Sunday, December 11, 2011

The the numbness and horror I’ve felt after the Pearl Harbor attacks have finally receded a bit. It’s one thing to read about daily disasters in the newspaper, but quite another when they come smashing into your quiet, mossy little corner of the world.

My husband Bob is joining the Army Air Forces after Christmas. Betty’s husband Joe’s enlisting in the Army at the same time. Widow Ina’s son David was killed on the USS Arizona during the Pearl Harbor attack. Her daughter Jane has returned from California to look after her, since her gardener Mr. Murakami seems to have disappeared. I don’t believe he’s a spy or a traitor like a lot of people seem to think. Jane says he went back to be with his family in Seattle’s Japantown. There’s certainly plenty of anti-Japanese graffitti around the neighborhood, and Jane showed m a “Jap Hunting License” that people in California were handing out.

Here in Seattle we’ve had blackouts for several days. They’re wreaking havoc with drivers; local defense wardens have threatened to confiscate any cars caught with lights on. Needless to say, all the Christmas lights that Bob so laboriously strung are off! The Army won’t allow weather reports in the newspaper for fear saboteurs will make use of them. Thankfully Seattle’s December is pretty predictable with or without official forecasts.

Bob went to Portland for a few days to visit his father before he enlists, and Joe’s finishing up his work at the Boeing B-17 plant. Betty and I are preparing to make do on our husbands' military pay. I read every day about the hardships endured by our brave counterparts in Britain, and am ashamed to even think of comparing any inconvenience we American housewives might feel. All I really care about is Bob’s safe return and winning this dreadful war.

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