Zella Sallows's scrapbook tells of life during World War II 2012.11.07

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

zella.sallowsZella Sallows first started her scrapbook when she was a high school student in Morenci. She had finished the younger grades at the North Morenci school house, then changed to the school in town as she worked her way toward graduation.

“I started saving some clippings while I was a senior,” she said. “I had them in another book and lost it.”

Her efforts started up again after graduation and her marriage to Bud Sallows. World War II was raging and Bud enlisted shortly after he married Zella.

The young couple packed up and moved to Texas where Bud was stationed in the Army Air Forces base in Pyote. He was being trained as an altitude technician and Zella worked in nearby Wink, Texas.

She saved several mementos from her months in Wink. There are photographs of buildings and notes such as one that explains the downtown: one side of the street was modern and the other was “old West” with a wooden sidewalk in front of the old saloon.

Zella worked in a restaurant/drug store business and got to know a lot of people during her stay of almost a year.

“I knew about everybody like I did in Morenci,” she said of the small-town life.

When Bud shipped out overseas, Zella returned to Morenci and saved newspaper clippings that show Morenci area soldiers.

The book also includes articles written by journalists overseas such as Ernie Pyle writing from the Pacific. One of his articles is titled “Swarms of insects add to the Hell of War on Okinawa.”

Clipping tell of tragedies on the seas and hardships on land. There’s a letter from North Morenci classmate Pete Keller who writes that he likes the Army but he’s having to study a lot more than he did in school. Paul was learning to become machine gunner, but he never returned from the war.

One page of her book shows a newspaper account of her cousin who hunts for Japanese soldiers with a dog. He was an experienced rabbit hunter back home in North Carolina.

The scrapbook includes a poem written by Bud who asks for Zella’s opinion. “A Soldier’s Thoughts” begins:

“Now that day is over,

and night is drawing near,

and shadows of the evening

steal across the sky.

We all sit down and think

of the day we will be free,

to come home to stay.

Oh boy! That will be the day.”

Finally, the telegraph arrived that Zella had long awaited. “Dear Della,” it began—a mistake by the telegraph operator.

“Will be home soon. Will go to Chicago. Don’t write. Love, Bud.”

Nearly 70 years have passed since that telegraph arrived, but Zella still added a few clippings in the years since, such as newspaper photos of her grandsons’ ball teams.

Her scrapbook serves as a private memory of her life during the war, but it’s much more than that. Zella’s clippings create an interesting history book of a tumultuous era of America’s past.

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