Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On August 17, 1940, I married Alberta Flinn, the girl whose attention I got with the snowball and had dated ever since. She was two years short of graduation so we had to keep the marriage to ourselves and my Uncle Lowell Akin and his wife Marie, who stood up with us and witnessed our wedding. Married girls could not go to public school at that time. Now a mother, wed or not, can go and take their babies with them.

I don't remember if it was before the Japanese' sneak attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941, that work began at Crane in Burns City, Indiana, Charleston Proving Ground in Charleston, Indiana, and Allison Engine at Indianapolis, but by mid 1942 most every able bodied (some not able) man in Bedford was working at a high, approximately $2.00 an hour paying job. The mechanics at our shop went to Crane. I was the only mechanic and body man in the shop for a month. This gave me the opportunity to ask for more money. I was reluctantly given a $3.00 raise to $18.00 a week. After working one week at $18.00 I was called to Crane. I worked as a mechanic working 7 1/2 hours a day instead of ten and made over $81.00 a week and about $115.00 the next (take home). I worked thirteen days and off one. I was really in nigger heaven, making more money than I had ever dreamed of. We bought furniture and had it stored to furnish a house we intended to build on a two acre lot I had purchased earlier in 1940. This big money didn't last long. On October 15, 1941, I enlisted in the Navy to help defend my country from the Japanese.

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