Pages

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rosie the Riveter

Perhaps you know I begin my day writing a rhyme over at Pat's
'Rhyme Time" blog. It's my little "I'm still OK" test. His post
always gives me a good laugh plus today's title is a memory jab
with ....... EVEN A JOB PICKING CORN OFF THE COB.

Been there. It was smack-dab in the middle of WW2 and there
was not an able-bodied man left on the street who was not in
uniform. Women who had never lifted a finger outside of the
kitchen, took to working in factories and food production.

It was a fantastic time, women stepping out of their girdles
and zipping up their coveralls. The summer I was 14, I got a
job at the local corn-canning factory.  Hair tied up in a
bandana, I looked like all the other "Rosie, the Riveters" with
my standard little black lunch box, packed with enough
sandwiches to cover lunch and snacks for a double shift.

I worked in the cutter room where the sharp blades on a
conveyer belt cut the corn off the cob. This room was not
for the clumsy and when working such long hours, one
 really had to keep their wits on board.

The war was what Really closed the book on the great
depression.  Jobs, jobs, jobs beckoning from huge signs
 were the pied pipers that brought women and young
adolescents out into the work force. Lucky Strike Green
may have gone to war, but we were actually earning that
green folding stuff that would buy us food and a few
trinkets we had been without for such a long time.

Swing music blaring from radios where ever we went.
Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey. In spite of the war,
those WERE the days.  I guess that would be called
my coming of age. LOL
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

68 comments:

  1. lol who knew the cat could inspire a post. I guess something good can come out of crummy war. That had to be rather boring though, but yeah I wouldn't want to chop my fingers off in the machine, so have to fight the boredom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat
      Yes the cat is inspirational, but who would think cutting corn off a cob would do it? I think humans are just resilient or else dumbed down but at least there were no fluoride heads (just yet) back then. People were still full of zip and go and there was always dancing in the streets. As I said, it was my coming of age time and I think that time is always special under any circumstances...... war or peace.

      Delete
  2. Interesting post. I remember the black outs with the family gathered around the battery radio. It was kind of scary to a little kid which I was at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paula
      I can imagine the blackouts would be terribly frightening to a small child. But we all lived through it all and only became stronger survivors because of it.

      Delete
  3. Interesting post, in retrospect, even the bad old days (WWII) seem like the good old days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joeh
      It's not that I don't remember all the coffins and maimed service men returning home, because I lost countless of friends during those gruesome 4 years. My father was in the thick of it for the full length of the war and it's a miracle he ever returned. But, in the meantime, life went on and production lines were rolling.

      Delete
  4. I have SO much respect for ALL of you who are part of "the greatest generation." You pulled this country out of terrible economic times and decisively won the last truly moral war.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bish
      Yes, the LAST truly moral war. What truth you speak. You always hit the nail on the head.

      Delete
  5. Wow, how interesting. You are a living history lesson!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen
      I don't know about a history lesson......I'm just history. LOL

      Delete
  6. I was about to type, "I guess necessity is the mother of invention after all" when I paused wondering, "Did she say that already?" So, I reread the whole thing and no... I don't believe you did. But, you implied it. We are nothing if not adaptable.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Robin
    I remember it was said back then, (waaaay back ...haha) that women could put together a plane faster and better than a man. So ha to men and bully for us. But when the men came home from the war, the women were fired and men got the jobs back. Go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ooh how times have changed!!! There's a lot to be said for those good ole days. I pity these younger people with all their gadgets and political correctness...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. turquoisemoon
      Electronics are good for some things, ie. we would never have met but all this stuff is so new and no one has seen the long term affects it will have on people.
      Back then, I think the country was in such poor shape that the only way we could get out was through war. Bully for those who came back alive.

      Delete
  9. As they say (whoever 'they' are) every cloud has a silver lining. An interesting snippet out of your life, Manzanita.

    Lucky I was born when I was, because if I worked in that factory, I'd now be typing with my nose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy
      In others words, your name would be "Stumpy." LOL

      I guess the "they's are the Miss Manners of the world. But "they" sure are know-it-all's. Better you are younger. Typing with the nose would be kinda a snotty thing to do. LOL

      Delete
  10. There's good and bad: one problem is the women got used to earning the extra money and after the war they wanted to keep the extra income (and why not? spending is good for the economy, right?), so they could keep buying stuff, but no one is ever satisfied with their houseful of stuff, they must have more and better and when credit became more easily available, the roads to greed really filled up. (As did the roads to bankruptcy and poverty) And how many men couldn't get jobs again after the war because their women had them all?
    I may have got things wrong, but that's how I see it.

    I'm reminded of something I read in a book long ago, a small boy playing in the street after school with his house key hanging around his neck: "mum got a job because we needed a new refrigerator, then she wanted a new washing machine, now they're paying off the house...."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River
      I used to wonder if women ever really came out ahead when they work.Take the average female office worker; they pay for day care, they need another car (plus insurance, gas and upkeep), they need nice clothes, shoes, always new nylons, lunch money, hair and nail appointments. I wonder if a salary even covers all the work necessities. But after the kids are grown, many women take a job outside the home for social reasons.

      It seems like it's always necessary to keep up appearances. I was always too busy with my own hobbies to notice what others were doing.

      Delete
  11. What did you do after the war? Or is that a post for a different time?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Samuel
      I was still in school (age 14). I didn't plan on writing this post about the war and ancient history, it just came to mind when I saw Pat's headline. I may write a few more posts, i.e. if anyone is interested.

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. Holy Ghost
      Sliver linings, gold linings..... they're all good. lol

      Delete
  13. The only thing I have picked off corn on the cob with is my teeth. Then I have a heck of a time getting the corn out of them. LOVE YOU MUCH!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terry
      I don't even eat corn anymore. Linda and Bill Gates have ruined that good food for me. I'm sure they have their own organic gardens.
      Love you too and miss you

      Delete
  14. Before my time but I would have enjoyed living then not many male bosses.
    Merle..........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merle
      Point well taken. But with a female boss you have to put up with PMS. LOL

      Delete
  15. Your 14th year working as the other Rosie the Riveter would make for the basis of one humdinger of a novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susie
      How times have changed. I see how pampered girls of 14 are now and all the material stuff they have and have their own credit cards. That is OK if the kids still have a good heart but it's too easy to get distracted values that add no meaning to a fullfilling life.

      Delete
  16. I received a Rosie the Riveter figurine in a Christmas stocking one year, lol. I guess it's a name thing. ;)

    That's a nice piece of your history to share. I remember my grandma swinging it up to the big bands. She, like you, loved to dance. I have big band selections all over my iPod...her influence, definitely. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosie
      I'm happiy your grandmother passed on her love of dance and music. Everyone danced during that time. I wonder what happened that men slowly became non-dancers. Now, in social dancing, it's like pulling teeth to get a man on the dance floor and I recall all the boys in my school were very good dancers.
      Don't forget to teach your young son how to dance. Hahaha

      Delete
    2. That boy is a dancing fool. All of my boys like to dance, and my daughter too. They didn't get it from their dad and I, we both have two left feet! :)

      Delete
  17. That was really, really interesting. Ya know, I always thought that Saturday Evening Post picture of Rosie looked familiar, but didn't know how. Sistine Chapel, eh? Well, isn't that sumpin'?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Al
      Yes, that is an interesting little tid-bit from history. Even though I often hate all the new electroics, cell phones would have been fun ;back then and we could have captured more of the colorful era for posterity.

      Delete
  18. Hi Manzanita .. working in the corn-cutting room fun for a few days, ghastly after a while .. but I can see how the war would have helped people out of the depression days -then the future after the war - not so good for some.

    Interesting - thanks - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary
      Where I grew up, there is a very narrow window to get the corn into the cans, that would be middle of Aug up to Oct. The kids who were working at the corn factory were given an extra 2 weeks before starting school, because the corn canning was important to our town. When the next summer rolled around, I got a summer job in a county office at the court house. Boy was that boring! I enjoyed the work at the corn factory far more. I worked every summer from the age of 13 and I could always buy my own school clothes.

      Delete
  19. I find reading about you so fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Romance Reader
      I guess I don't know how to reply to a compliment BUT
      Thank You.

      Delete
  20. I bet that room was not for the clumsy. Your coming of age.... What a wonderful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Blue
      I guess the phrase, coming of age, usually refers to the young guy who gets his first crush/sexual experience at summer camp. A summer camp would have been fun too but my childhood was just perfect. I had a whole lake at my disposal up to the age of 12.
      Nice to see you, blue man, I hope you are al jazzed for the holidays. Won't be long.

      Delete
    2. I had a funny feeling you would say that haha. Yes, I sure am enjoying the holidays :)

      Delete
  21. What an awesome set of memories! It's a shame it took a war to make it happen, but sometimes I think we could do with more of that sense of community. But my fingers are just tingling at the thought of that corn kernel machine :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Red
      It wasn't really as gruesome as it sounds. The corn was on a conveyor belt and you just had to place it on the closed slots that would automatically open and the cob drops down into it where the blades were..... but you couldn't get sleepy or mesmerized and stick your finger in. I couldn't do it now..... no way.

      Delete
    2. P.S. Red
      Thanks for dropping by. I visited your rock post and wanted to leave a comment but I can't figure out where or how to leave it. I am truly amazed by natures work and the unusual fornations of rocks that can be created ..... all by herself. Ha

      Delete
  22. Dear Manzanita, what a marvelous posting! To learn the history of Rosie the Riveter and also some of your history is such a treat. A real gift to those of us who follow your blog. I was 5 when the war started but I have a number of memories of those days from December 1941 to August 1945. A simpler time, yes. But a time when as a nation we worked together for a common cause. And you were a part of it! Wow!!!! Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dee
      I certainly do remember it as a total devotion to our country.....I'll say the complete opposite of what we are living in now. No division..... it seems we've slipped back way beyond 1865, now. Lucky you, to have some memory of that time.

      Delete
  23. Hello There, I enjoyed your post today. Love your 'coming of age' post... Very interesting... Sometimes, I'd love to go back the relive those years--which despite the economy/war seemed much more peaceful than today's world we are living in.

    Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I do try to read blogs—but just haven’t commented very much lately like I usually try to do. Please don’t give up on me. Hopefully my life will be back to ‘normal’— whatever that is (ha), sometime in January.

    I did get a cortisone shot in my knee —which has helped with the pain somewhat. In January, I will most likely have meniscus tear surgery…. BUT—in the meantime, I plan to have a fantastic Christmas —and hopefully get to see my kids/grands… God is Good.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Betsy
      I appreciate hearing from you and I feel so concerned that your have been having health problems. I haven't been very "with it" either this past year. Here's to a better new year for both of us. I hope you got to spend lots of precious time with your grandkids.

      Delete
  24. It must really have been something for women to come out of the kitchen to work with other women in jobs that were once meant only for men. What an amazing time that was. Corn cutting? Sounds rather dangerous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Kay
      Normally, kids my age would never be working in such a dangerous work area but many of us were strong enough to do the job and there was such a shortage of workers.

      Delete
  25. Hi human, Manzanita,

    Nice mention of Pat in the Hatt and his crazy cat. You certainly brought the music into my doggy ears of the big bark, sorry, big band era.

    Quite the corny yet intriguing pawst of days gone by. Thank you for this, my lovely human friend.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there friend Penny
      Thanks for the pawslovely comment. I always love it when you drop in for a dog to human chat.

      Delete
  26. I'm here to wish you a Merry Christmas. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosey
      I hope yours was beautiful and filled with all the family love in the world. May yor new year be blessed.

      Delete
  27. Like this entry very much. I remember the blackouts. My brother and sister quit high school to go to work at Kelly Air Base in San Antonio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paula
      Good memories but I wasn't really aware of when things changed. We are always in the middle of some change and I'm always a day late and dollar short, as they say. LOL

      Delete
  28. Thank you for the loving thoughts and good wishes, Manzanita.
    I hope 2015 will be a great year for you too!
    Enjoy all your projects and have fun!
    Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia
      So far, our New Year has started off with cold and winter storms. I hope your weather is more enjoyable.

      Delete
  29. Just a few more hours... but I can't wait, so here it comes:

    HAPPY
    NEW
    YEAR

    That's it? No, that's not it. I wanted to thank you for your friendship and your wonderful comments.

    That's it?

    No, that's not it. Bottoms up! (That's it!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Grumpster..... You did a lot better than I did. As I went to bed (early) I heard fire crackers booming in the distance and the dog was doing her usual July 4th craziness. I hope your celebration was wonderful.

      Delete
  30. Happy New Year and wishing you all the best for 2015!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Romance Reader
      Thank you for your good wishes and I wish you joys in your writing for this new year.

      Delete
  31. I'm here to say Happy New Year to you too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rosie
      I hope your family had a wonderful New Year's celebration.

      Delete
  32. Dropping in to wish you a Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Pat definitely inspires some interesting blog posts, doesn't he? :) I hope your new year is going wonderfully :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Pat and his cats inspired you as well, I can see. :)

    ReplyDelete