Nancy and I entered Seventh Grade in Lincoln School in Gettysburg in the fall of 1943. In December of 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the U. S. declared war on the axis powers of Japan, Germany and Italy.
The students at Lincoln School were enthusiastically involved in the War Effort. Each week, we bought Government Saving Stamps which ultimately, were converted to bonds to help purchase everything the military needed to fight the war, and we collected mountains of tin cans, aluminum foil, lard, milkweed pods for life-jackets and metal for guns and tanks,
Nationwide rationing gas began almost immediately, and depending on how your car was used, a family might only be allowed as little as four gallons a week. Food was also limited and each family was provided with ration stamps to use when purchasing meat and groceries. Many families, including Nancy’s, grew their own vegetables in small plots called Victory Gardens.
The War prompted a groundswell of patriotism expressed in songs like Remember Pearl Harbor, and Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. We also listened to the big band sounds of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey on our radios and on 78 rpm records.
Although we eagerly supported the war effort, those of us attending Seventh Grade in Lincoln School were still just kids. During school we participated in organized sports, and after school, we rode our bikes everywhere, played with friends, listened to the radio, and on weekends went to movies and attended church.
Seventh grade was significant for Nancy and me because it was the first year we passed to different rooms for classes, and I specifically remember passing through Mr. Bream’s Geography Class and noticing Nancy, a pretty girl with dark hair wearing a different novelty pin every day. Little did we know then that many years later we would celebrate our sixty-first wedding anniversary.