I was four when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Gabrial Heatter shared his radio news hour with FDR. Most of the words the president spoke were beyond my vocabulary. I didn’t even fully comprehend why my four uncles responded to their draft notices. But I understood rationing of food.

We had no Kix, Cheerios, Lucky Charms, or Shredded Wheat shot from Cannons (so the commercial claimed). Instead we had the un-rationed oatmeal, porridge, gruel – call it what you like. I consumed my share. When the thought of it with molasses for sweetener turned my stomach I could have crackers and milk or bread and milk.

Today, 2017, a bowl of either brings my young childhood back into sharp focus.

3 thoughts on “Focus

  1. nathaswami says:

    How strange that the Japanese could not defeat America in war but they conquered the American market during peacetime !


    • Scott says:

      It’s because we were asleep at the wheel. In the late 1960s Japan was importing cars with 12″ wheels. Kind of like the Smart Car, but I’m thinking of the Honda 350 with the air cooled 350 cc motorcycle engine. I was a Honda mechanic in those days and I overhauled a few of them. I didn’t pull the engine. I pulled the car, leaving the entire front end – wheels, tranny, engine, and suspension on the shop floor and then wheeled the car outside like a wheelbarrow. Japan learned while we slept. The GM CEO laughed off the little cheap cars and said: “…it’s too late for a newcomer to get into the car business.

      Motorcycles: Back in the same era if a person wasn’t a tinkerer he couldn’t keep a Harley or a BSA on the road. Look what Honda did.

      When I was in high school a classmate bought a new Plymouth. All us farm boys were slobbering all over that car. However, we discovered the hole in the dash for the radio had been cut crooked. The right side was about a half inch lower than the left side. Japan taught us a thing or two about workmanship.

      We defeated ourselves. I could go on and on.

      When I was a Ford line mechanic we received a new pickup that had a ringing noise in the engine. Ford demanded that it should be sold and let the owner worry about it. Finally, a farmer bought the pickup with the condition that they fix the noise before he wrote the check. At this point the dealer decided to pay for it. We pulled the intake manifold and found a head bolt eating up the cam shaft.

      Thanks for reading and especially for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • nathaswami says:

        Valuable information sir. At least the Japanese goods are worth buying. That’s not the case with the Chinese goods. Sub-standard goods are being palmed off and they have created a market. They also imitate goods of other nations.

        Liked by 1 person

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