The Year of 1943 (I was 16 years old)
What was happening in the world:
- The war in Europe begins to turn against Germany.
- German forces are in retreat in North Africa and in Russia.
- Berlin is now under heavy daily bombings.
- US sends massive aid, including 2,600 aircraft to aid Russian forces.
- The Nazis escalate their extermination of Jews - 56,000 are murdered in the Warsaw ghetto (I visited there 46 years later in 1989).
- Allies bomb Rome for the first time and Mussolini is ousted from power.
- In an attempt to avoid a likely defeat, Italy reverses its course and declares war on Germany.
- Despite this, U.S. Forces under Patton invade southern Italy and capture Monte Cassino south of Rome after a last-ditch German holdout (I saw it 48 yrs later).
- Daily US bombings have destroyed much of Germany's oil reserves in Romania and the Nazi juggernaut is running out of fuel.
What was happening in the USA:
- Price controls and rationing now affects nearly all U.S. commodities - including shoes.
- FDR orders US troops to take over the striking coal mines of John L. Lewis.
- The Jefferson Memorial in Washington is completed and opened to the public.
- Guadal Canal Diary by Ernie Pyle is a Best Seller.
- The World's largest office building - the Pentagon - is dedicated just outside of Washington, D.C. in Arlington, Virginia.
- The Great Depression ends (officially) in the US and Frankling D. Roosevelt closes the Works Progress Administration as unemployment numbers fall fast due to the War effort.
What was happening in sports:
- In the Rose Bowl, it was Georgia 9 - UCLA 0.
- In the World Series, the Yankees beat St. Louis 4 games to 1 game.
- In the NFL Championship game, it was Chicago 41 - Washington 21.
- The Heisman Trophy went to Angelo Bertelli of Notre Dame.
- The national champion of College Football was Notre Dame.
- The national champion of College Basketball was Wyoming.
What was happening at the movies:
- Best movie was Casablanca.
- Best actor was Paul Lukas in Watch on the Rhine.
- Best actress was Jennifer Jones in Song of Bernadette.
- Other great movies were:
- For Whom the Bell Tolls (Gary Cooper)
- Oklahoma, Guadal Canal Diary (William Bendix)
- Phantom of the Opera (Claude Rains)
Memorable songs were:
- Across the Alley from the Alamo (Mills Bros)
- The Very Thought of You
- Far Away Places with Strange Sounding Names
- Begin the Beguine
- When its Springtime in the Rockies (Kate Smith)
- Frank Sinatra was crooning his way to fame and fortune
What was happening in my life:
- I was 16 years old and in my 11th year of High School at Fremont. In general, it was not a happy move from Roosevelt to Fremont. Nearly all of us would have preferred to finish our schooling at our old school.
- These were the days of my Clubhouse Collections at our 19th Avenue place: Big Little Books; My U.S. Stamp Collection; My WW I war souvenirs; and of course, my Petty Girl magazines.
- These were also the days of my Burl Ives collection and Cactus Jack Country-Western music. Ray Robinson, my idol, was voted the greatest boxer of all time.
- Prince Valiant and Harold Foster were two of my first “Artist” heroes. This was a time of my life when art and drawing were the major interests of my life.
What was happening in 1944 ---->
The remnants of my stamp collection
My older sister Betty sold the rest at a garage sale.
Bob at 16
I was in the 11th grade at Fremont. I was still bigger than Rich and I could have smacked his ears off.
The Furniture Warehouse at 30th and San Pablo
They were the sponsor of “Cactus Jack” – my favorite Country/Western station.
An extraordinary collection of photographs
Fishing Baja 2000
Fishing the Sea of Cortez off Cerralvo Island
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