What we remember from childhood we remember
forever-permanent ghosts, stamped, imprinted, eternally seen.
Cynthia Ozick, Metaphor & Memory

Early Recollections

World War II

Uncle Sam

The movies, radio, newspapers, and public events all centered on the war effort. It was propaganda at its finest.

We carried dimes to school and bought savings stamps which were pasted into a book. When the book was filled, it was  redeemed it for a low denomination war bond.

The adults had ration books with stamps that were given to the store owners. No stamps, then no sugar or gasoline or meat.

I don't remember any hardships.

We collected scrap and old cooking fat. They said the metals would be melted into bullets and the fat into explosives. It kept us busy and involved, which was the point.

The town grew to 25,000 people during the war. New immigrants came mainly from West Virginia and were not too affectionately called "hill billies." Barracks-like structures were built and store fronts converted into dormitories for these mill workers. Immediately after the war they and the housing disappeared.

The mills operated full time and no level of production seemed enough. They continued this way after the peace as consumers filled demands that were set aside during the depression and the war. The machinery was worked hard for thirty years with little renovation or modernization. The seeds of obsolecsence were sown.

Photo Credits: Source Unknown
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