and knows everything that's going on, no matter who is in office or what party is in power. Anyway, those are my concerns!
Before I close, I feel the need to let you know that there is another Medicare monster emerging that may affect you. After our doctor retired three years ago we found out that a great number of doctors are no longer taking new Medicare patients, even with supplemental insurance. Since I can't hear over the telephone I had to visit the doctor’s offices and clinics in person to ask if they took New Medicare patients. Their answers were, NO!
I contacted, Linda Bryant Smith, reporter for the Everett Herald Newspaper, who writes the weekly column, Sassy Senior. She investigated and did a write-up, with a photo of my husband and I, telling of our predicament, and which was not ours alone, as other seniors were also having difficulty finding doctors who were taking new Medicare patients. She included the predicament of the doctors too, because for many of them Medicare isn't paying enough to meet its additional expenses. That is why many doctors are turning down new Medicare patients. This looming Medicare monster can only get worse! Do contact your legislators by letters, e-mails, and phone calls asking that changes be made to help both Medicare and senior citizens and their doctors. Remember, only the squeaky hinge gets the oil!
memories blended together for me, as they form the background of our