January 1942

Arthur Austin was with the 5th Army.

“The Japanese took Manila,” Art’s aunt Ella Leavenworth wrote on Friday, January 2.

The warm start to January ended the third day with a storm. Art’s cousin Charlee was with their aunt Anna Leavenworth in East Islip. Charlee’s father Anthony Hirsch arrived at Anna’s in the evening, but had left his car out in the snowstorm. It took Anthony and Charlee ten hours to drive home to Eldred where they spent the weekends.

Life in the Town of Highland seemed to stay the same. Jim Leavenworth and John Ort drew a load of hay from Proctor’s on the 12th. Vernon and Orville Clark were at the Leavenworth’s in the evening.

But there was a heightened sense of danger and the unknown. Highland townsfolk took different shifts to watch for planes at the golf course on Lake DeVenoge. Garfield and Mr. Lochner watched on January 7; Garfield watched again six days later.

Mid-January the Leavenworth men drew two loads of hay with Norm Wolff’s truck. Norm then ate dinner with the Leavenworths. Vernon and Orville Clark and Jim went to the movies.

Orville worked for Dr. George Mills on the Mills Farm. Vernon worked at Jim Mills’ Highland Lake House near Highland Lake.

Between the two houses was the laundry area and summer kitchen. Our family, the Clarks, and the Hallocks were well known to each other. Stella, Vernon, and Christina Hallock all worked for my dad in the boarding house. Vernon was also my brother’s best friend during high school years.—G.M. Russell.

Besides washing all the dishes and pots and pans, I washed the front porch and a side porch every morning for the two years that I worked there.—Vernon.

Lee Hansen started working on the new school which was being built. It would be completed by January 1943, or at least enough to have classes in it. Bill Meyers and Goldie worked on the new Barryville Bridge.

In Islip Anna Leavenworth sent a razor outfit to her nephew Bob Austin who had enlisted in Canada before the US entered the war.

In Eldred Arthur Austin received a notice from the Selective Service Board that he was 1A.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, January 19, Arthur stopped by Aunt Aida’s place on his way to the city to enlist. His brother Bill took him to Port Jervis to meet the train. Uncle Lon Austin and Alfred Hill went along for the ride. Lon was back about 11 a.m.

It must have been very hard for Lon and Aida to see their nephew leave to enlist. Lon gave Art a New Testament with a short, loving note and two Bible verses.

“To Arthur, My dear nephew, May the Lord keep thee in all thy ways. Lovingly, Uncle Lon.”

The following week was a busy one for Aida. Tuesday afternoon she went to the A&P and stopped at Mae’s. On the way home she met Mary Bosch and Cleta Horton.

Wednesday Aida went to see Mary and Margie Bosch. Aida visited her Austin great-nieces at their grandfather Edwin Myers’ house on Friday.

Saturday Melva Austin visited Aida. Bob Austin, in Scotland, had sent Aida a letter with a ring for his niece Melva. Lon walked to the Village three times that day.

It snowed from Sunday night, until Monday evening when it turned to rain.

Aida stopped to see Frances Knorr on the way back from the A&P on Tuesday. Paul Knorr drove Aida home.

Thursday, January 29, Aida met Marie Hulse at the Post Office. Aida saw Jennie Crandall at the A&P. Jennie’s husband George drove Aida home.

Saturday, the last day of January, Anna (in E. Islip) woke up stiff with rheumatism. She had managed to fall off the last step of the stairs to the cellar, and was “crippled all day.”

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