Letter or Postcard – Letter
Sender – Ralph Peterson
Recipient – Phyllis Peterson
Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida
Postmark Date – 14 March 1943
Letter Date – 13 March 1943
My dearest wife,
I just got done writing you one letter today and I’m going to write you another right now. I haven’t much to tell you but I will try to write something I haven’t wrote before. This kid from Coloma and I just got back from downtown. We had to get some hangers for clothes and I also have got another present lined up for you. I haven’t bought it yet but I’m going downtown tomorrow and get it. I ain’t going to tell you what it is as I want to surprise you, see? I wish you was down here with me, honey. I get so damn lonesome for you. Every night without you I can’t seem to get to sleep. I sit up and just think about you until I do finally drop off, and it’s the truth that I dream about you every night. I just found out that Tampa is right across the bay from here. That is where Clarence was when he was down here. He told me in the letter he sent me that he used to come over here sometimes. When I was downtown tonight I tried to buy a camera for a guy, but I couldn’t even buy a film, let alone a camera. Everyone is gone camera crazy down here. I would ask you to send some film down here but I think I can get it from a guy I know, so don’t bother with sending them down. I don’t think I will be here for much more than eleven more days and I’m getting shipped out to school, so after the last of next week don’t send any packages to me. I might get it but it would take a long time, but keep on sending the letters, as they can forward them easier than they can packages. Remember that – keep on with the letters but don’t send no packages. I will send you a telegraph if I have time before I am shipped. We just had a little interruption. I am writing out in the lobby with a bunch of other guys when a second Louie walks in. I was the first guy to see him and I jumps up and hollers “attention” so loud that he almost fell over. He came up to me and said that I had a hell of a good voice and if I kept it up I would make a damn good soldier. Boy did my chest stick out after that. Now I have to sew a couple of buttons on tomorrow. And right back of him was our Sarge with a grin from ear to ear. These guys down here holler a lot about the food but I am putting on weight to beat hell. When I was weighed at Sheridan I weighed 141 lbs. Now I weigh 152 lbs. A couple more months and I should hit around 170. Your little boy is growing up. Well it’s about eleven and I am getting tired so I will close with all my love on the next page. From your soldier boy to the sweetest, dearest wife in the world. Night, now. I will love you always ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto
PS – Those marks are easier than writing the words. Love, RP
PPS – More tomorrow.
Notes: Kind of funny that he didn’t know Tampa was across the bay until he had been there some time. Dad was about 5’9″ and never weighed more than about 170 his whole life.