Carter at Large… The Sandbox By Lorraine B. Carter

It was 1945, the Zenith Radio blared with the graveled voice of the announcer yelling excitedly, “World War Two is over, America has won the War. The German’s have surrendered, Hitler is dead.” The children were sitting on the beautiful wine-red colored carpet in the main parlor of the Booker T. Washington Orphanage Home. We were huddled around the floor model Zenith radio, which looked like a fine piece of furniture. The children were fascinated with the radio except for a few tough boys who were jabbing and pinching each other. Mrs. Calvin, the Home’s overseer was sitting in her favorite wing chair, looking over her eyeglasses, giving the boy’s her “no nonsense” stare and they stopped the mischief instantly.

I thought the radio was beautiful, but unlike the other children I had seen the radio often, because I was always getting in trouble for some reason or another.

After President Roosevelt spoke, I was getting anxious to go to the playground and I asked if I could go outside. I quietly left the room under the watchful stare of Mrs. Calvin. I went straight to my favorite thing and it was not long before the little white girl I often played with came and joined me in the sand box. Jodie was younger than I was and usually did what I told her, but this time she asked me to do something. She offered to go home and bring back pencil and paper to record our feelings about the end of World War Two. We wrote our notes to the future. I cannot disclose what I wrote. I never knew what Jodie wrote we were to keep our messages secret and both promised never to tell! After we finished writing, I pulled a white ribbon off my braid and tore it in half. I gave her a piece and wrapped my note, then I buried it in the hole I had dug. Jodie did the same. We stood up, saluted the mounds and walked away toward the swings. We had done a patriotic thing, never realizing the next rain would destroy our notes.

Today I wonder if the people who rioted and disrespected our Capitol had as much patriotism as two little girls digging in the Sandbox!