Second World War: Oleo vs. Creamery Butter

Funny story about a WAVE after the second World War, oleo vs. creamery butter, and rationing.

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The second World War was over, but rationing was not. We were longing for many things, red meat and creamery butter among them. We were sick to death of that colored oleo. 

I had exchanged my Navy uniform for the uniform of a United Air Lines stewardess. 1 flew out of Seattle to Cheyenne, Omaha and Denver. Shortly after starting my new career, 1 was on a lay-over in Omaha. 1 noticed a sign claiming this city to be the Butter Capital of the United States. 1 ventured into a market and found that 1 could buy creamery butter without ration stamps. 1 promptly invested in two full pounds of butter and envisioned sharing it with several friends, which would move my popularity up a couple of powerful notches.

I stored my precious cargo in my regulation suitcase along with the few clothes that I felt necessary for an overnight stay. When the crew and 1 reached the airport to board our plane for returning to Seattle, we found our flight had been cancelled. We were told that we would return on the next available flight, in about two hours. We pulled out our books and magazines and began killing time. Someone moved our bags to a safe area so we did not have to worry about keeping them with us.

When our flight was called 1 grabbed my bag and started for the gate. A passenger agent ran after me and told me that something was dripping from my bag. When 1 opened it up, imagine my horror: my precious butter was soup. Someone had placed my bag near a heating vent. My nightie, extra uniform and underwear were a greasy mess - and my dreams of being a big heroine likewise melted.

Cmdr. Evelyn N. (Dene) Sooy U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)
San Diego, California


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.