Thursday, December 7, 2023

Pearl Harbor Day

On 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. We're facing more dark moments in the future as international conflicts rise once more. Let's pray another Pearl Harbor doesn't happen.


  1. I have read that story before about your mom and Pearl Harbor day. I never connected until just now that my father was dirt poor from Louisiana and born in 1929. My dad was from Elm Grove near Bossier City. He wrote a book about his life and it was a whole other world. I am so glad you still have your mom!

  2. I live in bossier city and would love to read your fathers book if available. Title?

    1. I’m sorry he made copies just for his four daughters. I didn’t think about how that sounded like a published book. My apologies but he lead quite a life there until he left for the navy.

  3. What is most concerning to me are the hordes of men young and healthy enough to march hundreds of miles to cross our border with no obvious concern about being stopped.
    We has real leadership on deck when Pearl Harbor happened, and during WWII. But not now. In spite of all the evil things this guy now has done, having him where .he is amounts to elder abuse.
    Seriously. He has soiled himself in public multiple times in public and has to have help getting changed. If any of the rest of us put an older family member in this situation who was incontinent, delusional, incoherent, with huge breaches in memory, we'd be put under the jail.