Letter or Postcard – Letter
Sender – Ralph Peterson
Recipient – Phyllis Peterson
Postmark Place – Red Bank, New Jersey
Postmark Date – 17 May 1943
Letter Date – 16 May 1943
Good morning sweetheart,
How are you two girls this morning? I only hope that it is a little warmer there than it is here. It is colder than the devil here now, but my bunk is near the stove and we have a nice hot fire in it, and I am writing this letter right beside it. I’m going to try and write you a little longer letter today than I have been lately. I have nothing to do today as far as I know. The letter Clarence sent me he was telling me about the letter that you wrote to him. He said that if you wrote him six pages you must write me at least twenty. I have not wrote to him yet, but when I do I’m going to tell him that he gets longer ones than I do. But he is one hell of a swell guy and I want you to keep writing to him. He was saying that his girl was coming down to see him. I guess her school is out now and she can come down there. I would like to have you come and see me, but I am moved around so damn much that I don’t know where I will be the next week. But instead of you coming to see me I will come home and see you. I only hope it will be quicker than I think it is. I don’t know when I can come home, but I hope it is real soon ’cause I am getting so darn lonesome for you that it is getting so bad that I can hardly sleep. I think that will prove that I love you a lot more than I may sometimes sound like. If I talk or write like that once in awhile it’s just that I love you so doggone much and I miss you so much that I can’t seem to write straight. But when I see you again we can straighten all these matters out. But when I see you I suppose I will get tongue-tied and won’t be able to say nothing, just like I used to be when I was going with you. Remember how I was when that was? Or don’t you? All these brown marks on this letter that you see are made from some candy that a guy give me. I shouldn’t eat it while I am writing but I am hungry, as I didn’t eat any chow this morning. But dinner isn’t so far off, and I think that will consist of chicken and all the trimmings. Doesn’t that sound good? What would sound a lot better would be coming home from a show about midnight to your folks place, then go in the house and have hot biscuits and liver sausage. If we could just live one of those nights once again. Or else stopping at the Moose Inn for some of Ray’s good fish. Every time I talk or think about those things I get all the more lonesome for you. I know you missed those dances but I will learn to dance, or anything you want, after I come home. I want you to be the one to teach me those things. There is no dances within twenty miles of here so you won’t have to worry about me going to any of them. They have shows here every night, but for the service men only. They are only $0.15 and that is where I go when I do go out, but that is few and far between. I am going to go tonight as there is a pretty good show on – “The Human Comedy” with Mickey Rooney. At least they say it is good. Maybe I should tell you a little bit about school right now. I know the whole alphabet in code. Tomorrow I start on the numbers. After all that is done I will start to take messages. If I can receive twelve letters or words in a minute I am supposed to be pretty good. They give us eight weeks to do it in and I think I can do it, as I have been to school only a week and I can receive five words now. I am pretty sure I can do it and with you on my side I am sure of it. I bought something for you down at the Post Exchange. It isn’t much, but it will be something to remember me by. I can’t get my picture taken here right now, but if it is possible I will do it as quick as I can. I also got another piece of jewelry lined up to buy, but they haven’t got actually what I want. I won’t tell you what it is but I think it is pretty nice. You will have to wait until you get it. There isn’t much more that I can think of to write, and I still have to write one to big brother yet today. I wrote to Alvin, but as yet I haven’t heard from him. But it is quite aways from him to me. I am afraid that I can’t think of any more to write, so we’ll have to close by now, sweetheart. All my love and kisses from Pappy
PS – I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.
Notes: Just one letter after seeming to take a more adult tone Dad reverts to the old ways, acting kind of whiney that Clarence gets longer letters than he does. Those late night liver sausage sandwiches must have left a big impression on Dad as often as he mentions them. There is a Moose Inn in Wautoma today, but I can’t verify it is the one Dad refers to. I did some searching and was unable to locate more information on it or its owner “Ray.” Maybe one of my Wisconsin cousins can help me out.