The Great Depression

Going from High School into World War II

... It was 1939.  We were still in the depression 

by Virginia Eck

It was 1939.  We were still in the depression and I was graduating  from Framingham High School. Jobs were foremost in our minds. Somehow my mother managed long gowns for the prom and a dinner, even a velvet cape, and a white dress. No caps and gowns yet. That was for college - a dream for a very few.

One of my teachers sent me to Dennison Manufacturing Company for an interview and I was hired to start immediately. I would be given time off for graduation rehearsal, class picture, etc. Dennison gave out two jobs, one to a Framingham graduate, and one to a graduate of Natick High. Two jobs - the Framingham senior class alone had 300 students, Natick was pretty close to that.

Senior citizens remember the war years, but we forget to tell our children and grandchildren what a magnificent effort and accomplishment it was. The United States tried to stay out of it. We began to supply ships, tanks, planes, and ammunition under a "Lend Lease" program, but Pearl Harbor prompted our declaration of war against Japan, and Germany soon after. We took on the whole world!  And we were up to it. We proved that. We won!!! Every family adjusted to "war time": family members off to who-knows-where, rationing, shortages. To sum up, 3-1/2 to 5 years out of our lives. I do not think we could repeat that bit of history today. It would require too many committees...

September 3, 1998


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