Public themes and events
* To the folks at home, World War II brought the greatest prosperity in years. Although it was a somber time, the U.S. standard of living was 16% higher in 1943 than it had been four years earlier, at the end of the Great Depression. Meanwhile, in that microcosm called “home” my parents made the following entries in my baby book:
7 January: “Had first vegetables.”
22 January (Seven months): “First tooth appeared, a second one 12 days later.”
17 April (9 months old)[Robert]: “Larry got his first War Bond, $25.00, out of his savings bank.”
1 June (10 months, 1week): “Started walking alone against the wall and furniture.”
6 June (10 months, 2 weeks)[Robert]: “While Larry was taking his bath, Hazel held him while Dad cut his hair. He now has 8 teeth”.
Saturday, 17 July: “Started walking alone, without holding onto anything.”
21 July”(Larry): First stood up alone.”
Sunday 25 July 1943 (One year old)[Robert]: “Daddy worked. Mom made Larry cupcakes for his first birthday. Celebrated that night at home, just Mother, Dad and Larry. Dad and Mother got Larry a large ‘Teddy Bear’, almost as large as Larry. Also bought Larry a toy wooden wagon with poles sticking up with round balls on top of the poles. They all come apart and Larry likes that. Also got him a transparent ball with a dunce in it. Grandma and Grandpa Glen and Elsie gave Larry $5.00 for his bank.”
Late August & early September (13 months, 1 week) [Dad took a weeks vacation at which time the family went to Lake Michigan. A photograph taken there shows me wearing a baby dress, squatting down in ankle deep water along the shore and crying. From deep in my memory I seem to recall fragments of this event: ‘There is the gentle lapping of the water…Mom is watching from up on the beach, where she is sitting on a blanket…I’m crying because I don’t like standing in the cold water…the bottom of my clothes are cold, wet and uncomfortable’.-LP]
December: “Mother started brushing Larry’s teeth about the middle of Dec.1943, age 17 mo.”
25 December 1943 (1 year, 5 months) Second Christmas
“Presents Larry received for Christmas:
• Mom & Dad – 3 books, Raggedy Ann doll (which I still have), a fork and spoon set, ball, suit.
• Grandparenst, Glen and Elsie Pierce- xylophone set, wagon, stockings.
• Uncle Bill and Aunt Elizabeth Pierce -a Mother Goose book. (Forty six years later Uncle Bill and Aunt Elizabeth gave grand niece, Jane E., a Mother Goose book too.)
• Uncle Jack & Aunt Julie Pierce- toy lamb.
• Pearl & Alma Shafer (maternal grandparents) – blanket, toy truck.
• Aunt Aileen – toy dog.
• Aunt Eloise – wooden dog.”