When you’ve lived a long life, experienced so much, and learned a few things along the way, your wisdom and knowledge should be shared. Here are some words from one of those people, my Dad. His younger days weren’t always easy, as was the case for most people during that time so long ago. But it helped to shape the man we know and appreciate today.
Here is his story, in his own words…
If you didn’t read Part 1, you can find it here.
If you didn’t’ read Part 2, you can find it here.
NEW WAY OF LIFE – WW2 RATIONING
World War II introduced us to a new concept called rationing. The intent was to limit civilian consumption of certain items and divert the bulk of those items to the war effort. Small books of stamps were issued to each family that could be used when buying certain items and the merchant was required to collect the stamps when items were sold.
Rationing was a bittersweet process – families had limited access to needed items, but could take comfort in knowing those commodities were helping the armed forces as they protected our nation.
Rationing of just about everything such as gasoline, tires, sugar, meat etc. was a way of life then so we had to make do with what we had. The paychecks from the Navy were meager at best. It was hard for my mother to take care of her elderly mother and three boys, but she learned to drive the pickup truck and do whatever she needed to do.
My assigned chore was to take care of the family milk cow, do the milking morning and evening, chop ice on the pond in the winter, see she was fed etc. My brothers James and Paul also had chores to do every day. (Our brother David came along later). When time permitted, we collected the pods of wild milkweed plants for the defense industry and they were used in the making of life jackets for those at sea. We also attended school and all made it to graduation.
Large gardens were planted by about anyone who had access to a plot of ground. Foods were raised and canned for use later and stored in “cellars” or some other cool place for keeping. Today we have freezers, refrigerators, dried foods and nearby supermarkets. that were not available then.
My paternal grandfather owned a farm about three miles from town and we had family gatherings there in the summer time as there was a livable farmhouse there. My dad’s parents and his sisters stepped up to the plate to help as they could as did the community of friends. Most families were affected by the war in some way, up to and including losing loved ones.
Reminders of World War II Rationing
One reminder of the rationing during WW2 is still on the windshield of a 1928 Model A Ford pickup truck that I have owned for several years. The large decal of the letter A meant it was subject to rationing and I also have rationing “stamps’ which were required to purchase gasoline and other items during wartime.
These are reminders for me to never forget the veterans who served and protected us and that we should cherish our freedom in the USA.