Back in September of 1943 I started working at the Roxy Theater in my Senior year. By the time I graduated, in 1944, I had met Robert Stelzer. We had gone out a couple times, but not seriously until after that next year Valentine’s Day.
Draft Boards & Boot Camp
Bob’s Dad, Gus, worked for the Parkston Draft Board and Bob still using the Parkston address as home, was faced with his number coming up so in April of 1944 he enlisted in the Navy. We had been dating all the time by now and the week before he left he asked if I would marry him when he came home on leave. I said I would.
After enlisting in the Navy Bob was sent to Farragut, Idaho where the Navy Boot Camp is held for the western region of the U.S. Just at the end of the training period while waiting for their leave papers they were helping load some trucks and his arm was injured. He would be later sent to Oakland, Ca Naval Hospital with after his leave was over. He came home and we were married June 13, 1944 in Vermillion, SD. We eloped!! Needless to say neither set of parents were very happy with us.!! The Stelzer parents were satisfied when they found out we had been married by a Congregational Minister, but it didn’t set well with mine at all. After his leave was up your Dad left for Oakland, in the weeks that followed in testing the Navy found out that the injured arm had a bone deformity (from birth) and so eventually in September of 1944 they released him on a Medical Discharge.
Presidential Change & Term Limits
Like I had said in another posting I was working at the Defense Plant, and continued on until the spring of 1945. It was early April when I left the plant influenced by learning I was pregnant with Terry. Just a week after that was when President Franklin Roosevelt died at Warm Springs, Ga. A BIG shock to the whole nation, even though it had been evident for sometime his health had been extremely poor. He was the only president I had ever known as he was in his fourth term of office. It was after this that the law was passed setting term limits for US Presidents to 2 terms. Harry Truman became our President and he signed the papers for the Atomic Bomb.
In this photograph are five of the aircraft’s ground crew with mission commander Paul Tibbets in the center.
Food Rationing & Stamps
During the time the war was going on, we had rationing of gasoline… sugar… meat… etc. and we had to have stamps for most everything. When the stamps ran out if it wasn’t the end of the month that was just your tough luck…. no more till the 1st of the next month!! It was really hard to do especially with the meat one. I remember the only meat that I could buy with just a couple stamps was LIVER!!! Never having been a favorite of mine, still decided if we were going to have meat. THAT was IT!! Found a recipe where you browned it in flour (that was rationed too) and then baked it in a tomato sauce with LOTS of onions. Found out it wasn’t half bad, and now I really like it just browned with onions. My kids, knowing their Dad’s eating habits an tastes, know what he thought of that meal. His folks were no longer on the farm so they couldn’t help out. We had lots-of-discussions, on my cooking, none which pleased him — OR ME… but we did live through it to better times. By that spring… PEACE… had come in MAY, with Japan’s surrender, and in AUGUST… Peace with the defeat of Germany, and I was due in October.
If you’re interested in further genealogy research on the Stelzer or Borchard(t) families visit our Rootsweb Page. We have over 1900 individuals and 670 Surnames in our tree so far! Stay tuned for more from Grandma Bonnie.
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Originally published at memoirsofgrammabonnie.wordpress.com on March 4, 2016.