Letter or Postcard – Letter
Sender – Ralph Peterson
Recipient – Phyllis Peterson
Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida
Postmark Date – 6 April 1943
Letter Date – 5 April 1943
Dearest Phyllis and Bonny,
I just got woke up from a sound sleep and got your letter, so I am going to sit right down and send one back. I got it in the morning and there still is a night mail so I might get another one. It’s okay by me if I do. I am still waiting for the last issue of the Argus. I should say we are waiting for it, because there are three of us that read it. Another awful hot day here today. The sun is out real bright and there isn’t much wind at all. We have not had any rain here for about two weeks so it is getting pretty dusty. I don’t notice it so much inside but I will be out on the drill field tomorrow or the next day, and I will find out. I think the quarantine will be over tonight. I hope so, because I am getting lazy from laying around. Believe it or not. I’m glad to hear that you and the baby are getting along good, but I’m sorry to hear that Pappy isn’t feeling so good. Tell him not to drink so much beer that it makes him sick. He can save some of that until I come home. You better have that couch someplace where I can flop down on it when I get there, or else I will feel sort of lost. And don’t make fun of me this time like you said you did last time. I will have to write your folks and ask them about that. I am only fooling. What should I start my letters to you with now? Something like ‘hello Fatty,’ or what? Maybe what I have been doing is all right. I am glad that you are getting strong enough to take walks now, as long as you take them alone until I come home. Ha, ha! You was asking Eddie about dances and that brought to mind the way I wouldn’t take you to none last summer. I suppose you will want to this summer. I don’t suppose I can say whether you can or not, but if it is all the same to you I kind of wish you wouldn’t. I just can’t think of you with someone else’s arms around you while I am way down here. I still got those crazy ideas, haven’t I? Let me know what you think of that bunch of blowing off. You most likely will never write to me again. I bet. Do you remember what we both told Don and Marian about spoiling our baby? Not letting her sleep in our bed or anything like that? I can see that you are already going back on your word. I don’t blame you, because even if I haven’t seen her I already know that anything she wants and I can possibly get it for her she is going to have. And that goes for her sweet mother, too. You told me what you did in one day’s work in that letter. I did almost the same thing. I got up, made my lunch, swept the floor, ate breakfast, and then did a little washing. And then I went to sleep. Just about the same, except I didn’t bathe the baby. You give that little girl of ours all my love and anything she wants that you can get. I mean all the milk she wants and when she wants it. If you don’t get what she wants to drink now she will have some tough competition when I come home. Maybe you won’t let me do that. Or will you? Didn’t I say that I like the baby’s name? I think it is really swell. It sounds nice to hear you talk about our little Bonny girl. The guys all want to know what you named her. They thought it was a swell name. I can’t think of anything more to write, so I guess I will close. All my love and kisses to my sweetest wife and baby from Daddy
PS – Did I ever say that I love you?
Note: Some of this reads like bad material from open mic night at a local comedy club. The only thing missing are rim shots. I’m guessing Dad was responding to Mom saying she was fat in one of her letters, but the wisdom of even suggesting “hello, fatty” as a letter greeting is debatable. I have no clue who “Eddie” is, but Dad’s insecurity about Mom going out to dances is readily evident, as well as his reticence about dancing. I never knew my parents to dance. Hopefully the sly breast references will be kept to a minimum in the future. Finally, the post script can be viewed two ways – one as a somewhat charming way of actually saying “I love you,” and the other as a slick way of getting out of actually saying it. I choose the former spin.