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Graduate in "44"

Story ID:5899
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA USA
Person:Eligible for the draft Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Graduate in "44"

Graduate in “44”

On Twelve-Seven-41
And at age 15 plus
I was at the neighbor's, Paul Brants
When I heard about the fuss.

It seemed so far away
The Pearl Harbor bombing
Didn’t really dawn on me
What was coming.

Students were being drafted
Some volunteering
Navy, Army, and Marines etc.
EHS’s male students were disappearing.

I was going to be 18
In 1944
Then it would be my turn
To go off to war.

In the meantime
No young men could be found
The place was awash with Females
Searching all around.

For a young man
To take them to a show
Do a little handholding
Doncha know.

This may be terrible to say
I loved the odds
Of the absence of the males
The city Girls were, looking at us clods.

Meat, Butter, Sugar, gas, tobacco
Were rationed, so I stayed in town
No gas to drive to school
The Lawrence’s asked me down

I stayed with the Lawrence Family
In Nina’s window hung two stars
For Don and Harding her Two Sons
Who were already in the war.

I could have had a date every night
I couldn’t I had to go to school
So I could Graduate
Heck, I’m no fool. (Yeah Right)

By conserving on Electricity
It made the halls in the school dreary
The war was going badly
The news was oh so weary.

Seemed we were losing more than we gained
Times were looking bad
Our boys were dropping like flies
Truly made you sad.

I made it through my Senior year
I didn’t do so great
With only the talk of war
It was hard to concentrate

And knowing that I was on my way
As soon as I was eighteen
Being on Pins and Needles
I might never see nineteen.

But then there was no burning of draft cards
You’d not let your country down
The thought never entered your head
In this small Kansas town.

In May of “44”
I donned my cap and gown
And waited patiently
To hear “Come On Down”

You have graduated
From El Dorado High
I took my diploma and shook hands
With the principal, and heaved a sigh.

The Army wanted me
To report in July
To an Army Camp in Texas
Left the Farm, with a tear in my eye.

My Dad looked so sad
When he put me on the Trailway Bus
He got into the Hudson
And headed for twelve miles of dust.

Two and a half years later
I returned to El Dorado
Things had changed so much
I signed up for JUCO.

Junior College that is.
Monte 09-29-08