With our December issue we have the pleasure of introducing our readers to Terrie Farley Moran, who wrote “Jake Says Hello.” In this segment of How’d That Happen, Terrie describes her fascination with the 1940s, the period in which her story takes place.
Long before Tom Brokaw named them The Greatest Generation, even before Studs Terkel wrote his stunning oral histories: Hard Times: An Oral History of the Depression and The Good War: An Oral History of World War 11, the generation just before mine, those born in the 1920s, knew they lived in extraordinary times. And, at least in my family, they were a generation of story tellers.
We grew up surrounded by tales of death, child labor, untended illness, prohibition, bootleg liquor, politicians, gangsters, cops, robbers, home evictions, hunger, religion and orphanages. When conversation turned to the war years, the men were strangely silent but the women talked about “the war effort.” After more than a decade of lean years, the war had brought jobs and money, but there was little in the way of things to buy.