Praying for the safe return
of loved ones . . .
Ellen Guerricagoitia

At theHarbor I was four years old and have no memory of the tragic event. I was even too young to realize if or how my parents may have reacted to that news. My sister was ten years old at the time, and she also had no memory of that day.

We both recall the ration books and tokens that we all had to use because of shortages of certain commodities during the war.

My family lived in Reno. One day my mother had driven two miles across town to a grocery store for shopping. One of the items that she had purchased was a bag of sugar. As mom was an avid and very talented baker, sugar was one of those rationed foods that she never seemed to have enough of to satisfy her needs. When she returned home, she checked and realized that she had not given the clerk the sugar coupon as she had not requested it. She immediatly drove back to the store to relinquish that precious piece of paper. She didn’t give a second thought to the fact that she was using another very difficult to obtain product—the gas—for the car.

This action was only one that exemplified the total honesty of my mother. This trait of honesty from both of our parents is one that also became an important part of the make-up of my sister and me.

Other things I remember were:

• the victory garden for fresh food.

• the news reels at the movies.

• saving the foil from the inner wrapper of sticks of gum to recycle.

• and praying for the safe return of loved ones in the service of our country.

Ellen Maria Guerricagoitia was born in Westwood, Lassen County, California July 5, 1937, and moved to Reno, Nevada, in 1940. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education. She married in 1960 and spent one month in Alabama and three years in Colorado Springs while her husband was in the service. She moved back to Reno in 1964 where her son, Frank Roger, was born December 15, 1964. She worked at the library at the University of Nevada, Reno, from 1964 until 1999, when she retired. Divorced in the 1960s, Ellen married Jose Guerricagoita on December 9, 1972. Son Frank and his wife Tamara live in on the south shore of Lake Tahoe. Jose and Ellen have two grandchildren: Teresa, aged thirteen, and Brandon, eight.

Back to Pearl Harbor Table of Contents