The Best Of Times
I remember back in 1937 when I was ten years old, I heard the roar of an approaching low-flying airplane so I ran out to backyard and there a few hundred feet overhead was the first Autogiro airplane I’d ever seen! What a thrill! What a happy day!
Back then, in the late thirties, we were in the middle of the Great Depression. Our family never had any extra money in those days but we did have lots of other things that were even better than money such as: home, family, love, good neighbors and more. In all they were good times for us. I remember how my Dad used to spend a few hours at the dining room table cutting cardboard insoles for our "good" school shoes so we could go to school with the bottoms of our feet protected from wet and cold. All of our classmates were doing the same. We never had enough money to buy new shoes - back then.
I remember five years later, in 1942, the Great Depression was behind us, but there was a war on. There were shortages. We had almost no gas for cars. There was food rationing. Everything was too expensive. Everyday our troops were being shot at and killed and wounded in Europe and out in the Pacific. Gold Star pennants hung in many of our neighbor’s front windows. Even so, my family made the best we could of those times. We worked hard, my parents served as Air Raid Wardens, we grew Victory Gardens and at the same time, we played as often as we could. We were as happy as we could be under the circumstances. They were, in many ways, good times for us.
Then in 1947, after another five years, I was away in the Navy. I remember I made $78 a month and sent half of it home to help out. I had very little money but I was – courtesy of the Navy’s 6th Fleet – on a grand Good Will Tour of Gibraltar, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Africa. What a good time it was!
Then in 1952, I was, by this time, a civilian again, recently married and going to college at night on the GI Bill and struggling to pay the bills in my small business and to pay the rent for our tiny first apartment. For fun, since we had no money, we’d go for walks in the park. We laughed and had lots of fun. It was a good time.
What I’m trying to say is this: Every year of our lives, even though full of its own problems and struggles was and is, praise the Lord, the BEST of times.
Terry L. Weber