Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Well-Deserved Leave--March, 1944

We all received a 30 days leave of absence when we arrived at Alameda and it surely was good to be headed back to Arkansas. I rode the train to Kansas City, Missouri and the bus from there on into Harrison.

I remember how extremely cold it was in March, 1944 in Kansas City. I didn't have a winter pea coat and the flight jacket that I did have was considered out of uniform by the Shore Patrol. So, I had to shiver while waiting on the bus to be loaded. There was standing room only on the bus until we got to Neosho, Missouri and I got to where I could nearly go to sleep hanging on to a strap that was fixed for standing passengers. Anyway, it surely was nice to get home and to sop up some of Mom's home cooking.

Frank Jones was about the only one of my contemporaries that was in Harrison at that time. He was 4F because of an arm deformity and he was teaching in Harrison High School as the Band Director. We had been in the Prince Albert Club together in high school and he was now the sponsor, so he invited me to go with the Club on a hay ride and picnic to Diamond Cave. I dated Virginia Holmes who was a senior and whose father had been my teacher in junior high. We had a good time on the hay ride and there was a roller rink at Diamond Cave then and we enjoyed skating and going through the cave. There was nothing else to do but go to the movies but the serenity of these hills made a welcome interlude.

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