20 May 1943 – Letter from dad to Mom

Letter or Postcard – Letter

Sender – Ralph Peterson

Recipient – Phyllis Peterson

Postmark Place – Red Bank, New Jersey

Postmark Date – 20 May 1943

Letter Date – 19 May 1943


Darling Phyllis and Bonny,

Got your daily letter at noon today so am going to answer right back now. There isn’t much to write about but will try and dig up a little news if I can. All I did today was get up to go to school and do a little drilling. Nothing much exciting. Just the same old routine, but I am beginning to like school a little better then I did in the first place. I didn’t tell you I didn’t like it. I didn’t at first, but now it is getting a little more interesting, learning all the different codes and what they mean. It is all pretty much secret so can’t tell you much about it. I can now receive ten words a minute so am getting along real good. I only hope I can keep it up. So old Art married at last. I never thought he would do it. He can’t be much older than 18, and I don’t suppose she is much older, but then we know how kids are, don’t we? If they get along as good as we do they will be alright. Of course Art won’t have to go to the army. He got turned down, as I suppose you know. Or did you tell me? I wish you wouldn’t keep on thinking that I wasn’t going to come back and marry you. It kind of hurts me. That is all past now, but I want to know that I loved you then and I love you now. I would come back from any place and marry you. I want you to know that, and don’t think that I could ever get to even like somebody else. You are the only one for me and always will be. There, does that straighten things up? I know you love me and I love you as much as you love me. Believe me, honey, won’t you please? I don’t even want you to think that I don’t. Say, by the way, why was that piece cut out of the Argus? For the piece from the Neshkoro news? Maybe it was something your mother wanted, huh? I am not going to school tomorrow, as I have a detail job around here. I am going to be barracks orderly. Just keep the barracks clean. I would much rather go to school. Say, sweetheart, I wonder if you would send me something else from there. I would like to have my shoes down here. I mean my Oxfords – the brown ones. It is nice to get out of these heavy shoes and put on something comfortable. Will you do that for me, please? I think I will have to close for tonight, honey. No more time, so night now, baby. More tomorrow. All my love and kisses from Pappy.

Notes: Another mundane letter, with one exception. Based upon my folk’s stories and the date of the marriage, the “Art” referred to here must be Art Schley, who went on to become Sheriff of Waushara County after the war. Schley’s most famous case was the investigation and arrest of notorious nut job Ed Gein, another resident of Waushara County. Schley is pictured below with Gein as he escorts him to the state mental hospital.

For those unfamiliar with Gein, he was the real life inspiration for the movies “Psycho,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacres,” and “Silence of the Lambs.” As I recall, and maybe others can provide more details, my Dad and Art Schley were friends. Dad had said he and a friend worked together at carnivals as labourers and shills, and I’m pretty sure it was Schley.

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