What My Mother Said about VJ Day & Marrying My Dad


Henry Albert and Laura Mae Dunscombe Baker

Image scanned & shared by my niece Jessica Baker

From the Memoir of Laura Mae Dunscombe Baker,

Born December 6, 1926
Recorded by Jacki Kellum, Born 1950

If you have read other of this series of posts, you will remember that my mother actually said what I will share–[that is not in square brackets]:

[While I was in St. Louis] I was dating a St. Louis boy…. I met…[the boy] because he had been working with…[my brother] and he introduced us. When I came home, I lived with Grandma Dunscombe for a while again and…[the boy] even came down to see me. He brought Grandma a box of candy and she was very flattered. Even let us use their car a time or two, which is one for the books.


My dad with his crew from his World War II B-17 aircraft

Image scanned & shared by my niece Jessica Baker

“But I soon got a job at Gideon in the lumberyard office and moved in with the…He was grade schol principal and that was pretty close to home for me. I loved them. She sewed for me just like I was hers and chewed me out if I stayed out too late. I was living there when Hank [my dad] came home on furlough, and we started dating. We had both gone to a neighbor’s party. Each us went with different people and somehow during the night we switched up and Hank brought me home. It was about every night after that. That was probably about November or December…[and we were at my brother’s house] on VJ Day, which put an end to war.


VJ Day Times Square

He had been sent home with the full knowledge that when he returned, he would be sent to Japan. But when they attacked us, we put them out of the picture fast, and Hank was notified that he would not go to Japan but to come back to Jeffereson Barracks (Missouri) and be put out of service (there is a word for that but dadgum if I can think of it). Anyway, he was gone 3 or 4 weeks, came back, asked me to marry him and the rest is history. We probably dated 3 or 4 months, and some of that time he was gone.


My Dad, During the Air Force [the Army Air Force]

“I remember that when he came back through St. Louis, he stopped at a really good men’s shop and bought himself some very nice civilian clothers. Shed those uniforms for good!

“Seems like yesterday when I start reliving it, and it has really been 56 years [she wrote that in 2002].”


My mom & dad, shortly before my dad died, at the age of 91

Copyright Jacki Kellum October 20, 2015

As I have also said before, I have begun a 3-Way Memoir, where I’ll record some of my mother’s responses to some questions that I asked about her life. I hope to have the memoir published for my mother’s 90th birthday on December 6, 2016. It will be my grandmother’s story, my mother’s story, and mine–all told about our lives in the now very dusty and boarded-shut Bootheel of Southeast Missouri.

You can find excerpts from that memoir in various places on my blog, by searching:

What My Mother Said, Calico Cotton, Cotton Child, and When Cotton Was King

Read More about the upcoming book: https://jackikellum.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/it-is-time-for-the-world-to-hear-from-3-strong-women-from-the-missouri-bootheel/

All Rights Reserved


4 thoughts on “What My Mother Said about VJ Day & Marrying My Dad

  1. Pingback: Jacki Kellum

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s