A Profile on Patrick Barron

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 30 Jan 1994
Surname/tag: Barron
This page has been accessed 57 times.

Patrick's granddaughter Kristen Otenti interviewed him for a school assignment in 1994. This is the paper she wrote from that interview. (Author's note: I was 11. Please forgive the questionable syntax and transitions.)

Things people lived through were very different in the old days. People did and wore things that seem strange compared to what we do and wear today. Let's check it out ...

Patrick Barron, born in 1918, lived in South Boston with his parents, two sisters, and seven brothers.

Living in a big family wasn't all bad. The kids learned to have responsibility for themselves and others younger than themselves early. He was never bored in a big family: with his siblings, he was able to make up plenty of games to play.

Patrick did plenty of things in his spare time. Since South Boston is near the ocean, he spent most of his time near the water: swimming, boating, and fishing. He also liked playing basketball, baseball, football, and skating.

There was a community center in South Boston, near where Patrick lived, that the kids called the "neighborhood House," where they spent a great deal of time doing crafts, drama, gymnastics, basketball, and many other activities.

Fashions were different, too. Boys had to wear knickers (knee length pants that were buttoned at the knee), knee socks, and shirt. All the boys couldn't wait to get long pants. Then, they were considered "grown-ups."

Even going to school was different. The school Patrick went to was a four-story, square, brick building surrounded by a cast iron fence, complete with a comparatively small play-yard. What made it even more different was that it was an all boys school. The school had a strict dress code. You had to wear a dress shirt and necktie along with the usual knickers and knee socks. Time during class was spent mostly on the teacher lecturing and the class listening. If you didn't behave, your punishment would be the whipping of the hands, which the kids called "rat hands."

Some trips Patrick has taken other than going to any of the three wars he fought were: Italy, Greece, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, France, and Austria.

Patrick was in three wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Patrick described World War II as an all out war. Most young men and many young women were in the uniformed services. The population was strongly behind their effort in the war. World War II greatly changed the lives of the men who became soldiers. The training to become a soldier was a great shock to them because they had no say in anything: of what they did, where they went, how to dress, what they ate, or what they thought. Orders were orders, to be followed through without thinking and all actions were to be in unison with the other soldiers.

There was no comfort during the war. You had to be up at the crack of dawn: running, marching, shooting, [exercising]; and then, at night, you had to sleep on bare ground with no privacy at all.

The war did have a good point though: the soldiers made friendships to last a lifetime.

The Korean War was more isolated in action than World War II. The majority of the men were less enthusiastic about it.

Vietnam, patrick said, was a disaster. Many young men fled the United States to avoid having to fight in the war. The soldiers had no feeling of support from the homefront. They grimly did their duties; returning home with the relief of a nightmare left behind them.

The most exciting event in Patrick's life was coming home, alive and in one piece, from the Vietnam War. But, the most scary time in his life was during the Vietnam War.

And that was what it was like during Patrick Barron's life: a world very different than ours.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.