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Memories

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Memories

by  Bluewolf

"What first got you interested in anthropology, Chief?"

Blair looked up, surprised by the question, and grinned. "Would you believe, my grandmother?"

"Somehow... it doesn't really surprise me."

"It was... Naomi left me with my grandparents quite a lot when I was young, and I was living with them when I was eight and my teacher gave the class a project on WW2. I wasn't sure where to find info on it, and asked Gran.

"Turned out she was British, born in the early thirties, and while she wasn't a child during the war, she was still at school. There were a lot of American bases in Britain at the time, and for several years after, and when she was seventeen she met Ted Sandburg, they fell in love and married. Naomi was born about a year later, then when Naomi was two Grandpa was posted back to America, and so here Gran was, one of many war brides...

"Anyway, she told me quite a lot. Did you know that food was rationed in Britain during the war? We could eat in a day - hell, in one meal - the ration for a week they had of some things. One egg a week, Jim. One!

"They needed to import a lot of food, and the Merchant Navy could only carry essentials - so a lot of stuff like tropical fruit wasn't included. The only fruit available was what could be grown in Britain - apples, pears, maybe some cherries and soft fruit.

"Anyway, Gran had an aunt who was pretty friendly with a woman who had a son in the Merchant Navy, and on one trip about 1942, knowing he was due leave as soon as they got back, he managed to get some bananas to take home as personal luggage. They were totally unripe, green and hard, but he knew they'd ripen, given time. Her friend gave my great-grand-aunt one of those bananas for her niece.

"Gran could remember bananas from before the war, so she was looking forward to it. But of course it wasn't ripe. It sat on a mat on her bedside cabinet for - she said it felt like months, but was probably really only two or three weeks. She checked it every day, it began to yellow and soften, and eventually the day came when her mother said it was ripe and she could eat it.

"She told me it tasted wonderful... and to this day bananas are her favourite fruit.

"Anyway, I got a very good grade for my project... but as well, hearing all that gave me an interest in how other people live.

"So I ended up studying anthropology," he finished.