Seeking history on WWII families

For many of us, it is hard to imagine what life was like in the United States during World War II. Virtually every person in the nation was affected by the war on a daily basis. Scrap drives, bond sales, patriotic displays, rationing books, and shortages of food staples, gasoline and rubber were a part of daily life on the home front.

Much has been written about the lives of our nation's men and women during that time. There are few among us who do not know about the experiences of GI Joe and Rosie the Riveter. One group whose experiences have been largely overlooked in historical accounts of World War II is American children. Certainly, their lives were as greatly affected as the adults. While those who were babies and preschoolers have little if any recollection from that time, individuals who were school-aged children surely have stories to tell about life as a child during this pivotal time in history.

As a master's student at Washburn University, I hope to fill some of that gap in historical accounts as my final thesis project, "At Home on the Range: Childhood in Kansas During World War II." My goal is to survey adults who were children living in Kansas during World War II to collect their childhood stories and memories. If you are age 75 to 85 and are willing to participate in this worthwhile project, I invite you to contact me and express your willingness to share your memories.

Once I've heard from you, I will send you a questionnaire that will ask about your childhood experiences during World War II. You may reach me by email at donna.clark@washburn.edu, or by note or postcard sent to Donna Clark, c/o WWII Research Project, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Avenue, Topeka, KS 66621. I look forward to hearing from a large variety of Kansans male, female, people of all races and ethnicities, rural or urban, and pacifists as well as those who supported the war. It is time to record this group's experiences in history.

DONNA CLARK,

Topeka

More to consider with Amtrak issue

I read your editorial published April 14 titled Amtrak Push. Sounds like you have dismissed the thought of the current route of Southwest Chief being saved. That being so, let me ask "What is wrong with telling your readers the real reason the track conditions are deteriorating?" The areas of current concern are Glorieta Pass, Raton Pass involving Burlington Northern Santa Fe and a third area from Lamy westward 22 miles owned by the state of New Mexico. Recently New Mexico (the new governor of New Mexico) turned down the purchase of the rail line from Lamy to Trinidad this is a matter of record.

Do you think that after turning down a purchase, they would spend money on a section of rail line they are not using or go to bat for federal dollars to fix that which they turned down? After reading your paper I get the gist the Amtrak deal is over and done and time to move on. OK. You're missing the point. Recognize the facts and turn that energy, money and fortitude into a positive. You have new air service, what about bus service? There is no bus service to Amarillo, Texas, maybe that is something that could be worked out with Amtrak. The rail station could be Union station bus, air, taxi. Lots of positive, that is the point.

DON SMALL,

Amarillo, Texas

Outrageous plan on state taxes

In reading the article, "Lawmakers revised a plan," in The Telegram on May 4, the plan is to phase out income taxes for 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses and drop the sales tax to 5.7 percent in July 2013 from its present 6.3 percent. There is just nothing like trying to make people think that Santa still comes down the chimney. This is a political disgrace. Who are these people? If I am employed by one of these companies that pays no income tax, will I get a raise in pay to offset my cost of living, and who is going to force my employer to see that happens?

A question: If these issues come to pass and since the national income tax is federal, just where is the state operational money going to come from? Just what will be the increase in county-wide sales tax and have you considered what will happen to those low-income people? Let's see some projections about all state costs being placed on property tax.

All political party members need to pull their head out of wherever it is. This issue is a statewide voting issue.

The "Why Not" club, 276-0667, express your feelings through the newspaper.

LEE MESSENGER,

Garden City