Pete Enlarging the foundation

Pete spent his first seven years coddled, spoiled, and protected by grandparents, aunts, and uncles. He never thought those years would end and his life change. When his mother met Gene, however, things changed. Suddenly Pete had a stepfather and lived in a village.

It took time, but Pete found new friends and challenges. Reading, trapping, hunting, and skiing filled Pete's leisure time while employment at various jobs satisfied his financial needs. Frequent visits to the farm kept memories alive. While grandparents, aunts, and uncles appreciated the end of the depression, the threat of a world war worried them.

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and everything changed. Buster joined the army. While he desired to be a motorcycle scout, he ended up a tank mechanic. The draft got Robert; he became a tank killer in a tank destroyer outfit. Buster and Robert landed France on, or shortly after D-Day in June 1944. They were in Germany at the end of the war. Willis, Pete's father, traveled to Canada and volunteered to fly bombers from New Foundland to England. Later he joined the RAF Pathfinders.

The shortage of men in factories and on the farm required their replacement by women, old, and young men. Pete worked as a hired farm hand whenever school permitted. While the first seven years formed the foundation of Pete's character, the next seven years enlarged it.

--C. R. MacBean

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