Seven was always lucky number

It was 1947 in good old Warren. That year certainly didn’t hold the drama that 1946 did. Even though the U.S. was at peace for a while, we still worried about the atomic bomb and Russia. Shortages had just about come to an end.

It was the year that Dad lost his mom and I lost my dog, Nickie. Even though Grandma was much more important, many can vouch for how close a kid and his pet can become.

I was 11 and it was a little difficult transitioning from the sixth grade at Garfield Elementary to seventh grade that September at East Junior. We could now race down the hallways at full tilt to get to the next class and we no longer had to stand in neat little lines for almost everything as it was at Garfield. Putting a padlock on my bike was deemed necessary now, and it was tougher to make it all the way home for lunch. I stayed at school at lunch time on rainy days and learned what clear soup was in the cafeteria. I think it was yellow hot water.

It was a chance to meet new friends and to go to dances on Friday nights at East’s gymnasium — chaperoned by a few faculty members and our principal, Raymond Glass. It seemed almost instantaneous, but somehow girls weren’t such a pain anymore.

We had a bit more homework, but it wasn’t too difficult to adjust.

Mr. Howard, our wood shop teacher, had us make a clothesline winder as a main project. We turned the wooden handles on the shop’s lathe. It was a pretty sturdy design, because I still have mine and use it to wind up my outdoor electrical cords. Nature study was a bit difficult, especially after our cat ate most of my insect collection that I had all ready to turn in.

Cars were coming off the assembly lines a little more quickly now, and the ’47 models differed very little from the ’46 models. Dad was able to trade in our ’41 Buick at Clyde Cole’s on East Market Street for a shiny black ’47 Buick. Although it was pretty and was able to take us to the East Coast for a family vacation for the first time since 1941, too much heat was generated from the engine compartment and we were nearly roasted from traveling to and from the coast. We traded it for a ’47 Pontiac at McClain Pontiac.

In spite of more new cars being available, many Warrenites depended on the buses to get around. So the bus company had to make runs available every 15 minutes in order to meet the demand during peak hours.

Our Emmanuel Lutheran Church caught fire that early fall, and even though it wasn’t too badly damaged, we couldn’t go to services there until the next spring. We went to candlelight (without the candles) Christmas Eve services at the West Junior auditorium.

When it didn’t seem to our minister that our congregation was contributing enough to rebuild the church, he called us all thieves. He spoke from the pulpit of a neighboring church. I remember trying to slouch down out of sight in the pew when he called us that. I guess my 25 cents a week just didn’t cut it.

Lionel Trains provided a wonderful line of post-war “O” gauge electric trains and Santa (dad) provided me with a beautiful set.

Wow! I sometimes wonder about what portion of that electric train was for me and what portion was for dad.

Seven was my lucky number and I considered 1947 to be lucky, too. Just think, only 5 more years and I would be all done with school. Little did I realize that further education was on the docket — without even considering having to serve in the U.S. armed forces.

columns@tribtoday.com

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