Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jean Silcox Baldwin

On June 11, Nick and I performed our last duo interview together with Jean Silcox Baldwin. Baldwin grew up in Chestertown and was a young teenager during the war.

She provided her unique insight on common WWII themes. For example, in regards to rationing, Baldwin talked about how proud housewives would be of themselves when they were able to come up with a recipe for baked goods that didn't need sugar. She also spoke on how important it was to write to men overseas at the time in order to keep their spirits up. More interestingly, she mentioned that girlfriends wouldn't get mad if other girls wrote to their guys, because they knew that they needed as much supported as they could get.

Baldwin shared some stories that we haven't been able to discuss in depth. She talked about how beloved Franklin Roosevelt was, and how Americans throughout the country wholeheartedly believed that he was the man that would get them out of the war. According to Baldwin, many Americans even had photos of Roosevelt hanging in their homes.

Baldwin also discussed the system of mailing called v-mail, where letters were shrunken down to fit on smaller, lighter paper. This way more letters could be sent at one time. This information was particularly interesting for me because I have a v-mail letter that my grandmother received from her brother in January 1945.

Baldwin gave us a lot details that we had known before, it was really a pleasure to interview her.

-Emma Buchman

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