12 April 1943 – Letter from Dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida

Postmark Date – 12 April 1943

Letter Date – 11 April 1943



My dearest wife and baby,

Got two nice long letters from you today. Boy, was I glad to get them. I bet you I read them over at least a dozen times. I would just lay down on my  bunk and read them and dream about you. That’s when I feel all the more lonesome for you. It just gets my and I can’t even read for a while. That proves how much I love you, honey. I love you until it hurts. When I get home I will prove how much I do love you. Of course you know how much I love you. I didn’t go out at all today, only for chow. I did a big laundry in the forenoon and put it out in the backyard to dry. Then after chow while it was drying I wrote four letters. I wrote them to Clarence, Alvin, Bill Pick, and a kid who is in Virginia now. After I write to you I got to write to Avis and Sookie. I can’t think of nothing to write about to them, so I guess I will send them a card. They might get mad at me, but that’s all I can do now. I am sending you some cards with this letter. I will write on the back of them what they are. It will give you an idea where I have been staying. I am glad that you got the money that I sent home. I hope you can put it to good use. Tell your Daddy not to borrow too much from you, as you can use it. But if one of them get sick you can use it the best way you know of, but if you can, clean up all of the bills first. I only wish I was there to help you. I wouldn’t care if I owed somebody $100. I would still like to be there. It was so hot today that you could lay out in the sun and be doing nothing, but still the sweat would be rolling off a person. I have really got a nice tan. Every chance I get I take my jacket off and let the sun brown me a little more. One kid from our room is just as black as an Indian. Don’t worry about the sun hurting me now, as I have gotten brown enough so it won’t bother me anymore. I am glad that you and Bonny are getting along good. She gets more like me everyday, does she? If she wakes up in the night she sure is something like me, but I bet she doesn’t ask for a peanut butter sandwich, does she? Just wait a while and she will. What are you doing, anyway, back up there? Doing all the work while Joy sits around? I don’t want you to do that. There is two of you there and there is no reason why you should do it all. Just do your share and make Joy do hers. For gosh sakes don’t let Joy see this, as she will be mad at me. She will tell Alvin and pretty soon everybody will be sore at me. I hope you or the baby doesn’t catch that cold the rest of them have. I will have two girls to grease up then. If you get a cold just be sure to let somebody grease you up like I did when we were up in Green Bay. I would like to come home and do it, but I guess it is impossible to right now. Don’t tell me you and your mother still argue. I thought those days were over. I don’t want you to fight with her now. Wait until she feels better. Ha, ha! There will be a shipping list out tomorrow and Tuesday, so it is possible I can go yet. I would like to get my teeth into something. I can’t think of nothing more to write about, so will have to close for now with love and kisses to my dearest wife and baby from Daddy. All these kisses for you and Bonny

PS – I am still waiting for that letter from Pappy.

Note: It should be noted that both Mom and Aunt Joy had just had babies. I’ve browsed enough of Mom’s letters, which will be posted later, to know that the level of work for them was heavy even had they not just given birth. Presumably the “greasing up” Dad refers to is either coating someone liberally with Vicks or some other aromatic concoction. My Mom loved and admired her Mom but it is no surprise they fought, knowing my Mom’s disposition. Grandma’s health was not good. She didn’t live much past the war, passing away in 1948 at age 50.

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