Sunday, February 19, 2012

Gearing Up for Battle

Over the last week I've begun to feel more of a sense of purpose. I still catch myself in odd moments of fear and self-pity, and I secretly hate, hate, hate the sugar and rubber rationing that have put an end to both baking and driving. But I find concentrating on my war work pushes those thoughts aside. So concentrate I do.

Thanks to endless practice at the trade school my rows of rivets are now clean and perfectly-sunk. My arms are strong enough to hold the pneumatic gun all day without tiring, and the woodpecker-noise headaches have receded enough that I can drown them out with Benny Goodman when I get home.

Our instructor, the dull bald fellow we all call "Mr. Cueball" behind his back, says we're as ready as we'll ever be for the Boeing factory. Always thrifty with compliments, his most encouraging remark has been, "The odds are fairly good that the wings won't fall off any B-17s you riveted."

Betty and I have both been hugely cheered by letters from our husbands. We find it a strange coincidence that they're going to opposite ends of the world. Betty's jealous that my Bob is off to the South Seas while Joe is headed to Alaska to build that new highway that FDR just announced. But I keep reading about sightings of Japanese ships near the Aleutians, so I think Joe may be protecting us from a more immediate threat.

Speaking of the Japanese, there have been reports in the paper over the last few days that some of the Japanese-Americans, both foreign- and native-born, may be made to leave Seattle and other places on the West Coast. I feel uneasy about such draconian action if it really happens, but I trust the President and the Army must have our best interests at heart.

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