The Price of Victory

The Most Memorable Kiss

Today is V-J Day, the sixty-fifth anniversary of WWII Victory in Japan. So kiss your friends and lovers, call a veteran and celebrate our freedom. But never, never forget that every victory is bought with a price.

…The thundering of running feet coming to Social Studies is still a cherished memory. Luckily, my room was at the end of the hall and other teachers cared little that these guys and girls were in a hurry once they passed their doors. These seventh and eighth graders could not wait. They hurriedly ran in, sat alert breathlessly waiting, not one wanting to be last. Placing a pencil in my gradebook after checking roll, laying it on the desk with a smile gave signal. Everyone crowded into the corner on the floor just leaving room for me to wiggle through with our treasured book.

John Hershey’s Hiroshima written first in 1946 and updated in 1985 gave us almost a face to face account of what it was like to live in Hiroshima when “the bomb” fell and afterwards. These students forgot that they were in Social Studies for the first fifteen minutes each day. They forgot that Japan was once our enemy. They eagerly learned all they could after each reading. They listened without moving and then asked ponderous questions.

I cannot answer the questions about the efficacy of that decision. I can rejoice that my dad came home. He saw the flag raised on Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. We waited with great anticipation for each letter always wondering if he would return. We were lucky. He did. Some were not so lucky.

So here below are some scenes to help us remember.

Marines at Iwo Jima

Now let’s enjoy a look back at more folks at home on that day.

Seven Minute Icing

Well, folks this is really “the icing on the cake.” Mother could whip this up so fast when Daddy came home from WWII. It takes a little more practice for me, and even though I am not a pro, it’s a lot of fun. Hud loves this cake just about as much as my daddy did. Though Hud may love coconut more, the pineapple cake icing Mother made had no coconut in it. Remember to click on the recipe to enlarge it. Enjoy!

My Grandmother's Seven Minute Icing

Pineapple Cake

Maybe Hud will forgive me for telling… Two pieces of this cake remained in the fridge when we decided to  diet several days ago. This morning I noticed the empty cake plate on the drain. I might cheat ” just a little” on my diet, but I did not eat a piece of that cake after the diet began…BJ, “Hud, did you throw that cake away?” Hud, “Are you kidding, waste that cake?”

From Mimi’s Cookbook to all of you from BJ.

Mimi’s Pineapple Cake

Mimi's Cookbook Cover

Home on furlough from WWII, our dad had his favorite pineapple cake every day. Even though little, my brother and I gave him lots of help when it came to eating. Mom too, she hoarded ration stamps to have enough sugar and pineapple for this grand visit.

Upon finding Mimi’s 1918 handwritten recipe book, I learned the recipe was hers. Here it is for all to enjoy.

Daddy’s Favorite


Daddy  wrote home about the pineapple cake often while he was serving in the Pacific during World War II. Mother saved her ration stamps for months. When it was almost time for Daddy’s furlough, Mother put my little brother in our red wagon. While she pulled, I traipsed as fast as my short legs could go all the way to the grocery store more than a mile away.

 Mr. Griswald was taken back when Mother asked for so much sugar and canned pineapple. He scratched his head and said, “I don’t know, Lela, that’s a lot of sugar and pineapple for one family.” Mother showed him the ration stamps. He looked up with a sheepish grin on his face, “Somebody mighty special must be coming home soon.” Mother beamed from ear to ear and reached to wipe away fresh tears, “You know it, Sal.” Mr. Griswald helped her load the wagon and get my little brother back in. Then we made the trip home.

 I remember the day Daddy walked up to the front screen. A beautiful pineapple cake sat waiting for him on the table. He let us help just a little bit, even though he had a terrible sweet tooth. Mother made sure that pineapple cake was ready every day until time for his leave to end. When today’s cake had only three or four pieces left, another one went into the oven. 

Story told to me many times by my mother. Click on the recipe to enlarge. Frosting tomorrow.