My father and mother first met in Los Angeles in the fall of 1940. Twenty three-year old Donald R. Christensen had recently returned from a Mormon mission to Denmark where he had been evacuated by ship just as Germany invaded that country in 1940. Back in California he began living with his brother Earl’s family in Glendale and working at a defense plant for Lockheed Aircraft in nearby Burbank. Nineteen-year-old Jocile Ursenbach had been home from France and Belgium for about two years where her parents had presided over the Mormon mission there. In 1940 she was living with her parents in Los Angeles and working in a woman’s clothing store. Their two large families had each arrived in the Los Angeles area in the mid-1920s. The Ursenbach’s had come from Utah, Idaho, and most recently Alberta, Canada, where Jocile was born in 1921, the youngest of eleven children. The Christensen’s had come from Colorado by way of Utah. Don was born in Salt Lake City on September 3, 1917, the youngest of thirteen children and the only one not born in Manassa, Colorado.
|Baby On Board|
Suddenly, the future which had seemed so bright and full of promise was filled with uncertainty. Young men, including many of their friends, rushed to enlist in the military, while others were drafted. With rumor and fear that the Japanese might attack California, Japanese-American citizens, some of whom were their acquaintances, were rounded up and moved to interment camps far-removed from the coast. Food and gasoline rationing went into effect, as well as mandatory nighttime blackouts.