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.

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