Gray Lines Across Time



by Marion L. Gray & Don Lorenzen Jr.

Written in 1925, never published. Coming of age story of a man from senior in high school to working at 5&10 stores, into adventures in WWI in the US and France, and return to his home. Post-war working until married in 1923.

Written by my grandfather, Marion Gray, in 1925, never published. Given to my mom after his death in 1971, she passed it to me in 1981. It is a coming of age story in NW Illinois of Marion Gray's 1916 senior year of high school. Working six months after at the local Five and Ten store, then wandered and worked thinking about his girl, and whether to join the war. He enlists and selects aviation. He describes being in Army camps in Missouri, Texas, and Tennessee awaiting an aviation pilot slot. Finally in late 1917 he accepts a volunteer spot to go to France as a medic; called "Sanitary Detachment" then.

Marion describes crossing the Atlantic w/ destroyer escort, into France. There he marches places, rides rough train cars, gets shelled, watches planes fight, into the battle of Verdun. At the front and behind lines, he describes funny times and sad.

After the war, he returns home, goes to work again for the Five and Ten as a manager in Wisconsin stores, ultimately gets married, and ends in 1923.

Marion's grandson and co-author, Don, typed in the 94 year old manuscript in 2021, editing some, scanned the postcards. In the book he describes sewing on his division patch, I have the jacket he wore, with his sewed on Blue & Gray division patch from 1918.


6 x .6 x 9 inches

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