Ingenuity got us through tough times
Trade is the life's blood that distributes goods and services throughout the world. We buy Central America's bananas and we ship them our lutefisk. Just kidding, but you get the general idea. To provide this service, shipping lanes must remain op...
Trade is the life's blood that distributes goods and services throughout the world. We buy Central America's bananas and we ship them our lutefisk. Just kidding, but you get the general idea.
To provide this service, shipping lanes must remain open and free flow of goods maintained.
However, trade wars lead to disruptions of commerce with shortages and may threaten a nation's survival. Then war erupts. Conscription will raise armies and navies for defense and hopefully overpower foes.
In war, supplies will be arbitrarily allocated and equally distributed by rationing. Examples: four gallons of gas, one pint of oil per week, per auto; one pair of shoes per year, etc., all purchased by requisite national coupons, and don't forget the inflated money.
Central to all of this was the complete curtailment of all civilian auto production from December 1941 to the end of 1945. We kept our cars running with salvaged parts and baling wire.
After high school, I retreaded tires in a shop where I ground down the tread and circled the tire with a thick new tread and cooked it in a steel mold under extreme heat and pressure. I prayed it would not fall apart with fast speed limits of 40 mph.
When the old tractor broke down, my buddy and I assembled one out of a truck frame with a double transmission for extra power. It ran for years.
This was the day of Yankee ingenuity. We never said, "No can do."
Eventually, everybody got into the act. Coffee shops roughed the bottoms of mugs to simulate missing sugar. Butchers served re-treaded pork chops and T-bones. And everything was tried for coffee substitutes.
When the war ended, the pent-up demand for nylons led to women's riots in several cities. However, one should have actually been there to witness the surge in patriotism that never wavered for those years.
America had other demons to confess and began to look inward to clarify the deeper meanings of our so-beautifully crafted words to the world. We seemed to have lost the art of compromise and regressed to baser motives and cruder expressions.
May this bitter and unnatural strife cease, or we will be moving away from our shining beacon on the hill.
In plain English, reclaim our great heritage of word and deed and keep in reverence the Almighty.
Paul Lampi is a retired Denfeld history teacher.