This is Walt and Bert and they are putting the pieces of their life back together. It took a letter, which was written by Walt and explained his feelings and the situation and his plans for a complete restructuring—Walt always was a guy to build from the ground up. The letter also contained an apology that placed Bert squarely on the bus back from New Orleans. In the meantime Walt quits his tannery job for a fresh start at the local shipyard, which is abuzz with the war effort. He completes a four-year apprenticeship in two years and becomes a first class Ship fitter building submarines.
They are living in Walt’s grandfather’s house with their young daughter, but the house needs attention and money and Walt and Bert have neither to give. Their brief separation resulted in many losses, including their car and furniture—and it’s not over yet. Walt’s father—who is as humorous and sentimental as a cardboard box—decides to sell the family house furnished. With no place to live, Walt sells his drum set to finance a fresh beginning in a little rented duplex. Man, he hates selling those drums, but that’s the way the ball bounces.
After a few too many servicemen hurl insults at civilian Walt, he decides to enlist in the Air Corps Flying School. He forges facts on his application, but they snag him at the pre-flight school because he is over the age limit with two dependents and a Specialist rating with the Navy Department. So they boot him back to his job at the Shipyard and instead he joins the Civil Air Patrol, where he becomes a Radio Man earning his wings during many local missions.
But now the war is ending and Walt and Bert are about to shift gears for the challenge of their lives.