Real Texas Freedom

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Review of the WW ll Domestic Situation

Many of the U.S. domestic policies are currently being ignored, even though everything is interconnected. I remember well what went on during WW ll. Born in December of 1936, the war period drug on forever between my 5th and 9th birthdays.

Prices, wages and rent were frozen. Production was geared to the war effort and no cars were produced. Tires and gasoline were rationed and equipment and parts were hard to get. Butter was switched to margarine and sugar was rationed while substitutes were used for tea. Gum was available only occasionally and was stuck under tables and bedposts overnight for chewing the next day or until a new supply came to town.

My maternal grandparents were farmers so we had plenty of the hard to get items, including gasoline. Farmers had just about anything they needed. My father was an automotive parts jobber and traveling salesman. He also managed a store. Rationing never bothered him and he said he liked volume sales and he worked on a percentage of his sales so when prices went up, he made enough to cover price increases, which he did after the war. I remember one month during the war, he earned $2500, quite a check in those days. He bragged that he didn't hike prices above the frozen level and concentrated on volume sales of the smaller goods he had available. As a jobber, he could sell at factory, distributor, jobber, wholesale and retail prices, depending on who was doing the buying.

Tin foil, string and other household items were saved for recycling. Flour and water made a good paste and right shaped tree branches and broom sticks were guns and horses. Limited metal toys were available. I did get a little red wagon one year but I don't remember whether the tires were rubber or synthetic.

War bond stamps were sold at school and we used our extra nickels and dimes to buy them. I managed to buy a new bicycle after the war. Victory gardens were grown so that more food production could go to the troops. Soldiers were everywhere and my father ordered me to return the money they gave me as they usually gave money to kids before being shipped out. Volunteer homes were used for troops on the move and my dad had a case of whiskey in the closet for those and our personal friends in the service. He and some of his friends failed their physicals but did their share of entertaining for those doing the fighting.

We were told that the war would be over soon and that it was just a matter of time. I was still a little afraid. It went on for too long and I wondered about what to do in case we lost. The best I could think of was to live up and down the San Gabriel River and steal from the enemy. All I knew was what was in the movies and on the newsreels. None of it was pretty and all the kids on the streets in Europe and the blown up buildings made me think that it could happen in America.

When it was over, newsreels showed brand new tanks, trucks and jeeps being driven over cliffs into the ocean for economic reasons. I never understood and still don't. I would have liked to have had one of those jeeps. I started driving at the age of 10. Our parents didn't need the government or anybody else telling them how to raise their kids.

I suppose the whole story can never be told no matter how many books are written and films are shown. The Russians acted up afterwards and then there was Korea and Viet Nam. Now we have Iraq and Afghanistan and a few others were in between. Since war seems never ending, the least we can do is to straighten out our domestic situation. It needs a lot of work.

Sam Nettles -
Real Texas Freedom -
RTF Blog -