I get sick, and Pearl Harbor is bombed

In the autumn of 1941 we moved from the lake into a rented house in southeast Brainerd. I had to attend a different school from the previous year. As expected, I guess, the kids in our neighborhood took their time in accepting me. The girls pestered me all the way home from school. They’d walk behind me and try to trip me. I had to walk all the way home backwards.

I made friends with a stronger kid named Elwood. He said he’d fight any kid who had bothered me. On the way home that afternoon one of the kids who had bothered me was having trouble with some other kids and tried to make friends with me. Before he had a chance I turned Elwood loose on him. We did resolve the misunderstanding pretty fast, though.

Then I got the flu and it turned into pneumonia. Then all of us got sick. In the middle of that mess, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Because of the war, a housing contractor who lived in northeast Brainerd couldn’t build houses, so he took a job in a defense plant in California. He rented his house to Dad and we moved into it in the spring. I was better, so I went back to my old school. We lived in that house until the war ended.

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