I’ve been watching CBS Sunday Morning for over twenty years and it’s still my favorite program. I never know what topics they will report, but I do know it will be interesting. I always thought I would be successful if I saw some play or other event on Sunday Morning and then had the means to experience the event myself during the following week.
Well, that never happened, but I’m still dreaming. I guess that’s the important part, isn’t it?
Seeing it’s Sunday, I’m not writing a long post, but I will keep my promise to give you a couple more chapters of “Apple Pie and Strudel Girls.”
See you tomorrow.
APPLE PIE AND STRUDEL GIRLS
Lacrosse, Wisconsin, 1937—Donna Jean Simpson woke at seven in the morning and bounced out of bed with high energy. She loved school, not because she developed a fondness for learning, but because going to school gave her a chance to be with her friends and listen to the latest high school gossip. As a petite, butter blond with huge blue eyes and a milky smooth complexion, Donna enjoyed popularity. Girls liked her in their inner circles because Donna always found adventure and fun, but more importantly a wake of good-looking boys always followed her.
Donna brushed her long, lush hair until it shone. She slipped on her favorite pleated skirt and pink turtleneck sweater which gave her face a healthy glow. She swiped pink lipstick across her lips and hid the tube between her full breasts. If her father caught her wearing any make-up, she would feel the back of his hand as he shouted. “Get that shit off your face. You’re pretty enough without that crap.”
She tip-toed down the hallway of the still house and into the kitchen. Her father left for work early today. Ten years passed since the stock market crash, but wages and hours at the auto plant remained low. No one worked a full week forty-hour week yet.
Donna grabbed an apple from a bowl on the counter and ran out the backdoor.
Her mother entered the kitchen just as the door slammed. “Donna Jean! Get back here!” Her mother yelled.
Donna poked her head through the door. “Gotta go, Mom.”
“You need to eat breakfast!”
“No time, Mom. I’ll miss my ride. Wish me luck!” Donna Jean yelled back.
Her mother threw her arms into the air and mumbled. “That girl is going to be the death of me.”
Donna intended to be in the school talent show, but first she would audition after school today. She realized at a young age her singing voice touched people when they listened to her. People always turned and stared at her when she sang in church, and after mass, they commented on her beautiful voice. She never got tired of hearing people appreciated her talent.
Nobody would guess Donna’s talent came with terrible stage fright, causing her to vomit before every solo. But when she stepped onto the stage and slipped into the spotlight she appeared and sounded like a seasoned professional.
Today she walked with confidence. Everyday for the past several weeks she practiced with a pianist after school. She also sang at home with records on the phonograph until her father yelled, “Shut-up, already!”
Even though her father’s indifference stabbed her heart, she would never allow him to steal her dream of becoming a big star.
Berlin, Germany, 1937—People saw Leisel Fuchs as an Aryan beauty. Her large almond shaped blue eyes sparkled, while her long butter blond hair framed her flawless oval face. Her cheeks always wore a soft shade of pink without any make-up. In another world Leisel surely would be a movie star or at least a pin-up for male athletic lockers.
Her parents expected her to be bright, polite, and thoroughly versed in how to run a household. As the daughter of a Nazi senior officer, Leisel needed to be especially careful because other officers scrutinized her public behavior activities and would report to her father if they caught Leisel doing something unladylike. Then she would face her father’s wrath.
Henrich Fuchs grew up as a butcher’s son in a poor section of the city, but he never talked about his childhood. His neighbors happened to be Jewish shopkeepers, and as a youngster he played with their children. His attitude toward his old neighbors changed after he joined the Nazi party. Now he looked upon his childhood friends as beings less than human. He joined other SS Nazis humiliating and beating Jewish men on the streets. He participated in the “Krystal Naught” and laughed as synagogues burned and store windows of Jewish shopkeepers crashed into the streets. Like his brethren Nazis, Henrich believed Jews to be inferior and should be punished according to the new laws.
Henrich and his dutiful wife enjoyed the fruits of his high rank in Hitler’s elite SS. They lived in a beautiful home situated in the best part of the city. Leisel’s parents made sure their perfect Aryan girl followed the rules of the party. Her father believed she would make a beautiful wife for some worthy SS officer he would hand pick. On the surface Leisel bought into her father’s dream of pairing her with a handsome Nazi to produce a large family of perfect Aryan children. Deep down, though, she desired to attend the university and become a professor of mathematics.