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Time Magazine Cover January 17, 1944 - WACs Colonel Hobby
January 17, 1944

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RETRO-SPECTIVE THE DECADES PAST:

Ginny M. Boston MA - A personal story from the 1940s  

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In December 1941, the 7th, we were at war with Japan and the axis. I was ten. The solemn tones of FDR on the radio (all we had in those days) when announcing the attack on Pearl Harbor was scary. A war had been going on in Europe. (WWII 1939 - 1945) Germany had invaded Poland on September 1st 1939. I remember that day well. Leaves were turning and falling (this was Boston). My mother was fearful for her sister there. Dad had no close relatives living. But it was far away and otherwise did not affect our lives. It was only until 1945 when my mother received a letter from her sister that we knew that she and her daughter had survived.

We got used to the war. Shortages of butter, gasoline, shades drawn at night so that the German submarines couldn't sink our ships silhouetted against the sky. Dad was a baker, owned his own bakery and the shortage of butter was a problem, so on the days when the grocery stores got in a supply, Mama and I would walk to the store, get our pound each, return home, (walking), change clothes, go back, be in different places in line and buy more butter. We continued this until the store ran out, going to a different clerk each time. One day we got 12 pounds for the bakery.

Gasoline shortages weren't a problem. Only Dad drove, and then only to work and back. We walked to Codman square for food, the library and Kresge's, the local  5 and dime. Most Polish American young men enlisted in the army, when possible in the Air Force. Johnny Mroz, a friend and Harvard classmate of Ryk's was killed. We were glad when Ryk flunked the Air Force physical, but he joined the army anyway. Mitch was turned down when he was drafted because of sinus trouble. After 6 months or so, Ryk was discharged from the army when they found out about his arthritis. So as a family we were intact. Phil went to work in the Navy yard, lots of women did. Next Page

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