In 1918 Caddo High School students wrote essays for a contest sponsored by their teacher, Miss Bernice Pendleton, and judged by J. L. Boland, Rev. L. M Daly, and Rev. W. H. Haste. The topic for the papers was “any phase of the present war”. The winners of the competition were Christine Hogan, Welsey Robertson, Mozelle Downing, and Allen Siegel. Here is Mozelle Downing’s composition:
By Mozelle Downing
Home Battery. These two words mean everything to the nation. If it were not for home battery, this war would be lost because the soldiers could not go on fighting from day to day without aid from their country and homes.
The Americans have been spoiled. They have never had to save before and many of them cannot realize what it will mean if they don’t save now. The war is so far off that it doesn’t seem real. But it is real and as the boys of this nation are giving their lives for its cause the people left behind must give their loyal service and loan their savings to help the boys win.
Save up your quarters and buy Thrift Stamps. If a person would save the small amount of one dollar a week, he would in time become the purchaser of a Liberty Bond on the installment plan. Some people ask, “How can I save?” If they would stop to think they would find many things that they could do without. The man could save the price of a couple of cigars, of a few boxes of cigarettes, or a couple of shaves while the women could save a few sweets, some perfume, or even a piece of trimming on her dress; or again, she might be able to buy a few cans less of vegetables for the daily meals.
The Americans at home cannot realize what the Red Cross means in this war. Wherever one goes, the Red Cross is in the thick of the battle- first to aid, last to rest. It needs every dollar that can be raised for it. Some people do not help the Red Cross, merely for want of thought, others do not help because they have only a dollar to give and think that this is such a small sum that it would not even count. But, if each person in the United States would give one dollar, it would mean one hundred million dollars. Many women knit endlessly for this cause, making wristlets, sweaters, mufflers, wash cloths, etc. They also roll bandages, make dressings, burn presses, cotton pads, and many other things.
Schools can also do their share toward winning the war. The pupils can contribute funds for boxes for the soldiers. They can organize Junior Red Cross and clip rags to make comfort pillows. The smaller children can make scrapbooks for the navy club and all can buy Thrift Stamps.
In the kitchens is the great stronghold, the last line of trenches. Before this war, the Americans depended mainly upon dishes of foreign origin. Now is the time for honest American dishes with simple American names, corn and rice and carrots and cabbage and the consequence may be that they will be adopted as national dishes.
If only actual waste could be stopped there would be little self-denial in the matter of wheat, meat, sugar, or fats. Waste is unnecessary and while many people are enthusiastic about saving there are always some people who are disloyal and indifferent. There are some who think that being a liberal subscriber to the Red Cross, all issues of the Liberty Loans, and the numerous relief organizations keeps them from having to observe meatless and wheatless days.
Another thing that housewives do to save is planting gardens. They raise their own vegetables, and can their own fruit, thus saving very much.
Home Battery is very important and if entered into by the people with the right kind of spirit will win the war.