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Rationing Maya.N

Maya .N


Author’s note

This story took place  in  1941 during World War II and  the Great Depression the Great Depression come first, then WWII, but 1941 is when the war is going on.. When this happened the U.S. government immediately forced all Americans to ration gas, clothing and shoes. People had to save coupons for months to buy some of these items. Everyone could only buy a specific amount of food at one time. Millions of men and women were called to serve to fight for the U.S.A. during World War II.

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Part of Family Tree My grandma who I interviewed.

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Rationing On the morning of December 7, 1941 my life changed forever when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. This attack started World War II. My mom used to say that we should never feel afraid because we would always be protected by the three military bases near our house. Millions of men and women were suddenly called to serve, including my dad and three brothers. Immediately all Americans were forced to ration gas, clothing and shoes. Mama would have to save our coupons for months to buy these items. Everyone could only buy a specific amount of food. I never got used to the changes. One of the changes that I had to go through was riding my bike to and from school. My family was saving money for gas. I didn’t mind because my middle school was only a few blocks away, although I was used to taking the bus to school all the time.

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We also had to adjust our food habits. The cupboards were bare and we were hungry. My family needed to go to Oregon to get food from my Uncle Delbert’s farm and the only way we could go was to save enough coupons for gas. He had a large farm filled with delicious fresh vegetables that tasted like heaven. My uncle also owned a cow, so we could have fresh milk. One day, when I returned home, I walked in the door and heard my sister say, “Please, please, can we count the coupons we have? We should have enough by now,” my youngest sister begged. “ Okay, okay, I’ll go get the box,” my mom said in an irritated tone. My mom marched to a cupboard in the kitchen and pulled out an old shoebox, where we saved all our gas coupons. As we sat at the kitchen table and counted the gas coupons, I crossed my fingers and hoped that we would have enough for the trip. Suddenly, there was an awkward silence except for each number my sister was calling out enthusiastically. As the last few coupons were counted, I saw my mom rise up with a grin on her face. Mama didn’t smile

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much, so this was a moment I would never forget. My two younger sisters were so ecstatic they started jumping around with joy. I sighed with relief and all those months of saving up finally paid off. As the days passed, it was time to go. We filled up the car with gas before we left and packed all of the supplies we would need at the farm. As my mama was driving, my sisters were sleeping; it was quiet as an empty room. I thought about my brothers, who were drafted to fight in the war; and all three of them were spread out fighting for our country. I remember that time when all six of us kids played road bingo, I would always win. I could not remember a trip where there was a quiet moment in the car with them. Now, for the rest of the trip all I did was worry about my Dad and brothers. I was wondering what they were doing and if they were thinking about me. I hoped and prayed that they were safe every day, and that they would be home soon.

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After two days of driving we arrived at the farm. All I could see were acres of land, a tractor in the field, and my uncle’s bright red house. As we got out of the car, I could smell the crispy air and the freshly cut grass. My aunt and uncle greeted us with hugs and kisses. We cleaned up and my aunt prepared enough dinner for an army. We had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, rolls and then apple pie for dessert. We had not eaten this much mouth watering food like that since before the war started. After dinner we were so exhausted, we went straight to bed. In the morning we woke up to smell of frying bacon and a rooster crowing. My uncle took us out back to where the vegetables were growing and told us to pick out what we needed to can. My sisters were not tomboys like me, as they hated anything having to do with dirt. When I would look for worms and roly-polies, they would be inside looking at fashion magazines and doing each other’s hair. The worst thing of all is when they would saw a worm or any kind of insect, they would scream bloody murder and run away. I loved getting dirty and picking the

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vegetables, which I thought was so relaxing, so basically my entire family except my sister would do the fun and dirty work. After we have finished picking the vegetables, my sisters and I had the job of helping mama and Aunt Frankie. We set up an assembly line in the kitchen. My sisters put the vegetables in the jars, I put the lids on the jars, and my aunt used a hammer to hit the lids so they would stay on. My mama had the most important job of all. She was in charge of waxing the lids of the jars so the vegetables would stay fresh. After about two weeks of gardening and canning work, it was time to return home. We squeezed as much food as we could in the car, and then shoved ourselves in with all the baskets and boxes. As we rode back down to California, I was happy that my family and I wouldn’t be going hungry. Still, my biggest worry was when the war would come to an end. I was hoping that the war would be over soon so that my brothers and my dad would come and join the family again.

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Interview with my Grandma Full name: Diana Historical event that effected them: WWII: 2 Japanese sub caught in San Pedro. Date of the exact event date, if you know it years: December 7, What places have you lived in? Willimington, San Pedro 4, Lake Tahoe, Mountian View, Sunnyvale How did you feel about the event that was happening: I felt scare because the Japanese sub got so close to the city that I was living in. I also felt safe because we had a lot of military bases around our house and they did catch the sub. Because your dad and mom were rarely ever there, who took care of you and your brothers and sisters: Father was in the war at Midway during the Bombing of Pearl Harbor. Older brothers were all in the arm forces fighting. My brother Bobby was a paratrooper that rescued prisoners held in a prison camp in Manila, that actually rescued my Stepfather who was a prisoner. My mother and sisters worried about our brother fighting overseas. We just hoped that he would come back safely. What was your perspective on everything: I didn’t like when the sirens went off because it was scary. You didn’t know if some plane or submarine was attacking us. I felt more protected because we had the army and navy base around are house so she felt safer than she would have felt somewhere else. Wasn’t sure why they attacked us. I remember coming home from summer camp saw the house, of a local Japanese produce stand owner, that had been gutted out because they found out that they had a radio transmitter in the walls of their house that sat on the hillside. They thought they were using to send messages. It was strange that they were taking all the Japanese people to containment camps. How does the effect you Some of the places School, Shopping or walking around the neighborhood. near the Army and Navy base she would have to wear their badges to show who you were. So everywhere they went they had to wear their badges. I just accepted that we had to wear badges because we lived in a secure military area, because I knew they were trying to keep me safe. We didn’t know who were spies. What was happing before the event: Pearl Harbor and the start of WWII

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What happened in your area: There was an Army Base , Naval Base and a Navy Shipyard. Big Guns were mounted on the point of the coast and on the side of the hills facing the ocean. Security was very high especially anywhere by the bases. Everyone had to wear name and picture I.D’s to go to school and walk down certain streets in my neighborhood. The guns were install after war was declared. How did this event did this event influence your perspective on the world? A lot of people didn’t trust the Japanese people after the war. My mother would trust the people that were in the neighborhood but people was suspicious of Japanese people new in the area. I didn’t think to much about them. How did you get involved I saved saving stamps that you bought to help the war effort. The money would go to build bombs, ships and other supplies to help the war effort. Advertise in movie theaters. Birthday, special occasions these saving bonds were given as presents. Each person in the family had a ration book. We had three extra for my brothers would get, but they were in the war. We were lucky that we had a relative in Oregon that had a farm and would supply us with food (can food and meat. What did your family think of this: My family supported the military because my brothers were fighting in the war. We had a flag in the window with 3 blue stars in the window for each member of the family that was in the military. If a person had a gold star that meant one of the family member had been killed. Luckily all my brothers came back a live. But I remember some of my friends or people in my neighborhood who lost their brothers, husbands or dads. When I saw these gold stars I would think about my brothers that were in the war. It was a real scary time. I try not think to much about my brothers being killed but my mother sure worried. Who was with you in this event? My mother and sister and my father came back and worked in the shipyard fixing ships. Where other family members in this affect by the event? Mother, father , brother, and sister. We were all affected by the war. Either fighting, preparing ships for battle, or scared at home because everyone was always talking about the war. They would try not to talk about the war when kids were around but we over heard a lot of conversations.

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What happened during the event and after. •Had wear badges to move around the neighborhood •Ate a lot of potato soup •Rations •Save rubber •Wear 2 pair shoes for the year •Guns were installed around the area •Military practices were always going on.

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Bibliography 1. http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/depression/photoessay.htm 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression 3. http://www.ninthlink.com/2009/02/13/some-success-stories-out-of-thegreat-depression/ 4. http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/homework/war/ rationing.htm 5. http://ww2storysharing.wordpress.com

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Reflection What specific challenges did you face during this project? It was hard to weave in the historical parts. What did you learn about your family member? (personality, character‌) That she whet through a lot in her life to eat and get food and other supplies. What did you learn about yourself (as a learner, as a family member)? I learned that she had to grow up faster than other kids because she was growing up during the war and had to take care of her two younger sisters. How have you grown? (as a writer‌) I learned that when you are telling a story you really have to add a lot of detail so it will be easier for your reader to follow. Why do you think doing a project like this is important? I think it is important so you can learn more about what your family had to go through then. What part of this process did you enjoy most? Why? I enjoyed interviewing my grandma because she told me information that I never knew and it was nice to talk to my grandma again. What part of this process did you least enjoy? Why? I think the hardest part of this prosess was getting the words on the paper. How do you plan to share this project with your family/ family member? When I go to the U.S. for christmas, I will show it to her.

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“A historical narrative based on my family’s experiences”

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