In the summer of 1941 I was seven years old. Our family still lived in the little house in the edge of the cemetery, a mile or so northwest of downtown Chipley. One Saturday morning my stepfather Holly went downtown and came back with a radio - a battery-powered table model. The battery was almost as big as the radio. We had to have the battery because our house had no electricity.
For good radio reception we needed a long wire antenna, mounted outside as high as possible, and with a lead-in to the radio. A few hundred feet behind our house was a good stand of pine "saplings". Holly selected two of the tallest, trimmed the limbs off, and pulled them up to the yard. He and Mama then spent the better part of the afternoon attaching the antenna and setting the poles in the ground.
That night we listened to the Grand Ole Opry, the first time that I ever heard it. I was fascinated with the radio, and kept trying to figure out how it came with the Grand Ole Opry station already on it.
A few months later, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I recall President Roosevelt's radio address to the nation the next day, in which he referred to the "day of infamy" and asked Congress to declare that since the attack "a state of war has existed between the United States and the imperial government of Japan." At the end of the President's speech Holly stood up and said, very solemnly, "This is going to be a long war."
Later on, in the spring of 1943, we moved to a place two or three miles west of Chipley and across the railroad from US Highway 90. By then the country was well into World War II. Mama would occasionally send me over to a little store on the highway, about a half mile back toward town. Along the way I would usually find several little empty candy boxes that had been tossed out on the edge of the road. On the back of these little boxes was a picture of General MacArthur. Under his picture was the slogan, "REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR!"