30 March 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 30 March 1943

Letter Date – 29 March 1943



My dearest wife and baby,

Well, I got your letter today and I am telling you honey I sure was glad to hear from you. I was so  darn glad to hear from you that I just sat down and read it right where I was, and I was sitting right in the sand. I got my (?) khaki suit all dirty but I didn’t give a damn as long as I heard from you. So you had a big party up there when Alvin was home. I wish I was there. Not to get drunk. I tell you sweetheart, I have not touched one drop of liquor since I have been down here. In fact, I haven’t even been in a tavern, and for me that is pretty good. But I promised you I wouldn’t touch a drop of that stuff and I’m going to keep that promise, or any other one that I make, and that is the whole truth, honey. I am sorry that you had such a bad time when Alvin and the rest of them were home. So you stepped in between your Dad and Alvin again. Listen, honey, if they want to fight I don’t want you stepping in between them anymore. You might get hurt, or something like that, so if they start anything again and I ain’t around I want you to step aside and let them go at it. It isn’t your place to do that. All the hell you give to anybody I want you (?) to me. If I only was home now I bet you would have something to say to me after what I wrote, but don’t be mad because I think it isn’t your place to do that. Maybe it is, but this is just my idea. Let Joy give Alvin hell and I think your Mama can take care of herself. I am glad that Clarence came down and saw you. I suppose he was the only one of my relations that did, but I think you understand how they are. So the big brother even got something for you. Well I will tell him when I write him again after all I had something to do with it. If you have too much candy you can send some of it down here to me. I can’t even buy a candy bar or any kind of loose candy down here. By the way, you can’t send it down here to me as I won’t be here by the time you get this letter. Yes, at last my name came up in the shipping order and I think I will move out tomorrow or the next day. And then again I might go in the next hour. You can never tell when you were going, but I will have time to write you a letter or two tomorrow if I haven’t gone by then. I am glad that I am going to get out of here. I got your two letters that you sent me by special delivery. They didn’t get here any quicker than any of your other letters did. I got the little lock of hair that you (?). I put it right in my pocket book where I will be sure to always have it. This is all the time I will have to write to you tonight but I will write more tomorrow, and that I promise. I won’t be able to send a telegram because I am sort of broke right now, but I will write you all the way on the trip wherever I go. I only hope that I get off at Madison. If I can scrape enough money together I will send you a telegram. Until tomorrow I will close with all my love to the sweetest wife and baby from Daddy

PS – Keep on with the writing.

Notes: The thought of my Grandpa Grant and Uncle Alvin fighting is somewhat comical. Grandpa was well under five feet tall while Alvin was over six feet. Mom herself wasn’t much more than five feet tall and could not be viewed as a peacemaker, at least as most people envision. Still, I saw her break up a fight or two over the years and she wasn’t afraid to wade in between combatants regardless of their size. My Dad in later years wasn’t much of a drinker, perhaps a beer at a restaurant once a month. I do know he drank a bit more in his younger years. As for his promise that he had not gone into any taverns down in St. Petersburg, that may be true…or it may not. He was in the Tampa/St. Pete area more than once before the war and during one of those times he did see Sally Rand do her fan dance at a club somewhere, but that might have been later.

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