My Recollection of the War Years in Framingham, Mass.

Bud Thayer  b. 1937

Like many other Depression Era kids, our family was on a very tight budget during those early formative years. Welfare was not an option so we made do and got by just fine. This experience provided us with a very valuable lesson which I’ve carried on with:  if you watch the nickels and dimes, the dollars will take care of themselves.

I was 4 years old when the war broke out but can still remember our family sitting next to the old Philco radio as President Roosevelt announced “ This day will live in infamy.”  My uncle John was already in the Navy as was his best friend, Cliff Carter who was my neighbor. John was on a destroyer in the Pacific and saw Cliff’s aircraft carrier, the Bunker Hill, when it was attacked by Japanese Kamakazies. Cliff along with several other pilots were killed in the attack. That was my first introduction to the Gold Star Mothers as Cliff’s family lived next door to us.

 Although my Dad was drafted into the Navy, when they learned he was a machinist at Lombard Governor Corp. in Ashland making parts for the guns on our battleships, they decided he was more valuable staying right there.

I can certainly recall the air raid sirens going off and everyone keeping their homes dark, shades pulled, etc. My Grandfather was a Civil Defense Warden during this period, and since he lived with us, I got to see this situation quite often.

Living near Cushing Hospital at the time where they would bring in soldiers from the front to treat their wounds, we kids went over there often to visit those soldiers that were able to spend some time outside. They seemed to enjoy our visits and often would play ball with us. My own neighborhood had a large ball field where we often played football, baseball, etc and the Sudbury River was close by where we all swam when it looked clean. Of course, Polio was a big concern at the time so everyone tried to be as careful as possible. In the winter the swamp just off the river would freeze over providing us with a place to play hockey.

When I turned 10 I went to work part time caddying at the Framingham Country Club and around 12 or 13 I went to work and live on Wilson’s Farm in Sherborn for the summer. I guess that’s where I obtained my love for horses because I’m still riding my horses in Civil War and Seminole War re-enactments.

After graduation from high school in 1955, I along with four of my classmates including Doug Peterson, all joined the Navy. Although Framingham was a good place to grow up, I’m glad I moved to Florida in 1962 to raise my family and I’m still married to the same wonderful wife 59 years later.


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