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Thursday, May 27, 2010

AND EVERYONE SHOUTED

The actual date that World War II ended is in dispute, because of different official signing of documents. Some have settled on September 2, 1945, as the official day, ending the conflict.

As I remember it, the end of the war occurred after the two Japanese cities were bombed with atomic bombs, and almost immediately the Japanese announced their surrender. It took awhile for all hostilities to end, but for all practical proposes the war was over. There was an official announcement made over the air waves and in the News Papers, that the Japanese had surrendered, and there was shouting, and dancing in the streets, people were happy and rejoicing for we had won.

I lived in California, and I remember the next day, when my uncles and aunts went to the Richmond shipyard to work, that they were told their job no longer existed. The shipyard was officially closed; half built ships were never finished; only a skeleton crew was still employed to shut down the operation.

Thousands were out of work at the shipyards, the union halls that had collected dues, told their members; there were no jobs anywhere. All was quiet, the shouting now became grumbling, and despair. Workers, who had spent their nice earnings each week instead of saving, were now broke. How to live on a few dollars of unemployment money was what they were now wondering.

At the age of fifteen, prior to the end of the war, I could get a job at many places. I was working at a cannery, when suddenly I was laid off because I was told I wasn't old enough to work there. The end of the war, finalized my job.

There were millions out of work; most of those who had been employed building the war machines were no longer needed. Even Marilyn Monroe worked in an airplane factory before she was discovered. My aunts were welders of prefabricating parts for the ships; that were later put in place and welded together to complete the ship. There wasn't much call for women welders after the war.

Compounding the problem was the hundreds of thousands of service men coming home, and expecting their jobs back, for the government had promise them; they would get their jobs back when they returned home.

I had been supporting myself from the age of thirteen, and now I couldn't get a job anywhere; times were tough for me. My uncles were lucky enough to get work as roofers, and later I also got a job as a roofer’s helper, doing the work no one else wanted to do. But I was glad to have something to do, and also glad to receive a paycheck for I liked to eat.

Ecclesiastes.9:10 What ever your hand finds to do then do it with all your might.

This is excellent advice, and I always practiced it during my working years.

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