Letter or Postcard – Letter
Sender – Ralph Peterson
Recipient – Phyllis Peterson
Postmark Place – St. Petersburg, Florida
Postmark Date – 24 April 1943
Letter Date – 23 April 1943
My dearest wife and baby,
Here it is noon and I have nothing to do, so I am going to start this letter now and finish it tonight. Maybe I will have a letter of yours to answer. I have done part of my guard duty last night. I got off at four this morning and go on tonight at four, then I have two four hour shifts. Then I will be off for 24. It’s getting easier all the time. There are three of us who are corporal of the guards, and they are all in this room. We are all from the same squadron. I wrote a letter to Gilbert last night when I was on duty, so I am catching up on my writing a little. So you are wearing my pants and sweater. You said they was too big around the waist, but I bet your little rear end fills them up. Remember how your mother used to yell at you for that and how mad you used to get? Now that I haven’t nothing much to do I think a lot more of the things we used to do and the fun we had. Now last night we had a little bull session in my room. A guy from Alabama came in and sang some songs. Real sad blues song. I just lay there listening and thinking about you. Boy, can that guy sing. He can almost make you cry. Then we had a little crap game between some guys from Texas. Just for the fun of it, though. If they get caught playing dice in the hotel they can get the guard house. It started to rain again this morning, but as usual it only lasted about an hour. Then it will come out hot as hell for the rest of the day. That’s the kind of weather we have down here. It isn’t at all like home and never will be. I am going to close now until the afternoon mail. Well here I am back again. I just got done with my guard duty and had the mail call. No letter from you, but I got a nice letter and a picture from Alvin. He was telling me all about how he and the rest of them got drunk when he was home, but he said that he and Pappy swore off drinking. I only hope so. You will never have to worry about me drinking anymore because I am not going to touch a drop of beer or whiskey while I am in the army. Believe me, honey, that’s the truth. I don’t want our Bonny girl to grow up and say her daddy was a drunk. I am going to try and make her proud of me, and if you believe in me I know that I can do it. Not much more new tonight, sweetheart, so I have to close and write to Alvin. So until tomorrow night, my dearest Phyllis and Bonny, from your husband and daddy.
PS – I love you and miss you more each day.
Notes: Talk about rolling the dice, Dad makes another fat-butt joke. When they got married Mom had a tiny waist, a fact which is corroborated by her wedding dress. This despite the fact she was already somewhat pregnant. I would love to know who the Alabama blues singer was. Grandpa swearing off drinking didn’t stick but I never saw my Dad drunk.