1940’s Ration Book Returns to Jamestown

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – A piece of local history has found its way back to Jamestown after almost eighty years.

It started as a simple eBay search for one local veteran, who has now, reconnected a local family with an important piece of history.

“A couple months ago I was online, I happen to stumble across a 1943 war ration book. Now there’s many like this but, and it’s hard to tell, there’s actually a Jamestown address on this which kinda got me a little bit curious. So I got this and started researching it and it led me to Jim. This was actually his mothers war ration card,” says David Anthony, Vice Commander of the Chautauqua County American Legion.

Jim Caronia’s mother Providence passed away last year at 96, but he still remembers some of her stories about life during the war.

“It brought me back to the type of lifestyle they had when they were kids. I heard the stories, but you forget about them, you don’t remember them. But that just kinda brought me back to how hard life was for them,” says Caroina.

His mother and father married right after the war, after his father returned from the Navy.

“Similar to my aunt, she worked also as helping to build planes at Art Metal when they changed over their production during the war,” says Caroina.

Providence’s 99-year-old sister Sara Pasquariello remembers what life was like, including the logistics of food transportation.

“When we come down, we didn’t have any cars so we had to bring all our food down with a wagon. And my sister, I wouldn’t do it because I was older, but I was embarrassed to pull the wagon down the street, so she used to do it,” says Pasquariello.

Pasquariello also reminisced about her family’s inability to pay for a trip to the movie theater, what then cost a dime.

“The only thing we wanted to see because we were so poor, we wanted to see Shirley Temple. Because Shirley Temple was so popular, the other Jane Whithers and all them they were popular too, but not like Shirley Temple. She made the money for the studio,” says Pasquariello.

Her family would collect cans and other scrap metal to make ends meet.

“What I like about it is that it still has many of the original stamps in it. And you can see just what all was rationed during that time frame,” explains Anthony.

The history of this card, keeps sacrifices made during the era alive.

“This was not just the men and women serving overseas,” says Anthony. “This was an entire country that unites together for one common cause. There was nobody that said, ‘I’m not part of this.’ Everybody took part, everybody helped out to make this happen.”

The card will be on display for the public to view at the Lakewood American Legion.


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