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I am 92 and grew up in Marshfield, Coos Bay. Oregon strong - still working. Worked at the Water Board, several attorney's offices, and for 17 years at the Independent Stevedore Company doing payroll for the longshoremen. Saw my Brother Neil Johnson off on the train to the Army in 1941 along with his classmates. He had duty in the Panama Canal zone. We blacked out our windows and dealt with shortages.

I think shoes was the worst for me. I remember it was hard to walk sometimes because my soles would flap. My Dad worked for Central Transfer and the mechanic there kept his old cat running until the War was over and he got the first new one coming to town. I loved the sound of the little airplanes constantly in the air guarding our coast. The sky seemed empty when they were gone. We would go to a location on Broadway, tie our hair back and wrap bandages for the Red Cross. Probably wouldn't be sanitary enough today.

My Mom managed very well. I remember getting our last 5 cents at the end of one month for an ice cream cone. When we lived on S. 9th Street, just off Elrod -. my Dad had a huge Victory Garden. Plenty of root veggies. A huge treat was to go to the College Inn. I loved the clam chowder and they made a great juicy jumbo hamburger with ear to ear dressing. Later discovered the restaurant in the Chandler Hotel where the roast beef was on a spit and carved to your liking. The Elks Club also had a great lunch.

I worked at both the Noble and Egyptian theaters with the greatest people. We were like family. The Noble had mostly westerns and I later lived near Roy and Dale Evans in Apple Valley, Calif. They were the kindest people. I loved The Hub back in the day. They would go to their market and order what they knew you wanted. Especially shoes. I still remember the wonderful smell of fresh cut lumber that was always in the air and how great your sheets smelled fresh off the line. That ocean air. If I still lived there I would never use a dryer for sheets. I am so proud to have been part of the "Greatest Generation."

Aileen Bellah

Decatur, Illinois

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