I can’t claim much knowledge about this.
But the connection is there.
As a very small child I spent two years attending a Catholic school for preschool and kindergarten. My brothers would have been in kindergarten when I was in preschool. When I was in kindergarten I would have attended the school without a sibling in attendance. The only time in my entire school attendance that I would not have had at least one if not three, four or maybe five siblings in the same school with me at the same time. This has nothing to do with the story, it’s just another twist.
I can’t say I have a huge connection to World War II when I think of my preschool years. I was born long after the war. My acquaintance with the war is through history and meeting the veterans through my work.
I have few reminiscences of those very young years of mine. I thought it a pleasant memory to recall our bus driver picking me and my brothers up in his Cadillac on the way to school instead of using the bus so he didn’t have to come back our way with the bus to get us. I recall my cousins attended the school. I recall a climbing concoction made in the shape of a dome, one could climb all the way to the top, over and back down. I remember a lady there, a nun? Or a nun in training? Who was holding a steak to her chest. Why? I have no idea. I just remember it. I would be ever so grateful if there was someone else who could tell me what that was all about. Truth be told, I was 3, 4 and 5 years old. I’m lucky to have any recollections at all.
Over the years I had heard rumor that Tokyo Rose resided at this school. Yes. That Tokyo Rose from World War II. I was too young and wouldn’t have known. But I started looking in to it.
I can find no evidence of Tokyo Rose ever residing there.
But I did find out why such rumors existed.
There is truth to the story. There is a story. Right war. Wrong traitor.
Axis Sally was the convicted traitor from World War II who resided at the school.
I pulled up her picture. I wanted to immediately say I recognized her. But I can’t. But, I also can’t say she isn’t familiar. I can’t help but wonder. Did she teach me music? Did I talk to her? Did she talk to me? I was there. She was the music teacher for kindergartners. What was she like? What did the nuns think? Was she nice to the children? Did the children trust her? I know it sounds a little silly, but that kind of matters to me. How did a convicted traitor ‘get’ to teach children? Why did the federal government think that was a good idea? I am reading conflicting reports. Some of what I read suggest she did what she did, against her beliefs, and to stay alive. Other things I read disagree, siting her own beliefs and life choices were what took her to where she was during the war, against America and American allies.
Like I said, I have no real knowledge of this. But my life briefly crossed paths with a character from a time in history that still haunts and torments this world. I can’t help but wonder about it. Our paths crossing may not have altered either of our lives. But now ….. I can’t help but look back.