A Wartime Encounter!

By Joanne Sears Lewis


(From the April 2007 Senior Bulldogs News)



I remember the camouflage nets over Lockheed during World War II!


I also remember the troops in camouflage that used to do their training in the old, overgrown grape vineyards that was then call the Ben Mar Hills tract along Walnut Avenue. Sometimes, not often, these soldiers came up the alley between Fairmount and Walnut in full camouflage, carrying guns and wearing helmets.


In those days before smog rules and recycling, we were still burning our trash in backyard incinerators. I was out one morning (it must have been in the summer or on a Saturday), stuffing the concrete stove full of our trash. Suddenly I looked up, and there was a soldier - he was probably all of eighteen - all suited up and armed, walking by our back fence. My eyes popped. Our chickens clucked and flew up onto their roost. Our ducks tried to stuff themselves into the corner of the chicken wire pen.


The soldier, just as startled and embarrassed as I, lowered his eyes and slid by as softly and swiftly as he could. I stood frozen for a full two minutes before stuffing in the last of the meat wrappers and milk cartons, and putting a match to the lot.


I wasn't scared, just proud of these guys and curious about their lives in the barracks on Glenoaks Avenue.


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