Jim Sherman was born on August 20, 1935 in Luverne. and grew up at 503 North Estey Street. His grandfather, “Doc” Sherman, was a beloved doctor in town, and his father worked in the local bank. As a member of the “home guard,” his father also patrolled the neighborhood at night in the months after Pearl Harbor – first with a broom over his shoulder, then, eventually, with a shotgun.
Sherman was between six and ten years old during the years that America was at war, and eagerly participated in the “war effort.” He regularly collected enough scrap metal to gain free admission to the local theater, searched out the best patches for milkweed pods (which were used for life jackets) toiled in the family victory garden, saved tin cans and bacon fat. With two uncles in the Navy, Sherman and his family discussed the war around the dinner table nightly,
Sherman was fascinated with the soldiers and airmen who came to Luverne on leave from a base near Sioux Falls. Although his mother did not approve, Sherman often rented his bike out to them so they could take local girls to the park. Sherman and his friends loved it when airmen who had frequented Luverne buzzed Main Street as a way to say hello to a favorite local girl.
On Thanksgiving and Christmas Sherman’s father would go in to the big hotels in town and ask any soldiers who were hanging around back to their house for dinner. One of the servicemen, Tommy Thompson, married a local girl, Esther Christianson, and the reception was held in the Sherman’s living room.