Friday, October 07, 2011

The Home Front

Around this time of the year in 1944 we were just getting used to being in the 4th grade. Although life was pretty good,  there was always the realization that either the Germans or the Japanese could take it all away if we didn't win the war.

Ed guarding Fort 5th Street
We did what we could.....collecting and flattening tin cans, saving “silver paper,” and any metal scraps we could find.......helping turn off all the lights in the house during air raid warnings. (I swear I remember during one of the airplane dropped small sandbags which landed nearby our house....although that makes absolutely no sense....and everyone I've ever mentioned that to says I'm crazy. But then, I also remember hiding under my bed when a Nazi airplane “landed in my backyard.”

Although by today's standards, we would probably be considered poverty stricken, we had it good in those days. The only thing I can ever remember being “deprived” of was Hershey bars and bubble gum. (Once I found out the bubble gum was needed by the war Department for making tires, I lost my appetite for it and never chewed it again.).  Most of us were just average kids who didn't have much to begin with, so I guess we were unaware of what we “didn't have.”

Without a doubt, ours was a “blessed” generation, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of our parents' generation.....known as the “Greatest Generation.”

Albert Macuch  first row, second from left
I was reminded of those days a few years ago when an old broadcaster friend of mine was asked to make a copy of a tape recording that a friend's family discovered in their father's belongings after his death. He brought it over to my studio here in the house and once we listened to it.....we both decided that we had to do something with the tape besides “copying” it.

The result was a radio drama in the form that we grew up listening to..........but the difference is ......the narrator is Albert Macuch....the soldier who made the tape shortly before his death.

The Macuch B-17's final resting place

Basically, all we did was add some authentic sound efx (the sounds of B-17s taking off are actual B-17s, etc.) and a few audio clips made at the time by the BBC... and let Albert Macuch tell his own story.

If you have 30 minutes to spare sometime......take a listen. It starts a little slow.....but stick with it. It will be worth it.

The Albert Macuch Story