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Air Raid Rules: 1942

Air Raid Rules: 1942

What to Do — What Not to Do

        This war is not like any other. It may reach your street -- your home -- at any moment. You may be fighting in this war tomorrow, or next week, or next month. Your government asks of you one simple thing, but one very important thing ... Learn and remember what to do if enemy planes and bombs come.

July 1942. "West Danville, Vermont. Guy Davenport, 11, and Maynard Clark, 14, reading the air raid instructions posted in Gilbert S. Hastings' post office and general store." Photo by Fritz Henle, Office of War Information. View full size.


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Young Mr Clark

Maynard Roy Clark Jnr was born on January 3rd 1928 in Easton NH, the son of Maynard Snr 1894-1956 and Dora Greenwood 1900-1989, he was the 4th of 9 children.
On September 9th 1945 he married Marion Isobel Simpson in St Johnsbury,VT with the couple having to undergo a blood test on August 14th of that year (Was this a Vermont Law?)
I believe they had two children Judy Anne b March 10th 1946, and Thomas Jeffery b 25th October 1949.
Maynard died on 14th June 2008 in San Jose CA

Nice going, kids.

Now you'll have nothing to read in the shelter.

Three sizes of maple syrup

In the metal cans under the poster. We know with 100% certainty that the contents back then were real maple syrup, no high fructose anything or caramel color at that time.

I know this place!

Just up the road from here, on Molly's Pond, was the business of my uncle, Albert ("Al") W. May, known as "The Man in the Derby Hat." He was an auctioneer, antique dealer, antique reproduction furniture maker, maple syrup maker, and sawmill owner. Meanwhile, my aunt Velma ("Val") May ran a lunchroom in the auction barn on Saturday nights. She made the best bread I've ever tasted.

When I was small, we would stay at their place, but it later years we'd stay at Injun Joe Cabins, just around the corner from here. On my last visit, in 1979, I swam in Joe's pond. It was cold, clear, and wonderful. I never heard mention of the Davenport or Clark families, but I'm sure that my aunt and uncle knew them.

Air raid days

I remember my mother talking about air raid drills in Beaumont, Texas during the war [she was 4 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked]. Despite the "women crying and thinking this was it", she found the whole experience pretty exciting. Beaumont was home to shipyards and oil refineries so it would have been a prime target for any Axis bombers.

Later in the war, she said that they were told not to pick up anything they saw in the street, "not even an empty Coke bottle"--they found out after the war that this was a reaction to the Japanese balloon bombs that killed several people in the Pacific Northwest early in 1945.

Norman Rockwell scene

I thought that was a Norman Rockwell painting when I first saw it.

The store

The place still exists as a general store/post office run by the same family.

View Larger Map

There is a clip online about the 100 year anniversary of the store made by a local news program.

And on the rack . . .

Feature Comics #53 (February 1942) and True Comics #12 (May 1942).

Learning fear

Even as a preschooler at that time, I knew I was in danger if the "air raid" sirens were going off and we were trained to get under a table, shut off all lights and be perfectly quiet.

We lived in a very industrial small town in Connecticut full of factories which manufactured a huge number of defense weapons and war supplies of all kinds, so were considered vulnerable. No fun being seriously in fear of dying at that age.

Luckily, it did not happen and I am still here, spending way too much time on Shorpy and obsessed with life in the past.

Actually it is the only place I can go back to with real pictures illustrating familiar objects no longer available to be able to reconnect with the way it was. My mom used Rinso, we had the coral bars of Lifebuoy soap and gallons of real Vermont maple syrup were close by for New Englanders. These pics are unexpected treasures, thanks Shorpy.

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