Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Good Old Days

It's been 67 years this month since the end of WWII. Saturday night I was sitting around with my Dad, Mom, Aunt, and an 85 year old neighbor of my cousin's. My Dad is old enough to remember the end of the war. He was ten and my aunt was 11. He remembers my grandmother running out onto Allston Street in East Cambridge and banging pots and shouting with all the other ladies. The end of the war meant their sons (and daughters perhaps) were coming home. At least some were.

My mom doesn't remember the actual day, but she remembers other wartime realities like rationed butter. My Mom said the butter was white, and there was a little dot of yellow something on the top you'd mix in to turn it yellow. She also remembers raid drills and climbing under her desk at school. My Dad recalls getting into the movies with a handful of metal scrap. The neighbor, who is a little older than my parents, said she was in NYC at the end of the war. She recalls a parade going down 5th avenue. She said she saw Eisenhower and Truman go by in an open convertible.

Of course here is one of the most famous pictures of the end of WWII, taken in Times Square. Greta Friedman, a nurse at the time, and George Mendonsa, are the subjects of the photograph. (Many people over the years have tried to claim this photograph, but it has finally been established it is Greta and George). Here are Greta and George reunited today. When George grabbed and kissed Greta on that evening in 1945, he did not know her. In fact he married another woman he was on a date with that night....

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