Buddy & The World War II Years
One day a few years ago, I was working with one of the people at the publishing house of my book, “Buddy…His Trials and Treasures,” to update the product description on the amazon.com page. The new description read as follows:
Do you need a little stress relief in your life? Travel back to the world of Buddy Crawford, a simpler, slower-paced world where Cokes were a nickel, movie tickets were a dime, and ten cents bought you a double-dip ice cream cone. These engaging award-winning stories about a young boy growing up in rural America during the 1940s provide a relaxing respite from today’s fast-paced world. They may even revive old memories of your own childhood.
Follow Buddy and cousin Mont as they gather beer and pop bottles from the roadway barrow pits. Join him and his friends at the river swimming hole for a swim, or go fishing for carp in the canal. Experience the fun as he tours the countryside in an old Model T Ford with his friends. What better way to spend a relaxing two hours than immersing yourself in these stories?
Buddy is somewhat reminiscent of Tom Sawyer in that he quite often finds himself in hot water. Unlike Tom, Buddy’s misdeeds are without forethought. They happen because Buddy is…well…he’s just Buddy.
The person at the publishing house with whom I was working, and who was born many years after the war ended, questioned if those days really were that less stressful because of our involvement in World War II. She was right, those were stressful times; even in the little community of Grace, Idaho where I spent the first thirteen years of my life. There were families in my little hometown whose men had been called to active duty to fight in the war. I’m sure the moms and children in those families wondered every day if “Daddy” would return home safe and well, or if he would come home in a flag draped coffin.
Writing this new sketch for the amazon.com page took me back again to some of my own childhood memories. From the perspective of someone like me, a kid between the ages of six and ten years, the times were not all that stressful. Dad was 38 years old when I was born, so by the time the United States became involved in the war, he was past 40 and was considered too old for active duty. He was also a farmer, and it was deemed farmers were needed at home for food production. However, our family struggled to make the stamps in the ration books stretch to the end of each month, and we dealt with the shortages of consumer goods the same as everyone else; but we survived.
Some of my fondest memories of those days are riding on the rear fender of the old W-30 McCormick-Deering tractor while Dad tilled the field; wading in the irrigation ditch dodging crawdaddies, and going on the truck with Dad when he delivered his grain to Ogden, Utah.
Trucks in those days by today’s standards were grossly under powered, and the 120 mile trip to Ogden from Grace was usually an overnighter—down one day in time to get unloaded, and home the next day. We stayed in the Roosevelt Hotel on 25th Street. Mrs. Mack, the lady who managed the hotel was a grandmotherly type that always had a treat of some kind for me whenever we stopped over.
A couple of years into the war Dad had to dispense with those trips because he was wearing out the tires on his truck, and tires required high priority ration stamps in order to replace them. These high priority stamps were difficult to obatin—even for farmers who were granted extra gasoline rations. He was afraid if he wore his tires out before war’s end, he wouldn’t be able to truck his grain from the field to the storage bin on the farm.
But still, in spite of these small sacrifices and the stresses of the war, people were up beat and confident about their future. Perhaps as I look back on life in those days through adult eyes, maybe I do so from a Norman Rockwell perspective, but it seems to me that life in those days really was a good deal less hectic.
If you’d like to read these stories you can do so by clicking on the free download button at upper right of this page and receive a free copy of the book.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to tell you about my latest book that will be out later this Fall, entitled “LouIsa—Iron Dove Of The Frontier.” It’s a Western novel covering a few short years in the life of LouIsa Houston Earp, Sam Houston’s granddaughter and wife of Morgan Earp. LouIsa was an interesting character. I think you’ll agree after you’ve read the book.
You can read a bit more about her, and also read some excerpts from the book by clicking on the “Books” page, or the “In The Works” page at the top of this website. The book will be available later this Fall at www.amazon.com. Enjoy.