Dreams

The other night I received an email from one of my sisters and her daughter regarding the subject of dreams. As dreams have always been fascinating to me I thought I might respond here on The Althing. They asked, “When you dream do you remember what you dreamed when you wake up and do you ever see specific faces in your dreams? Also, if you see a person is it someone you know, like family or a close friend, and is it the face of someone who is no longer with us, or someone who’s still here?” I’ll answer, but first some background.

For most of my life I had good dream recall, but only when I first woke up. Most would fade relatively quickly. There were exceptions. The earliest dream I recall a substantial amount of was over fifty years ago, when we lived on Chicago Avenue in Daytona Beach. The TV series “The Wild, Wild West” had just come out and my next two older sisters and I loved to play “Wild, Wild West.” If you recall the series you know that West and Gordon traveled in a ridiculously opulent private rail car. One night I dreamt I was on that train, but either fell off or was pushed. I tumbled down a steep, rocky embankment, and when I came to a stop there was a large conical hole gouged out of my knee. Looking into my knee I saw the layers of a club sandwich. Don’t ask me why, but let the analysis begin.

Continue reading

Posted in Musings | Leave a comment

12 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 12 March 1943

Letter Date – 12 March 1943

 

Text:

My dearest wife,

Well I suppose you will get this letter the same time as the one I sent earlier tonight. Or I should say last night. You see, this is two in the morning and I am up I am wandering around the hotel on the watch for fire. I was woke up at one this morning and will be a fire guard until three. That is two hours of work in the middle of the night. There is four stories in this hotel and one man for two stories. My buddy from Coloma is on along with me. He has the first two and I have the top two stories. We have to make the rounds one every fifteen minutes so I am writing in between the rounds. I didn’t have nothing else to do so I thought I would write to you. When they woke me up I was dreaming of you and I was sure mad because they made me miss a nice part of the dream, so I will write to you. It really is a wonderful night out. When I get up on the top floor I always go out on a balcony and stand for a while. Then I start to think of you and I get so darn lonesome. I can’t do nothing about it, though, so I try to put my feelings on paper, which is sort of hard to do. But you know how much I love you, anyway. I still am going to keep on telling you anyway. Here I am back again after another round of fire guard. All we have to do is take a light and flash in all the rooms and see if anybody is smoking in bed, and if there are any fires we are supposed to let the Corporal of the guard know about it. I haven’t seen nothing yet. I am going to try to keep this letter going until my fire watch is up – that is if you can stand all the screwy writing. I can’t think of anything to write about as I just wrote you about five hours ago, but I will keep plugging along and see what I can think of to write. I haven’t much time left as my guard watch is pretty near up. In case you didn’t get my letter that I sent last night I want you to know I got it and I also want you to keep on writing letters like that, as it helps boost up my morale…or my courage, I should say, up in these dark hallways. Remember, I want you to keep on writing, and your Dad and Mom to start writing. Tell your dad that if he don’t write I will come home and give him a licking. I think that’s about all for now as my two hours are just about done and I’m going back to bed for a couple more hours sleep. That’s all for now honey, from your soldier husband. Bye now. Sweet dreams, Ralph

PS – I’m going to send you home a nice souvenir from this here town. RP

Note: In later years Dad informed me that he did not dream. I told him that was nonsense, and that everyone dreamt. A short time before he passed away in 1994 he told me he had dreamt of his Dad, that his Dad told him they were going on a trip and that he should be sure to wear his jacket.

Posted in WWII Letters - Dad and Mom | Leave a comment

11 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 11 March 1943

Letter Date – 10 March 1943

 

Text:

My dearest wife,

At last the day is over and I can write to you again. That is the part of the day I like the best. Then I can sit down and write what I feel about you. Although I can think of a lot of things to write about during the daytime I can’t seem to write a thing at night. If my letters are a little bit dry just overlook them. Just overlook them and keep on writing the nice ones you are. I wait for them all day, and when I don’t get one I feel sort of down at the mouth, but then I think of letters that I will get the next day. It is really the only thing that keeps me going. Today was another hot day. We had our gas mask drill today. That is just putting it on and taking it off. You’re supposed to take them out of the case and put them on in thirty seconds. A kid and I timed ourselves today and we put them on in sixteen seconds. They say tomorrow we are going to get our first training with guns and we also will get our first actual smell of gas. We have to learn and identify each different kind. We will get a whiff of each one. You know – mustard, Lewisite, and about ten other kinds. They call that the gas chamber. Say, I will have a little time off the next couple of Sundays and I would like to take some pictures of myself and send them to you, so would you send a camera down here? You had better send mine because it will get a lot of rough handling on the way down. I can get the films down here. I will send some pictures of me home all slicked up in my uniform. Also, I will let you see what I look like in my work clothes. I don’t suppose I will look like much anyway. I will also send a picture of the guy from Coloma. Maybe you will know him. He used to go to all the dances around there. His name is Johnny Premo. There is also guy named Draeger down here. I thought for a while that he was your ex, but he isn’t. I haven’t got a letter from Alvin yet but I am expecting one pretty soon, and I am also patiently waiting for Sookie’s present. I hope it isn’t cigarettes, as I am trying to quit smoking. Going to save some of my money if I possibly can, and I haven’t touched a beer since I came in the army, so I am being the straight little boy and I am going to keep on being that way. I always will be truthful to you and when I get home I will be somebody you can be proud of. I won’t have nothing on my conscience. I want our baby to have a daddy his mother will always love and he will have a daddy who will always love his mother. As I am writing this I have a guy from Green Bay on my left and a guy from Michigan on my right. Both are real nice fellows and both are writing to their wives same time as I am writing to you. They both think of their wives as much as I think of you. They really love their wives to [?]. One of them is 24 and the other one 19, the same age as me. Billy’s aunt wrote him and told him it was still sort of cold up there. Let me know how cold it is up there and if it is too cold I will pack up some warm air and send it up there. If you think it is warm enough up there I will buy a little alligator and send it up to you. They are just about five inches long and they only grow to about four feet long. That would be a nice little playmate for the Rohde girls. This is all the stuff I can think about now and it is getting rather late so I will close with love and kisses from your soldier husband. Night, baby. Ralph.

PS – Signed the payroll tonight so will get a two week’s check one of the first days. Until next time, so long, sweetheart. RP.

Notes: Dad actually talked very little of his military service, but one thing he did speak freely of was that basic training gas experience. As for the local guys mentioned, I have no idea who Johnny Premo or the kid named Draeger was. Of course Alvin was Mom’s brother and Sookie was her sister, though I’m not sure which one. One of the odd quirks about Mom’s family was that they all had nicknames. For instance, my Mom’s name was Phyllis June Grant, but she was known in her family as “Maggie.” I’m not sure which one was “Sook,” but one of the cousins may. In later years Dad only occasionally had a beer, usually at a restaurant. He didn’t have them around the house at all, but he did smoke almost his entire life. He eventually quit cold turkey about 1990 when he had his aortic heart valve replaced. One Sunday morning when he had recovered and returned to work he and I were down at the bakery. I saw him at the work bench with paper and pencil, and I thought he was putting together supply orders for the next week. Instead, he stood up and said, “I just calculated how much I spent on cigarettes in my life.” It was in the thousands of dollars. He shook his head. “Think of all the stuff I could have got for the family if I hadn’t smoked.” One of my childhood memories from when I was 10-12 on was him handing my a few bucks and sending me through the back alley to go buy him a carton of Pall Mall’s (which he called “Pell Mell’s) at the A&P. They sold them to me without question. Those were different times. Finally, bizarre to think he toyed with the idea, even jokingly, of buying a baby gator and sending it north. Obviously some old Florida boy was bull-shitting him about them only growing to four feet. The Rohde girls Dad refers to were neighbors of Mom’s family in Neshkoro. They were Gladys, Arlouine, Violet, and Viola. It was in looking them up that I realized the Gilbert Dad mentions a couple letters back was their brother Gilbert Rohde. Not sure whether they were friends or not if Dad wanted to mail them a live gator.

Posted in WWII Letters - Dad and Mom | Leave a comment

10 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 10 March 1943

Letter Date – 9 March 1943

 

Text:

My dearest wife,

Now I can write when I have something to write about. You see, honey, I got your letter today – the ones you wrote on the 4th and 5th and was I ever glad to hear from you. I guess the mail’s maybe got screwed up a little bit. Just keep on writing like that and I will feel awfully damn good. Nothing much doing today got up at five and listen to lectures all day. Just sat around and got more sunburned instead of a tan, as you would call it. It does look sort of red at that, but you wait a few more weeks and then I can tell you I am tanned. The weather has been nice down here lately except for a little rain, although as I am writing this letter it looks like another hurricane is coming up – sort of dark and stormy looking. It looks like good old Wisconsin just before a thunder shower. We was down by the Gulf today for one of our lectures and I saw some people swimming and taking sun baths. So Gilbert is in Mississippi. Would you tell me what camp he is in? You see, there are a bunch of guys from Wautoma down there. Maybe I will let him know where I am and tell me what branch of service he is in. If he is in the infantry I will write him and poke fun of all his marching that he has to do. So you have got a pimple on your chin. I hope you have one on your chin when I come home and I can take you down and squeeze it out and you can see what I had to go through when you got me cornered. You said you was going to send Alvin my address. I have already sent him and Virginia a letter, so if I get a letter from him I will let you know what he wrote. If you don’t have enough reading material why don’t you come down here and get some. We have about five big tables full of magazines. Damn good ones, too. All the latest Life’s, Look, and Colliers, so we have plenty to read. Billy also got a big role of funny books from home. I think that’s all for now, as the news is kind of slow down here. More next time. Love and kisses, your husband Ralph.

PS – Keep up the writing.

Notes: Once again, by hurricane he means tornado. At first I didn’t know who Gilbert was, but after looking up the “Rohde girls” from a later letter I realized this must be Gilbert Rohde, one of Mom’s neighbors from Neshkoro. I see now he was mentioned in a letter earlier in the year. Not entirely sure where that pimple story is going.

Posted in WWII Letters - Dad and Mom | Leave a comment

9 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 9 March 1943

Letter Date – 8 March 1943

 

Text:

My sweetest wife,

Well sweetheart, after a long day and the lights are already out I can still find time to write to you, although I haven’t heard from you since Saturday. I still am going to write you every day. I was kind of hurt and surprised when my name was not called on the mail list. I thought that I would get a letter once a day at least, or one every two days. I still think the mail has something to do with it, but I had better get one tomorrow. If I don’t I don’t know what I might do. I have been writing to you every day except one since I got down here. When you answer this letter I wish you would let me know how many letters you have got from me since the first one from me. There’s something screwy going on with the mails. Please let God be good to me and send me a letter tomorrow. Well today was a long day for me. Got up at three and went on KP until eight tonight, boy and I tell you I worked. I washed pots and pans all day. That is, Billy Pick and I did. We seem to hang together every place we go. He is alright but he acts kind of crazy once in awhile. How is everything up home? I hope the folks are all right. And is the baby still feeling good? I mean is he still kicking? Boy, that will [be] the happiest day of my life when I get that telegram saying that I am a papa. I’m going to take it up to the post commanding officer and show it to him. I’m getting real tired so I will close and go to bed after I mail this letter. Let me know if you got my present. All my love and kisses, Ralph.

PS – Please write everyday.

Posted in WWII Letters - Dad and Mom | Leave a comment

8 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 8 March 1943

Letter Date – 7 March 1943

 

Text:

My dearest darling,

Well how are you today, sweetheart? This is Sunday when I’m writing this so I have nothing to do. I can’t go outside because it is still raining from yesterday, and when it rains down here it really rains – about two or three days in a stretch. It is sort of nice to lay around with nothing to do, but tomorrow morning I will have to get up at three as the whole 400S Squadron is on KP for one day. I guess we only work about 18 hours on that job. Sort of a short day isn’t it? When I got up this morning I went out and stood reveille, then I came back in and went to bed for about three more hours. I didn’t even go down and eat breakfast, and that sounds  kind of funny for me to do that. I made up for it at dinner time. We had pork chops, potatoes, and ice cream. Well, this week is my first week with guns. I guess we will have gun drills and a marksmanship test just to see how steady our aim is, or I should say our nerves. Then after that we will have our first gas mask drill. Last night I sat down and wrote a whole bunch of cards – one to Avis and Virginia, and the rest to my aunts and uncles. I even wrote one to my uncle Charlie. I must be getting soft. I bought something for you and I think it will get there about the same time as this letter does. At least I’m going to send them together. It was something I thought you would like. Sort of a remembrance of St. Petersburg. Let me know when you get it and if you like it. I will send something better after I get settled down a little more. The mail hasn’t come in yet so I will not write any more in this letter. If I get one from you I will write another one to you. That’s about all for now, so will close with loads of love and kisses from your soldier husband Ralph.

PS – Keep the Argus coming, as I sure do like to read the home news.

Notes: Avis and Virginia were two of Mom’s sisters, Avis Grant and Virginia Grant. Uncle Charlie was Charlie Hansen, Dad’s maternal Uncle. Charlie owned and operated the bakery in Wautoma where my Dad worked before and after the war. By all accounts he was a crusty character and was kind of proud that he was.

Posted in WWII Letters - Dad and Mom | Leave a comment

Phyllis June Grant Peterson – A Brief Autobiography

My Mom was a member of the St. Augustine Altrusa Club. Yesterday, in going through my old files, I came across the January 1978 issue of “The St. Augustine Altrusan.” My Mom was the Member of the Month and had posted a short autobiography, which can be read below, with additional notes on the content at the bottom.

I was born on April 30, 1925, Phyllis June Grant, in the small Italian community of Shawville, Wisconsin, the fourth of five children, three sisters and one brother. My dad was a stonecutter and my mom midwife for all the neighbors. My dad was born in a log cabin and he was one of the first settlers of Waushara County, Wisconsin. My mom’s family was descendants of early  colonists in America. My early life was during the tail end of prohibition, so I can remember the house parties and hip flasks. I remember my grandfather, a large man, he’d set me on his knee and have me sing for him. He died when I was about three. Later, I remember the depression. We were very poor but no one left our door hungry. My mom was a good manager and we had many young people that came and stayed, sometimes for days. We’d gather in the evening and play instruments like the accordion, guitar, violin, and organ, and we’d all sing, especially Ma. Later, when I was older, my younger sister and I sang at many community and church functions, mostly hymn and early 1900’s tunes.

I started school at the age of five in a small one room school. In third grade we move to a small community called Spring Lake, Wisconsin, which was just that – a beautiful spring-fed lake surrounded by hills covered in towering pines. I attended school there in a two room school and went the rest of my grade school years the only student in my class, except for a short portion of each year an Indian girl was in my class. I remember her because she was blonde. We graduated from eighth grade at the county seat in a formal ceremony with white dresses and the boys in suits.

I spent the summers in the woods, many days going out at daylight and not coming back until dark. My dad, being a sportsman, also spend a lot of time hunting, fishing, and picking wild fruits and berries which my mother prepared for winter. Being a dairy state most of the neighbors and my friends were farmers, and when I was older we worked out for the neighboring farms, helping with the harvest as all the farm work then was done by hand. I attended high school in Wautoma, Wisconsin, riding with a neighbor about fifteen miles to and from school each day. High school was fun. I was in the acapella choir and worked for the teachers to help pay for my books and stuff. My principal was Mr. Dafoe, brother of the doctor who delivered the Dionne quintuplets. On weekends I attended many house parties and dances. At one of the dances I met my future husband. We were married November 22, 1942. The following spring he went into the service as a radio gunner in the Army Air Corps and saw duty in Italy flying missions in Austria and Germany. Our first daughter was born while he was gone and she was nine months old before he saw her for the first time. Later I was able to join him for short periods of time in Tampa, Florida and again in Savannah, Georgia. I guess that’s when we fell in love with Florida. When he was discharged we moved to Wautoma, Wisconsin. We bought a large old home which we remodeled ourselves. My husband worked as a baker’s assistant for several years in his uncle’s bakery. When his uncle died we packed up our by now large family of six children, sold our home, and after being told by various relatives that we were insane, moved south in 1956. We settled in Savannah, Georgia where I had a sister. There my husband and I both work in a bakery, my husband as manager and I as a clerk. There my seventh child was born. In 1960 we moved to Daytona Beach, Florida where my husband worked as a manager for the Federal Bake shops and I, after the birth of my eighth child, worked as a clerk for the W.T. Grant company, which I enjoyed very much. I even earned a free trip for the two of us to Nassau. Knowing the district manager of federal bake shops I was able to get the time off for my husband, paid for as well. Not bad, huh? Where we really wanted to be, though, was St Augustine. We knew a small bakery here was soon to be up for sale as the owners were planning to retire. We waited and then moved to St Augustine in 1966. We bought Nordan’s Bakery, which was located on Cordova Street. Having a large family we’ve all worked in the bakery at one time or another. We have a beautiful old home on St George Street. We have been very happy here and mainly have made many good friends.

Notes: Shawville is a small crossroads, located amidst the various stone quarries of Waushara County. Many of the stone cutters were from the families of Italian immigrants. While her Dad, my grandfather George Spencer Grant, may have been born in a log cabin, he was born in 1898 and was very far from the being one of the settlers in Waushara County. His father Remus Romanzo Grant was born in Ohio in 1849 and his father before him, John F. Grant, did move to Waushara County shortly thereafter. Possibly they were early settlers of Marion township in Waushara County. There are many generations of Grants buried in Marion Cemetery.

In actuality, Mom’s grandfather Remus Romanzo Grant died just before she turned eight.

Mom’s high school principal was not the brother of the doctor who delivered the famous Dionne quintuplets. They do appear to have been cousins, and knew each other. What Mom did not realize at the time of her writing was that her high school prinicpal was the grandfather of actor Willem Dafoe.

Posted in Family | Leave a comment

7 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 7 March 1943

Letter Date – 6 March 1943

Text:

Hi sweetheart,

We have got the afternoon off so I will write you a letter now.  The reason we are staying in is that it started raining at noon and it is sort of wet outside.  Now, or just about an hour ago, we were all called out in the lobby and told us that there was a hurricane heading this way from the north.  It hasn’t struck yet but they give it until midnight to come.  It looks and sounds sort of bad out right now.  Thundering, lightning, and the wind is blowing. Everybody’s pass was cancelled for tonight and some of the guys are kind of sore, but it don’t bother me as I got my cigarettes and all the stuff from the post exchange.  It’s only two blocks from here.  A guy from Michigan and I just had a little fun.  We put on our gas masks and steel helmets and went parading around the lobby.  We look like some men from Mars.  We sure look tough, even if I ain’t.  Say, I took some films up to get developed when I went to Fort Sheridan.  Did you get them back?  If you did and there is one of you that you don’t want will you send it down here?  I would like to have some more pictures of you.  I miss you so that I don’t know what to do with myself.  Please send one or two down here, will you?  How are your folks getting along?  I will drop them a line along with this letter so they won’t get mad at me.  So your dad missed the bus, did he?  Well you tell him for me that he had better get up in the morning.  Tell him that I get up at five.  Is he still working at Chapman’s? I hope he is and he keeps on  working there for a long while. You know I miss my hot homemade biscuits and smoked link sausage. When you get some will you eat some for me?  Your mother sure can make them so they can melt in your mouth. This is all for now, as the mail is yet to be delivered out.  If I get a letter from you I will write some more.  Just got the mail and the letter I was supposed to get yesterday I got today, but the first one I got, or the one I got today, I really liked.  It was nice and long and that’s the kind I like.  I am sorry that I had to get some money from you, but I had to get it. I will pay it back ten times over.  So we are going to have a baby the last of this month.  I only wish I could be there, but I don’t think I can make it.  I will be in school then, but if there is the slightest chance of being there I will be there.  I got the paper and the letter from mother, and tell her I will write them the same time as this letter.  I sure like to read that Argus. About all the guys from Waushara County have already borrowed them and read them.  I guess I will have to close now to write to mother and then go to bed.

Love and kisses, your husband Ralph.

PS – The all clear sounded just on the dot of eight and we didn’t have no hurricane. Ralph

PPS  – God bless you and our little blonde haired, blue eyed baby. RP

Notes: Obviously it was not a hurricane they were under watch for, but a tornado. Newspaper accounts show other parts of Florida raked by bad weather that day, striking the panhandle and northeast Florida.

Again, the “folks” Dad is referring to are actually my Mom’s parents. They were little people, both under five feet tall. My Grandfather, George Spencer Grant, was known locally as “Little George.” It is generally acknowledged that he was something of a binge alcoholic, but my Mom loved him dearly. By “Chapman’s” my Dad was almost assuredly referring to the Berlin-Chapman Foundry in Berlin, Wisconsin. Likely that was where Little George was taking the bus to. I never knew he worked there.

It seems like most of his life was spent working in Waushara County granite quarries. He was the only grandparent I ever met, and only once in 1966 when I was six. He was living in a dark, cluttered little house south of the railroad tracks and at my age I had little interest in talking to him, wanting to go outside and play with the kids instead. I would have liked to meet the rest of them, including my Mom’s Mom, Myrtle Bernice (Hager) Grant. I already knew she was a good cook, a skill she passed down to my Mom. She was also a very intelligent woman who was a local midwife.

Posted in WWII Letters - Dad and Mom | Leave a comment

6 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 6 March 1943

Letter Date – 5 March 1943

Text:

Dearest wife,

Yah! Here’s that man again, or as you would call me, your little boy.  Well, no letter yet from you, yet, but I might get one before I finish this letter. You see the mail hasn’t been delivered out yet.  There is an awful pile of it and I hope there is one for me.  Or better still, I hope there is two or three. But I will be satisfied with one.  Today was another hot day about 80 above.  I’ll bet it is cold up there though.  I got up at five this morning, had chow, and was on the drill field at eight.  Then I drilled until noon, had dinner, and then I had an easy afternoon.  We got our gas masks today. We soon will have our first test in the gas chamber.  I guess that will be in about two weeks.  I haven’t had a hold of a gun yet but we are going to have our chance yet.  I get 20 shots with a rifle and 20 shots with a Tommy Gun.  Not much, but enough to get used to them.  Just got back from mail call and I got a letter from you – the first one I got from you in two weeks.  The way you wrote was that you and your mother both sent one but I haven’t got either one yet.  Listen, honey, I want you to write every day and write longer letters.  This one I got today was awfully short, but boy I sure was glad to get it.  I also got the money with this letter and I sure can use it.  I got this money belt in Fort Sheridan when I was there but it wasn’t a very good one so I sold the damn thing when I lost my wallet.  I don’t know if I can get home when the baby comes or not.  I don’t hardly think so.  I will be going to school then, so I will have to wait until then.  I sure hope I can.  Say, you write as if you didn’t trust me.  You know I won’t look at another girl.  Don’t ever make me think you don’t trust me because it makes me feel awfully bad.  That’s all for now. Night, sweetheart.

Love and more love, Ralph

Notes: My Mom was jealous by nature, apparently all her life.

Posted in WWII Letters - Dad and Mom | Leave a comment

4 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

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

Text:

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.

Posted in WWII Letters - Dad and Mom | 1 Comment