Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Memories of Pearl Harbor

Eighty years ago today – December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor was attacked.

A few years ago, my mother (who was born in 1931 on the bayous of Louisiana) shared an extraordinary story as follows:

In the fall of 1941 my mother started making homemade bread every Saturday. She used yeast on the first recipe, but after that she would save a starter, a piece of dough. Of course we had no refrigeration, so she would just take the starter dough and put it in a bowl in the cabinet. The next week she would use the starter dough to make a fresh batch of bread.

My oldest brother had taken off for something, and he came home with a friend. The boy lived about a mile away from our house, but since we lived along a bayou, we had to cross a prairie to get to his house. He walked in the house and the smell of fresh bread permeated the place. He was wowed, and Mamma broke him off a piece of fresh bread for him to eat.

He had gone to school with us, but like a lot of kids his age he joined the Navy at age 17. He told my mother he was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the Arizona.

This took place on Saturday November 22nd. Thirteen days later he died on the Arizona at Pearl Harbor. His name was William (Bill) Stoddard.

My mother stopped making bread. I was ten years old.

Needless to say, Pearl Harbor didn't just affect Hawaii.

It also affected a tiny little community on the bayous of Louisiana, and a 10-year-old child's memory of a neighbor boy who died for our country.

It was a dark moment in history. Say a prayer for those who died, and those who survived.


  1. Thank you for sharing that story, Patrice.

  2. Frances in My Corner of the Trailer ParkDecember 7, 2021 at 7:35 AM

    My husband was also born in 1931. He was living with his mother and grandmother in San Diego in 1941 while his step-father and uncle were in the Navy stationed in Hawaii. He remembers being with his mother and grandmother window-shopping in downtown San Diego when they heard the news. His mother was to have gone to Hawaii for Christmas, but needless to say, did not go. Neither his step-father (a commander who was at sea that morning) or his uncle (a dentist who was on land) were injured. The memories bring a tear to his eye on this date every year.

  3. Thanks for the nice memory. She was baking bread every Saturday when she was ten-years-old?

    1. No, HER mother was. The italicized portion is my mother's story from when she was 10.

      - Patrice

  4. Do all these military soldiers a honor ,and MORE , think about how this war and others like 911 all got started , FDR knew japs coming ,JFK, , third building #7 just fell down !!!! WAKEUP
    Something seriously wrong , now covid , WAKE UP