An Important Instant

I had been working at the bakery on Sundays, running special deliveries to West side and East side groceries and delicatessens.  The union drivers never worked on Sunday, but the fresh bread, bagel, and hard rolls had to be delivered.  The drivers would leave orders for their customers who were open on Sunday, and, incidentally, had the best sales day of the  week.  We delivered and they got the credit and got paid the commission.

I would get up very early on Sunday morning, about 2:00 AM, get down to the bakery and load up one of the trucks with the boxes of bread, etc. The stores would open or they did not get the delivery until much later in the day, and they might miss an early morning sale, or we were allowed to leave the boxes by the front door.

As soon as all the deliveries were made, I would get home and get back to sleep for a  a few hours before breakfast.  As was my habit, after I would get up the second time, I would  have my breakfast and go into the living room and turn on the radio.  This time, I heard the radio already on and there my Dad was listening very intently.  “What’s going on, Dad?”, I  asked.  He shushed me, and said, “Listen”.  Soon I realized what was so important and really earth shaking.

I was 20 years old, but had not yet had my number picked for the draft.  I knew then that I would not wait to be drafted.  This was December 7, 1941; Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor.