Another Saturday is here and I am linking up with Claudia http://mockingbirdhillcottage.com/. I showed these pottery pieces last week and this week I'm telling about the bench that they are sitting on. It looks like a typical wooden bench, but it has a story behind it. During WW ll, with the able bodied men drafted, there weren't enough men left to do hard labor here at home. The little town that I used to live in... once had a canning factory. The town was surrounded with fields of vegetables that went to the factory to be canned. So, you see the town needed men to work in the fields and pick and also in the factory.So the US government started bringing the prisoners of war to the 660 labor camps all over the USA. There were smaller camps as off shoots from camps like Camp Grant in Rockford. The men were mostly German patriots and German draftees and Italians...the more serious, Nazi's, were sent to high security prisons.My first husband's boss was a 12 year old paper boy and delivered the newspapers to the PX of this camp... twice a day. They only wanted the prisoners to read positive things, so the boy had to cut out articles about rape and murder etc. They could read about the war news, however. On Sunday morning, these men would march through town and divide into two lines....one for the Lutheran Church and one for the Catholic Church. They would sing old German songs for the many German people living in the town. The prisoners were taken to Rockford's Camp Grant for the winter and returned to Hampshire in the spring. I thought you might like a little background about this part of WW ll history. The bench was supposed to have come from this labor camp. The men stayed in tents, but there were wooden buildings... where there was simple furniture. The PX was in one of those buildings.The bench has some carving scratched on it and it was refinished...spoiling the value. The paper boy would smuggle in art supplies to one man. He gave him a knife, because they were allowed straight edge razors and the prisoner said, "If we wanted to attack someone...why wouldn't we use those?" The man was a wood carver, so the paper boy smuggled the knife and watched the prisoner carve. The canning factory is gone now and the little boy is the owner of a auto dealership there. The canning factory employed so many people in that town. I think that the population at that time was 750. The bench came to me as a gift from my husband. A woman, who dealt with antiques, was having a sale....and he was told the story about it.We'll never know for sure if it came from there, but I like to think that I might be living with a piece of history.