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Monday, July 20, 2009

A New Direction

Monday, July 20, 2009
I wrote this for a piece in my senior thesis and I have decided to turn it into an actual story. I am starting the next section. I have no idea how long this will take so bare with me and send me your thoughts.

Imagine the year is 1917 and the place is a small town in northeast New Jersey. The cold October wind was no match for the fear Mildred felt churning inside her stomach as she stepped outside the door to her small flat. She turned up the collar on her old coat. Alone, in the early morning hours, she slowly walked through the small town she and Al had come to know as home. They moved here in the summer of 1916, shortly after the two high school sweethearts married. They came because there was talk around their old hometown, in southern Arkansas, that a hardworking man could find a decent job for decent pay, in the northeastern states. The only work in Hollygrove, Arkansas was picking cotton and that could not support the family she and Alva wanted to start. “Change was a good thing,” Al always said, but in this moment she could not see the good in any of it.

The war in Europe was escalating and everyone talked about it, there were signs and posters everywhere asking people to help the British defeat the German barbarians. The posters were encouraging everyone to conserve food, to buy Liberty bonds, and to join the military. The munitions factory started running day and night and Al began working fourteen hour shifts. One day Al came home and said he wanted to go join the Navy and help defeat the Germans. He told her that he wanted his children to grow up in a free country. On September 16, 1917 Al enlisted in the Navy and she was alone.

In one moment the dream of being a mother and a housewife was put on hold, possibly lost forever. Nevertheless, as she walked through town on that cold October morning, she understood her husband’s decision. She knew what she had to do to support him and every husband, son, and father who went to fight for her freedom and the freedom of future generations. She lowered her head as the icy wind hit her face and she turned the corner. When she looked up she realized she was not the only woman who felt the call to help. The job line in front of the factory was filled with women just like her. Her life was about to change, she just did not realize to what extent.

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