prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Monday, December 30, 2013

(Army 1) Could not enlist, but could be drafted.

Pearl Harbor was on Sunday of December 7, 1941. I was 16. On Monday I listened to the President speak. The students of Pomona High School were all sitting in the auditorium to hear the speech. On Tuesday I rode the street car into Los Angeles and tried to join the Marines. I did not get very far before I failed the eye test. You could wear glasses in any branch of the Service but not in the Marines or Air Force.

Very disappointed I rode the street car back to Pomona. The street car was called the Red Car. They were soon taken out and replaced by busses. I walked from the street car to the office of an eye doctor. He informed me that yes I had bad eyes. They might have saved my life. Very soon the Marines landed on Guadalcanal.

Over the next year I tried to enlist in the Army and the Navy. Each time I was required to get the approval of my Father. I can remember phoning him several times and asking him for his approval. He always refused. He did not want me to get killed. We had never been real close. I am impressed that he worried that much about me. He was an invalid in a hospital after a severe stroke.

I got the idea to register for the draft and to lie about my age.  Said that I was 18 instead of 17. In two weeks I was ordered to duty!

That was a strange fact. I could be drafted into the Army and the permission of my Father was not required, but if I wanted to voluntarily enlist in the Army the permission of my Father was required.


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