13 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 13 March 1943

Letter Date – 12 March 1943



My dear sweet wife,

Well honey, another night and another letter from you for me to answer. That is the way I like to get them. One a day does a lot to help drive the feeling of lonesomeness away. Just keep it up and I will be satisfied. I just got this letter about five minutes ago and I am going to answer it right away. I should answer another one, too. I got it from Marvin the same time as I got yours, but I don’t believe I will have time tonight as I’m going to hit the hay early tonight. We didn’t do much today except to drill and learn some more about handling and shooting the rifles. After the Sarge got done showing how to shoot them he asked me if I could shoot a gun and if I ever did it before. When I said I had he asked me how I shot it. I told him, “Hell, all I did was when I seen something to shoot at all I did was just pull up the gun and blast Away.” He laughed at that and said that he would teach me another way to shoot, but this way would be the Army way. He also said to me if I had used a gun before that I wouldn’t have much trouble with them, so I guess I will get along alright with them. Bill Pick just brought me in a couple of tangerines and are they ever good. I just wish you could taste them tangerines down here. I’m going to find out how much they cost, and if I can mail some up there. I know how you like them. They taste a lot better down here. About every family has one of those trees in their yard. They also have oranges and grapefruit trees. After this war is over I am going to bring you and the baby down here and just have one nice long vacation. I would also like to bring your folks down here, too. This is really a nice place down here. We have palm trees all around here. A big one is right in front of our hotel. Today was the first payday for me in the army. All I got was ten bucks, but I had to go through a lot of stuff to get it. I had to salute the captain and give him my first name, middle initial, and the last four numbers of my serial number. When Bill come up for his he got scared and near forgot his name. I sure had the horse laugh on him. What the hell is wrong with Marian, seeing that she don’t write to you. If I had their address I would drop them a line, but if she don’t want to write to me it don’t make any difference. I also haven’t got a letter from Alvin yet, but he most likely is pretty busy so I will wait for one. I got the Argus today along with your letter, but where is the hometown news? I would like to see what is going on in Spring Lake. Tell your Mom she had better have some in there the next time. I signed up for the baseball team today, and I guess we will start playing quite soon. That is going to be my only pastime. That is the one sport that I really enjoy. I am glad the doctor said you was alright in every way. That will be a great help when the little guy comes. Just keep on staying that way and you will be alright. I will have to close as it’s getting late. This is all from your husband. Love, kisses, and hugs to my dearest wife from her little boy Ralph.

PS – Keep up the writing.

Notes: Some elements of a young redneck with an 8th grade education coming through here, and kind of a spoiled one at that. Dad loved baseball and was very good at it. A natural athlete, he might have done something with his ability with the right opportunity.

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