28TH Day of NaBloPoMo/Growing Up

Anna and Marion


Mother found out about the details of the allotment from a reliable source and it only made her despise Paddy more than she already did.  First of all, Himself got drafted into the Army at his age because he had deserted his family and he had never made an attempt to contribute anything to their welfare.

There were records from when Mother had taken Paddy to court to try to get child support from him.  And the Army had access to these records.  He had not only refused to pay child support, but when the judge ordered him to get a job and pay his fair share; he said he would quit the job rather than pay child support.  The judge at that time told my Mother that he was just no good and that she would never get anything out of him.

That’s why when we started receiving the allotment, not only was Mother shocked but we were all surprised.  Although what she found out didn’t surprise her.  It seems when Paddy was drafted and the Army officials told him why they were drafting him at his age, he wasn’t happy about it.  He asked that his allotment be sent home to his mother who would put it in savings for him when he got out of the service.

The Army however had other ideas, they told Paddy that they were sending his allotment to his wife and children who desperately needed it.  He would get a small stipend to use for himself.  Unfortunately for us, Paddy wasn’t in the Army long enough.  We were hoping for at least two years.

The end of the war was rapidly approaching when he went into the Army and much to our chagrin, he was being discharged too soon.  That’s what it seemed like to us at least.  He was in the service about one year.

The war in Europe came to a close on May 8, 1945 and there was celebrating in the world.  Victory in Europe was called, V-E Day .  I was fourteen then and Anna was sixteen.  We were in high school and very independent then.  That night, Anna and I and several of our friends piled into a truck belonging to one of Anna’s boyfriends and drove to the next town where there was a town square and we joined with hundreds of other people who were singing and yelling and kissing and even dancing.  Music was coming from a band in the middle of the square.  We stayed there until the wee hours of the morning, and then had breakfast at an all night diner and went home.  It was a happy time, especially so for the families who had husbands and sons coming home.

In the time Paddy was in the service, we for the most part were enjoying life more than we ever had before.  We were receiving his allotment and Mother was working several days a week.  Even Anna had a part-time job and was contributing to the family.  Things were really looking up for us for the first time in a long time.

To be continued.

27th Day of NaBloPoMo/Growing Up

Anna and MarionLife was going along as usual except for the war of course and the war did not affect us that much, except when we heard about it on the radio and in the Newsreels at the movies.  Then of course there were a lot of movies with stories about the war.

At school, Sister came up with an idea for helping out our service men.  She asked who had a relative in the Armed Services and then with all the hands raised. she suggested we put their names in a hat and each one of us would pick out a name.  Whoever you picked out, you would write to that person with news from home.  That turned out to be a really good idea.

After we had been doing it for a while, Sister suggested that each day one or two letters from the service men would be read aloud to the class.  I had picked someone who was an uncle of one of my friends in class and he told me that his uncle was happy to be getting extra mail from home.  It cheered him up.  And I was happy to be getting an airmail letter from overseas, made me feel important and happy I was doing something.

The war had been going on for a while when we got a letter from the Army; the letter looked important!  We gathered around as Mother read it to us.  The Army was telling us that Paddy was being drafted into the Army and we would be receiving an allotment for the time he served.  Now Paddy was forty years old at this time and it was unusual to be drafting older men, although the Armed Services was getting desperate for men.

Since Paddy had never given us a penny since he left the last time, which had been several years ago, Mother didn’t think it was his idea to send us the allotment.  But we were more than happy to be receiving the money, in fact it was a godsend.  Mother had been sick with Pleurisy which is a pretty bad disease affecting the lungs and causing a lot of pain especially in the chest. It had been months now and she hadn’t been able to work at all for some time.  The doctor would come and visit her from time to time, telling her that she had to rest and take care of herself.  She wondered how she was supposed to do that with four kids to take care of.  But she couldn’t seem to get off the couch except for short periods of time.  She would lie there and direct us what to do and make sure we ate breakfast and got off to school.

But Mother wondered about the allotment and whose decision it was that we get it?  She kept asking around mostly of the in-laws, the one or two she was still friendly with and slowly the truth came out.

To be continued!