By Jackie B.
Grade 5, Maryland

My grandpa, Richard E. Skaggs was eight years old when the war began in 1939. He was born in Bakersfield, California at Memorial Hospital. He was a civilian during the war. During the war, he lived in California. Everyday was a hardship for him and his family.

During this time, money was scarce and work was hard to find. My grandpa remembers when they had to ration food. He also remembers his mother sewing dresses for a quarter. His dad worked in a steel mill, sometimes in fourteen hour shifts. My grandpa use to come home from school and then he had to help do chores around the house. He had to bring coal from outside into the house. They used the coal to keep warm during the winter. He had to help take care of his brothers while his mother worked at night. He was often tired when he went to school in the morning. Mostly my grandfather remembers the war being a sad and awful time. His saddest memory was watching his mom being tired every day. His happiest memory was at the Christmas holiday. There was lots of food and gifts for everyone. He said the war changed his life because he had to grow up faster than he wanted to and had a lot of responsibility. He said that he is not as sad about the war now as he was then. He said that he learned from the war. He learned how to get through difficult times. He said that people were always afraid.

My granpa said that he hopes we never have another war like it again. The very worst thing about the war was what Hitler did to the Jews and the Czechs.

Back to WWII