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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, August 23

Memories of WW II

Last night, after one of my nightly feedings of Dusty, I lay in bed thinking about my early years in grade school, thinking about the war and what was required of us in those awful four years. I remember the U. S. savings stamps we all bought, one stamp at a time. One dime got us a stamp that we dutifully pasted into a little book, which, when filled with $18.75 worth of stamps, could be saved for a number of years till it matured and was worth $25. I wonder how many $25 savings bonds people in Mobridge had. And the silhouettes of enemy planes we had to look at and memorize in case we ever saw one. Here we were in the American hinterland and someone higher up thought we should all be able to recognize German Luftwaffe bombers or Japanese kamikazes. And the entire town regularly had to go into a blackout mode at night, not a single light showing anywhere, nothing to draw those enemy planes to our little village. Then there was the rationing. I remember that gasoline, coffee, sugar, meat, and tires were rationed, but I had to look up what those limits were. For example, an A automobile, nearly all cars then, was designated as nonessential to the war effort and was allowed four gallons a week; a B, deemed to be essential to the war effort(doctors, for example), was allowed eight gallons. Toilet paper wasn’t rationed but was in short supply. My family was luckier than most because to my father’s grocery store, oranges were delivered in crates, each orange wrapped in a small, flimsy sheet of orange paper which we used for toilet paper. I remember a federal food program that gave each grade school student either an orange or an apple at regular intervals, probably once a week. There was then the propaganda, theirs against us, ours against the hated triumvirate—Germany, Japan, and Italy; the “News of the Day” segments before each movie, informing us of the war’s progress; the sayings we all knew about proper wartime behavior, “Don’t talk about the war; even the walls have ears.” Those are my only memories of what it was like as a child to live from 1941 to 1945.

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