Claudean Lindhorst Interview

Claudean Lindhorst Interview- Oral History from UMW History on Vimeo.

Claudean Lindhorst was born in 1927 in Texas. She moved to California, following her mother, and found her husband. She worked at the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company throughout the war. She recollects her experiences of wartime life and of the communities where she lived. Claudean Lindhorst remembers her home front experience as a time of service and productivity.

Claudean Lindhorst Transcript

 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Rosie the Riveter and the World War II American Home Front Oral History Project: An Oral History with Claudean Lindhorst conducted by Hannah Laughlin, 2012, Department of History and American Studies, University of Mary Washington, 2012.

 


Discursive Table of Contents- Claudean Lindhorst

 

00:00:03

Born in 1927- family background- growing up in Eliasville- father working (at Cabot Carbon Company)- home life- school in Pampa

 

00:10:54

Community in Pampa- Cabot Carbon Company- mother moved to California- job migration from Texas to California- move to California, 1943

 

00:20:39

Life in California- marriage- service/servicemen- working for the Pacific Telephone Company- places worked (King City, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles)- feelings of working

 

00:30:12

Money- Paso Robles- days off- the company hotel- moving around- husband’s return and work

 

00:38:13

Hearing about the war (Pearl Harbor, bombings)- Japanese Internment Camps- rationing and shortages (ration books)

 

00:47:47

Censorship (letters from husband)- job search and moving- relief of end to the war- German and Japanese camps

 

00:56:00

Media and war information- horrors of war- PTSD symptoms- reflection of the home front experience

 

Interview with Claudean Lindhorst

Interview by Hannah Laughlin

Transcribed by Hannah Laughlin

 

00:00:03

Laughlin:

What is your full name, and when and where were you born?

 

00:00:06

Lindhorst:

My full name is Claudine Lindhorst. I was born in Graham, Texas, March 12, 1927.

 

00:00:17

Laughlin:

Where did you grow up?

 

00:00:19

Lindhorst:

I grew up, mostly in the Panhandle of Texas, in Pampa, Texas and surrounding small towns.

 

00:00:35

Laughlin:

Tell me about your siblings, their ages, and relation to you?

 

00:00:40

Lindhorst:

I had an older brother two years older and he died uh when he was uh- he was born in April and died in December of that year, 1925. Then I was born in 1927 and I had a sister that died at birth and she was born in 1925. And then a younger sister born in 1933 and there were just the two of us growing up. And then she died in 2002.

 

00:01:25

Laughlin:

Tell me about your parents? What are their names?

 

00:01:28

Lindhorst:

My father was Charlie Eden Mulligan and he was originally from Tennessee and moved to Texas when he was a young man. And my mother was Sarah Acres and she was ten years younger than my father, and she was born and raised in Texas.

 

00:01:51

Laughlin:

Why did your father go to Texas?

 

00:01:53

Lindhorst:

Work.

 

00:01:56

Laughlin:

What kind of work?

 

00:01:58

Lindhorst:

When he went to Texas he worked in the oil field and then later on he went to work for Cabot Carbon Company, which he worked for for twenty-five years until he retired.

 

00:02:11

Laughlin:

How did your parents meet?

 

00:02:15

Lindhorst:

Through a friend of his at work. His wife and my mother were friends.

 

00:02:27

Laughlin:

Do you know of any extended family or grandparents?

 

00:02:32

Lindhorst:

Did I know my grandparents?

 

00:02:33

Laughlin:

Yes.

 

00:02:33

Lindhorst:

Yes. I knew my, I knew my grandmother. She lived in McMinnville, Tennessee and I was fortunate enough to meet all of my Daddy’s sisters. And it was quite an extended family and at one time or another in my life, mostly when I was under twelve years of age, I met them all.

 

00:03:02

Laughlin:

Did you spend time with them a lot?

 

00:03:04

Lindhorst:

Just vacations and short visits.

 

00:03:10

Laughlin:

Where did you vacation?

 

00:03:12

Lindhorst:

We went to Tennessee, that’s where my grandmother lived and an aunt and her husband and some cousins there. And uh we were livin’ in Texas at the time and then we went Oklahoma to see some relatives. And I met one aunt, one of my Daddy’s sisters, when I went to California in 1943.

 

00:03:45

Laughlin:

So, what town did you grow up in, in Texas?

 

00:03:49

Lindhorst:

I grew up in Eliasville, Texas. It was just a small town; it’s nothing now, that’s where my grandparents lived. And in Graham, Texas. My father had worked there in the oil field, at that time. And then we moved to Pampa, Texas and I was- that’s where I went to school.  And I lived there ‘til 1943 when I went to California.

 

00:04:24

Laughlin:

So let’s go to Pampa, Texas. What kind of place was that like?

 

00:04:31

Lindhorst:

It was just a small town and my father worked for Cabot Carbon Company. He worked for them for twenty-five years. He retied from there. And I went to school; I went to school there. And there was uh oil industry there and the Carbon Company and cattle. And on the farms and wheat, they raised wheat.

 

00:05:12

Laughlin:

What other kinds of people lived around you?

 

00:05:16

Lindhorst:

What do you mean by that?

 

00:05:18

Laughlin:

Where they all white? Were they Hispanic?

 

00:05:22

Lindhorst:

No, it was all- it was all white. Very few Hispanics or very few uh, Negro people there, well they were called colored then. But, very few.

 

00:05:43

Laughlin:

What was a typical day like for your parents?

 

00:05:48

Lindhorst:

My father went to work early, usually came home around five or six. At that time my mother didn’t work. She was a housewife, stayed home all day and uh she did work at one time. They had uh- the company that my father worked for uh- the single men that worked for the company lived in bunk houses, what they called bunk houses. And they had a place where uh there were- their meals were furnished and they were cooked. And my mother at one time did help cook the meals. She would go and they would cook. She would go help with breakfast and then she would go help with uh- with supper it was called then. It was the evening meal, but it was called supper. And she would go help this lady and they would cook for these young men that worked for the company.

 

00:06:59

Laughlin:

So these bunk houses, were those the houses that the Cabot Carbon Company-

 

00:07:05

Lindhorst:

-Had built yes, and furnished for the men. And that’s what- and we also- they had what they called camps. There were- had- they had built houses for the people that worked for them, the families that wanted to live there. And it was like a- it was like a big neighborhood because families were there and children that I played with. And it was just like a big neighborhood because the company- we had a tennis court. We had a playground and mail was delivered to us, because it was- it was five miles out of town.

 

00:07:48

Laughlin:

Out of Pampa?

 

00:07:49

Lindhorst:

Yes, out of Pampa. And we went to town on Saturdays because we had to go in to do grocery shoppin’. My mother did grocery shoppin’ once a week. And I went to the movies and it cost 10 cents to go to the movie.

 

00:08:17

Laughlin:

What kinds of movies did you see?

 

00:08:19

Lindhorst:

When I was growin’ up, when I was younger. Cowboys. [Pause] Cowboy movies.

 

00:08:35

Laughlin:

So, let’s talk about your school and what you remember about it. Um, you can describe any extremely pleasant or unpleasant experiences.

 

00:08:45

Lindhorst:

It was pleasant. It was just- just school and grade school. And it was- was- it was very pleasant I enjoyed it.

 

00:09:02

Laughlin:

Did you have any favorite subjects?

 

00:09:04

Lindhorst:

I liked History real well and when I was in junior high school I still liked History. And I- when I was in junior high school I worked in the library, which I liked that very much. And then I went to high school in Pampa and I was- it was okay but I really- it was not my favorite thing. [Pause] But I still liked History.

 

00:09:52

Laughlin:

So you grew up during the Great Depression as we call it now. What kinds of experiences made it different for you?

 

00:10:04

Lindhorst:

Well, I don’t remember then as it being a depression. I wouldn’t say thinking back on it now. My father I’m sure didn’t make a whole lot of money. But, it was just a nice experience growin’ up. I can remember you know- it was pleasant things. I don’t ever remember being unhappy at any time then.

 

00:10:45

Laughlin:

So you liked the community you were living in?

 

00:10:47

Lindhorst:

Yes, very much.

 

00:10:52

Laughlin:

Can you- do you remember certain things about your neighborhood? What it looked like.

 

00:10:59

Lindhorst:

Yes it was very pretty. The houses were very neat. They were white houses trimmed in a forest green. Everybody had a lawn and flowers that were kept up. It was part of the rules that everybody keep their lawn tidy and they had a big space for anyone that wanted to have a garden. And my father always had a big garden. And my mother put up canned vegetables then and we went to my grandparent’s house in the summertime. ‘Cuz my grandfather had a huge orchard. Ando so, the times there were spent canning fruits: peaches and plums, pears, putting up green beans. Things like that.

 

00:12:04

Laughlin:

What rules are you talking about?

 

00:12:08

Lindhorst:

When my father worked for the Cabot Carbon Company and they had these places for the people that worked there. There were rules about the houses had to be kept up, I mean clean. And the yards had to be kept up and their order, nice lawns. If you had flowerbeds you had to keep it neat and cleat and have flowers in it. Keep your lawn mowed. They had houses between- they alleys in between the rows of houses and you had a garbage can out there. And the company had a- had pick ups. They came and picked up your garbage. It was just like a- a little town.

 

00:12:57

Laughlin:

So let’s talk about Cabot Carbon Company. What did the company make?

 

00:13:04

Lindhorst:

They made carbon that was used in paints and rubber. And they were out of- the home office was in Boston. And they had plants- carbon plants- in Texas, scattered in Texas. And in later years they extended and it was a very big company later on. And they had- they had companies in England and a lot in France. And some of the people I knew when I was growin’ up that were in management; especially one person I know that we knew very well, was one of my father’s bosses. And he used to make trips to France all the time when they extended there.

 

00:14:03

Laughlin:

Do you know exactly what your father did for Cabot Carbon Company?

 

00:14:10

Lindhorst:

Yes, when he first started out he did what they called “pullin’ black.” They had these big long hot houses with burners. And they burned and made carbon. And they had these hoppers that went and scraped it off and it had to be put it bags. And my father did that. And then he went into the gas company and worked for the gas company, in the gas department, doing repairs on these hot houses on the gas. And in the houses, where the people lived in the camps, they had gas furnaces. And he was in charge of going around and taking care of those furnaces. Every- every year inspections to see that they were burnin’ properly, and that they were- there weren’t any fumes in the houses. [Pause] That’s what he did. And he retired from there. Had a very good retirement.

 

00:15:28

Laughlin:

So let’s go ahead and switch to your mom and moving to California. When and why did she go?

 

00:15:38

Lindhorst:

Mother first went to California- her brother had been killed in a plane crash in England in 1941. He was in the army and the airplane hit a mountain peak in Scotland. And he’s buried, my uncle- my mother’s brother, is buried in a cemetery in Cambridge, England. And she went to California to see his wife and she never came back. She stayed in California.

 

00:16:25

Laughlin:

Why did she stay?

 

00:16:28

Lindhorst:

She had a lot of allergies in Texas. And she had tried to get my father to move out there. A lot of the people that worked for Cabot had quit their jobs and gone out there and got jobs in the defense plants, and were makin’ very good money. And she wanted him to quit and go out there and he wouldn’t do it. And when she went out there she just stayed.

 

00:17:01

Laughlin:

Did she want him to quit because of money or her allergies?

 

00:17:05

Lindhorst:

Mostly they were makin’ such good money out there she wanted him to quit and go out there. And he wouldn’t because he had so much time in Cabot he wanted to stay there until he retired. Which he did. And she stayed in California and that was- she went in 1941.

 

00:17:25

Laughlin:

Were a lot of other people moving to California?

 

00:17:27

Lindhorst:

Yes, a lot of people moved- had moved to California in 1941 and in 1942 to work in the defense plants. And they were makin’ very good money. The wages were a lot more than they were in Texas at that time.

 

00:17:50

Laughlin:

What kind of job did your mom find?

 

00:17:54

Lindhorst:

The first job she had was- she went to work in a tailor’s shop and they had made- it was handmade suits and things. But they- since the war they were doing uniforms for the servicemen and tailoring their uniforms to fit, and sewing on their insignias and their ratings and things. And that was the first job she had.

 

00:18:39

Laughlin:

When did you go to California?

 

00:18:40

Lindhorst:

In 1943. In March of 1943. My mother was living in Salinas, California. I went to California on the train. I stopped in Los Angeles to visit my aunt, my father’s sister whom I had never met until then, and her family. Then I went to Salinas to be with my mother.

 

00:19:22

Laughlin:

Why didn’t your sister or father go to California too?

 

00:19:29

Lindhorst:

My father didn’t wanna leave his job and my sister wanted to stay with her daddy. So she did. And I went to California ‘cuz I wanted to be with my mother.

 

00:19:46

Laughlin:

So you were sixteen when you arrived in California?

 

00:19:49

Lindhorst:

Yes, I had my sixteenth birthday there. And then we moved from Salinas to Burlingame, California. My mother had a friend that said she could get a good job there if we moved up there, so we did. And that was when my mother went to work for it was called IMAC. And they made radio tubes and things like that. She was a glass blower for the navy and the army.

 

00:20:39

Laughlin:

What job did you get when you were sixteen?

 

00:20:42

Lindhorst:

Later on in the year I went to work for the Pacific Telephone Company.

 

00:20:55

Laughlin:

So you were married in June of 1943?

 

00:20:58

Lindhorst:

Correct.

 

00:21:02

Laughlin:

And that was before you went to work for the Pacific Telephone Company?

 

0:21:06

Lindhorst:

Yes.

 

00:21:09

Laughlin:

Tell me about him and where you met- your husband and where you met.

 

00:21:16

Lindhorst:

When I went to California my mother was living in Salinas. We were living with a cousin and my mother was working at the tailor shop. She had met my husband and some friends of his. They came into the tailor shop to have some shirts tailored and their insignias and things sown on. And when I went out there, and I was there, I met him. And I met him when I was sixteen and got married at sixteen, which I wouldn’t advise to anybody to do. I mean it’s just not a thing to do. But we were married for twenty-two years.

 

00:22:12

Laughlin:

So he was in the military?

 

00:22:14

Lindhorst:

Yes, he was in the infantry. And we got married June the fourth and he went overseas at the end of that month and was gone for two years. And while he was gone I worked for the telephone company.

 

00:22:35

Laughlin:

Where was he stationed overseas?

 

00:22:38

Lindhorst:

When he went overseas he was in Hawaii. He was stationed in Hawaii. And then he was in the invasion in the Philippines and in Okinawa.

 

00:23:05

Laughlin:

During what year was that do you know?

 

00:23:07

Lindhorst:

The end of ‘44/’45.

 

00:23:14

Laughlin:

Why did you two choose to get married at that time?

 

00:23:17

Lindhorst:

I don’t know. I can’t tell you right now why. [Laughs} I just know I wouldn’t advise anybody to get married at sixteen.

 

00:23:26

Laughlin:

Did your mom like him?

 

00:23:28

Lindhorst:

Yes.

 

00:23:34

Laughlin:

Did your father and sister come up to see you get married?

 

00:23:37

Lindhorst:

No.

 

00:23:43

Laughlin:

What was the home front experience like for you as the wife of a serviceman?

 

00:23:50

Lindhorst:

Just that most young married people they were separated because of the war. ‘Cuz young men joined or else they were drafted. And everyplace you went there were servicemen of all kinds, everyplace. That was the thing. On the street. All young men were in the service.

 

00:24:22

Laughlin:

Did your husband get drafted or did he enlist?

 

00:24:24

Lindhorst:

He enlisted.

 

00:24:27

Laughlin:

In what year?

 

00:24:29

Lindhorst:

He was in the National Guard and most of ‘em automatically went into the service. He was nineteen.

 

00:24:49

Laughlin:

Did your social life change after that?

 

00:24:55

Lindhorst:

You mean while he was gone?

 

00:25:00

Laughlin:

Yes.

 

00:25:02

Lindhorst:

No, mostly I was working and I was around family. I guess you could say I didn’t have much of a social life. I liked working for the telephone company. It was quite different. And it was with young women. Since I didn’t have any ties, so to say I didn’t have a family to stay home with, I was loaned out to other little towns that needed extra telephone operators. And that was quite interesting.

 

00:26:04

Laughlin:

When did you start working for the company?

 

00:26:10

Lindhorst:

Late ’43 or early ’44 I can’t remember exactly when. And I was living In King City, California and they sent me to San Luis Obispo, California for my training. And then I came back and worked in King City. At one time I was loaned out to the Paso Robles, California office because there was a big army base there and it was a small town. “Course with all the soldiers the telephone company, a small office, had mushroomed into a big office. And the telephone company refurnished an old hotel and that’s where the young women stayed. And it was supervised quite heavily. The front door was locked. You only could have visitors two hours in the evening. And they could only come to a rec room. And we had housemothers that were there. If you worked at the base, at the Army base, the Army sent a bus in and they took you out there. I guess it was maybe 10/15 miles to Camp Roberts, You’d go on the bus out there and when your shift was over they’d bring you back and deposit you at your door. Military Police and Shore Patrol where there were sailors, there was a lot of ‘em on the street, so that there was never any trouble. I was never- well of course maybe I was too young to be scared. I was never scared bein’ on the street or anything. Because there was always the MP’s (the Military Police) or the Shore Patrols. Anyplace you went they were on the streets. So, nobody supposedly would get in trouble.

 

00:28:59

Laughlin:

The other young women who worked for the company, what were they like?

 

00:29:04

Lindhorst:

Just young women glad to be working, helping out with the war effort. Because anytime a serviceman was off duty, and they were away from home, they were calling home. Especially when they were in their training. And then they went overseas. The ones that went overseas that came back that’s the first thing they did when they his the United States, was go for a telephone and call home.

 

00:29:43

Laughlin:

For clarification, you worked switchboards correct?

 

00:29:46

Lindhorst:

Yes. It was very busy. You were very busy.

 

00:29:59

Laughlin:

Did you make a lot of friends when you worked for the company?

 

00:30:05

Lindhorst:

Some, you could say.

 

00:30:12

Laughlin:

How much money did you make?

 

00:30:14

Lindhorst:

I don’t remember. It seemed like a lot. Of course I was young. But it seemed like a lot of money.

 

00:30:32

Laughlin:

How was working in Paso Robles compared to King City?

 

00:30:43

Lindhorst:

It was a larger town. It had been a small town, but then with the influx of the Army there it just grew into a little city. And it was- I never did go very much out in Paso Robles because I waited ‘til my days off. Then I went to Salinas or to see some cousins that lived there, or to King City to see my mother.

 

00:31:22

Laughlin:

On your days off?

 

00:31:23

Lindhorst:

On my day off. The train was very efficient and the bus was very efficient. And it wasn’t real costly like the train is now. And the bus was more efficient then than they are now.

 

00:31:49

Laughlin:

What day off did you have?

 

00:31:54

Lindhorst:

It was more like on a rotation basis. You didn’t have the same day off all the time.

 

00:32:07

Laughlin:

When you were in Paso Robles and you lived in the hotel that the company had, what was the hotel like?

 

00:32:16

Lindhorst:

It was just an old hotel that they had- there were two girl to a room. Two young ladies to a room. And they had a kitchen and then they had, what they called, a rec room where you could have, you know, girls that were single could have company or anybody that was married or dating. They could have company. I think there was usually about four girls to a bathroom. Young women. There was what we called a housemother. There was someone that was there all the time to oversee that nobody came upstairs that wasn’t supposed to be upstairs. And there was never any company after ten-o-clock. And the front door was on a buzzer. All the girls had keys to get in after ten-o-clock.

 

00:33:47

Laughlin:

What kind of neighborhood was the hotel in?

 

00:33:51

Lindhorst:

It was in a downtown area.

 

00:33:55

Laughlin:

So it was busy?

 

00:33:57

Lindhorst:

Not really. It had been a sleepy little town. Of course the servicemen were there. But then there weren’t out on the streets too many at night because that was a training base- training camp. And so there weren’t too many. On the weekends, but not during the week- not too many out.

 

00:34:33

Laughlin:

After Paso Robles, where did you go next?

 

00:34:35

Lindhorst:

I went back to King City and worked there. Until I left and went to Valeo and lived with my sister-in-law, and worked there. And it was very busy there, very busy. Because it was close to San Francisco and Oakland. And there were lots of service people.

 

00:35:13

Laughlin:

So let’s talk about that kind of community. What kind of people lived there?

 

00:35:21

Lindhorst:

I never did go anyplace there except for to work and to home. I lived with my sister-in-law. She had three children and a husband. I went there because my husband was due to come home. So I went there because he was from there. I had assumed we were gonna live there. But, I just went to work and back. On my days off I went out with some girl friends and went shoppin’ in San Francisco. And then I would take, if I had two days off together, I would go to Salinas to see my cousin. Take the bus or the train down there and see my cousins. I stayed there until my husband came home and we stayed there for a little while. And he tried to find a job. He went to work- his first job when he came back, he went to work for Standard Oil Company. He worked in a service station. And he worked there until we moved to a little town outside of Placerville, California. His mother and father lived up there in a little place called Smith Flat. We rented a house there. First of all he worked in a sawmill for a little while. Then he went to work for a dairy company and delivered milk. That’s when they had- he delivered to little towns up in the mountains. You wanna stop?

 

00:38:14

Laughlin:

We can go ahead and take a break.

 

[Break in recording]

 

00:38:18

Laughlin:

Let’s go back to the war and the experiences that you had there. For the beginning of the war, let’s start with Pearl Harbor. How did you hear about Pearl Harbor?

 

00:38:32

Lindhorst:

On the radio.

 

00:38:39

Laughlin:

What do you remember learning about the war?

 

00:38:45

Lindhorst:

Just that the bombing- it was terrible. Then there was a scare then that the Japanese would invade California. They would have a big invasion. Of course the arrested the Japanese people in California and put ‘em in camps. Took away- and when you stop and think about it nowadays it was terrible. Some of those people had been born here. They were of Japanese ancestry. And the government took everything away from ‘em- their homes, their businesses. They confiscated everything. So, it was a black mark on the government I think.

 

00:39:53

Laughlin:

Where there any Japanese in any places that you lived?

 

00:39:57

Lindhorst:

No, not then. And then when I got to California in 1943, the Japanese were all in custody in camps. ‘Cuz they lost everything. Because the government was so afraid of them being  suspected that they could be spies.

 

00:40:40

Laughlin:

So when you lived in California, did you have any fears of the Japanese coming to California?

 

00:40:50

Lindhorst:

Not really.

 

00:40:53

Laughlin:

So you felt safe?

 

00:40:55

Lindhorst:

Yes, I felt safe. And ‘course like I said I was very young then. And when I was working and went out on the streets and there were servicemen everyplace. I was never afraid because there was always so much of the military police on the streets where it was heavily populated with servicemen.

 

00:41:31

Laughlin:

Tell me about rationing and shortages, and what you remember about that?

 

00:41:38

Lindhorst:

Well of course I didn’t have a car or anything like that. I wasn’t exposed to that. But, gasoline was rationed. I guess the biggest thing for households was sugar and butter. If you were buyin’ clothes, there were a lot of cotton clothing that wasn’t available. ‘Cuz there were so many uniforms being made and the leather- you had to have stamps to buy leather shoes. There was not many and so expensive. I know I got a pair of shoes one time and they were fabric. I found ‘em  and my foot was real narrow. I found these red shoes that were fabric and I was so thrilled to get them. But, like I said anyplace you went there were servicemen. I don’t care where you went there were servicemen. They were treated very well. If you took public transportation- like I took the train a couple of times from California to Texas. There were servicemen on first. Because they were either going to a base- a camp- or they were comin’ home, and going home for a visit on furlough. I remember they always had to have their orders handy. They had to show their orders when they got on the public transportation to be sure that they were authorized to be there, and not in camp.

 

00:43:39

Laughlin:

Before the interview you told me about the books that they had-

 

00:43:47

Lindhorst:

Oh the ration books?

 

00:43:48

Laughlin:

Yes.

 

00:43:51

Lindhorst:

Yeah you had- they were like points. When you went to the store things were so many points. And if you used up like [Coughs] if you wanted sugar it was so many points. It was pretty scarce too. I remember when I was in King City and I went to this one little grocery store. I remember that he would save me- not a whole pound I didn’t get a whole pound of butter- I would get a couple of sticks of butter because it was so scarce. And then it- why it was so many points I don’t know. But it was. Butter and sugar were very expensive to get with points, and leather shoes. Of course like I said, I didn’t have any association with gasoline. But, I know people they had to be careful with their points on gasoline. Especially if they drove cars to work. That’s when they had a lot of people shared rides or used public transportation.

 

00:45:25

Laughlin:

Did you have any personal struggles because of the war?

 

00:45:32

Lindhorst:

No, not really. Didn’t have a whole lot of money. But then you were careful on how you spent your money.

 

00:45:48

Laughlin:

Did a lot of other people struggle with the shortages or rationing?

 

00:45:54

Lindhorst:

People that had far to go, you know with automobiles, gasoline was a problem for some people. You had to be very careful. And that’s why a lot people, they shared rides. And then of course there was the rubber issue too, with the tires on cars. So, people had to be very careful.

 

00:46:33

Laughlin:

Was it difficult to away from your family?

 

00:46:40

Lindhorst:

I was never away from ‘em for very long. I mean- but it was when you had grown around a lot of family it was kinda hard at times- lonesome. I know when my mother moved to Nevada, to Reno, it was kinda hard for me to go up there and see her. But it was okay.

 

00:47:15

Laughlin:

Did any family members come visit you when you were in California?

 

00:47:20

Lindhorst:

During the war, no.

 

00:47:48

Laughlin:

What about before the war?

 

00:47:30

Lindhorst:

I wasn’t there before the war. I wasn’t in California before the war.

 

00:47:47

Laughlin:

Did your husband write to you much while he was away?

 

00:47:50

Lindhorst:

When he could.

 

00:47:57

Laughlin:

What kinds of things did he talk about?

 

00:47:59

Lindhorst:

The letters were censored. Anything that- they would be blanked out ‘cuz their letters were read. So, they didn’t usually say too much. Couldn’t say where they were/what they were doing ‘cuz it would just be blacked out.

 

00:48:28

Laughlin:

When did he get back from the service?

 

00:48:32

Lindhorst:

In ’45. I don’t remember if it was July or August of ’45.

 

00:48:44

Laughlin:

Where were you at that point?

 

00:48:46

Lindhorst:

I was in Valeo, California living with his sister and working for Pacific Telephone there in Valeo.

 

00:49:03

Laughlin:

Did you move after he got back?

 

00:49:06

Lindhorst:

Yes.

 

00:49:10

Laughlin:

Where did you go?

 

00:49:22

Lindhorst:

We went to- that was when we moved to northern California and we lived in Smith Flat. The closest town was Placerville, California. We lived up there for a little while. I’m tryin’ to think where we moved from there. I guess from there we moved to King City. ‘Cuz he couldn’t get a good paying job there. We moved to King City, my mother was there. No, we went to King City and I was pregnant with my oldest child. And he went to work for the Texas Company on a seismograph crew. Before- that was my first baby- and before she was born the company, the unit that he worked for (the Texas Company) they were transferred to Wyoming. And it was just two months before my oldest child was born and so I had to stay there. He went to Wyoming, to Rock Springs, Wyoming. And I stayed in King City until Elizabeth was two months old. Then I went up there to be with him.

 

00:51:36

Laughlin:

When did the war end for you personally? Was there a moment that you remember the most?

 

00:51:50

Lindhorst:

No, not really. Not anything that stand out in my mind right now. I’m sure I’ll think of it later, but I can’t think of-. Because he came home, when my husband came home from the war, I guess what I could say was that it was just relief that it was over, and maybe there were not gonna be anymore young men sent overseas. I think that’s- I guess the biggest thing for everybody was it was a relieve.

 

00:52:44

Laughlin:

Let’s go to what kind of things you remember learning about the war. For example, the Holocaust. Did you learn about what was going on in Europe?

 

00:52:55

Lindhorst:

Oh yeah.

 

00:52:58

Laughlin:

What kind of things did you hear about?

 

00:53:02

Lindhorst:

Well, I think the biggest thing was hearing how the people that were put in concentration camps were treated. About how the Germans treated the prisoners of war. And also, the Japanese. How they treated prisoners that they had. Because in Germany they gassed ‘em and killed all those people. It was almost genocide. And then the Japanese, the way they treated the prisoners, too. A lot of it was on the- if you went to the movies it was on the newsreels. That was the big thing about going to the movies and seeing the newsreels. And that’s why I don’t understand today how people- you know there are a lot of people that deny the Holocaust. They say it didn’t happen. Well, it did happen. It’s documented. And that’s the same way a lot- where there are people still, after all this time has passed, about the Japanese. They don’t wanna have anything to do with anyone of that race, because of the war. Well that is just like the Germans. It’s over. Those people- the people that were responsible for that are gone. But it still happened. And I don’t see how people can deny that it happened, ‘cuz it’s too well documented.

 

00:55:06

Laughlin:

Do you know what happened in the camps- the Japanese camps- here in the U.S.?

 

00:55:13

Lindhorst:

Yes, that’s another terrible thing that happened in the war. People were treated very badly. And to think that it happened here.

 

00:55:26

Laughlin:

Inside of the camps they were treated badly?

 

00:55:28

Lindhorst:

Yes.

 

00:55:30

Laughlin:

Do you know what kinds of things happened?

 

00:55:37

Lindhorst:

I think there was an amount of starvation and beatings, and not enough medical treatment.

 

00:56:00

Laughlin:

Was this information found in newspapers or the radio?

 

00:56:05

Lindhorst:

On newspapers, radio, newsreels. And after the war, it’s just like people that survived the German concentration camps. The people that- the Japanese people that survived that were out of those camps, they’d talk about their treatment. It was just a bad situation all around, that we could treat our fellow human beings like that.

 

00:56:46

Laughlin:

Do you think most people knew what was going on, abroad and in the U.S.?

 

00:56:53

Lindhorst:

I think a certain amount of people knew then. If they really knew the extent of it they’d- a lot of people ignored it.

 

00:57:02

Laughlin:

Why do you think they did that?

 

00:57:05

Lindhorst:

Don’t wanna think about it. Don’t wanna think that we could treat our fellow human beings like that.

 

00:57:18

Laughlin:

Was there any significant moment that you remember about the war, during the war?

 

00:57:36

Lindhorst:

Just the horror of it all. Of people- of young men being killed, blown to bits, and disfigured for life, some of ‘em. And the mental aspect of it. ‘Cuz a lot of ‘em never recovered from the mental aspect of it, what it did to their minds. The horror of it. A lot of people just didn’t get over it.

 

00:58:19

Laughlin:

Was this the same for your husband? Was he on the same boat?

 

00:58:25

Lindhorst:

He had some nightmares when he came back about them using, not his group, but seeing what flamethrowers did on those islands, to the Japanese. Those were horrible instruments that they used in the Pacific. Because where the Japanese had been so entrenched on some of those islands in the rocks, they just went in flamethrowers and put it into those caves where they were. And he had nightmares about that.

 

00:59:20

Laughlin:

How do you reflect on the time that you spent during the war? Are there things that you remembered the most? That you liked the most?

 

00:59:36

Lindhorst:

I liked working for the telephone company. I felt like that was productive. Because when I worked it was mostly where there were servicemen calling home. And I enjoyed that and talking with the people, and connecting them with their loved ones so they could talk to ‘em. But still there’s that aspect where when you saw on the newsreels at the theater, and then the people that came home, you could not believe that that was happening. I mean, it just seemed unreal that we were destroying our fellow man. And still are.

 

01:00:44

Laughlin:

Did your life change significantly after the war?

 

01:00:49

Lindhorst:

Afterwards? At that time I don’t think so. But in reflection now, when I read history, I think anybody that anybody/any person is gonna think that how could we have done that. And I think that the young men that served then, how it affected their lives. Of course nowadays I’m eighty-five years old now and a lot of the people that were servicemen (that were in the war), see in the paper that they are dying because they are reaching that age. I mean you would think that we would learn from past experience, but I guess we don’t.

 

01:02:17

Laughlin:

Would you like to say anything or mention anything that we might have missed?

 

01:02:27

Lindhorst:

I can’t think of anything. It was an interesting life. I was young.

 

01:02:38

Laughlin:

Thank you,

 

01:02:39

Lindhorst:

You’re welcome.

 

[End recording]

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