November 18, 2010
Spearsville is ordinarily a very uneventful place but it seems more so than usual; however, the Clements did have guests over the week end — cousins for New Iberia. Her sister, Tracy Daigretont from Delaware, has come for an extended visit. It will be so good for Denise to have family with her for a while. Several of us are nursing bad colds — Billy Rea, Denise Clements, and I. We are just staying in, trying to keep from spreading theses germs.
This past week we celebrated Veteran’s Day and were reminded again of the many sacrifices that have made on our behalf, down through the years, so that we may continue to enjoy all the freedoms that we take for granted each day. We salute those and say a special thank you for those who have served and those who are serving today. It was good to especially remember Purvis Christian who was captured when his plane was shot down over Germany WWII, as related in last week’s BANNER, and for the next year he was a POW.
I was just a small child when the training for WWII began in earnest in and around Spearsville. Soldiers were all over the country side and though the woods playing war games; divided up into reds and blues. We had never seen anything like it. Even though money was very scarce people readily dug into their pockets and bought cokes for the boys when they came to town. Of course, $1 would buy 20 cokes. Everybody was very patriotic trying t o do their part in the war effort. The young men joined up and the others who were too old or were disabled bought Savings Bonds & Stamps. We were told that if the children would collect tin foil from the gum wrappers and cigarette packages this would be a big help. My father owned a dry cleaning business in this little “metropolis” and Spearsville was my babysitter; therefore, I had an excellent opportunity to go around and scrounge for foil. We pretty much had free rein but if we ventured too far from our invisible boundaries someone from this village would holler at us to come back (It does, indeed, take a village). When we had collected all the wrappers and packages we could find, Joan Bennett (her parents had Paw-Paw Rockett’s old store), my sister Shirley and I would go down to the school and sit under the old auditorium, where it was cool, and strip the foil from the waxed paper and roll the foil into small balls. We didn’t have any idea how we were helping out in the war effort, we were just told we were. It was not until two or three years ago, while talking to Purvis Christian and relating this story, that I finally found out how it helped and, indeed, it did. Purvis told me that he sat in the back of the warplane and threw out oodles of little balls of foil to confuse the radar of the enemy planes. He had no idea that thousands of children all across this country, were balling these up, but he did know that hundreds of planes and lives were saved with these little balls of tin foil. As I remember this, I am so thankful that I played some part in helping our troops in enemy territory, so that they could, safely, return home to their families once more. I look forward to more stories in THE BANNER from Purvis.
The committee of the Little Yellow House Photo Gallery is accepting pictures of our veterans from Spearsville as well as any other old pictures that you might have of old families, churches, schools or just pictures of interest from long ago. We need you help on this. This weather is just right for digging around in the trunk or cedar chest for those things that you could share.
“Thought for the Day“
What lies behind us and what lies before us are time matters compared to what lies within us. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Barbara Walton is a resident of Spearsville and has had a column in the Bernice Banner for several years. She writes about the People and Happenings of Spearsville.