Friday, January 14, 2011

The Passing Of Time

Chapter IV
View Points And Opinions

Thanksgiving, 1942

On Thursday morning November 26, 1942, I woke up and wondered why I hadn't put my hair up the night before. I thought, "Well, I'll just have to fix it so I'll at least be presentable in school today." Then it came on me in a flash. There is no school today! I rolled over and went back to sleep.
Later I was awakened by the rattle of dishes in the kitchen and my mother calling to everybody to get up. With a curious feeling in the pit of my stomach I sat down at the table with the rest of the family. I sat there looking around. This was the first time since Christmas, I think, that the whole family had been at the breakfast table together.
After breakfast I rushed around getting ready for the game. I mean, of course, the Thanksgiving game between Pullman Tech and Fenger. I had to be at school early, because I was going to sell meghophones(sic); so I left all the cleaning up to my mother and sister.
When the girl who was going to sell the meghophones(sic) with me came, we gathered them up and went out to the field. We were only out about ten minutes before our toes and fingers began to get numb. We stood there yelling to the people that if they had any school spirit they would buy a meghophone(sic) and help cheer our team to victory. We even accosted some of the Fenger cheerleaders, but, no soap. Oh, we sold some, but not as many as we had hoped. Why even my brother and his boy friend wouldn't buy one.
Just before the game started, however, we gave up trying to sell them and went to get a place to watch the game. Gosh! How we hoped our team would give Fenger a tough time. According to us, we were going to slaughter Fenger, but you can have an awful lot of spirit and optimism and still not have the size and power to do a thing. That is Pullman all over. Siprit (sic) and optimism? Oh, we have plenty, size and power? Oh, we wish we had plenty.
Even so, we gave Fenger a scare in the second half when the score was 13-7. They thought we were going to get another touhdown, in fact so did we, so they started putting in fresh men and pushig our team back to our own goal line. Numb feet or no numb feet, I jumped up and down yelling my lungs out to "Hold that line." They did. Talk about spirit! Boy, oh boy! We showed it that time. Then our hearts dropped to our boots, even though we couldn't feel them we knew that's where our hearts dropped, because Fenger was shoving us back. Back, back and further back we went. We thought we were going to hold them. We were jumping and screaming to "Hold that line." Fenger made another play; there was a pile up; we thought they hadn't made it; the referees gathered around; we were yelling "They didn't make it;" and then--the referee held up his arms. A touchdown! The score--19-7. They didn't make the kick but, so what! they made a touchdown, that's all that mattered. Who cared about the kick? They were still winning. But! we were still cheering our team on. Even though we had been hoping with all our hearts that we would win, we had known that our team wasn't quite up to par. Down deep we had known Fenger would win but we were hoping they would have a tough time doing it, and they did. They were scared out of their wits for a minute, thinking we might tie the score or even beat them. Can we help it if the lion is stronger than the cub? The cub could have the spirit and the will but still be defeated because of the lion's greater strength.
The game over, I trudged home. My feet seemed like blocks of ice riveted to my ankles. When I reached home the smell of turkey and other food that makes up Thanksgiving dinner soon made me forget my feet.
As we sat down to a bountiful meal, my mother remarked, "Sitting down to this big meal makes me feel selfish when I think of the poor folk over in Europe who will be eating whatever they can get and be glad to get it." That made me stop to think. Over here in America we had turkey, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, cranberry sauce, two vegetables, milk, cake, cookies, and a dessert, while over in Europe the people would be glad to get what they could and be grateful for it. It suddenly made me realize how this war is wrecking the lives of people all over the world, not only by killing thousands but ruining the health of thousands through inadequate and improper food.
After dinner we did the dishes and went to a show. The picture was all right, but the stage show was awful. We got out of the show early and came right home, had a cup of tea, and played pinochle for the rest of the evening.
Taking all things into consideration, I think I spent a very pleasant Thanksgiving.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Journal: Nine Months

Dearest Bean,

This last month was the month of "The Great Crib Debacle of 2010" where all of a sudden you no longer were content to just sleep soundly and quietly in your crib. After heeding the advice of several baby safety articles I removed your bumper from the crib since you are at the point where you can easily pull yourself to a standing position and hurl your toys across the room. Not wanting you to use the bumper as a hoisting device to then hurl yourself directly to the wood floor below, the bumper was removed and retired to the closet. This, apparently, was a huge mistake because the moment we did that the moment you stopped sleeping well in your crib what with all the legs and arms getting stuck between the bars and bumping your noggin on the exposed slats. For five days your naps and nights were completely disturbed and finally, in desperation, I set up your Pack 'n' Play in the hopes that it's flexible, slat-free sides would help get you a full nights sleep and it worked! Hallelujah. We still haven't moved you back to your crib, we aren't quite ready to risk the disturbance in sleep.

In other giant news, I went back to work full time this January. I'll tell you all about the politics and reasons behind it when you get a little older but understand that it seems to have been a lot harder on me then you. Your Nana agreed to watch you full time and she's even agreed to watch another little bebe so you'll have a playmate. Your social skills have just exploded this last month, you are so demonstrative and curious. You love to watch other children and show the utmost patience when other little boys or girls invade your space or touch your face. Adults are delighted by you and you get compliments everywhere we go on what a charming and cute baby we have. You are definitely that.


You began waving. Not a beauty pageant wave but a whole-arm, frankenstein wave. You wave good bye and hello and sometimes you will just wave at the room in general or at your "Finding Nemo" Ball. You are also quite proficient at tearing your playroom apart in a matter of seconds. The other day I had to vacuum the rug in the living room and I wasn't quite sure how you would react, considering I haven't vacuumed in an embarrassingly long time. So, we fired it up and you got so excited! You charged across the room, crawling at top speed, laughing and went right up to that roaring vacuum and smacked the top of it, as if to say, "I'm the boss around here!" You are such a funny little nut!

Changing Table

We finally made it to story time several weeks ago and it wasn't as cool as I thought it would be. You did great, chewing on our book of songs and playing with the instruments but I was hoping it would be a good social environment for mama's as well. Obviously, I have a lot to learn because not one other mama seemed interested in chatting it up and comparing poop stories. However, I was informed by a woman that I simply HAD to buy a certain children's music CD, one that happened to by playing in the room at the time, and that before long I would know the words to each and every song. Honestly, I was a bit horrified by this since the current CD playing sounded like a middle-aged man plucking away at his guitar that he hadn't quite learned how to play properly. I failed to mention that your music tastes at the moment resemble mine, with a heavy helping of hard rock and alternative music with a dash of Spanish guitar and you wouldn't know a nursery rhyme if it came up and poked you in the ear. Maybe it's a generational thing or maybe I just don't want you stuck in a world that is TOO kid-centric or maybe I can't stand the idea of listening to "Old McDonald" sung by a group of children handpicked by the Mickey Mouse Club. In the meantime, I'll just crank up the Metallica and hope for the best.

Tube & Crawl

At your Nine Month check up we found out that your growth is back on track after taking a break between month six and seven. Apart from that there's nothing much to report. Dr. Stein said you have a pretty boring and uneventful medical history and that's alright by us. We don't mind postponing the serious stomach viruses and whopping fevers until you're a bit older.


Christmas was a whirlwind. The tree held the biggest fascination for you and we spent a lot of our time putting up a wall of toss pillows to keep you from taking it apart ornament by ornament. We also got a good exercise of the word, "No" as well. We kept presents pretty simple this year, your wardrobe is impressive to say the least, so we focused more on interactive and developmental toys. Not that it made a bit of difference, for you it was all about the wrapping and ribbon and shoving it in your mouth. Through some bizarre oversight that I am going to write off as being overwhelmed by the holidays I forgot to buy the necessary ingredients for our Christmas dinner. For the past eight Christmas' we always do a lovely homemade dinner with a "from-scratch" apple pie but this year there wasn't an apple or a potato to be found in the kitchen and I had forgotten that everyone, EVERYONE, is closed on Christmas day. So, instead of pouring ourselves a festive bowl of cereal we struck out at 4:30 Christmas afternoon to see what we could see in the way of a holiday meal. It turns out, within a 15 miles radius of our house, the only food establishments that were open at all were Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai. We were at the point of trying to decide which was the least likely that would give us diarrhea when we drove past a Mexican restaurant that had a cheery string of Christmas lights and an "Open" sign blazing. Let Heaven and Nature sing! We'd much rather hedge our bets with a taco dish than a mysterious bowl of Pho. And that's exactly what we did. Happy First Christmas, Little Bean! It was definitely a holiday to remember! We'll do better next year!

Love Forever:

Friday, January 7, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Passing of Time

Chapter III
Grammar School And High School Days

There isn't anything about my grammar school days that is very outstanding or in the least bit unusual. The only thing that was different was our graduation exercises. We had an operatta(sic) of Cinderella. Norma Rudnay was Cinderella, and Howard Burke was the Prince. I sang in the chorus. I'd have died of fright if I'd had to get up on the stage and sing in front of a lot of people.
I got my first permanent for graduation, and I was as proud as a peacock.
In high school I went around with Annette Sittema, Lorraine Odziomek, and Eleanore Wisniowski, in the first year. In the second year I hung around with the same group. In my third year Lorraine Dykstra was added to the group. Every time grades have come out I have made the honor roll. I hope I can keep it up.
In my first year I joined Girl's Club and the Drum Corps. In my second year I was secretary of Girl's Club, and I joined the tumbling club. I was secretary of the Drum Corps also. In my third year I joined the Weld Scientific Club, and I was vice-president of that. Also, in my third year I was on the decorating committee for the Prom.
Every year the girls of Pullman Tech. put on a show. In my freshie year I was in a drill; in my sophomore year, I was in a drill, an Indian dance, and tumbling; this year I was in an Irish dance, tumbling, and a football number.
The night that is the most exciting of the whole school year is the night of Open House. It's a lot of fun to sit and do your work, and then look up to see a sea of admiring faces.
I'm getting along pretty well in typing and shorthand. In typing I've passed my sixty-five's and in shorthand I've passed my one hundred and sixty's.


Now That I Am A Junior

In coming back to school as a junior I felt quite grown up as I watched the freshmen wandering around the school. When I thought of my new subjects, thought, I didn't feel so superior.
Bookkeeping is my only new subject. I hope to get along with it, but there are always doubts about new subjects. I also have only one new instructor, but I feel that I will get along fine with her.
In looking ahead I hope to make new friends among the seniors and sophomores as well as among the freshmen. I also hope to get down to brass tacks and really study and get some enjoyment out of my classes.
My main ambition is to make the honor roll every time and also to become more popular. To sum it up, I hope for a pleasant and profitable year.


I Am Proud Of My Decision

I was beginning to feel very grown up in the latter part of my last year in grammar school, for I had a great problem to solve. Should I go to Pullman Tech. or Fenger? I was frightened of both places, but I had to go to one of them. After much worrying and making up my mind and changing it again, I decided on Pullman. Then I had to to the thing I dreaded most. Go to Pullman Tech., get an application, and fill it out. That day I got a glimpse of some of the girls in their smocks. From that time on I pictured myself wearing a smock.
I was accepted at Pullman, and in September, 1940, I was launched into a very wonderful four years at Pullman Tech. or I should say, three years since I'm only in my third year. I'm positive, though, that my fourth year will be just as enjoyable as the first three. I've had so much fun that I don't want to graduate, and that's really something because in grammar school I just hated school.
I'm proud to tell people I'm a student at Pullman Tech. and tell them about the wonderful stenographers Pullman turns out. I love to watch their jaws drop and their eyes widen when I tell them of the highest speeds. Proud? I should say so. When Pullman Tech. is complimented, I feel complimented. I wouldn't change my school for anything in the world!