Sunday, April 26, 2009

"He's In The Army Now"

. . . . and Mother's Crying

My mother - may she rest in peace - was a writer. By that I mean, that with a fountain pen full of green ink, sometimes brown, she wrote and wrote for years and years from about 1933 until a few weeks before she passed away in 1983.

Searching for ideas for my future blogs if I have the ambition to keep them up, I have read into a few of her diaries - again - and find myself amazed at things I am finding out that I long ago had forgotten.

There was World War II. That era provided for a lot of short sentences in those diaries. Today's blog is one of those diaries.

The date is February 24, 1943.

"One memorable day. Charles up at 5:30. Left at 6:15 for Boston with 66 more boys for physical exams for the army. Frank J. home at 4. Rejected.

Charles home at 7:15. Was rejected but . . . he asked to be taken in for limited service. Accepted. Seems happy about it.

I'll break in here for a few comments --- First, I was kinda upset in that big cold warehouse ( it was Febrary you know) in Boston when a fellow in a uniform yelled to us all take off your clothes, everything!"

Then some people walked in and and started to talk - doctors- and OMG - women. I turned around and faced a wall. Other guys did too. A woman
yelled "turn around and face me, hands on your shoulders." We did as told and the doctors and the women -they were nurses I guess, I hope, walked down the line, listening with stethescopes, prodding here and there, looking us all over (the women too).

"Bend over," came the next order and then "cough" and then, OMG, fingers sticking where nowadays people go to jail for things like that.

"OK, you, your eyes are too weak, you're rejected." That was the end of the examination. But I wanted to go into the army so I said "can't I get in anyway? for writing or typing or something like that?"

"Well, if you really want in, there's a limited service enlistment if you want to enlist in that -sign here" I took his pen and signed. "OK, you can catch your bus and go home now. We'll call you. You're in the army now."

Now back to Mother's diary.

March 1, 1943:

Charles very busy today in the attic printing 1,500 letterheads and envelopes for me,. He visited the Sisters at school and went to the movies with Theresa M. (she wasn't the Therea next door and she wasn't one I was going to marry either 'cause she was too pushy).

March 3, 1943

Woke up to a big sowstorm. Charles up at 5:30. Dad went with him to the train station. I kept up till the last minute. Couldn't keep back the tears.
Went downtown at 9, put some money in Charlie's bank account and bought a new fountain pen (probably with her favorite green or brown ink).

March 8, 1943
Letter from Charles says he expects to leave Camp Devens tonight for somewhere.

March 11, 1943
Letter from Charles at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

March 17, 1943
Leter from Charles says he thinks he's getting ready to go to Alaska. In hospital. Has pneumonia.

March 31, 1943
Charles in hospital. Still has cold. Has hurt ankle, strained ligments. On crutches.

May 7, 1943
Telegram from Charles. He has arrived in Ogden, Utah. Promoted now to corporal.

And so on. There's a lot of good stuff in the year by year books. I'll get to them again one day.

- 30 -

1 comment:

  1. I still have a letter from Nana in her green ink. Auntie M. has now taken over that color and I use it too whenever I find a green ball point.