My interaction with Americans was very early in life. I was sent to live with my grandparents in South Wales because of the War!
Just up the road from them was an American airforce base.
I hadn't started school then and I had the freedom to wander. I walked past their sentry most mornings, fascinated by the rich variety of the men standing with rifles over their shoulders to attention.
They were different colours and sizes and spoke very odd English much like the Welsh in fact.
One morning one of them asked another of them to take me home....along the lane he gave me some chocolate. Wow. This was strictly rationed...and he gave me a whole block of it.
Back at grannies he talked to her. She had made scones and he sat in our kitchen enjoying them.
After that someone from the base turned up regularly with currents, raisins, sultanas....all the things we hadn't been able to get for months.
Granny baked. My job was to collect the eggs every morning...I could always find enough for a big fruit cake.
The men from the base brought the fruit in exchange for the cake....it worked well for us all.
I noticed that whenever the planes went up grandad always counted. He also counted them back in. It was years before I got the significance of that.
Once when my dad had leave from the army he and my mum took me to a dance at the base...I was enthralled by the jitterbugging!
When he had to get a train back the men from the base took us in a jeep to the station. I sat on a very well padded knee!
Some nights the sky was red. Swansea was being bombed.
Our village was fine.
It's no wonder I like the Americans...my early dealings with them were very interesting . I was sorry when they had to go home...
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