Letter or Postcard – Letter
Sender – Ralph Peterson
Recipient – Phyllis Peterson
Postmark Place – Red Bank, New Jersey
Postmark Date – 19 May 1943
Letter Date – 18 May 1943
My dearest wife and baby,
Hi, beautiful. How are you and Bonny tonight? I got the camera and the film. It won’t do me much good now, but I’m going to try and take a few pictures on the sly. I can keep it if I don’t put the film in and keep the camera hid. If I get caught with the film in it will be my neck, but I think I can manage to keep it out of the way. It came here without being busted or even the package broke. The package got an awful beating around the Army. The package I got yesterday was rewrapped at the post office. It was all okay except for the salted peanuts. They were spread around some but I ate every one I could find, along with a little help from the rest of the guys, and I loved it all the more knowing that you had packed it with your little hands. The gum sure came in handy, as we can’t get any from the canteen until the 1st. They even run out of stuff here once in awhile. I had my first ball game tonight. We beat the other team 14 to 13. I don’t suppose you care about that. I remember how you used to like to listen to the ball games on our car radio. Remember that, honey? I may play ball but I will still have time to write to my dearest wife and baby. I will have time to that always. My letters won’t be so long, baby, but I will try and get one wrote every day. I didn’t get a letter direct from you today but I got one that came through St. Pete from Alvin. But I wrote to him from up here so I am waiting for another one from him. Maybe I had better send him another one, as he might not have got the first and I don’t want your big brother to get mad at me. The way I write to you sometimes I don’t wonder that you get mad at me, but you forgive me, don’t you? Here I start with page number two and I don’t know what to write, but I will try and finish at least this side of the page. I haven’t got much time to finish this as I am helping the rest of the guys roll packs. The reason for this is that Thursday night we are having an air raid alert and everybody in camp will have to go out about ten miles from here and stay overnight. It is just a practice one but it will have to be like a real one, so if I don’t write you a letter that night don’t think I forgot you. I will write you one just as twice as long the next night. I think this will be all for tonight as I want to take a bath before I go to bed, so will close with all my love and kisses to my dearest wife and baby from their husband and daddy, Ralph
PS – Give the folks and Bonny my love, and lots of kisses to you right now.
Notes: So Ralph rolls the dice and smuggles a camera and film onto a wartime military base. I can’ recall the man every consciously breaking a law or rule in his life. He was scrupulously honest.