What do you see out of your window today?

Memories of After the War

A story by Elsie Johnson



The war was over. My husband Harry had started Dental School pre-war and was anxious to finish. The government had approved help if you wished to resume school. Indiana gave him his first acceptance so he decided to take it since schools were filling up fast! Especially because they offered housing for married students. This was setting up trailers on campus grounds. (We were fortunate since ours was on ground within the football stadium.) We had to go outside the grounds to use the bathrooms which were shared by many students. (You thought twice before you went to the bathroom especially in the winter.) We also didn’t have running water in the trailer so had a clean bucket and a dirty bucket which were emptied daily. We had an ice box which held 50lb of ice and lasted a week. Our stove had pressure (one day after lighting the stove there was a huge bang which threw me in the back of the trailer). With a few orange crates we used as tables, the trailer was quite livable. We lived on campus and enjoyed other students. We had no money for even a movie. I said I would work at the local hospital but after applying and found I could only work nights at a $100 a month, Harry said, No, we’ll manage!. Harry finished his academics and it was time for us to move to Indianapolis where the Dental School was located. This meant we had to find our own apartment. Apartments were hard to find and we didn’t have much money. We were shown a 3rd story apartment in a renovated house. The apartment didn’t look bad until she showed us the bathroom which was on the 2nd floor. Above the tub was written Do not use scouring powder to clean tub. It is painted! Needless to say, we rejected that apartment not only for the location of the bathroom but it was to be shared by the other couples!!!! We finally found a nice apartment that we could afford. We even paid the first week rent and settled in. The next morning I looked out of the window to the next house and a man was standing in front of the window completely naked! We were shocked but had to leave for an appointment. That evening friends invited us for dinner. During our conversation they asked where our apartment was located. They laughed and laughed, You’re in the middle of the Red Light section of the city! Needless to say, we went back to the apartment and gathered up our belongings and left without notice or getting back our money! Fortunately our friends invited us to stay with them a few nights! What a wonderful invitation! We finally found a nice apartment where the owner only rented to medical and dental students. We stayed there until Harry graduated and made wonderful friends and enjoyed the rest of our Indianapolis stay!

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 dental school,education,GI Bill,housing,ice box,Red Light District
Jun 16 2024


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