Family Memoir

FINAL DRAFT:

When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, nobody thought much of it back in the States. We were aware of it when we heard news reports of it on the radio, or on brief news reels before a movie. We were still in the Depression and no one wanted to intervene. When war broke out in all of Europe, everyone became a bit more wary. It seemed like the Great War was about to happen all over again. I wasn’t alive for that of course, but it was still fresh in the minds of my teachers.

When I got out of school, I got a job as a secretary for a factory. I would sit and type messages and reports for my boss on the typewriter as well as answer phone calls. It was a long job and I didn’t like it too much.

I don’t exactly remember when I met the man who would become my husband, but I do remember him going out of way to talk to me at work.  His name was Ray. He always tried to make it seem like an accident when he came to my desk. Sometimes, he would “need to use my stapler” since his mysteriously broke, or he always chose to sharpen his pencils near me. Finally one day he worked up the courage to ask me out. After high school, I tried to be more cautious with boys, but this man seemed so sweet that I couldn’t say no.

            Ray picked me up from my house the following weekend. I found myself actually feeling nervous for the date. My parents never really let me go on dates in high school, but now that I was working, they had no objections. I noticed my dad was still a little skeptical when I saw him peeking out at us through a curtain. But Ray was just as sweet as he was at the factory, and I found that my nervous feeling melting away.

In St. Louis, the only real place to take a date was to the Hill. Back then it was so big, it was a city within a city. We got to a local place that smelled very appetizing from the outside. I remember we both ordered the lasagna with a Coke to drink. There, I learned all about him. He was in the Navy and worked at the factory when he was inactive from duty. The night continued with conversation and laughs. It wasn’t awkward or forced, the words just flowed out of us like we already knew each other. He had a very warm personality and was a perfect gentleman.

            As the clock ticked away, we talked and talked, barely having time to finish our meals. When it got late he drove me home. We got to my house and he got out to open my door. “It was nice to meet you” was all he said, showing off a big smile. I blushed and said the same thing back. But before I could finish that sentence, I immediately asked, “Will we be doing this more?” I felt embarrassed being the one to ask him on a date instead of me. But to my relief, his smile only grew bigger and he said “Sure thing.”

            We had been dating for nearly a year when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States finally entered the war. My boyfriend was stationed in a submarine somewhere I didn’t even know. Every Thursday when he was away I received a letter from him. He told me how much me and how I was the thing keeping him sane at 2000 feet below sea level. He tried not to tell me about the dangers he faced, even though I would ask in my replies. He did eventually tell me that an underwater mine almost blew his ship up. I quickly regretted making him tell me that, and I became frantically worried. Every time our telephone rang, my heart would skip a beat. In the back of my mind I always feared it would be his mother calling to bring me the worst news.

            But the war ended and Ray came home. He was so happy and never wanted to leave my side. Three months later, he knelt down and proposed me. I was so happy and said yes immediately. We had six kids before he died in 1972. He will always be the love of my life. I can see him through my children, too, when they would comfort me or just talk to me. I am eternally grateful I met him.

 

 

ROUGH DRAFT:

 

When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, nobody thought much of it back in the States. We were aware of it when we heard news reports of it on the radio, or on brief news reels before a movie. We were still in the Depression and no one wanted to intervene. When war broke out in all of Europe, everyone became a bit more wary. It seemed like the Great War was about to happen all over again. I wasn’t alive for that of course, but it was still fresh in the minds of my teachers.

When I got out of school, I got a job as a secretary for a factory. I would sit and type messages and reports for my boss on the typewriter as well as answer phone calls. It was a long job and I didn’t like it too much.

I don’t exactly remember when I met the man who would become my husband, but I do remember him going out of way to talk to me at work.  His name was Ray. He always tried to make it seem like an accident when he came to my desk. Sometimes, he would “need to use my stapler” since his mysteriously broke, or he always chose to sharpen his pencils near me. Finally one day he worked up the courage to ask me out. After high school, I tried to be more cautious with boys, but this man seemed so sweet that I couldn’t say no.

            He picked me up from my house the following weekend. I found myself actually feeling nervous for the date. My parents never really let me go on dates in high school, but now that I was working, they had no objections. I noticed my dad was still a little skeptical when I saw him peeking out at us through a curtain. He was just as sweet as was at the factory, and I found that my nervous feeling melting away.

In St. Louis, the only real place to take a date was to the Hill. Back then it was so big, it was a city within a city. We got to a local place that smelled very appetizing from the outside. I remember we both ordered the lasagna with a Coke to drink. There, I learned all about him. He was in the Navy and worked at the factory when he was inactive from duty. The night continued with conversation and laughs. It wasn’t awkward or forced, the words just flowed out of us like we already knew each other. He had a very warm personality and was a perfect gentleman.

            As the clock ticked away, we talked and talked, barely having time to finish our meals. When it got late he drove me home. We got to my house and he got out to open my door. “It was nice to meet you” was all he said, showing off a big smile. I blushed and said the same thing back. But before I could finish that sentence, I immediately asked, “Will we be doing this more?” I felt embarrassed being the one to ask him on a date instead of me. But to my relief, his smile only grew bigger and he said “Sure thing.”

            We had been dating for nearly a year when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States finally entered the war. My boyfriend was stationed in a submarine somewhere I didn’t even know. Every Thursday when he was away I received a letter from him. He told me how much me and how I was the thing keeping him sane at 2000 feet below sea level. He tried not to tell me about the dangers he faced, even though I would ask in my replies. He did eventually tell me that an underwater mine almost blew his ship up. I quickly regretted making him tell that, and I became frantically worried. Every time our telephone rang, my heart would skip a beat. In the back of my mind I always feared it would be his mother calling to bring me the worst news.

            But the war ended and Ray came home. He was so happy and never wanted to leave my side. Three months later, he knelt down and proposed me. I was so happy and said yes immediately. We had six kids before he died in 1972. He will always be the love of my life. I can see him through my children, too, when they would comfort me or just talk to me. I am eternally grateful I met him.

Advertisements
Published on February 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm  Comments (5)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://creativewritingschs.wordpress.com/student-pages/student-10/family-memoir/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Really good memoir, I enjoyed reading it. I like how you captured her feelings. In the fourth paragraph, last sentence… it was a bit unclear who you were talking about (Ray or her dad) so one suggestion might be to make that clearer. And also there was just a part where I think you left out the words “he missed” in the second to last paragraph.

  2. I love this story! It’s a fantastic real world romance. The only thing it is missing is maybe a transition from proposal to death. I love it though!

  3. Your story was written very well. I really liked how you tied actual historic facts into the story, and the story itself was great. It was easy to read, and it kept your interest the entire time. There were a few spelling errors, but besides that everything was good.

  4. this story was really good. it had a lot of good detail, but not to the point where there was too much. the only thing you should change is in the second to last paragraph “i regretted making him tell that” seems kind of wierd, like its missing a word, other than that great job!

  5. What a romantic story! I think you did a fantastic job writing this story and I, too, really enjoyed the historical facts woven in to the love story. Watch for missing words-there were quite a few times when one or two words were accidentally omitted. This can be distracting for your audience.

    Great work!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: