Since Veterans Day is upon us I thought I would write a few of my WWI memories.
I was born six months before Pearl Harbor, so I only have a few memories of the war. I remember that Daddy was drafted into the Army when I was about 2 or 3 (just days before his 35th birthday) and he was often in uniform for several years. There he is on the left with my mother.
I also remember that Mother and I joined him when he was stationed in Gainsville for a few months. The only house Daddy could find for us to live in had no running water and an outhouse. To this day I hesitate using an outdoor restroom because we saw a few snakes near the outhouse and I have this lingering fear that a snake will rise up out of that hole and bite me in the bottom. Funny the things one remembers from childhood! The picture on the right shows me standing on our porch in Gainsville, wearing Daddy's helmet and boots.
Our small Panhandle town of Pampa only had one or two doctors in the early 1940s and when World War II started the doctors were drafted. I developed very infected tonsils when I was about three and Mother took me to Lubbock to a well-known pediatrician, Dr. Overton, who practiced there. Dr. Overton took my tonsils out in a hospital in Lubbock and then Mother took me back to Pampa to recuperate. However, my throat hemorrhaged when we got back to Pampa, so Mother put me in the car in the middle of the night and drove back to Lubbock.
The year was about 1943 and the trip was a longer one than the swift three-hour trip now because there was no IH-27 and the road passed through a number of small towns between Pampa and Lubbock. The roads were narrow and winding, gas was rationed, tires were terrible, and cars were not that dependable. Mother must have had a strong guardian angel with her as she drove that night with a child bleeding in the back seat. I remember seeing her shine the flashlight on me from time to time as we rushed back to Lubbock where they used radium on my throat to stop the bleeding. I think Mother must have been both very brave and VERY frightened on that midnight ride!
I think we then stayed for a while with Grandmother and Granddaddy in Amherst--not far from Lubbock. The picture on the right shows me with Grandmother and Granddaddy on their front porch in Amherst.
The day that WWII ended people spilled out into the streets of Pampa and began yelling, screaming, and crying. Mother and I ran out into the street in front of our house and joined them. Mother was crying and I asked her why she was crying. She told me that she was so happy that she was crying because the war had ended and Daddy was coming home. I remember being confused about Mother's tears of happiness.Thanks to the many veterans of WWII who fought so bravely to bring about PEACE!