December 05, 1991|By Carleton Jones


Shindigs and Platter Parties

"I was a junior in City College and occasionally ushered in the Boulevard theater (25 cents for a feature picture, newsreel, comedy, cartoon, previews and a Pete Smith travelogue). There was a bowling alley right across from the theater, and we did lots of bowling on Fridays after school hours. I was on the City team. I also had time to deliver the Baltimore Post and sell the Saturday Evening Post and Collier's magazine door-to-door to pick up change. That Friday, everybody was looking forward to Saturday night when the gang would go to shindigs, platter parties with Glenn Miller records in neighborhood homes. . . . My dad was on the active Army Reserve list. On Sunday afternoon, I came back from ice skating at the North Avenue sports center. He had put on his uniform. I asked him why, and he told me." -- Mr. Marck operates a travel agency and lives in Bel Air in Harford County.

"I was attending Douglass High School, a 16-year-old at the time. Among my activities were boxing and cheerleading for the football team. I was delivering papers, too, but had no idea there would ever be anything like a war. World War I was so recent that it didn't seem possible. I was studying history then and reading about wars. From my paper route, I knew that sometimes a newspaper would headline 'WAR DECLARED' and underneath in small type put 'On Slot Machines,' or something. Later, I went into the Navy air arm in October of '43 and trained as a metalsmith." (At Camp Whiting, near Pensacola, Fla., a female civilian employee of the Navy who operated a base bus ordered him to go to the back of the bus. He refused. The driver was transferred by the Navy to driving a dump truck.) "Later, I won an Army commission in time to serve as a lieutenant in the Korean War period." -- Mr. Walker is the author of "We Are Men" (The Heritage Press, 1972), a diary of discrimination in the armed forces, and he lectures on the subject. A retired social services director, he lives in the Ashburton section of Baltimore.

"I was an apprentice molder, working on ship parts at the Norfolk navy yard down in Virginia. At our shop, you had to walk up three floors to get the core pieces to make impressions in the sand we used in the molds. Up there was a window, and down in the yard seagoing Marines used to drill. Those fellows were the sharpest things I ever saw. There was a big poster, too, Uncle Sam pointing at you and letters that read, 'Be there when the last shot is fired.' I went down and signed up. The next Sunday, a co-worker named Cartwright and I went to a deserted area of Virginia Beach and relaxed, shooting a .22 rifle into the surf. When I got home, I told Dad I had been 'protecting the home front.' 'It's going to need it,' he said, 'the Japs have just bombed Pearl Harbor!' " -- Mr. Brown is a retired Baltimore and Ohio railroad freight agent who lives in Glen Burnie.

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