World War II

By Barbara F. Dyer | Jul 16, 2020

According to the dictionary I have, a relic is something that has survived a passage of time; something cherished for its age; anything old and left over. I was looking for a new title, as I am tired of “senior citizen.” For some reason, a “relic” does not sound like a title replacement I was looking for.

However, I remember World War II on the home front in Camden. I shall never forget the effect it had on all living here. My friends, relatives and neighbors were all leaving for the service. Most did not want to wait to be drafted because that meant going into the Army and probably combat ground fighting. They all seemed to prefer the Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard. Seeing the young men leave, not knowing if or when they would return home was the difficult part.

We were not used to rationing, but that was easy. You were to go to a central meeting place and apply for ration stamps and coins. Those booklets were precious, as so many things were rationed. One family was allowed one pound of butter a week, if, when you stood in line at the grocery store, they still had a pound left that day. You were very fortunate if you could get a pound of hamburger, when you got to the front of the line. I do remember being very disappointed because I was just old enough to wear silk stockings and they were unavailable to buy, as the silk was going into parachutes. You could buy those awful looking cotton (?) ones that I did not want. One day Eleanor Roosevelt came into our shipyard office, because she was going to christen a barge that day that had been built in the yard. She had on those awful looking stockings, so my whole attitude changed. If the First Lady wore them, then I guess I could, and did until the war was over.

We had received a contract for four barges. Why? Because President Franklin D. Roosevelt wondered how New England families…


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