Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade. While I won’t mention what decade I was born in, I will say that the 1940s seem more appealing the more I interview veterans who served during that time.
I’ve read books about the Homefront in England and America. I’ve interviewed people who were Rosie the Riveters and women who served in the military. Everyone helped to win the war, making it a team effort.
At times it would have been a challenge. Rationing of sugar, meat, gas, shoes, etc. would have been restricting to say the least.
Re-enactors: Charlie Chaplin, (Peggie Lee in back), Shirley Temple, Rosie the Riveter, Ann Miller.
But sometimes people had fun.
Dances were especially entertaining. I wrote a story this week about a woman who met her future husband at a USO dance during the war. They were married for 50+ years.
All of that leads up to say that John & I attended a military 1940s dance last week and had a wonderful time!
Last fall Hope Owens of Hicksville OH (That’s her in the top photo, left, with Jimmy Durante, Laurel and Hardy) attended my latest book launch in Fort Wayne for my new book, We Gave Our Best: American WWII Veterans Tell Their Stories. She and her father are vets and this was her way of helping vets of all ages.
Isn’t this Jackie Cooper impersonator adorable in his 1920s clothing?
She then invited us to attend a fundraiser she was doing for Honor Flight of Northeast Indiana and a hub based in Findlay OH. We set up a table for people to view my books. As always, we met great people including veterans whom we thanked for their service and their families.
Thankfully, the weather behaved and a good crowd, including these Army re-enactors and WACs, turned up for live music, great food and entertainment from a myriad of talented stars: Shirley Temple, Laurel and Hardy, Jimmy Durante, Bing Crosby, Peggie Lee, Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Cooper, Rosie the Riveter, Andrews Sisters, Ann Miller.
Of course, these were impersonators but they were still very talented! The crowd danced to tunes from the war years such as ‘Blue Skies’ from an orchestra from Defiance Ohio.
As you can see from the photos, she and her crew put a tremendous amount of work into the event. We stayed for it all and had so much fun that I’m hoping she does it again next year!
There are countless ways to show support to our military. What is your favorite way to thank our veterans?