04 October 2010

Ree's WWII Memories Pt1 - Amanuensis Monday

This past Saturday my mom, Ruby, and her sister, June, went to visit their Aunt Ree. I had to work, but I sent along my audio recorder and some questions about World War II that I wanted to ask my Great Aunt. Here's part one of her response, first in a video and then transcribed below.

Ruby: Well, she [Valerie] was wanting me to ask you about - 'cause you has said somethin' - we had, you know, she had asked you about Daddy [Roy Albea] and not bein' able to get into the, the war. And you had said somethin' about all - all the young boys had… once - once Pearl Harbor, uh, the the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, all the boys were wantin' to go enlist. So she was just wonderin', um, what it was like when you first heard about Pearl Harbor and how you found out.
Ree: Oh well, uh, for a while the, uh, President Roosevelt, came on the radio and, and announced it.
Ruby: So you heard it when he made his announcement?
Ree: Yes. On the radio, 'cause that's all we had back then.
Ruby: Yeah.
Ree: And Daddy [Vernon Albea] didn't go in the service because he had four children. They weren't takin' the men that had, you know, that many children. Daddy's health was fine. He - he, as far as a physical, he passed the physical. But he had a different rating because he had four children.
Ruby: So did he go to volunteer or was he, like part of the ---
Ree: Everybody had to sign up.
Ruby: Everybody had to sign up?
Ree: Mmm hmm. They had to sign up and take a physical. And they had to be graded or, given uh, you know, uh…
June: Classification?
Ree: Yeah.
June: That was your Daddy?
Ree: Yeah. I think it - I think that card's in those things you had. He was healthy enough and everything, it was just the number of children he had. [Pointing to a photo] That's Linda right there. [intelligible] lets see… [looking at Vernon Albea's WWII Draft Card] Local board… I need to go get my glasses.
Ruby: So anybody - an - ev - everybody over a certain age had to al - over a certain age had to go sign up?
Ree: Yeah, they drafted… they drafted people and uh, they said when they got to be 18 they had to sign up. Daddy was already older than 18 and why… but I think everybody had to register under a certain age. And uh, this was in… He was 3AH was his classification. 3AH. And he - that, that told him that he was 3A, but he had children children or somethin'. This, this is it [indicating draft card]. If I go get some glasses I can see.
Ruby: I think that the date it was mailed out. July 8th 1943.
Ree: This is Director of Register. This might be part of that. I think this' prob'ly part part of that. Ella Mallard she was our, uh, school principle. That's uh, I think that and that's was folded over.
Ruby: The registration certificate.
Ree: Mm um. And that part of it… registration
Ruby: Yeah, he was s'posed to keep this with him at all - yeah it's his registration certificate.
Ree: This is where he registered to vote [indicating voter ID card]. That's what that is. Well, lets see. Oh, he's 40 years of age. He was registered to vote at Brandon [Mill].
Ruby: And Brandon was the name of the mill.
Ree: Yes. Brandon Mill.
Ruby: And then - and then she asked, um… She was wonderin' if you remember who you were with whenever you heard.
Ree: I was, uh, in the, uh, bedroom at home. And I don't know how many of 'em were in there with me. Uh, me… I don't know. Well, it was… during the daytime when we heard it.
June: You first heard about it on the radio?
Ree: Yeah.
June: Y'all had the radio on all - uh, a lot?
Ree: Yeah, that's all we had. You know, back then we didn't have no TV, no nothin'. We we didn't have no telephone. You know, we just lived in a little four room house with a little fireplace that you burned coal in to keep warm. And uh, it was - it was just - everything was different. This [Vernon Albea's unemployment card]- well, that when he was outta work, he applied for… for uh, you know
June: Unemployment.
Ree: Unemployment. [laughter] Don't mind me!
Ruby: He wasn't unemployed for long, 'cause he's only got one report date on here.
Ree: Yeah. That - they probably somebody gave him a job to keep him from drawin' it. [laughter]
Ruby: And then she's got um… Now, now when he, when he made that radio broadcast did he, he declare war at the same time? I know I've heard that, that broadcast so many times, but I don't remember… or did they come back later and just whatever-
Ree: I don't know, you know I was 11 years old.
Ruby: You were 11? Yeah, that's young. 
Ree: I say I was 11 then in uh, July. That happened in December. So, um… That um, the speech he made about… somethin'… infamy. That one word stuck with me and - and uh, I know that there was words before that and I couldn't used to remember but I can't remember 'em now but that word's never left me. But uh, yeah he said that, um, the Japs had bombed Pearl Harbor. But I don't remember exactly what he said either, 'cause I was so young. But I remember I was in the front bedroom and the radio - it was one you set on the floor, you know, it was a cabinet radio. We just had a little radio - little speakers. But it, it all was settin' against that wall. [gesturing] well, really it would have been that wall because there was [gesturing left to right] a back bedroom, bedroom, living room and kitchen. But um, yeah, I remember it. I was there in that room when that happened.

1 comment:

Sarah Farr said...

Very nice, great video!


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