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Interview on experiences in World War II

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Creator: Schubert, James Frederick

Date: August 28, 2006

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: World War II Oral Histories Project

Unit ID: 211753

Biographical sketch: James Schubert was born in a log cabin near Jefferson City, Missouri and grew up on the farm, the oldest of five children. He tells about what life was like growing up and the schools he attended, at one time walking 3 miles to school before switching to a parochial school about a mile from his home. He and his cousin would alternate weeks driving to high school and he talks about the transition from a small rural school to attending high school. College was out of the question because his parents couldn't afford it and he had to work after school to earn a living. In 1934 he started working for Montgomery Ward and was transferred eleven times to different stores, many on short notice because of employees being drafted. He first met his wife at a barn dance and they were married in 1936. Mr. Schubert was working as store manager in Chanute in April of 1944 when he was drafted. At the time there was only himself and one other man at the store of 35 employees because all the men had been drafted. It was hard to deal with because women were in departments that they knew little about so after hours he would try to finish up whatever needed to be done. There were about 75 other people from Kansas that went with him to Leavenworth on the bus to take their physicals. He was retained for three days, being checked twice a day for three days after which the chief surgeon said to "Kick him out." They said his heart was "fast, enlarged, and erratic." In 1945 he was transferred to Lawrence, Kansas where he and his wife had a hard time finding a place to live because of the Sunflower Ordinance Works near by. They had to stay at the Eldridge Hotel for five months before an old gentleman (Dr. Baumgartner)whose wife had passed away offered to let them share his home. Eventually they bought a house in Lawrence but he got transferred again to Kansas City, then Leavenworth. When the company wanted to send him to New York he decided it was time to get out of the chain stores and be in business for himself so he opened The Jay Shoppe in Lawrence on January 2, 1952. He and his wife owned the shoppe for 33 years, selling it in November 1984. Schubert discusses the store's popularity and what downtown Lawrence was like during those years.

Summary: Schubert was drafted in 1944 and served briefly before being discharged for medical reasons. Interviewed by Pattie Johnston on Aug 28, 2006, Schubert talked about military experiences in the Second World War. The 2005 Kansas Legislature passed a bill funding the WWII Veterans Oral History grant program. This transcript is from one of the community institutions receiving grants. The transcript of the interview is presented here; the original video copy of the interview is available through the Watkins Community Museum of History (Lawrence) and through the Kansas State Historical Society.

Space Required/Quantity: Video

Title (Main title): Interview on experiences in World War II

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019-14-05-06  Mini DV Tape 

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