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1946 Was The Best Year

Cynthia Taggart is on vacation this week and turned the column over to readers. The following “Best Year” story is by Dorothy Carter Steiner of Libby, Mont.

My “Golden Year” was 1946. Everyone knows the stress of being a teenager. But when I was in my teens, the uncertainty and apprehension of life was compounded because World War II was going on.

I had a boyfriend in the engineers in Europe and my daddy was on a submarine in the South Pacific.

There was no escaping the reality, with constant reminders around us. Even the popular songs were war-oriented.

In the days before television, the radio and newspapers announced the devastation taking place.

At the movies, there was a strong reminder of the danger our servicemen were in. Before the main film, there was always a newsreel showing the horrors of the war across the seas.

Our only communication was by mail so the mailman was eagerly awaited. Many letters were cut up and disfigured by the censors. And even if a letter was received, there was no way to know if the loved one was still alive.

In the windows of some homes there hung flags with a gold star to indicate a serviceman from that family had been killed.

In school, we were encouraged to buy stamps to fill up our saver books, which we exchanged for war bonds. The government issued ration books to control the purchase of foods, shoes and gasoline among other things.

No one had a spare tire if, indeed, they had a car.

Whole families moved away to go to work in defense plants, taking our best friends with them.

So, 1946 became the best year of my life when my sweetheart and my Daddy came home. The terror, fear and worry finally ended with their safe return.

Have a blast

Even if you have kids, you can still party all night Sunday. The Post Falls Parks and Rec Department has party plans for the younger set.

The department will open Post Falls Junior High at 6 p.m. Sunday for kids ages 8-13. There’ll be games, music, fun and food until 9 a.m. Monday. It’ll take at least 20 kids to make this party happen, but the limit is 50.

For $10 per child, sounds like a good deal. Register at 773-0539 by Thursday. Sorry, no adults.

What you didn’t get for Christmas

Scrounge through the paper and boxes in the trash, but I don’t think you’ll find it. Face it, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s video library catalog was not under your tree this year.

Which is too bad. Who couldn’t use a video on the evils of tobacco or substance abuse or on the value of dental care? Or a video on avoiding communicable diseases?

Sure, laugh. But these videos may help you live through the next 20 years and then they’ll be collector’s items. Call 334-5928 to order your catalog.

New Year’s ball

No glass slippers and tight cummerbunds needed for the New Year’s Eve dance Sunday at the Mica Flats grange. This one’s a barn dance that’s attracted the fun folk and the same fiddler, Louie Anderson, for 60 years.

There’ll be some do-si-do-ing, a lot of two-stepping, and some polkas and waltzes for variety. Here’s the dance to take the family to. No liquor or smoking, just lots of sweat. Admission is $1.50 plus a plate of snacks. Call 664-4872.

Get busy

Forget resolutions. Let’s talk projects. I’m going to learn French and make everyone miserable while I’m doing it. What’s on your agenda that will turn 1996 into a fun year?

Boast about your plans to Cynthia Taggart, “Close to Home,” 608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene 83814; FAX to 765-7149; or call 765-7128.

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