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Monday, 10 December 2012

Day of Infamy

By Joanne Zimmermann

December 7, 1941, found me walking to the drug store with my dad. It was snowing. We usually walked there, just a two block stroll.

Sometimes I got ice cream. The owner’s was named Elmer, a one man stand. He was pharmacist, soda jerk and confidante. Those twisted wire stools with little round tables still stand in my childhood memory bank.

As we rounded the corner I remember my dad explaining what happened. Of course we only had just heard about it on the radio. No graphic pictures were possible in those days; just as well. Only words, trying to describe what happened to inform the American public of such a dreadful thing.

I was eight, nearly nine. I think it was the dawning of reality for me. As a child you look up to adults, at least most of them in your little sphere. How could grown-ups act so childish, so stupid, and so horrible? There was simply no explanation.

A realization that the world was not as friendly a place as I had thought came upon me. What was going to happen?

Our simple little snowy corner of my world suddenly opened up to dangerous possibilities. My childhood was over, as I had known it.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Joanne, good story, it brought back a flood of memories.

On Bainbridge Island, just out of Seattle there is a wonderfully large memorial to those Japanese who were sent away to replacement camps. Hopefully our govt will never do a thing like that again; whisking people away in the night with just one suitcase. But we all remember that day; where we were and what we were doing. Nice story.

I was stuck with the impact of the news of the attack at Pearl Harbor on your eight-year-old self. That it was the dawning of a reality that adults could do horrible, vicious things to other human beings. That's a profound life lesson for a child.

One of those life-changing moments, like 11-22-63, or 9-11-01; when, as you say, childhood ends. Well put.

I feel we all can relate to a life-changing moment that happened to us and opened our eyes as to how unpredictable the world can be. Great story.

So simple. So powerful. Thank you.

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