Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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The T-Day Landing
My mother said to me this evening, apropos of nothing, "I don't suppose many people can remember the exact date when they took up smoking, but in my case it was 6th June 1944."

My grandfather, who commanded a ship that took some of the bigwigs across the Channel on D-Day+1, had of course known the date of Overlord for some time beforehand. Not being as good at keeping secrets as he was at sailing ships he had told it to my grandmother, who in turn had told my mother (and no doubt much of Wrexham - which happily was not a town thick with German spies). So my mother was very nervous on the 6th June, listening for news of the landings on the radio, when someone offered her a cigarette to calm her nerves. In less than a month it will be her and tobacco's 70th anniversary.

I blame Hitler.

sartorias

2014-05-08 11:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

My dad didn't smoke until he was in the army, and they were offered free cigs when he was an eighteen year old in the occupation of Japan. He came back a five-pack-a day smoker of unfiltered Luckies, one of the harshest cigarettes made.

ethelmay

2014-05-10 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Oof. My mother smoked Luckies. In her youth they were marketed to teenagers with "Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet."

sartorias

2014-05-10 01:46 am (UTC) (Link)

I hope she lived much longer and healthier than my dad did.

ethelmay

2014-05-10 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Probably not. She was 67. Needless to say, the Joe Camel ad about "75 and still smokin'!" made us pretty angry.

sartorias

2014-05-10 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Oh, geez, I am sorry. My dad stopped smoking when his sister got lung cancer at 45, and his lung collapsed a year later. Two bypasses after, and he barely made it a week past seventy.

Yeah, I'm still angry, too, when I think of everything he missed.

karinmollberg

2014-05-09 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)

You are right, it´s definitely his fault. Glad you still have her!

Thanks to him, I don´t have either parent anymore. No, they didn´t die at war or immediately after, they lived in Sweden for years after they fled the GDR but my mum died in March 1989 (half a year before the Wall fell - bad timing, of her) and my dad in January 1997. They were kids under Hitler (not as much fun as many think) and at war (the epithet "teenager" did not yet exist), they belonged to the so-called (in Germany) "betrayed Generation".

When my mother died I started smoking cigars to calm my nerves myself and now I still do, not only when watching the news on TV. I blame Hitler, too.

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