Sunday, January 8, 2012

Men's Work?

Seattle is fast becoming a city of children, old and infirm men, and women.  Our able-bodied fellows in their twenties and thirties are disappearing by train and troopship to distant battlefields, leaving the rest of us to carry on at home.  It seems especially strange given our city's whole history was built on rough-and-tumble masculine occupations like fishing, logging and manufacturing, but war changes everything.

I see my neighbor Susan Johnson heading off to her new job at the Boeing factory every day and am anxious to hear how it's going, though she seems to have little time free to talk.  A teenaged girl from down the street is looking after her son Jimmy and even doing some of their cooking and cleaning, since Susan can afford it now and doesn't have time herself.  In an odd reversal, our socialite acquaintance Jane Sullivan has taken to doing housework herself in their big old place since their Japanese gardener/handyman left. 

Betty and I have talked about taking Boeing jobs ourselves, but she's dead set against doing such a thing.  For my part I still can't imagine myself in a factory.

I was over the moon to get a letter from Bob last week.  It was short but I treasure every word in his architect's angular handwriting.  I hope I'll hear from him at least once more before he ships out.


Colleen Christine said...

Love, love, love this! My Dad served 1942-1945 and I have always wanted to know more about life then. Looking forward to more of your adventures.

Jim said...

Once again can not stress how excellent what you are doing is to many people. It gives a great perspective on one individual's life on the home front. I have memories of my own mother's experience while my father was away at war during some of that time.