Tag Archives: World War II

Blogging typo rewrites ninety-nine year history of Veterans Day

A typo in “Truce” shifted historical data of the first Armistice Day celebration in 1919 to a future date of the one-hundredth anniversary.  Here’s the corrected post.

Truce

A signed armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 signaled the end of World War I. The first Armistice Day celebration was one year later, November 11, 1919. My parents had two children then. World War II ended September 2, 1945.  Then, my parents had nine children, ages six to thirty-one, and grandchildren ages up to age seven. Several of those grandsons later served in the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam.

We honored all the dead in our family—military and civilian—on Memorial Day and the living military men on Veterans Day. My mother called the May holiday Decoration Day and the November holiday Armistice Day. We spent the May morning at the Chowchilla Cemetery placing flowers on any veteran’s grave. After my father died in November 1953, my mother insisted that we adorn his grave with flowers on Armistice Day although he was a civilian during all the wars. She said, “It might look bad if his grave was bare on that day so many neighbors visited the cemetery.”

The red poppy became symbolic for Veterans Day, but my mother, a widow, seldom had a spare quarter to donate in exchange for the handmade paper flower. One year, the veteran accepted a dime and handed her a red paper poppy. She pinned it to the right side of her dress. When my brother-in-law, a WWII veteran, saw it, he insisted she move it over her heart. To keep the peace, a truce of sorts, she wore it there until he left. Then, she moved it back to the right side.

“What’d you do that for, Grandma?” one of the grandsons born during World War II asked. “The vets pin their poppies on the left.”

“That’s why I moved it,” she said, her black brows drawn together. “They’re men, but I’m a woman.”

 

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Truce

A signed armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 signaled the end of World War I. The first Armistice Day celebration was November 11,  1919. My parents had two children then. World War II ended September 2, 1945. At the end of WWII, my parents had nine children, ages six to thirty-one, and grandchildren ages up to age seven. Several of those grandsons later served in the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam.

We honored all the dead in our family—military and civilian—on Memorial Day and the living military men on Veterans Day. My mother called the May holiday Decoration Day and the November holiday Armistice Day. We spent the May morning at the Chowchilla Cemetery placing flowers on any veteran’s grave. After my father died in November 1953, my mother insisted that we adorn his grave with flowers on Armistice Day although he was a civilian during all the wars. She said, “It might look bad if his grave was bare on that day so many neighbors visited the cemetery.”

The red poppy became symbolic for Veterans Day, but my mother, a widow, seldom had a spare quarter to donate in exchange for the handmade paper flower. One year, the veteran accepted a dime and handed her a red paper poppy. She pinned it to the right side of her dress. When my brother-in-law, a WWII veteran, saw it, he insisted she move it over her heart. To keep the peace, a truce of sorts, she wore it there until he left. Then, she moved it back to the right side.

“What’d you do that for, Grandma?” one of the grandsons born during World War II asked. “The vets pin their poppies on the left.”

“That’s why I moved it,” she said, her black brows drawn together. “They’re men, but I’m a woman.”

 

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Wanted – Dead or Alive

Should I have created a more genteel title? Okay, how about “Looking for class of 1945-1946?” Misleading because it sounds like a graduating class.  Maybe, “Looking for Stephens Elementary first-grade classmates?” There were nearly one hundred first graders back then and only 39 in Mrs. Buffington’s class of 1945-46. (Did I say only 39? That was a huge class with no teacher’s assistant.)

How about this title?

Wanted Dead or Alive

Mrs. Buffington’s first grade class of 1945-46

While my twin, Vi Parsons, and I prepared for our March 10th book launch of Double Take, our stories of growing up in Chowchilla, California, we dug out childhood photos and memorabilia to display at two hometown authors events. Well, not exactly our hometown since we were born hundreds of miles southeast of Highway 99, but the town where life unfolded for us like purple morning glories on a spring day.

We compared first grade class photos, but they were different. Mine is the original with Mrs. Buffington dressed in her schoolteacher black dress, hatless, with 33 students looking like World War II refugees. Somehow, she wrangled a second photoshoot to include all 39 students after she donned her Sunday best hat and frock and prepped all of us to dress a little less like ragamuffins.

First Grade Mrs. Buffington

That’s me, front row, dead center, sitting between girls I don’t remember. My twin is second from the left between Betty and Judy.  I also recognize Necia, Eva, Pearl, Margaret, and Donald, maybe Lawrence in the front row. The second row stretches my sketchy memory cells with positive IDs for Keith and Loretta and Lorelei. In the back row, I recognize Philip and Gene, but a couple of others look familiar.

My twin and I are planning to organize a reunion of the “live” bunch and gather memorial information for the others. If you or family members are in this photo, or if you recognize a friend, email me at info@carrtwins.com.

 

P.S. Double Take by Vi Parsons and Violet Moore, published by Carr Twins & Co., is available from Amazon and www.carrtwins.com.

 

DOUBLE TAKE FRONT COVER 2014

 

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Saving Time

Hour glass-animated

When I was in first grade, my mother let my twin and me play with neighbor kids anywhere on our block in our small town if their parents were home. Her safety rule was to “be home by dark.”  I had several close calls when I dashed onto the covered front porch in the waning light of sunset. I needed more light after school.

Piggy Bank

One cool spring day during World War II, I overheard my father talking about the return of “War Time.” War sounded terrible to me until he said it was a way to save daylight like people did during the war. Grandpa Carr had saved cans for dimes in the war. Maybe I could save time like pennies in my amber glass piggybank. Excited about a way to prolong sunset and play longer, I asked him what it had been like to save time.

He harrumphed and shook his head. “Like cutting off one end of your blanket and sewing it on the other end to make it longer.”

Scissors

 

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Spring forward time saving device

Time changeWhen I was in first grade, my mother’s safety rule for playing across the street with the neighbor’s kids was “be home by dark.” Several times I skittered in after sunset in diminishing light. One spring, anxious to play outside longer, I overheard my father talking about Daylight Saving Time. It sounded thrifty, like my piggybank—save now, spend later. He had experienced the original Daylight Saving in World War I and again in World War II. I asked him what it was like to save time.

He harrumphed, then replied with a shake of his head, “It’s like cutting off one end of your blanket and sewing it on the other end to make it longer.”

Hats off to Arizona and Hawaii who agree with my father.  These states don’t save time. They spend it.

Hour glass-animated

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