Richard, this is the way I recall it.
In early September in 1940 ,we heard on the radio that Hitler's
troops had marched through the Danzig corridor through Poland after some
bombing raids. Poland was completely defenseless and was soon overrun by
the German troops. We were all very fearful by this turn of events. I
remember how perplexed we were, and had our little radio on all the time
to learn what is happening. Then the Germans kept bombing and marching
through Europe. Even Austria capitulated in short order. It was hard to
believe that all of Europe was going to be made powerless by the forces of
the German troops.
We listened to William L. Shirier every night with his
news on "This is Berlin". Then we started hearing the famous oratory of
Winston Churchill and how he encouraged the British to keep fighting . By
that time England was being bombed daily. I will not relate too much on
this. I'll leave that to historians and their accounts of the great
writers who wrote volumes.
We started supplying England with airplanes and food supplies and
materials of war. Our fliers would get to Canada and proceed to fly the
planes across to England. Our Merchant Marine did a fabulous job of
transportation and being plagued by the German submarines.
We were in a state of indecision. When would it happen here? Well, we know Pearl
Harbor got us into the most disastrous war. And I know that Roosevelt knew
that we were going to be attacked. Yes, he did, no matter what the
Then we had the rationing here for meat,sugar,metals, aluminum, tires,
anything made of rubber,because
the Japanese had taken Indonesia and got all had control all the rubber
There was an aluminum drive here at the
Winn-Dixie market at the corner of Elysian Fields and Gentilly and I sent
all the aluminum pots I could spare. Ronnie and Warren brought them to
a large bin at that location.
We had a harder time with the meat. Gaston
would try to get meat every day, and he was disappointed when
we couldn't get any. I remember walking to the butcher at Jasmine and
Franklin right next tot Mr. Robert's Drug Store and the butcher said "No meat
today. If you came back at two,we might have some." So back we went for
two o'clock with my three little boys,and pulling Richard in the red
wagon, three long blocks. We got in line for meat. (I don't remember
ever being in line before except to go to Confession. By the way, what
happened to those lines? It was a good time to review your sins and
prepare to make a good confession.) Well,it so happened that the only
meat left was Hog's liver... So we went back home and had hog liver for
part of our supper. NEVER AGAIN would I ever taste hog liver again for
the rest of my life. That was ENOUGH. Sometimes we'd get fish and chicken
and always had eggs for Friday.
One time my brother, Raymond, drove in
from Baton Rouge to bring is some sirloin steaks. That was a rarity. He
heard from the relatives in Vacherie that we had such a hard time getting
meat. We always had sufficient food but it was just the meat ( which
Gaston missed so much if we couldn't get any.
We had more than
enough sugar stamps because so much was allowed counting the children ,so
when there was a family wedding I would give them some stamps for the
sugar to make the wedding cakes.
Our refrigerator broke down just
about this time and we could not get it fixed or buy a new one. None were
available. So my brother-in-law Wilfred took out the electric elements
out of the refrigerator and we were able to buy blocks of ice from th
iceman, just like we did when we were first married.
Besides trying to get ready to fight this
tremendous WAR, and all the preparations, we had to contend with the "Isolationists".
They opposed the war and one of them was Lindbergh who had
been such a hero to the Americans for flying nonstop to Le Bourget Air field in
France. These confusing messages made war preparations harder.