Meeting under hilarious circumstances in Oakland, California, in the fall of 1942, Ruby, newly uprooted from Ohio, and Lena, a native Californian, knew they would be best friends forever. Although their backgrounds were quite different, they found they shared many similarities. It was a hectic time, World War II was in it's tenth month and already the pinch of shortages and rationing were being felt. Where they lived, the San Francisco Bay Area, was one of the busiest ports of embarkation on the West Coast, supplying the Pacific Theater of war. Unburdened by their innocence, the girls at fourteen, could only moon over the courageous servicemen seen everywhere. To them, they were all so dreamy, sentimental and heroic. During the war years it became a way of life to knit, collect scrap metal and other essential items for the war effort. But for Ruby and Lena, they still had high school; a place for chance meetings in classes and at school dances, checking out the cute boys. With wide-eyed wonder, and definitely influenced by what they saw at the movies, mostly believing it was all true, Ruby and Lena could hardly wait to grow up. Lena, who felt her life was too sheltered, was drawn to the excitement of Ruby's zany family, but wary of their warped dog, Butch. As for Ruby, it was Lena's willingness to accept and enjoy Ruby's own unpredictability, no matter where it took them. For each of the girls, taking those awkward zigzag steps towards maturity had a great many pitfalls, but oh, so much laughter!