The War Meant Moving

It sounds like a joke about Okies moving from Oklahoma to California, but we did.

Several people have sent in posts describing how the war forced them to relocate.  Here is one from Duncan Eisley of Oklahoma b. 1935

   I was eight when we made the move.   My dad enlisted in the Army as soon as the war started so my mother and I lived with my grandfather.  We lived in pretty poor conditions outside of Stillwater.  We had no electricity or running water and we didn’t exactly live off the land, but close to it hunting, trapping and fishing.   My grandfather was old, but strong and healthy.   One day a member of our church told him and some others that if you could work a twelve-hour day the airplane factories in California were begging for men and paid big money.  They even gave you a house to live in. 

My mother was afraid for us to set off by ourselves in our old truck, so my grandfather talked to some other people and we gathered up three families to go in a caravan.  The trip wasn’t too bad as others had given us tips on how to do it.

We ended up in Santa Monica and my grandfather got work right away at Clover Field working for Douglas.  It was a big change for us.  We got to live in a small trailer, but it had electricity and water.  One thing I remember liking the most is that I could go to a store and buy food. 

It was like a big camp and we all learned about each other and where everybody came from.   Sometimes someone lost a family member in the war and people gathered to help out. 

Mostly there was a good spirit because we knew we were all working for the war effort.


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