Fleeting images of past lives continue to wander through my increasingly elder brain. December 7th, 1941. I was due shortly thereafter to become 7 years of age. Do I remember that day? Well, a bit maybe. My folks rarely talked about the war before or after that fateful date. I guess we had a newspaper around, and I know we used a radio, because I listened to it often, even at my very early age—Jack Benny, Charley McCarthy, I Love a Mystery, The Shadow (who knows what evil lurks in the mind of man . . . The Shadow Knows) Gangbusters, oh the list goes on . . .
So, do I actually remember Franklin Roosevelt informing us of that “Date that will live in infamy” event? Well, maybe yes, maybe maybe. I certainly remember much of the aftermath of that date, which, at least for Americans, ushered us into WW II. We almost certainly would have entered anyway, with the Prez Franklin pushing, pulling, kicking us into the fray. For that we should all be grateful, well aside from the many thousands of men and women who died to save us from that infamy.
I remember the blackouts in New York City, and the rationing, because they affected us personally. My uncle Bill was in the Seabees during the war, serving in the South Pacific theatre. But that was as close as our family got to having a family member “in harms’ way”. Bill was 40-something when that conflagration began, and certainly did not have to serve. He wanted to serve. We saw him perhaps once during the war, when he came home briefly. And he gave, or mailed us some postcards with naked women on them . . . wow.
So, now we remember that date and that event, although it is a fast-fading memory. The Japanese have become our fast friends, and, before China took over and America stopped making anything, Japan supplied many of our finer goodies (thinking of our 15th Subaru now sitting in our driveway). As I age, I ponder the question . . . which images do I prefer to keep in my dimming memory??? These . . .
Or maybe I prefer to retain this one of the Daibutsu, from our visit to Kamakura . . . yes . . . much better.