Still a Sailor

By Donald Clodfelder

Editor’s Note: While this story was submitted from Indiana, it is is most likely that similar stories took place around New Mexico as well.

I distinctly “Remember Pearl Harbor.” We had finished our Sunday dinner, but Mom was still in the kitchen doing something. Dad was sitting in his chair in the far corner of the living room finishing his reading of the Sunday paper, and I was on the “ davenport” diagonally across from him, probably reading something. The phone rang and Dad jumped up and stalked across the room to his desk to answer. He had the peculiar ability to show absolute disgust at being interrupted, while crossing the room, and then, answering in the most pleasant and measured of tones, since more than not, it would be one of his customers. This time, it was obviously not a business call, as there were only grunts, exclamations, and a quick note of thanks. As he put the receiver down, he turned and announced to the world and to no one in particular – “ That was Ray. The Japs have bombed Pearl Harbor!” He went back across the room and turned on the radio (a new plastic-housed table model that fit into the bookcase next to his chair). We had just gotten rid of the old floor model – giving us space for another chair. (Ten years later, the chair would go for the new TV. If only we had waited.) He then went to the bookcase on the other side of the fireplace for the atlas, to find out where Pearl Harbor was. (:I think it’s in Ha-wye-ya”). We clustered around the book trying to grasp where it was and what was going on as we listened to the jumbled news reports. There were many other phone calls that afternoon as people shared news and emotions, and late in the day, we learned that the Lafayette Journal and Courier was publishing an “Extra”, so the three of us got in the car and drove to get one. Employees were standing out on the curb passing them out free, as last as they could, and as fast as the presses could print them. I was 8, and the world would never be the same.

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