Tag Archives: William J. Anderson

Pearl Harbor Day and Ration Book Threaten Christmas Cookies

PEARL HARBOR DAY: DECEMBER 7 Two days from now we mark Pearl Harbor Day. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, it changed the way Americans lived. And it made many changes in our family. Here are three men in uniform at Guy and Vera Anderson’s home in Killbuck, Ohio.

World War II Vets

Herbert and Bill Anderson and Frank Fair 1942

Men all over the country flocked to recruiting stations. Above is a picture taken in 1942 of part of our family’s contribution to the war.  My uncles Herbert Guy Anderson and William J. Anderson joined the Navy and were assigned to the Seabees. Both of them served in the Pacific, on small islands that we had never heard of before, and couldn’t find because their letters were heavily censored and we couldn’t get the name.s They liked to say that although the Marines claimed to be the first ashore on Pacific islands, the Seabees were there first, building the landing sites and airstrips.

The third man in the photo is my cousin Frank Fair, who was a pilot for the Army Air Force. The picture below shows another cousin, Donovan Anderson, grand-nephew of my grandfather, who joined the Coast Guard.  Not pictured is my cousin Robert Anderson, who also joined the Navy.  He and his father had at least one reunion in Hawaii during the war! Bob was actually too young to enlist–but that’s a story for another day.

Donovan Anderson

Donovan Anderson Late 1940’s Coast Guard

We were fortunate that all of these family members returned from the war with no physical damage.

HOME FRONT

On a less serious note, our Christmas Cookies were in danger because sugar was rationed, with the use of ration cards.

The life of civilians was affected by Pearl Harbor Day, too.  My mother and father and a three-year-old me lived in New Philadelphia, Ohio.  Dad had lost the sight in one eye as a child, plus he had a hernia, which was cause for his draft board to excuse him from service. But wanting to play his part, he walked the streets at night as an Air Raid Warden–watching for any light seeping out of windows during blackouts.  Even in New Philadelphia, Ohio, people were being careful that the Japanese or the Germans would not be able to drop bombs on their town because of someone carelessly leaving a light shining up to alert the bombers.

Perhaps the biggest change in daily life because of Pearl Harbor Day and subsequent events,  revolved around food.  I will devote an entire article (or maybe two) to that subject in the future, but for now, I wanted to share this World War II ration  book with you.

World War II Ration Book

World War II Ration Book

Mother went down to the Ration Registrars office on May 5, 1942 and got ration books for each family member–even the 3-year-old.  She signed for this one that is in my father’s name. There are three stamps left.

She also signed for one for me, Vera Marie Kaser, described as 3’2″, 34 lb., Brown eyes, Brown hair, 3 years old.

I learned from the Ames Iowa website (no longer current), that the ration books I have were the first issued after Pearl Harbor Day, and they were for sugar.

On the back of my ration book is a notation in pencil in my mother’s hand, “15 and 16 canning sugar” and  another pencil notation in someone else’s hand, “6-2-42 20#”. There is also a typewritten note, “8-25-42-19# second half canning allotment.”

On the back of Paul Kaser’s ration book, the typed notation says “8-25-42 – 29# second half canning allotment.” (that doesn’t mean 29# of sugar, it means stamp #29 was used.) At any rate, even with rationed sugar, the Christmas cookies and birthday cakes kept coming out of the oven, despite Pearl Harbor Day.

Aunt Sarah Anderson, Iced Tea and Cherry Pudding

Sarah Isabel Warner Anderson (1904-1986)

Bill and Sarah Anderson

Bill and Sarah Anderson in the 1960s or 70s

Aunt Sarah was always in motion.  Her house was spotless, clothes ironed just so. When there was no more housework or cooking to be done, her hands were busy creating things–crocheting doilies or throw pillow covers, making sock dolls, embroidering pillow cases, making clothes and piecing quilts.

I think of Aunt Sarah every time I get out my hand-held electric mixer. She gave me one for a wedding present and it lasted about 40 years before I had to replace it, so she was in the kitchen with me for a lot of years.  (Of course the mixer was from Bill, too, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t have much to do with the choice, although at the time he was working at the hardware store where she would have purchased it in Killbuck).

I am intrigued by this flapper era picture of Aunt Sarah and Uncle Bill (William J. Anderson, my mother’s brother, 1905-1978). They look like they would have a lot of fun, didn’t they?

Sarah and Bill  Anderson 1925

Sarah and Bill Anderson 1925

Sarah and Bill married in 1924. She was 21, and although he had turned 19 just the day before they applied for the license, he stated that he was also 21. These are probably wedding pictures.

Bill and Sarah had one child, Robert J. Anderson, whom Sarah doted on. (I’ll talk more about him in an article about family in World War II).

Sarah’s domestic skills became the family income provider in at least one point in her young married life when she and Uncle Bill ran a laundry business in Killbuck, Ohio. And in checking census records, I notice that she and Bill took in borders early in their life together, when they were living in Dayton Ohio. One more lady in the family who had rented out rooms.

The one thing that Sarah Anderson liked to do even more than domestic arts was talk.  Wind her up and of she would go in a fast-paced, high-pitched voice, filling you in on what had happened to everyone in the town since last you met.

I have a get well card that Sarah sent to my mother.  She added a note filling the inside and back of the card in her neat, small, round script.

She started with the usual concern for the patient and good wishes. But then she veered off the task of cheering up Harriette and recited all the ills–preferably fatal–that had befallen mutual acquaintances.  Anyone who did not know Aunt Sarah might have wound up depressed.  Mother probably got a good laugh from the recital of woes.

Today I’m making Aunt Sarah’s Cherry Pudding, the dessert she had waiting for Ken and me the last time we visited her in Killbuck. When I adapt her recipe I reduce the sugar. Aunt Sarah loved sugar. So before I share the recipe, here’s an Aunt Sarah memory from my sister, Paula Kaser Price.

Aunt Sarah and The Iced Tea Incident

By Paula K. Price

Aunt Sara was a hard working, kind, long-winded soul. I often heard it said of her that she could talk the ears off a mule. Uncle Bill, her husband, would turned off his hearing aid to get some quite. She knew it and just kept talking. I witnessed this phenomenon often.

However, I think every one loved Aunt Sara and appreciated her willingness to work hard at whatever she did. I know I did. In hindsight I wonder if her ability to talk might have been the result of her consumption of great amounts of sugar.

One hot summer day my Grandmother, Mother cousin Debby, Aunt Sara and I were gathered in Grandma’s kitchen for lunch. I don’t remember what we had to eat but knowing Grandma I imagine some delicious cold meat on home made bread (lots of mayonnaise) cucumbers and pie. I do remember that the grownups were drinking iced tea and us kids had milk.

My grandmother, being diabetic, put a few drops of saccharine in her tea all the time complaining it just didn’t taste like sugar, what a sacrifice she was making and maybe it was all hooey anyway, knowing full well she would eat pie for dessert.

Aunt Sara, chattering away in her usual manner added spoon after spoon full of sugar to her tea until there was a little white tornado of sugar in her glass.

For a second she stopped and looked at her tea. “Vera, I think there is something wrong with your sugar. It won’t dissolve.”

Grandma responded indignantly, “ Oh for God sake Sara, you just put too much in.”

Defensively Sara began stirring her tea with great vigor. “See it just won’t dissolve.”

At last the glass couldn’t take it any longer. The bottom broke out and tea went everywhere.

We all jumped up except my Mother who calmly said, “Well I guess that will cool thing off a bit”

Aunt Sarah’s Cherry Pudding

Sarah Anderson Cherry Pudding

Cherries for Cherry Pudding

 

There are cobblers, and slumps, and crisps and Brown Bettys, but Aunt Sarah called her dessert a pudding. She probably made it with the bright red slightly sour cherries that I remember growing on trees around Killbuck, but I used Bing Cherries, which are sweeter. Whatever kind of cherries you use, adjust the sugar, particularly if you do not have Aunt Sarah’s sweet tooth.

 

 

 

Aunt Sarah’s Cherry Slump
Recipe Type: dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Vera Marie Badertscher
Sarah Anderson made cherry slump with a whole lot of sugar.
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup sugar (white)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • (1/2 tsp. salt)
  • Butter size of egg (6 T)
  • 1 C milk
  • Enough flour to make a stiff batter (2 Cups)
  • 2 Cups cherries (up to 3 Cups, pitted)
  • 2 Cups boiling water (or reduce to 1 1/2)
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • (2 Tbsp cornstarch)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. (Mix flour and 1 Cup sugar with baking powder and salt, work in butter as for pastry, stir in milk)
  2. (Boil water, add cherries, sugar and cornstarch mixed, and butter. Simmer until slightly thickened)
  3. Put batter in large pan (9 x 13) and pour dressing over it and bake 3/4 hour at 350.
Notes
I have enclosed my additions in parentheses. You have to use your own judgement as to the amount of sugar, based on the sweetness of the cherries, but with Bing cherries, 1/2 cup in the cherries is enough, and I cut the sugar in the batter to 1/2 cup as well. The 2 cups of water seems excessive and leaves a very runny fruit “dressing”. I reduced the water and added cornstarch to thicken it. This is most similar to recipes I have seen for cobbler, except that cobblers generally put the dough on top.

A Cooking (And Living) Tip From Grandfather Guy Anderson

Grandfather Guy Anderson and Vera

Vera and Guy Anderson, 1941, Killbuck, Ohio

Leonard Guy Anderson ( 1878-1944) was a charmer. He was never known as Leonard–always “Guy”, and by his children and grandchildren as “Daddy Guy.”  Although he died when I was barely five years old, I remember him vividly.  He was one of those people who sparkles with life.

Get a taste of his sense of humor from these two letters.

Interestingly, my slightly older cousin Herb Anderson and I have the same visual memory of Daddy Guy Anderson. We remember him sitting in the living room of the big house on Main Street in Killbuck Ohio in a rocking chair, with a brass ashtray stand by his side. He sat and read.

By the time that Herb and I have clear memories of Daddy Guy, his health was going down hill from a heart condition, which accounts for our memories of him sitting in a rocking chair, but earlier in his life he was a perpetual motion machine, never quiet for long.

Despite his small wiry frame, he was feisty. Herb remembers that when Grandma and he had the restaurant pictured at the top of the page, Guy kept a blackjack under the counter. That’s because they sold beer. Lots of beer. And fights would break out on Saturday night. Guy Anderson would wade into the fray and break it up with his blackjack and sometimes the help of my two uncles, Bill and Herbert Anderson.

 Grandfather Guy Anderson's game cock

Cousin Herb (Sonny) with Daddy Guy’s game cock. About 1937

Guy was a breeder of fighting gamecocks (still a popular sport in some parts of the MidWest), one of which is seen in this picture with my cousin Herb as a young man, probably taken in the late 1930’s. That’s the side yard of the Anderson’s home–the house that my grandmother’s father Dr. William C. Stout built, and the one Vera and Guy Anderson turned into a restaurant.

My personal memory of Daddy Guy has to do with books. The books he was reading as he sat on that rocker were pulp-fiction Westerns. Lots of Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour. While I imagine he picked up western story magazines at the drugstore, his insatiable thirst for words led him to borrow books from an interesting lending library. (Killbuck did not have a library of its own until very recent years.)  I loved to walk with him across the street and around the corner onto Front Street. There a small store with bay windows in front had one window piled with paperback books. Readers could borrow them just like at a regular library. Unfortunately for me, there was nothing there for a five-year-old, but the experience just solidified my idea that to be grown up was to read, and to read as many books as possible.

Daddy Guy also listened to the radio a lot.  We were all interested in what was going on in the war in the 1940’s,but he also listened to a lot of ultra-conservative rants. (No, talk radio wasn’t invented recently–just the call-in part.)  He turned the radio up loud because he was very hard of hearing.  In my memory, Daddy Guy always had the hearing aid that is visible in the picture at the top of this article. My, how technology has changed. Back then, he felt fortunate to have a device that was small enough to fit in his shirt pocket (larger than today’s cell phones) and connected by a long wire to buttons hooked into his ears.

Guy Anderson

Guy Anderson as a young man.

Guy Anderson tried on a lot of occupations–and discarded them just as fast.  He was a farmer when he married his first wife, Lillis M. Bird (1877-1903). They lived on the Anderson family farm  after they married in 1898. They had two children, Rhema (Fair) (b.1902-1906)  and Telmar (1903-1982). But Lillis died in childbirth in July 1903 when Telmar was born, and Guy was left with two children.

Guy rekindled an old friendship with Vera Stout.  When her parents asked if she intended to marry him Vera scoffed, “Do you think I would marry a man with two children?”They were married  a few months later, in October, 1904.  I told you he had charm.

Vera had a mind of her own, and she did not want to care for

Ben and Nettie Anderson

Benjamin Franklin Anderson and Nettie Anderson (Guy’s Brother)

two young children as a new bride. Rhema and Telmar were sent to Guy’s brother Ben (Benjamin Franklin Anderson) to raise. [CORRECTION: Rhema went to Guy’s uncle Frank Anderson.]

After giving birth to three children (William J. 1905, Harriette 1906 and Herbert 1908) and living in the country with her mother-in-law, Vera had had enough of the farm and insisted they move back in to town.  Although Vera had declined to raise Rhema and Telmar, they were always on good terms, and Rhema and my mother were extremely close all their lives.

If you think about that timeline, you have to admit that Guy Anderson had a busy life. In the ten years between 1898 and 1908 he married twice and fathered five children. Besides that, between 1909 and 1944 he had at least five occupations.

Guy Anderson Hardware

Guy Anderson’s Hardware Store, Killbuck Ohio. Circa 1910. From left: Ben Patterson, Guy, Garfield Woods, unknown, Charlie Plant

In town (Killbuck Ohio), Guy tried his hand at running a hardware store until 1910 when Dr. William Stout, his father-in-law died. He sold the store and helped his mother in law by managing the Stout family farms. In the 1920’s Guy opened  a garage.

Grandfather Guy Anderson's Garage, Killbuck.

Guy Anderson’s Garage, Killbuck. Cousin Herb says that the building still stands on a side street in Killbuck, recognizable by the stone on the lower part of the building.

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, in her recorded memoir, explained why her father was not a big success as business. He was too generous. If someone came in and gave him a sob story in his hardware store about how they couldn’t afford to buy their child a sled at Christmas, he’s just give it to them on credit.

Guy Anderson in restaurant

Guy Anderson in restaurant, Killbuck, 1941

By the early 1930s as we have seen, he and Vera had started a boarding house,which morphed into a restaurant. That apron isn’t just for pulling beer, although I imagine he did a lot of that. Guy also helped with the cooking. I don’t know for sure what all he cooked, but every time I make a pie crust, I remember my mother telling me about his instructions to only roll the rolling pin in one direction–never back and forth.  He also made light biscuits, she said, and was adamant that the secret was in handling the biscuit or pie dough as lightly as possible.

But then, I suspect Daddy Guy approached all of life with a light touch.

 

Note: I would like very much to be able to identify the other men in the picture of Guy Anderson’s businesses.  If you think you know someone who might know, please forward this article to them. Thanks.