by Jake Barnes

I remember a day in 1942 when I hid under our dining room table for half the afternoon. They sent us home from school early that day. I suppose it was just a practice drill, but I didn't hear the “practice” part. I was convinced that enemy bombers were on the way.


Nobody was home. My father was at work, and I don't know where my mother was. Maybe having coffee with a neighbor lady. When she came home and found me under the table, she took me by the hand and hauled me out. “Why in the world would they bomb us?” she asked. It was a good question. We were two hundred miles from the Twin Cities, fifty miles from Fargo. There was nothing whatsoever to bomb in my home town, unless maybe it was the arsenal that we Lutheran kids were told was in the basement of the Catholic Church.