And then I saw Alan's SS #82 archival photo -- Union Station, Chicago, 1943.
My plans fell by the wayside. When I realized what day today was, coupled with the year of that photo, I knew what my Sepia Saturday post had to be about.
On this day, July 9, in the year 1943, my parents were celebrating their first wedding anniversary. And sadly, they were celebrating like many young couples were that year -- they were celebrating away from home. My father had enlisted in the army the previous December and, as a member of the 474th AAA AW Battalion (SP), he was now moving from army camp to army camp, learning how to be a soldier and preparing for war in Europe.
The army wives left their families behind to follow them, renting apartments and finding jobs wherever the boys camped, only to uproot themselves a few months later and do it all over again.
On June 23, 1943, the 474th had left New Bedford, MA and headed south to Tennessee. My father never had too much to say about the experience, but when my mother recalled the "camp years," she always complained about that particular move. It was her least favorite of all the places they camped. Tennessee in the summer was hot (still is) and sticky humid (still is). The train ride was long and crowded and poorly ventilated. There was no air conditioning and the girls lived on a shoestring budget. But the wives were young and had each other, which made it a bearable adventure.
I have no idea if my father got leave in order to celebrate the day, that first anniversary, with my mother. But on this day, what would have been their 69th wedding anniversary, I like to think they're honoring their union together in a better place, one that isn't subject to the foibles of unpredictable summer weather or underfunded public transportation systems.
Happy anniversary! I miss you both.
For more strolls through the past, clicky right there ==>> Sepia Saturday #82