Excerpts from HAVENWOOD TALES Beginnings
by D.J. Houston
~ Honoring My Father on Memorial Day ~
My first pearl appeared the summer I turned six, not long after Daddy and Uncle Arthur returned from the Second World War . . .
It was a time of new necessity for Man. For despite any halt to the march of evil, that war had turned humanity inside out when the white-hot specter of an atom bomb shocked and awed a pre-dawn New Mexico desert and twice carried death to Japan.
Yet no one could begin to grasp the consequences; it was too impossible to confront that such a thing as an atom bomb could ever happen in the first place.
Even after the war, top-secret scientists kept right on with the military to convince each other, time and again, that bombs do, indeed explode, while regular Joe civilian had no clue of such experiments. And anyone who might have been aware felt powerless to stop them. So they did nothing.
Post-WW II Heartland America
Families were reunited with their military loved ones the world over, and did what they could to reorient them to whatever became of their lost years at home.
Most made the transition; all were scarred. But I’d like to think it was easier for the battle-weary to recover in a place like Havenwood . . .
Livestock and chickens and barns and crops and bank accounts needed tending, leaving little time to ruminate about the war. And with new enterprises springing up as manufacturing shifted to producing wares and gadgets for the new Consumer Age, earning opportunities outside the home soon grew abundant for adults and young folks alike.
Not that play wasn’t fun and important to youth back then; if anything, a crippling Great Depression with a Second World War on its heels had led Americans of every age to value their freedoms and pleasures more than ever.
But work is its own reward. If you don’t believe me, ask someone who has none. And with more choices that come to a freer people, we could enjoy work more than ever, too.
All the kids I knew did chores, before and after school. And those who had already proven themselves as volunteers for war efforts on the home front had a long leg up when it came to getting hired for the paying jobs.
With no TV screens to spectate at for hours on end, and decades yet before the advent of ubiquitous shopping mall arcades, video games, and personal phones and computers, young people tended to play hands-on at the game of growing up.
They practiced the real deal with real people, in an insular world without internet . . .
Copyright©2007, 2014 D.J. Houston. All Rights Reserved.
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