1943, Entertaining British Sailors in New England
In 1943 my father asked me what I would like for my 10th birthday. "A British sailor" I replied...and that's exactly what they got for me.
I was the youngest of five girls and we ranged in age from 10 to 18. Our home was a big old Victorian in Wellesley Hills, Mass...nothing fancy, just lots of rooms full of love.
Dad and I went to the Union Jack in Boston and came home with 2 British officers...a big mistake. They were exceedingly dull, snobbish and unappreciative. We almost gave up but decided to try our luck again and this time we hit the jackpot. One of the boys was just 16 and terribly homesick. He and his mate took to our family like a duck into water.
The first night was spent in playing jokes on each other...short-sheeting the beds, etc. and just becoming acquainted. I remember that, after I went to bed, I heard a sound like sobbing and tip-toed downstairs to see my mother cradeling the young sailor in her arms. I'm sure he got a good night's sleep after that.
During the war years we entertained over 126 sailors and one of them and his wife even came back in 1976 for my mother's 80th birthday celebration. I will never forget those years and the joy it felt to be part of their lives.