New recruits in the Aldershot Command of the British Army are given foot inspections during WWII as part of their three months of basic training.
In the middle of WWII, Curtis-Wright Cadettes at the University of Texas trained for vital war work, living in the Campus Guild and getting hands-on experience in engineering.
When nightfall came, however, they traded jumpsuits for feminine pajamas and flowy gowns. Or at least they did for this article.
Per https://archives.lib.purdue.edu, the Engineering Cadette Program was started in 1943 at seven universities: Purdue University, Cornell, Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, Rensselear University, and University of Texas. During their time in the program, the women’s educational and lodging costs were covered by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, and they received a $10 per week stipend. The graduates of 1943 completed two and a half years of engineering curriculum in ten months. Upon completion of the program, the women were assigned positions in one of five Curtiss-Wright facilities in the country. Once the war was over, the majority of the women were replaced by returning male soldiers.
During WWII, hats were frowned upon as an indulgence in the UK, and many woman (not daring to go in public uncovered), found that necessity was indeed the mother of invention. These British women fashioned turbans out of headscarves, which not only protected their hair while working, but also added that little pizzazz needed during an era of drudgery.
Sister, if you couldn’t get a man to notice you with this thing on your noggin, it was time to abandon hope.
These days, you can’t throw a stick without hitting a mom clutching a glass of vino to temper the hours of “social distance learning” with the reality of 2020.
I, for one, am happy to have a senior, whose studies I can entirely ignore. The days of monitoring or supervising are nearing an end. College acceptance takes precedence over anything left in this rotten semblance of a schoolyear. Any reminders for tests or homework go unheeded. So why bother? After a constant barrage of uninformative teacher emails and daily school texts, stating, “Yes, another coronavirus case has been detected on campus,” we shrug and move on. Every day is the same. It’s easily the worst time to be a high school senior since the threat of being shipped off to Vietnam, and I imagine the emotional and social repercussions will be heavy and long-lasting. God, do I need a drink!
In any event, I am not drinking wine nor spirits. Fate has deemed that all alcohol gives me a headache lately, and it could not be timed any worse. So coffee and tea it is, with my beloved Coke at interims. Yes, 2020 has been a nightmare on every level. But at least we have the luxury of Netflix and Amazon in quarantine. We can still be comfortable and feel relatively safe, even without the company of fermented grapes.
During WWII, however, moms had more at stake, fearing for their husbands overseas as well as wondering if bombs would drop on our very soil. Were they encouraged to sample pinot? Alas, no. The power of pulling it together lay in Alka-Seltzer.
Alka-Seltzer kept the “unjust words” at bay. And it had already been time-tested. Even Will Rogers had stamped his approval a decade prior.
The post-war would see the addition of Speedy. Serenity now! Pronto!
But it wasn’t just for ladies about to lose their minds. Anyone indulging in food or drink could make use of it. Instead of a daydrinking suburban mommy, your pre-diabetic uncle kept a roll of A-S in his pockets. Just in case.
As Americans continued to eat up, sales continued to soar. While my association with the product is limited to the “Plop plop, fizz fizz” of the 70s, children of the 60s would have seen a more animated endorsement.
These days, when every other commercial pimps a prescription drug, meant to feed your fears as well as line the pockets of Big Pharma (O-O-O-OZEMPIC!), you have thousands of other choices to provide comfort for what ails you. Most of you probably take a daily prescription to address the imperfections of your mortal coils. But do any of you still take Alka-Seltzer?
While modern voices find much merriment in decrying systemic racism, declaring the US a consistently racist environment, despite the fact that millions of immigrants have moved here over the last 200 years to pursue (and succeed) in one of the few countries affording them that freedom, no one could argue that America seemed to get it 100% right in this 1938 LIFE article, slamming the Anti-Semitic sentiment which mirrored the growing Nazi party. Very woke indeed.
It’s WWII. An injured soldier
tolerates appreciates the twang of a skilled Red Cross Gray Lady, plucking the strings of an autoharp. Why Gray Lady, you ask? Because she has gray hair? No. Gray Ladies were volunteers who performed non-medical services to sick, injured, or disabled patients. They were not nurses, but they could read to patients, write letters home for them, or in this case, perform talents worthy of an appearance on Star Search. My question is: why isn’t he donning an open-backed hospital gown? Instead, he sports a Chinese stand collar, frog button jacket, as though he is dressed for his shift at The Golden Tiger. I don’t get it.
Have you eaten Joan of Arc brands in your neck of the woods? It must be a geographical item, as I’ve never seen such a thing.
I don’t envy grocers nowadays, trying to keep their stores clean, their employees healthy, and their shelves stocked. But the lean WWII years also challenged grocers with government rationing lists. Here, this grocer attempts to label his stock with an accurate price in points. Can you imagine?
Housewives had to be thrifty, sometimes to the point of excess.
It was important to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing, as it is today.
Yes, I did go grocery shopping today, and yes, the TP and paper towel aisle, which is enormous, was nearly wiped dry.
Fortunately, we got our always overpriced $20 8-pack of Cottonelle last week, and that should last us until Halloween, which I’m pretty sure won’t exist this year, unless you can finagle some sort of contactless curbside amongst kids who were never able to try on costumes in the first place because fitting rooms are closed. And speaking of Halloween candy and chocolate, the pictures above were images of children in Berlin, excited to their cores about the “American chocolate bombers” who dropped candy tied to miniature parachutes as they flew into the city. Can you imagine a selfless world of kindness like that today?
Hair adorned with flower, a hostess at New York’s Stage Door Canteen offers birthday cake to servicemen.
Those of you denied birthday parties may have not even received cake this year. You can’t trust the local bakery to have prepared it covid-free. Perhaps you had to make do with queso de Swiss like Senor Gonzales here.
But from all us at “I Don’t Get It,” here’s wishing you a much better 2021!