Letter or Postcard – Letter
Sender – Ralph Peterson
Recipient – Phyllis Peterson
Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida
Postmark Date – 4 March 1943
Letter Date – 3 March 1943
My dearest wife,
Hello sweetheart. Here it is night again and time to write. I just got in from the drill and parade ground so I’m sort of tired. It rained this forenoon so we didn’t have to work. That was real nice. Tomorrow we are going to pass in review before the Colonel and all the officers of the post. I hope we go through it all right. I will let you know in tomorrow’s letter. By the way, I haven’t got a letter from you yet. What’s the matter with you? Maybe the mail has not got here yet. I hope it comes through tomorrow. I guess it takes about four or five days to go one way so I am hoping for one tomorrow or Friday. Please write one every day, won’t you? Last night we got our first passes but I didn’t use mine. I stayed in and took a shower and wash some of my clothes. Most of the rest of the guys went out. A couple of them got drunk and busted a window in the hotel, so tonight they are scrubbing out the hotel lobby with brushes on their hands and knees. Boy, do they look funny. If you don’t believe I stayed in you can write to Billy Pick. He will tell you I stayed in, and I really did stay in. If you told Georgie Fuller my address – I mean the first one – you can tell him my second one. Maybe someone will see it and write to me. I mean my Aunt and Uncle – or I should say Bud Jensen’s folks. I sure like to get mail down here. It helps pass the time away. I haven’t much time to pass away, but then every bit helps. We just now had a mail call but I guess there was none for me. You better sit right now and right about three letters to me. Well, here’s hoping I get one from you tomorrow. I will have to close now with love and kisses from Ralph.
PS – Say hi to your Dad and Mom for me. I won’t write to them until I get one from you. Bye, now. RP
PPS – I can’t go out tonight as the whole hotel has to stay in on account of those two guys that got drunk. Love, Ralph
Notes: Never heard the name George Fuller before this. Perhaps someone can fill me in on who he was. “Bud” Jensen was Elmer Jensen, my Dad’s first cousin, and also a slightly more distant cousin as well. He was in the Navy. Bud’s mother [Amelia (Peterson) Jensen] was the younger sister of my Dad’s Dad. Bud’s father [Morton Niels Jensen] was my Dad’s first cousin once removed on my Dad’s maternal side. Don’t for a second believe this sort of thing is restricted to the south. It is a phenomena in all of small town and rural America. As an aside, I met my great Aunt Amelia (Peterson) Jensen once in the summer of 1982. We went up and were staying on Hills Lake. My cousin Stella (Laursen) Adams was also visiting from Colorado. Everyone came out one night to the house where we were staying on the lake, and Stella brought Aunt Amelia with her. Amelia was 86 by that time, and she was a little shaky. When it was time for everyone to leave they asked me to walk Aunt Amelia up the hill to the car. The rest lagged behind to chat. The “Minnesota Good-bye” has nothing on the Wisconsin version, so I was alone as I took this poor old gal into the dark woods, she frail and fragile, me a 22 year old cross between Grizzly Adams and Charles Manson. She was scared to death of me.