We were born to war. The war followed by divorce of our parents
shaped our lives in ways that we are still discovering. Our parents,
in turn, were shaped by the depression. These world events built
traits that have embedded us with empathy and steeled us to face adversity,
but mostly it was bad. But rather than leading us to lives of crime,
depression or what ever, we have perhaps overcompensated in attempting
to live productive and good lives. These unhappy events did not prevent
me from having a mostly enjoyable childhood. While very poor during
the war, I never noticed any deprivations. For example most of the
beef was sent to the front and severely rationed at home, but as mother
said, "You kids were wonderful ... every time I announced chicken dinner,
you kids thought you were getting a rare treat!" Mom did have a wonderfully
seasoned frying pan that enabled absolutely tasty pan fried chicken ...
much better than K-Fry, Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Where's Dad? Note vertical cut
Typical photo in a divorced family, many of the family photos exhibited a vertical cut where our father was excised with scissors. Today, with Photo Shop Pro, I can do the same thing while removing the evidence of the cut. You cannot imagine the pain and loneliness from missing my Dad over the many years. In an attempt to "make a clean break", Dad moved to California. As a result, I would see Dad only once every two years. Back in those days, long distance phones calls were very expensive and rare. I can remember with great excitement when Dad would make the "just before Christmas call" to talk to us kids. Elaine awaited that call with dread because Dad would "grill" her about what Mom was doing. I was too young.
The divorce was the direct result of my father going to war. With a family and working in a business critical to the war effort, there was no reason for him to "go to war". In addition, he was initially rejected for flat feet. Since he worked for a drapery shop, you may wonder how this was critical to the war effort. That drapery shop was making tents for the troops under a very major contract. A typical example of converting civilian efforts to war-time production. In any case, my dad was determined to be in the war. So he rolled his feet over a milk bottle every night before going to bed. His final ploy was driving from Omaha to Des Moines, Iowa with a friend. There they enlisted in the Marines. Des Moines, a smaller town, was happy to meet quota by accepting men from out-of-town.
You will notice the two addresses with the Minne Lusa district and the Dundee district (our home and grandparents homes respectively). Our telephone number was Kenwood or the KE exchange when you placed the call with an operator rather than dialing. "Studios" was an extreme exaggeration for selling out of your home. After remarrying, the business was renamed to Eckert Piano Company.
While creating a successful business, Mom initiated
a gray market activity [click here].
Copyright © 1998 by S. Steve Adkins ... firstname.lastname@example.org ... www.isd.net/sadkins