Monday, August 8, 2011

Feeling the Climate of World War II (Part II)

Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor

            I was seven years old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec, 7, 1941—old enough to feel the atmosphere of our nation snapping to attention.

            Before that date in 1941 Americans wanted to believe that those two big oceans insulated us from war.  After all, the Nazis, who had marched all over Europe, didn’t threaten us.  And the Japanese – more trouble for China, and all those countries over there. 
            But the day the Japanese bombed Hawaii brought us all to realize that this was WAR.  This was serious. 
            Right away young men started enlisting in the Army and the Navy, and quickly companies that had been making automobiles for Americans converted to make airplanes and tanks and everything necessary to outfit a country that was in NO way ready for war. 
            Soldiers drilling at camps in the U.S. used wooden dummy rifles because every spare rifle was issued to soldiers going to War.  They used wooden mock-ups to simulate tanks, because we didn’t have many tanks, or anything else to fight a war.
            On December 7, 1941 America was in pitiful condition to fight a war, but that Sunday was the day when it all began to change, as nearly everyone went to war.  If not in uniform, then people went to work in defense industry jobs.  Food and gasoline and many other things were rationed. 
            If someone griped about the shortages of things for civilians, someone else quickly reminded him that there was a war on.
            Many Japanese Americans (over 100,000) were removed from their homes and put into internment camps. 

            I walked a mile to Franklin school (Port Arthur, TX) every morning for classes that started at 8:45, 9:23 or 10:01.  I always thought those were strangely precise times, like we were catching a train!
            Soon my brother, two years younger, joined me on the trips to and from school.  One day he found an old exhaust muffler that had dropped off a car, and dragged it home.  We built a mock machine gun and set it up in our back yard. 
            Then I gathered up all the scrap wood I could find and the two of us built a submarine right there in the yard. 
            We had a conning tower and a piece of 2” x 4” lumber for a periscope, and we had pieces of timber with nails sticking out to form the hull of our “boat”.  I didn’t realize that 18 years later I would be serving as a young officer aboard a real American submarine!
            One day I brought home an empty wooden egg crate from the grocery store near our house. When I dropped it on the ground, about one billion cockroaches ran out, in all directions, probably glad to join the war effort as residents at our house.
            We were both Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts, and both organizations pitched in to help collect scrap metal, scrap paper, kitchen fat and soap.  We learned how to live and survive in the woods, and we learned how to signal with semaphore and Morse code, and First Aid, and swimming.  The British guy (Lord Baden-Powell) who started the Boy Scouts knew what he was doing when boys all over the world learned the first basic things they would need to know,  living and fighting in jungles, forests, snowy tundra, or in deserts.

            Americans were challenged like never before.  Never in any war since, and that includes Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan—never has the American civilian population been so involved.  Here’s more about that time in our national life: 

            Adolph Hitler had heated the German people to white-hot hatred, and German troops marched all over Europe while we watched.  Most of Europe belonged to the Nazis before we even got into the fight. 
            When the Japanese attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, they thought they would prevent our navy from interfering with all their aggressive activities in the Pacific; with our navy knocked out, Americans would be demoralized.

            These are a few of the items I list in my World War II Collection. Some are in German, or French, or Polish, and if you know any of those languages, they’ll interest you.  The others are all in English, and they’re interesting too:

Bluejacket's Manual, United States Navy, 1940, Tenth Edition    1940    Annapolis, MD: United States Naval Institute.           When sailors joined the U.S. Navy in 1940, this is the book they studied.  The kept it close to their heart in boot camp, and it went in their seabag when they went aboard ship. This copy has owner's name on front free endpaper. Includes information for new recruits, information all Navy enlisted men must know: Discipline and Duty, Seamanship, Gunnery, Personal Hygiene and First Aid, Naval Customs, Shipboard Terminology, much more. 791 pp.  13 x 19 cm. Dark blue cloth on flexible board, Very good. (3436) $30.00.            Nautical/Educational/Reference

See Here, Private Hargrove, with foreword by Maxwell Anderson, eleventh printing by Hargrove, Marion 1943            Garden City, NY: The Sun Dial Press. 211 pp. 14 x 20 cm. This book was wildly popular near the start of World War II, made into a movie starring Eddie Bracken.  The life of an army private--high good humor. Cloth on board, very good.  Dj spine sunfaded, edges worn, fair.       (4021) $15.00. Humor/World War II  
Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer Lyric by Harold Adamson, Music by Jimmy McHugh, Featured by Carmen Cavallaro and his Orchestra      1943    New York, NY: Robbins Music Corporation    4 pp.    23 x 30 cm.      Popular World War II tune, cover features inset photo of Carmen Cavallaro.      Sheet music, moderate wear, good.       (7113) $10.00.   Music                                               

A Mother’s greeting to her soldier son….
 "Waiting to hear from you" , four-page greeting card from Mother to soldier son 1943 Worcester, MA:  11 x 14 cm.       Card from Mrs. Burdett in Worcester to Pvt. Kenneth Burdett in Camp Breckinridge, KY.        Greeting card, WWII, very good.  With envelope.  (2908) $10.60. Ephemera                                            

If you read German, here is a fine piece of Nazi propaganda. Even if you don’t read German you’ll quickly see the kind of enemy America faced:       

Der Grosse Deutsche Feldzug Gegen Polen, [The Great German Campaign in Poland] Eine Chronik Des Krieges in Wort und Bild; Herausgegeben im Einvernehmen mit dem Reichsbildberichterstatter der NSDDAP, Prof. Heinrich Hoffman, Geleitwort Generaloberst Von Reichenau [Text in German] ca. 1940 Vienna, Austria:  Verlag Für Militär Und Fächliteratur A. Franz Göth & Sohn.  Triumphant book of pictures and German text extolling German march into Poland in 1939, with many references to the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919. Geleitwort [Preface by] Generaloberst Von Reichenau. [Many photos of Adolf Hitler and his generals, happy “liberated” Germans in Danzig and other cities in Poland greeting Hitler and his troops with enthusiastic "heils".  Many spirited exhortations from A. Hitler, General von Brauchitich, Field Marshal Hermann Göring, Admiral Raeder. Pictures of children presenting flowers to troops. Picture of truckload of Jews, text notes that a million Jews live in Poland. This is one of many propaganda pieces created by the Nazis to "explain" their attack against the “aggressive” Poles to "rescue" the beleagured Germans in the City of Danzig. Der Feldzug in Polen; Zusammenfassende Darstellung, Die polnische Wehrmacht; Der polnische Angriffsplan; Ziel und Anlage der deutschen Operationen.  Maps show how German troops stormed across Polish border, with attacks from Czechoslovakia, Germany and East Prussia; Drives on Lodz, Warsaw and Krakow. Maps show attacks as of 2, 6, 11, 14, 18 and 19 September. Last two maps show attacks from East by Soviet troops. Full-page portrait photos of Göring, Von Brauchitsch, Halder, von Rundstedt, von Bock, List, von Reichenau, von Kluge, von Küchler, Keitel, Guderian, Hoepner, Strauss, Hoth, Schmidt, von Briefen, Reinhardt, Kübler, Olbricht, Admirals Albrecht, and Schniewind. 344 pp. 22 x 32 cm.Green cloth on board, front and back hinges cracked, inside front hinge mended with black plastic tape, but front board loose; frontispiece of Hitler loose, top 6 cm of each page warped from moisture.  On front free endpaper is inscription: "Sgt. H. White, Salzburg '45". All pictures and text completely readable, clear. Poor. (7697) $95.00. World War II/Propaganda

“I Fight” was the essential document that told German citizens all they needed to know about being a Nazi, the Nazi Way of Life, the German concept of Freedom. [in German]

Ich Kämpfe (I Fight); Die Pflichten des Partei-Genossen. Original 1943 Edition of famed Nazi Propaganda Booklet, In German by Hitler, Adolf; Rosenberg, Alfred; Goebbels, Dr. 1943 München, Deutschland: Zentralverlag der NSDAP Franz Eher Nachf.  Treuegelöbnis; Ich Gelobe meinem Führer Adolf Hitler Treue. Ich Verspreche, Ihm und Den Führern, Die er Mir Bestimmt, Jederzeit Achtung Und Gehorsam Entgegenzubringen. Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. This booklet was issued to new members of the Nazi Party in 1943; Subjects covered include the SS, the SA, NSFK, NSF, NSKK, Promise of Loyalty to the Führer, Program of the NSDAP, the German Concept of Freedom, the National Socialist Revolution, Honor List of the Martyrs of the Movement, Our Will, the Responsibilities of Political Leaders, the National Socialist Way of Life, the Responsibility of Party Members, Dates in the History of the NSDAP, etc., etc. Sections written by various Nazi leaders, including Rosenberg and Goebbels.  Excellent photos of Nazi Youth, children, soldiers; Color Portrait of Hitler, other color photos. 97 pp. 21 x 24 cm Paper booklet, cover in tan color with embossed Nazi eagle and swastika and leaf border design. Lightly soiled. Last page has several chips in page edge. Very good. (7387) $90.00. World War II/Germany.

Two issues of “Signal” a Nazi Photo Magazine…[in German]
Signal, Sonderausgabe der "Berliner  Illustrierten Zeitung" 1 Oktoberheft 1940 D Nr. 13 [in German] 1940 Berlin, Germany: Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung. Nazi Photo Magazine published 1940-45, propaganda organ widely distributed during World War II. Cover shows black & white photo of German warplane flying at low altitude over English Channel, "Im Mittelpunkt des Weltinteresses: Ein Blick über den Kanal nach England". Lead article, " 35 Kilometer vir Englands Küste.." includes  large photo showing Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring  on the Flanders coast looking toward England with binoculars. Photo essay shows Nazi bombers bombing English targets, "Bomben werden eingeklinkt; Bomben werden aüsgeklinkt". Another large photo shows aerial view of London from 9000 meters, with German bomb hits identified. "Umschwung in Romänien" story about Romanian King Carol and Romania, with historical photos, photo of foreign correspondents in Wald von Compiègne. 48 pp. 27 x 36 cm. Periodical, incomplete: Missing pp. 9-10. Thus, poor.  (7827) $21.00. World War II/History

Signal, Sonderausgabe der "Berliner  Illustrierten Zeitung" 2 Oktoberheft 1940 D Nr. 14 [in German] 1940 Berlin, Germany: Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung. Nazi Photo Magazine published 1940-45, propaganda organ widely distributed during World War II. Cover shows black & white photo of Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop, Italian Count Galleazzo Ciano and Japanese Ambassador Saburo Kurusu. "Der Dreier-Pakt ist unterzeichnet: Ribbentrop, Ciano und Kurusu verlassen die Reichskanslei". (Tripartite Pact is signed by Ribbentrop, Ciano and Kurusu for Germany, Italy and Japan.)  Lead article: " Japan im Dreimächtepakt"  several photos show "Peace-loving" Japanese troops playing with Chinese children, feeding a Chinese baby, and giving an old Chinese man a cigarette. Another photo shows Hitler, Kurusu, Ciano, Ribbentrop, with caption, "Die Unterzeichnung des Paktes".  "Zwischen Neufundland und Kap Horn; Der britische Ausverkauf in der westlichen Hemisphäre"(Between Newfoundland and Cape Horn, the British sell-out in the western hemisphere.) with full-page map of North and South America. Photo essay "Im Gespräch mit dem Reichsaußenminister; Eine Bildfolge aus dem Hauptquartier" (Interview with the Foreign Minister, photos from the headquarters)  features nine photos of Adolf Hitler. "hieraus zieht man seine Schlüsse" shows work in Aerodynamic research in wind tunnel.  "Italians Luftwaffe"  shows photos of Italian warplanes. "Auf der  Höhe der Zeit"  shows how German military doctors take care of German soldiers. One photo shows a hospital corpsman attending to a wounded soldier, another shows a soldier carrying "Lebenselixier in Flaschen" and another shows surgeons at work in operating room. Another shows pretty Krankenschwestern und freiwilligen Helferinnen des Roten Kreuzes (Volunteer nurses and helpers of the Red Cross) helping recovering soldier; final picture shows recovering soldiers relaxing at Autobahn-Rasthaus am Chiemsee, with pretty nurses lounging around them.  "Mut und Haltung entscheiden-- Schulpforta: Tradition und Zukunft einer Nationpolitischen Erziehungsanstalt."  Two pages of photos of young men developing themselves-- boxing, marching in the fields, with gymnastics, swimming, studying, etc. "Umschwung in Rumänien" Part II. "Weisst Dü, wie ich wirklich bin? -- Ein junges Mädchen zeigt - wie viele Gesichter es hat" features photos of young women. 48 pp. 27 x 36 cm. Periodical, incomplete: Missing pp. 9-10. Thus, poor. (7828) $26.00. World War II/History

This one’s in English…
Our Battle, being one man's answer to "My Battle" (Mein Kampf) by Adolph Hitler by Hendrik Willem Van Loon, 1938. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Struck by the apathy with which Americans greeted Hitler's rolling conquest of Europe, a great historian issues this call to Americans to awaken, rearm and resist.  He cites apathy of New Yorkers after their Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, was jeered, and Hitler cheered. October 12, 1838 was... a day of disgrace. 139 pp. 13 x 21 cm. Yellow paper on board, paper on spine nearly detached, penciled name, etc. on ffep, good. (0125) $20.00. World War II/History

Biography of Former Political Prisoners in German Camp System

In Polish:
 Nazi Death Camps: Biografia Bylych Wiezniow Politycznych Niemieckich Obozow Koncentracyjnych [Translated: Biography of Former Political Prisoners in the German Concentration Camp System]  Tom I [Vol. I]  Text in Polish. By Komitet Wykonawczy Gladysz, Dr. Inz. Antoni; Szymerski, Andrzej 1974 Philadelphia, PA Wydawnictwo "Promyk".  This book, all in Polish, contains a large collection of photos and drawings and text telling the stories of people who were sent to Hitler's Concentration Camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dachau,  Majdanek, Bergen-Belsen, Plaszów, Buchenwald, Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen and more. Many pictures of corpses stacked one upon another, starving children, naked women and children  do komór gazowych w obozie koncentracyjnym w Treblince;  three ranks of naked boys, ages 12 to 15 at Mauthausen. Also interior view of crematorium. Several pages are devoted to text and drawings of the story of Father Maximillian Maria Kolbe, at Auschwitz (Oswiecim), who offered himself to be poisoned by the Nazis, that another man might be saved. Bolesne Wspomnienia. Recollections of Piotr Abraszewski, Franciszke Bak, Dr. Stefan Benedykt,  Fr. Andrzej Bialoglowski, Wladyslaw Budweil, Antoni Kaputa, Fr. Jozef Chmiel, Kasper Ciolkosz, Ks. Andrzej Czelusniak, Tadeusz Dziekanowski, Ks. Stefan Flisiak, Marian Gabriel, Ks. Franciszek J. Gabryl,  Ks. Pralat Tadeusz Gaik, Janina B. Gazdajska, Ks. Pralat Jozef Gluszek, Felicja Oswit-Grzegorzewska, Juliusz L. Grzedziel, many more. Konferencja Delegatow Zviazkow Bylych Wiezniow Politycznych i Ruchu Oporu w Sprawie Odszkodowan --w Wiedniu 25-26 Czerwca 1973 Roku.  368 pp. 28 x 22 cm. Decorated white cloth on board with drawing of concentration camp, with prisoner slumped on barbed wire, with "Arbeit Macht Frei" on arch above. Fine condition. No dustjacket. (4865) $195.00. World War II/History

Fence at Nazi Concentration Camp at Auschwitz

United States Naval Institute Proceedings, August 1938, Vol. 64 No. 426 Stewart, G.V., Captain, USN, Editor 1938                Annapolis, MD: United States Naval Institute. Pre-World War II issue includes excellent photos of British, French, German and Italian warships, including Dunkerque, Admiral Graf Spee and Nürnberg. "A Fast Battle Wing" by G.H. Hoffman. "The Passing of the Cadet Engineers" by Captain J.M. Ellicott, USN (Ret.). relates his visit to President Rutherford B. Hayes to win an appointment to the Naval Academy. Includes photos of engineer cadets at Annapolis, classes of 1875-78. "Hwang Tsao" by LCDR Glenn Howell, USN (Ret.). "Lessons Learned in Shanghai in 1932" by LCDR H.H. Smith-Hutton, USN. "Professional Notes" includes London report that Ambassador Kennedy hopes to get a trade agreement with Great Britain and West Indies bases.  Germany's New Fleet. Great Britain: Relationship Between Diplomacy and Strategy. Italy's Modern Navy.  Check to Japanese War Movement. Many ads for shipbuilders and naval equipment. 152 pp. + adv. 17 x 25 cm. Paper periodical, owner name on cover, very good.  (7922) $28.00. Navy/World War II

In English:
"The Warsaw Ghetto no longer exists" [Es gibt keinen jüdischen Wohubezirk - in Warschau mehr!] From the Warsaw Ghetto Archivesof Alexander Ben. Bernfes--the story of the Nazis' extermination of the Polish Jews by Bernfes, Alexander Ben. 1973 London, England: Orbis Publishing Ltd. Collection of photos showing how the Nazis steadily squeezed the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, then systematically exterminated them.  They were sent to Treblinka, where they used monoxide gas, but then Hoess, commandant at Auschwitz used Zyklon B, crystallized prussic acid, which was "much more efficient."  Photos show how Nazis tightened their grip on the Ghetto in Autumn 1941; dehumanizing techniques, baiting of Jews, shooting children who slipped into the Aryan areas to steal food, children branded as human vermin. Making Jews dig graves for themselves. Photos of many corpses, including children. In charge of this: Jürgen Stroop, SS-Brigadeführer and Majorgeneral of Police. He was executed in Warsaw, the site of his greatest crimes, on 8 Sept. 1951. "May this record of infamy perpetrated against my people, portraying with total authenticity the life and annihilation of the Warsaw Ghetto, help to perpetuate their hallowed memory. Gloria Victis."-- Alexander Ben. Bernfes, Jewish Martyrs' Graves Commission. 64 pp. 22 x 29.5 cm. Paper booklet very good. (8003) $20.00. World War II/Holocaust

Voice of Britain, The: Churchmen, Statesmen, Publicists, Doctors, Scientists and Sportsmen on Hitlerism by Austen Chamberlain, Sir; Churchill, Winston; Lloyd George, David; Barrie, James; Archbishop of Caterbury, et al. ca. 1934 London, England: McCorquodale & Co. Ltd. Collection of statements by prominent British citizens against the rise of Hitlerism, particularly the racial attacks on Jews in Germany. Includes statements by Archbishops of York and Canterbury, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool, leaders of the United Methodist Church, Rt. Hon. Sir Austen Chamberlain, Rt. Hon Winston Churchill, Rt. Hon. David Lloyd George, the Late Viscount Grey of Fallodon, Rt. Hon. Walter Elliot, Rt. Hon. W.G.A. Ormsby-Gore, The Countess of Oxford and Asquith, editorials by J.L. Garvin, Editor of The Observer, Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, Sir William Arbuthnot Lane and Tennis Champions Austin and Perry. 16 pp. 13.8 x 21.4 cm. Pamphlet, very good. (7813) $45.00. World War II/Anti-Fascist            

Child’s drawing of “Arrest” of Polish people by Nazis

[In Polish]
W Oczach Dzieci: 10 lat Polski Ludowej w rysunkach dzieciecych [Through the Eyes of Children: 10 Years of the Polish People] In Polish. Zagala, Boleslaw; Jackiewiczowa, Elzbieta 1954 Warszawa, Poland: Nasza Ksiegarnia Warszawa.  Collection of delightful, full-color drawings by children during the years of World War II when Nazis occupied the country. Drawings include one labeled Wysadzenie pociagu niemieckiego przez partizantow polskich [Polish partisans blowing up German train], by Andrzej Wolniewicz, 13. Ewa Mehl, 7 draws a picture "Daddy Takes a Walk" shows prisoners in a concentration camp. Janina Piekarska, 14, drew a picture of Nazi soldiers arresting Polish people, all shown kneeling.  The children captured the terror and cruelty, and the heroism of liberators, and then rebuilding the country after the war. This copy has mimeographed summary in English pasted in front of book, and translation of titles of drawings pasted in back of book. ~85 pp. 28 x 20.6 cm. Blue-grey cloth on board, front hinge cracked, text block good, with added sheets containing translations. Good. (5377) $55.00. World War II/Poland

[In French]
Stories about the Nazi Occupation of France, and the French Resistance… 
Le Livre des Otages, la politique des otages menée par les Autorités allemandes d'Occupation en France de 1941 à 1943; Préface de Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier  [Story of French Hostages during Occupation of France by Germans in World War II.] [In French.] by Klarsfeld, Serge   1979 Paris, France: Les Éditeurs Français Réunis.  Preface by Auschwitz survivor. Author has collected files which detail arrests of French citizens by Nazis during World War II, for various crimes, including "communists", "Recrutement de membres our le PCF clandestin", "Activité terroriste", more. Photos include those of key S.S. officers Lischka, Hagen, Heinrichsohn.  Files reproduced in book include reports from Romainville camp, detailing Raisons de la désignation comme otage, passé et activités politiques. Un des ouvrages les plus émouvants et les plus révélateurs de l'histoire de l'occupation et de la résistance. 295 pp. 13 x 21.5 cm. Trade paperback, text block loose from cover, good. (1682) $42.00. World War II


  1. Sam:

    This is terrific. I don't remember if I'd shared this with you before, but at age 7, I was the first one in my immediate family to learn of the Pearl Harbor attack.

    It was a nice Sunday afternoon in New Orleans and we'd been out riding around as people used to do back then. Not sure, but if memory serves me, we'd gone to the French Market for coffee and beignets -- only the latter foe my brother and me. We'd arrived home and as soon as the car stopped, my brother and I raced for the front door for the "honor" of opening it. (I always won -- 7 beat 5 every time.)

    It was unlocked of course because in 1941 there was no problem with leaving your home that way. I opened the door and as I went in the phone began to ring. Answering it first was also a great "honor." The phone was naturally hard-wired in a little nook in the hallway that all new houses had then. It was about the fourth ring when I picked it up. It was my aunt (by marriage) Marie. Our dialogue went like this:

    Me: Hello ...

    Her: Fritzie are your mother and daddy there?

    Me: Yes, they're just coming into the house ...

    Her: Let me talk to your mother ...

    Me: Mother, it's Marie. She wants to talk to you ...

    Her: (not to me, but I was holding the phone to my ear while waiting for Mother to take it) The GODDAMNED JAPS HAVE BOMBED PEARL HARBOR!!

    That meant almost nothing to me, so I handed the phone to Mother. Of course it turned out to mean a lot to both Marie and Mother. My uncle, her husband, was Mother's older brother. He was a major in the National Guard. He'd already been called up and was at Ft. Sill. What the Pearl Harbor attack meant was that he was going to war. It had added meaning for Marie, because her younger brother was a U.S. Army enlisted man in the Philippines.

    My uncle had a distinguished wartime career as an artillerist with Simpson's Ninth Army. Unfortunately, Marie's brother died during the Bataan Death March.

    I've been a student of the Pearl Harbor attack ever since that day. The Philippine campaign also fascinated me. When I went through jungle survival training in early 1967 before going to Vietnam it was in the jungle adjacent to Cubi Point at the northern end of the Bataan Peninsula. I had some eerie deja vu sensations, that's for sure.

    Sam... your blog is a treasure.


  2. This was interesting. I learned some things. I always thought you had single-handedly built both submarines. The second one was probably more elegant than the first one, with hot and cold running cockroaches, etc. I remember the muffler. I was thinking what a great machine gun it would make. Come to think of it, our parents were really broad-minded, letting us build those things. Another amazing thing was that Dad brought home a set of 2 X 4 blocks about 11±1 inches long, and we would build towers as high as we could reach, like dominoes. When we pulled out the bottom board that must have been heard as far as Freddie and Willard McDougall's house, or at lest at Huell Chandler's house, across Vicksburg Ave. It wouldn't bother Dad, but Mom had ultra-sensitive ears.

  3. This was interesting. I learned some things. I always thought you had single-handedly built both submarines. The second one was probably more elegant than the first one, with hot and cold running cockroaches, etc. I remember the muffler. I was thinking what a great machine gun it would make. Come to think of it, our parents were really broad-minded, letting us build those things. Another amazing thing was that Dad brought home a set of 2 X 4 blocks about 11±1 inches long, and we would build towers as high as we could reach, like dominoes. When we pulled out the bottom board that must have been heard as far as Freddie and Willard McDougall's house, or at least at Huell Chandler's house, across Vicksburg Ave. It wouldn't bother Dad, but Mom had ultra-sensitive ears.