World War II

A labor of love

... a WWII memory.

by Eleanor Jenkins

After my mother died in her collection of things I found a small notebook, the pages had yellowed with age. I started to go through it to see what she had been keeping notes on. I discovered that each page had one name, an APO mailing address, and birthday. I recognized it, then as her collection of names of the young men from the church we attended who had gone into the Armed Forces during WWII.

During WWII my mother had organized the women of the church to meet at her home at least once a month to bake cookies and cake to mail out to the men in the service. They had pooled their sugar ration stamps to be sure there would be enough sugar for the task. Then this was the men listed in her notebook who would receive the packages. I don't remember if they packed up 40 boxes each month, she may have rotated the list, but there was surely something going out for birthdays and Christmas to each of these men. Perhaps February was a very special month for each man to receive a package along with a Valentine Card.

There was always baked a chocolate fudge cake, and that new cookie recipe called Toll House Cookies. I can still picture those women when the cakes were finally iced, slicing each cake into twenty slices, wrapping each slice in waxed paper and layering it into the bottom of the box. The cookies were layered on top of the cake and finally carameled popcorn(my contribution to the task) on top of the cookies to keep the cookies from breaking up. I went so often to the American Store in the next block from our home for the popcorn that the store manager had  nicknamed me "Popcorn" as that was the only thing I bought there.

One of the women had a car and was able to deliver all of those boxes to the post office and on their way.

We had many visitors at our home over the years as the men who did come home thanked my mother and her team of bakers.

February 5, 2010

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