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Childhood in Irvington, New Jersey
Digital History ID 4138

Author:   Robert Heide

Annotation: Robert Heide spend his childhood in Irvington, New Jersey, which is near New York City, during World War II.

Document: For a boy living through the unsteady times of World War II in a small town in the United States, I remember the intense family togetherness mixed with feelings of sweet sadness, a hopeful yearning for a peaceful future, and the directive that permeated everything: WE HAD TO WIN THE WAR! As a youngster, I sought to emulate the fantasy comic book heroes I idolized like Captain Marvel, Superman, or Robin (Batman's sidekick), who were on the side of right and might and who had to destroy the putrid and evil common enemy. Idealistic to the extreme, that was the way we were; and as All American kids we saw ourselves as good guys who were united against the bad and who fought for victory at all cost. To a child like myself much of the home front idea of combat seemed to be more akin to play. Since no real bombs ever fell on my hometown, it all appeared to my vivid imagination to be happening around me in some make believe land of war that was offered up by the movies, the radio, the comics, or as some item you could buy at the Woolworth's toy counter for a dime ....

Source: Robert Heide and John Gilman, Home Front America, p. 23.

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