Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All Quiet on the Western Front

Family History Writing Challenge - Day 23 & 24

** NOTE: The italicized font is creative non-fiction. Based upon the stories of my mother and uncle it is my creative writing of their memories. **

Mason laid on the living room floor quietly drawing, it was time for the evening news. Wells was lying in front of the fireplace also quiet for both knew the importance of silence during this time. Daddy sat next to the radio, pipe in hand, legs crossed, leaning forward toward the speaker. It was 1937 and there was great unrest in the world, both near and far. Most of Daddy’s family lived in Eastport, which had just declared bankruptcy. No one in Maine really liked President Roosevelt, even though he had a house on Campobello, there were only two states in the union who didn't “go” for him in last year’s election; one was Vermont, the other Maine. And now with the government stopping work on the Quoddy Tidal project; diverting the money elsewhere, here was just another reason. There was a worldwide depression going on, but Mason wasn't overly affected by it. Daddy went to work everyday; the machines at the Can Factory always needed tinkering and fixing. Many a morning mommy would open the back door to find a bucket or two of freshly dug clams, that the Coast Guardsmen from down the road had brought by. They had a cow, which mommy went out and milked each morning as well as daddy being a hunter.  They had a garden and mommy would can in the fall; putting up vegetables from the garden as well as canning the meat. Wells loved to see the vegetables mommy packed in sand in the basement to keep them fresh. Both of the kids loved mommy’s relish, known as “Lindbergh Special,” it was good with just about anything. Yes, there was a depression going on, and Mason knew there were others who were not as fortunate as she was.

Mason kept drawing as daddy listened closely to the news. Amelia Earhart was still missing after disappearing in July, and there was a lot of unrest in Europe. Men named Mussolini, and Hitler were in the news and there was talk of another war. Mommy came into the room as the newsman talked about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Mommy had a picture of King Edward, now the Duke and his new wife, Wallis Simpson. Mommy was such a romantic; she loved the idea of a king giving up his throne for the woman he loved. The news was almost over and it was getting to be time for bed. Mason put the finishing touches on her picture and stood. Blowing off the pencil dust, she walked over to her father and presented him with the picture. Taking the picture in one hand and removing his pipe with the other he looked closely at the picture and smiled. Gazing at the pencil drawing of him sitting by the radio with his pipe, he read the caption written across the top “All Quiet on the Western Front.”  Turning to his daughter, he smiled again and said, “Very nice Mason. I love it.”

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