Looking back: Growing up in World War II

Verbatim

During this school year, I have been taking a journalism class. In part of it I had to do an interview with one of my relatives, and write a piece about that person's life. I chose to do a story on my grandpa who grew up during World War II.

World War II affected many people. For Gary DeFries, who resides in Breckenridge, Colo., a lot of things changed. DeFries, who was 5 when the war started, grew up in Kansas. His dad, who was a World War I veteran, was running a truck station, and selling farm implements. He also was running the family farm.

DeFries said, "I remember the rare occasions when I got chewing gum. I had to save the tin wrapper the gum came in because all of the tin had to be saved for the war effort. Even food was hard to get. If you had a farm, you might have to give up some of your crops."

He also said that the Army even took good horses. "Our horse wouldn't have even made it to the train station," DeFries said with a laugh.

Gasoline also was rationed. Since DeFries' dad was working at a truck station, he was accountable for giving the truckers no more than their ration of fuel.

"You couldn't buy a car, or tires, so most travel took place by train," said DeFries. "Even train travel was limited. The trains had to be available to transport soldiers and supplies."

DeFries' dad was trying to sell farm implements, but sales decreased once the war started. Mostly all his dad could sell was tractor parts.

"Toys were very hard to get," said DeFries. "Getting a balloon was unheard of."

Wow. Looking back at what people had then, and what we have now, should make us grateful.

John Boatright is a 10th-grade home-school student from Nikiski.

More

Sun, 01/22/2017 - 19:58

Kenai Peninsula College: Around Campus

Even though the spring semester got underway last week, anyone who has not yet registered can still do so, with an instructor’s permission, through the end of the week (Jan. 20). Registration must be done in person and students must have their registration form signed by the instructor.

Read more
Sun, 01/22/2017 - 19:54

School district, Habitat for Humanity forge partnership

Students on the Kenai Peninsula will get a shot at some hands-on learning as soon as this summer, courtesy of a partnership between the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity.

Read more

Board of Education sees preliminary budget

With still unknown budget allocations from the state and borough for next year, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Board of Education is working on a budget with a projected deficit of approximately $3 million .

Read more

Peninsula schools take part in orchestra concert

Kenai Peninsula students will get a chance to play and sing along with the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra in a set of concerts this week.

Read more