Today I am launching a new blog, one I hope you will all enjoy reading as much as I’m enjoying writing it. Not since my dissertation days have I been as excited about a project. What are my plans, you ask?
Well. Let me share them with you.
I’m in the midst of telling the stories of just a few of the World War II civilians and military personnel who got America through the darkest hours in the history of theworld. This will be a highly fictionalized telling of the story of how Texarkana, Arkansas-Texas and thousands of nearby residents helped to win the war.
Yes, you read correctly. Texarkana is a city divided by a state line. There are other “twin cities” around the country, but Texarkana is unique. It’s the only such city I know of that has two complete government systems. Two mayors and governing bodies. Two police departments. Two fire departments. Two school systems, which has led to a mighty rivalry between the two schools, particularly during football season.
In 1940, however, that state line disappeared, as both sides of the city and residents from surrounding counties in both Texas and Arkansas came together to build, store, ship, and eventually receive and overhaul massive amounts of ammunition used by the military during World War II.
That complete story, and its impact on Bowie County and the surrounding communities, I attempted to tell in my dissertation: The Defense Industry in Northeast Texas, 1941-1965: The Social and Economic Impact on Bowie County (University of North Texas, 1995). I did my research just in time. During the 1990s the generation that got America through the war died off at a disheartening rate. Here I was, finally old enough and interested enough to want to know everything about my community and its people during that time… And they were just fading away from us, like flowers left on a grave too long.
If you, like me, want to know more about how our parents and grandparents (great-grandparents even) survived World War II, come and join me on this blog over the coming months. After I finish From Cotton Fields to Bomb Plants, don’t go anywhere. Because I have two sequels planned already.
We could be together for a very long time!
I will continue to post my “Musings” as well, so I will not be adding to this blog every day. But my determination is to add at least three new posts each week for the duration. “For the duration.” Now there’s a pithy phrase! Lots in those three little words. Come along on this journey with me and let’s see if we can’t find out exactly what it means.