DAD’S WWII LETTERS: Chapter 19, Cherry Pie Dreams, Christmas Venison

Nov. 27, 1944

I received your letter of Nov. 6th. It’s getting hard to find time for my correspondence.  I usually write your letters on Sunday if I have one to answer, but this time I just couldn’t squeeze yours in as I had some laundry to do after supper.

I’ll bet the old ears of corn are really bumping into the wagons back there now, unless everyone is finished shucking corn and I doubt it very much.  I imagine that you folks have yours about finished though.

It sounds good to hear someone talk of canning fruit.  We get canned fruit, but no near as much as I could eat, especially during hot weather when I don’t eat so much of other things.  Our usual fruit diet is pineapple, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears, apple sauce or apple pie and occasionally cherry pie.  I hope you have some cherries all canned just waiting to be made into a nice, luscious pie.  I have hopes of eating some of those home cooked pies before too many more months.

cherry pieFreshly baked cherry pie

I never did learn to eat sweet potatoes.  They have them once in a while for chow.  Neither can I go for these dehydrated spuds.  This dehydrating process is a failure as far as I am concerned.  I’ll take my food prepared the old-fashioned way.  It’s possible I might get to eat some of that beef.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had any good corn-fed beef.  I sure wish that I could have seen the twins [calves].  I’ll bet they were cute.

Your hens are making a few dollars for you now.  Forty three cents a dozen sounds better that twenty.

I guess Uncle George hates giving up the place.  He’ll sure miss the farm chores although, I guess Aunt Minnie will find enough for him to run him ragged.  Next summer they’ll probably take care of all the neighbor’s gardens.

Dorothy said that she took the kids out to the Pitman sale for dinner.

I’m surprised to hear that Floyd and Nellie [Rigsbey] are moving off Bill’s place.  I’ll bet that Bill is upset.  I suppose they wanted a better way out.  Is little Bill old enough to go to school already?  Maybe they’re just getting set.  What’s Clarence Dowland doing now?  I heard that Myrtle was in the hospital.  She was always so healthy looking and full of pep.

Yes, I voted, but I don’t know whether it was legal or not, as one of the fellows from Chicago got his ballot back today.  I sent mine to the county clerk,so that may make a difference.  Anyway, I tried.

I had a surprise today in a letter from Ab [Albert] Wilson.  He was in Belgium when he wrote it.  He didn’t say anything about anything there, but just inquired about Dorothy and old times together that we naturally think of while we are far away from home.  I had written him a letter and he got it while he was still in England.  He seems to be getting around quite a bit.  In that respect he’s doing better than I.

I’m expecting some of my Christmas packages any day now, as some of the fellows have received theirs already.

It’s getting close to bedtime, which seems to roll around awfully fast.  So, I’ll have to close for this time.  I’m well and hope you are both the same.

V-Mail Christmas Card to Mom from Burma 1844Dad’s V-Mail Christmas card to Mom

Dec. 4, 1944

I received your Christmas card and your letter of Nov. 14th.  I wrote a letter to Gene Parker using the address you sent me.  I also heard from Ab Wilson last week and I answered his letter.  He was in Belgium when he wrote the letter.  He didn’t say much about anything over there, but just talked about old times and discussed some of the fellows in the service.

Editor’s note:  Ab [Albert] Wilson, was Mom’s cousin.  When we visited the Wilson farm as a child, the place seemed beset by tragedy.  His father, Bruce Wilson, passed away, leaving his mother a widow.  Ab Wilson returned from duty in Europe after the war, lived with his mother, never seemed to make a go at anything.  The house and farm slowly deteriorated, until their deaths.

I’m glad to hear that you’ve been having nice fall weather.  That should give the farmers a chance to get their corn out of the field.  I suppose when the weather does break, it’ll really be rough.  How’s Mr. Kallal getting along?  Ed mush be having a time trying to keep things going.

I’ll bet that it looks quite a bit different around the house there now, with those trees cut out.  I imagine it does make it quite a bit lighter inside the house.

You don’t need to worry, as I’m still interested in farming and intend to do some of if I ever get out of the army.  Even if I should get out during the middle of a year, I imagine that I could find plenty of work to do to keep me going until the following spring when I could rent me a farm.

I expect I’ll need plenty of help when I first start in for myself because it’s been so long ow that I’ve probably forgotten a lot of things and I can use some advice on a few things.

It looks now like I’ll get home for a furlough sometime the fore part of the year.  If things don’t change a lot between now and then, I’ll probably have to go over for another two years.  That part I hate to think of.

I haven’t heard from Dorothy yet, since she received the flowers.  I’ve been expecting to hear of it.  I received an anniversary card which was awfully sweet.  (Of course I’d think so).  From your description, it sounds like what you ordered should have been a nice bouquet.

Dorothy told me she wore glasses now.  She kept talking about that she thought she needed them and I told her by all means get them, it she needed them, because a person should take care of their eyes when they’re young.  I have to depend on my glasses all the time now.  My eyes bother me too much if I don’t wear them.

It sounds like the horses you’re working must be awfully cagey.  I’ll never forget the time the old gray and black mares of Uncle George’s ran away with me one fall when I was shucking corn.  I was lucky to not break anything.  You should have a nice lot of corn if you haul from the other place.

I hope you’ll excuse my scribbling this letter as I’m writing it rather hurriedly in order to get it done before bedtime  We had a meeting tonight and after that, I had a chance to get my haircut.  Barbers are hard to find over here at the present–anyway, the tools are the scarcest.  I certainly needed a haircut as the hair was growing down my tail bone–as you used to say.

Hope to hear from you again soon.

Dec. 10, 1944

This is a nice peaceful Sunday morning.  We get Sunday mornings off instead of afternoons.  A person can sleep now all morning if he wants to, but I’d rather get up as there is always something or other i have to do.  I was on KP yesterday and I had enough time to wash out some things.  We can hire our laundry done by some natives, but if a person has them wash everything, it doesn’t pay.  It runs into too much money.  They don’t do a very good job on white clothes and often times lose handkerchiefs and socks.  Consequently, I wash out the socks and handkerchiefs and sometimes shorts myself, and let them wash coveralls, shirts and pants that are dirtier.

I got Christmas cards from Aunt Catherine and Aunt Mary T. [Trill] this week.  Uncle John and Aunt Catherine are in Jefferson City, Mo. now as the card was postmarked such.

I received your letter of Nov. 19th this week.  So Clyde Lee is a baker now?  I had the impression that he was a supply sgt.  I don’t know why I thought that, except for what someone said in a letter.  It seems that store clerks turn out to be cooks when they get in the army.

It seems strange for some of these young guys to be getting married, but they’re getting at the age now where they do such things.  Howard, Bob Kallal, & Peachy [Edwin] Leach will be 24 their next birthday.  They are six years younger than I, and that’s hard for me to realize that age is creeping up on me.

I’m glad to hear that you almost finished with the work.  I guess it’s been a good fall to get things done.

It sounds like there are going to be lots of farms for rent next spring.  I wonder where they are going to find renters for them?  It looks to me like all the farmers now have all they can handle without taking on any more.  If i get home next spring on furlough, I wonder what chance I’ll have of working my way out of the army, and back on the farm.  It looks to me like, they are going to have to let some of the men out to take up the farming that the older men are retiring from.  If they don’t, they are going to have lots of farms laying idle pretty soon.

Editor’s note:  Farming wasn’t mechanized, it was still labor intensive.  Draft animals were widely used.  It was no wonder those on the home front felt the additional strain.

Olin Trill has quit Uncle Pete to start trapping.  Some people don’t realize that there is a war going on.  Some day though they are liable to realize it, especially if it lasts another two or three years, which it looks like it might do.  Uncle Pete is going to have his hands full, looks like.  If he should have a sick spell again, he would be up against it.

P. S. Dorothy went wild over the roses.  Thanks a million.

rose bouquet

Dec. 17, 1944

Her it is Sunday morning again and is a nice day as usual this season of the year.  I just got back from church service which we had in our mess hall.  It is the first time I’ve gone since I’ve been up here.  It’s the first time we’ve had church in our own area.  I should be able to make it every Sunday now.

I received your letter of Nov 27th in yesterday’s mail.  John Flowers is the first loss of the men in the service from right around home, I guess, as I’ve never heard of any others so far.  I’m sorry you don’t hear from me regular.  I write every week.  I’ve been hearing from you weekly now for quite a while.  I’ve gotten several letters from Dorothy this week, but for about two weeks before, I only got one letter and a card from her.

I got a Christmas card from Aunt Katherine and Uncle John.  I also got cards this week from the Hounsleys (both) Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Wilson [Ab Wilson’s parents] (they attached a note saying it was about time I was coming home), and from Aunt Mary Trill.

Dorothy sent me the picture this week of you two standing by the new brooder house.  She said that she had sent it to me several months ago, but I guess the letter got lost as I never received it.  So she sent me another, and this time I got it.  It looks like quite a fancy brooder house.  You both look about the same.  Mom, you’re not getting any thinner and you, Dad aren’t getting any fatter.  Ha!


Grandma’s new brooder house

You are probably having genuine winter weather now.  I wonder if you’ll have a white Christmas this year?  Yo;u should have the cribs bulging with corn now.  Is Uncle Val buying corn for Dowland?

I’m glad that you got to go to a nice turkey dinner for Thanksgiving.  It would have been kind of lonesome if you’d had to stay at home.  I hope that I can be home next year at that time.

It seems strange to think of Ed Kallal as a family man, but I guess it happens sooner or later to everybody.

If Uncle George moves the brooder house to town, the next thing they’ll start raising chickens again.  Aunt Minnie will find some excuse to do it.

We just had mail call, but I didn’t get anything today.  I can’t be fortunate every day and get mail though.  Mail call is one of the most important events of the day over here.

I’m sure getting homesick.  I have high hopes of getting back there in the spring.  That’s the best time of year to get back there, only I believe I’d be satisfied to go anytime.

It’ll be chow time in about forty minutes and I’m sure hungry.  I could sure go some nice fried chicken with cherry pie for dessert.  A nice juicy steak would sure taste good.  I don’t know what there is for chow, but it sure smelled good while ago when I walked by the kitchen.

So long for this time.

Dec. 25, 1944

Merry Christmas!  It is almost over for another year.  I started out the day with sunrise church service.  Then I had lb reakfast and worked till noon.  I had the afternoon off.

I did pretty good today on mail.  I got four letters and five cards inclluding your card and letter.  I had cards from all three Horn girls and one from Kallals.  It made me feel full of the Christmas spirit.

We had Deer meat for dinner that some of the boys killed while out hunting.  Tonight we had canned chicken and ham which sure tasted good.

According to reports, you must be having a white Christmas back there along with some cold weather.

I’m glad to hear that you got your standing corn out of the field before bad weather started.  It sounds like you are gong to have everything full of corn by the time you are through with the shock corn.  That’s what looks good on the farm though–all the cribs full of golden corn.

Stock cattle must be awfully high now.  It’s going to be sort of a gamble unless the price holds up good in the spring.  Your hogs should bring a few dollars when you sell them.  I guess you’ve bought corn to feed them.

You say you have four horses and mules to feed.  Do you mean you have two horses and two mules or four horses and two mules?  I didn’t know you had any mules.  I hope that you can hang onto four of the best ones until I get home in the spring (which I hope to do) and find what I can do, or whether I’ll have to go overseas again.  I’m hoping that I can get out of the army and take up at home where I left off.

I’m in good health and am sweating out the remainder of my time over here.

Write often.

PS:  I don’t remember whether I told you or not that I received your package and thanks a lot.  I got one from the farm bureau since.

Jan. 1, 1945

Here it is a brand new year.  I have high expectations of this year.  I’m planning on doing something that I haven’t done in over two years and that is coming home.

I didn’t get a letter since your card and letter.  I postponed writing this a day, thinking maybe that a letter would come today, but decided I’d write anyway.  I try to get off at least one letter a week and more if I happen to recieve another letter in the meantime.

Tonight is show night, but I didn’t go tonight as I’d seen the picture already.  I see quite a few shows just to pass the time.

There is a show somewhere around almost every night.

From reports and letters from back there, you must be having real winter weather now.  I read reports of a blizzad htat swept across form the east coast and caused some damage.  It must be like one of the winters we had befor I came in the army when a big snow came awhile beore Christmas and the weather stayed cold and there was at least a month that the snow never melted off.

I’d sure like to see a winter through back home like that again, although it is awfully inconvenient to do farm chores.  It’d be nice though just to be there.

Since I’m figuring rather strong on being home in the spring or early summer, I’ve been wondering what chances I would have in getting out of the army and getting settled back on the farm.  I know that I can’t find out anything until I get back there, but I want to have the stage all set so that I can go into action immediately after I hit the States.  I won’t have any time to lose, because in some cases, the boys are being whisked right back overseas immediately after getting their furloughs.

What I want you to do is to find out if anything can be done about it.  Maybe the Farm Bureau could advise you.  As soon as I hit a camp back there, I’m gong to see someone that can advise me and see what they advise.  I can’t see coming back overseas for another two years, and then if the war is over having to figure on starting out on my own.  By that time, I would have in six years of service and I certainly don’t want to make a career of it.  It doesn’t seem right that some should have to devote all their time while others don’t devote any of it to the service.

Things are the same as ever over here.  There’s nothing new that I can tell you.  I hope that you are surviving the winter weather in good shape.

Editor’s note:  When was the war going to end?  Every soldier wanted the answer, nobody with a lick of sense was going to ask.  Soldiers didn’t call attention to themselves.  The army did what was convenient for the army.  Excessive griping would be met swiftly with extra duty, or gems of wisdom, “Don’t like it?”  “Then, go to the chaplain and have your TS, (tough s**t), card punched!”  It was better to keep quiet, hope the war ended sooner, rather than later.  Letters home were Dad’s only sounding board.

DAD’S WWII LETTERS: Chapter 16, Jungle Corn Fail, Elephant Power

Cobbled together car in India

Cobbled together car mounted on Jeep chassis.

July 12, 1944

I received your letter of the 18th of June today and the one of the 25th yesterday and it was so hot that I was too worn out to write last night.  It hasn’t been any cooler today, but I feel more like writing tonight.

I was wondering if you would bale the hay down at the other place this time.  It’s much easier to handle that way.  Which Fenton is it that has the hay baler?

I looks like these Home Bureau meetings etc. would be too much for such a busy time of the year.

If you had some of this mosquito repellent it would keep the mosquitos away for two or three hours between each application all right, but the stuff burns a person’s skin when he’s sweaty.  Why don’t you put netting around your porch or make a net just large enough for the bed.  We have nets for our beds.  It isn’t as cool that way, but keeps out the bugs.  I never remembered the mosquitos being that bad at home.

Yes, my corn is turning brown, but it isn’t due to lack of moisture.  It is reaching mature stage, I guess.  I’ve never shucked the ears as I wanted them to mature first.  I’ve felt of them and they don’t seem to have but very few pieces on them.  It was partially under water about a week and a half ago when the water got up.

it sounds like you are busy all right with hay, wheat to cut and corn to cultivate.  I imagine Finis does have a hard time keeping up with the binder as a person can cut a lot of wheat in a day with the tractor.

It sounds like you should have some cherry pies in the future with eighteen quarts of cherries canned.  When I’m home and there is another good cherry crop, I’ll have to get Dorothy on the ball to can plenty of them so I’ll have lots of cherry pie.  Ha!

Floyd Nixon is rather lucky to be stationed at Aberdeen as an instructor and can have his wife close.  Is Dale still at home helping his Dad?

I’m not too much surprised to hear that Laura Duckels has left Ed if he still boozes as much as he used to.  She put up with it for a long time.  A lot of things and people are going to be changed by the time I get home.  It’ll be almost like coming into a strange community.

Well, I have hopes of getting to see home before another six months.  At times we hear encouraging rumors which makes a person feel awfully hopeful.  *I know that I’ve had about enough of this climate.  I hope that I can stay home the next time I come, but if I can’t I’ll enjoy the time I do spend there.

*Editor’s note:  After Dad passed away in October 1995, his army buddy Fred Bratton said in an interview, that Dad suffered repeatedly from heat related ailments.

I hope you are both well.  Don’t work too hard.  If there’s more you can do, just let part of it go because there’ll always be work to do when we’re all dead and gone.

Write when you can.

July 20, 1944

I received your letter of the 2nd.

It has been a little cooler that what it has been.  I shucked out one of the nubbins form my corn crop this evening.  The climate or soil condition or both are no good over here for raising that variety of corn.  The cob of this particular ear was about 6 inches long and had about 60 grains on it with most of them at the butt.  There might have been too much rain during pollination.  What grains there are, are beg and healthy looking.  When I get some dried out, I’ll send you a few grains.  I have one ear hanging up now.  I haven’t picked the rest of it yet.  The stalks are about dried up.  I planted it if you remember about the middle of March.

I thought maybe you would combine the wheat on the other place as you wouldn’t get to use the straw anyway.  May you can bale the straw anyway and sell it.

Dorothy sort of took a liking to the house down at Uncle George’s after she saw it.  If the new owner was on the ball and fixed things up nice, it might be a good place to rent.  If I were home now, I might consider it if the new owner made me the right kind of proposition.

I don’t see what difference it makes to Uncle George what the new owner does and the place is not longer costing him anything.

Where do Grant and Martha Wilson live now?  Things are going to sure be changed around home with places changing hands and people moving around and the older ones dying off.  By the way, I just happened to remember that Ted Dowland’s lived in the Episcopal parsonage didn’t they?

I got a V-letter from Nellie R. [Rigsbey] last week and she said that she had attended the H. B. [Home Bureau] meeting at your house and had met Dorothy for the first time.  They seemed to have made favorable on each other.  So maybe Floyd and I can renew our old acquaintance.  He’s sort of got a head start as far as family is concerned.

I answered “Sgt.” Charles Sanders’ letter a short while after I got it.  He seemed to be striped happy as he ended his letter Sgt. Charles Sanders.

I hope you’ve gotten rain by now to break the dry spell.  It’s almost time you raised a bumper corn crop.  That’s one thing we get plenty of over here.

I’m not standing the heat as good as I did last year because I’m not in as good physical condition, I guess.  It hasn’t got me down yet so I guess I’ll pull through all right.

I sure hope I don’t have to go through another hot season over here.  I feel confident  that I’ll get home by the end of this year or the first of next.

I’ll close for now.  Write often.

July 25, 1944

It sounds like you are having a hot weather too.  It certainly is hot here.  I can hardly write a letter for the sweat dripping.  I have to put a blotter under my hand.

I received your letter of July 9th yesterday.  I went to the show last night so didn’t get a chance to write then.

I suppose you have finished threshing by now.  I can remember when we used to thresh around the ring for a month.

About the Dams place, I think you should try to sell Dorothy on it in a sly way.  Let her take a look at the house on the inside.

When I got around to shucking my corn, I only found two nubbins that I could anywhere near call corn.  The rest were just cobs with no grains at all.  Only one of the two that I did shuck looked much like an ear of corn.  The other one was just a cob with a few grains on it.  I’ve come to the conclusion that this climate is not a place for raising corn.  Consequently, I don’t think I’ll settle here.  Ha!

We had a meeting this evening on the set up of a company such as ours.  You may wonder why I haven’t made any more advancement after being in the army as long as I have.  Well, you might as well forget about it as it is a rather complicated matter to go into to explain.  I’ve worked just as hard as the next person, but the cards just didn’t come out right.  I’ll be satisfied to just get back safe and sound.  As far as expecting advancement a person is just beating his head against the wall.

Editor’s note:  Dad felt overworked and underappreciated.  The fact was, he and the others in his company worked hard maintaining machines to keep things going.  Where Dad worked was called the, “World’s Largest Service Station,” in the March 8, 1945 issue of the “India-Burma Roundup.”  The picture below shows Dad’s American and Indian co-workers.  Dad talked about how, occasionally, some foreign workers unscrupulously brought old scrapped out parts to exchange for new.

Clyde's American & Indian co-workers in India

I’m most interested in getting back home to the old way of living.  It reminds me that things are events are still going on at home.  It’s been so long  since I’ve had contact with home except through letters that I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like back there.

I don’t imagine that you get much out of my letters from over here, but there really isn’t anything interesting to talk about under circumstances.  I suppose though that a word is good news and that you look forward to my letters just like I look forward to yours.

Aug. 7, 1944

I finally received some mail today.  I got your letters of the 17th and the 24th.

Boy, you aren’t the only ones having hot weather.  It’s so hot here that it just about gets me down.  I’m as near all in tonight as I’ve been in many a day.  We do get cold water to drink now and ice cream several times a week.  It sure tastes good, too.  The first we had was such a shock that it made my mouth hurt, but has sort of gotten used to it by now.  One main trouble over here is the humidity is so high that when a person sweats there is practically no evaporation and doesn’t really cool a person.  At the present, the temperature runs between 90 and a little over a hundred.

I’m supposed to get a two-week furlough beginning with Friday and maybe I’ll get a chance to recuperate if i can find a place cool enough.  There are lots of places over here in the mountains where it’s cool but it take too long to get there for such a short time.  besides it usually takes plenty of do-re-me and I have to be conservative on that.  I have two hundred dollars worth of rupees but that won’t go so far over here.  Ever since the Americans came, the prices have been hiked up.

I spent over a dollar and a half today for a meal in a restaurant in the bazaar consisting of Beef steak (tough too–must have been one of those old water buffalo) scrambled eggs–2 glasses of lemon tea and a couple of hot cakes.  It was almost more than I could eat, but I was eating not for pleasure but for sustenance.

Maybe you wonder why I got away from camp when the eats aren’t any better.  Well, I occasionally am away from the outfit at noontime and it’s a case of necessity of eating out, or doing without till supper and that isn’t so good.

I’m afraid (as you’ve probably noticed) that I won’t be able to send much more money home while I’m over here except for the allotment that you are getting at present.  Let’s see–I have went about 440 dollars counting the allotments so far.  I thought maybe I could make another rating which would help a lot, but I’ve given up hope.  Maybe I’m lucky to have what I’ve got.  Some fellows are more fortunate and got ratings last month.  You can’t say that I didn’t work hard and try.

I suppose you remember that yesterday was an anniversary and not a pleasant one either.  I’m starting on my 4th year in the army.  It sort of scares me when I think of the time a wasting and I’m just counting time and not accomplishing anything.  That is where those other young fellows back home have it over me.  May I should hand it to them for being smart enough to stay out of this mess.  If I had it to do over again, I sure would do things different and knowing what I know now, I sure wouldn’t have any guilty conscience.

It sounds like you might have had quite a time with threshing, if the machine broke down so much.  Does Kallal have a separator now?  I have the impression that he has.

That’s OK about the Dams place.  I suppose there’ll be plenty of time for that.  I would like to have a little time to sort of get readjusted before I start right out again.  It’ll be quite different at first as I’ve been in the army so long.

Maybe Dorothy and I can get us a house to live in for a while?  I’m sure that she’ll want to sort of get out to ourselves as soon as possible.  If I don’t want to rent another place maybe I can find work somewhere and farm the home place along.  I’m not going to worry about it.  What’s bothering me more now than anything is getting home.  I don’t believe I ever was so tired of one thing as I am of army life.

I was rather surprised at Susan Carter leaving her property to L. Banks.  She must have had it in for the relatives.  That sure is a lucky break for Push and Stella.

I wondered what Ed Kallal was doing now or is planning on doing?  I was wondering what Kallals would do with their big place as they are getting too old to carry on so heavy.  That’ll make a pretty good set up if Ed builds a house right on the place and lives there with the folks.  If Ed and his woman settle down and work, they should be able to do pretty good.

Well, I believe this war will be over sometime next year and then we can all settle down to the regular way of living again.  When I get back and all the other young men, the older folks can settle back and take life easier.

I don’t think that I’ll ever be interested in any world cruises.  Ha!

Goodnight, and I hope this finds you all well.

Editor’s note:  Dad was about to leave for Calcutta on furlough.  In Chapter 12, there was a picture of elephants being used in road construction.  Elephants were used as replacements for power equipment.  Below is a picture of elephants being used to shuttle railroad cars.

elepant power

DAD’S WWII LETTERS: Chapter 14, Mother’s Day, Post War Predictions

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”  –Douglas MacArthur–

English: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur...
English: General of the Army Douglas MacArthur smoking his corncob pipe, probably at Manila, Philippine Islands, 2 August 1945. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

April 23, 1944

I guess I got too many letters from you last week as I didn’t get any this week.

The weather has certainly been getting a lot warmer here the last few days.  I dread this season too, as it so uncomfortable.

My little two hills of corn are still growing.  It’s up to a foot high now or a little better.  I’m wondering if it’s going to have a thin stalk like it appears to be.  If it doesn’t start to spread out pretty soon it’s going to be like popcorn only taller.  If I remember correctly it is only two weeks old.

The sprouts of banana trees (young banana trees come right up out of the ground like an asparagus shoot) grows amazingly fast.  At certain stages they grow as much as two or three inches in twenty for hours.  You have to cut weeds and grass every work here in order to keep them own.  In a week’s time they get to be  foot high.  Anything you cut off doesn’t die (at the roots, I mean) but just starts to grow right back up again.

I see that they intend to start drafting the youngsters up to 26 years off the farm now.  That should catch several of the boys around home like Leach, Sarginson, Woods and so on.

Well, I’m hoping that this thing will be finished by the end of next year.  If everything goes like it looks at the present time it could be.  Of course too many factors can enter in to change the course of the war.  The sooner it ends, the better off we’ll all be, because the cost is enormous and we’re going to have to pay for it.

The future at best looks none too rosy.  the post war world is going to be one grand mix up unless the right people can hold of things and straighten them out.  That’s one big job to do.

I hardly know what’s in stock for the farmer.  He has boosted production for the war but as soon as peace comes there’ll be no need for such a large amount of farm products as these war-torn countries will start raising their own food as quickly as possible.  The only thing that’ll save the farm prices will be government control of production.  That’ll mean a cut in production.

Editor’s note:  Dad’s mention of farm overproduction leading to post-war governmental involvement was on target.  The Department of Agriculture still buys surplus commodities.  Farmers are sometimes paid not to plant certain crops to stabilize prices.

That’ll help some farmers and others that have had to already cut down due to shortage of labor, will have to cut down still further.  To me it looks like about all a person can expect to make off the farm will be a living and that’s all.

He sure won’t be able to buy more land and figure on the land paying for itself.  Unless something is done about it, there is going to ba a shift of the moneyed city man to the farm and common farmer with small capital will have to move into the city to find employment or work for the “gentleman” farmer.  The farmer that owns his own land and has it debt free may be able to slide by all right.  He’ll still have to compete with “big time farming.”

I’m just wondering if I’m going to get the chance to get situated before the break comes.  It’ll take a couple of years after the war probably for food production to catch up to normal, but after that it means either low prices or less production.

I think the farm will be the most secure place to be, providing he has the right set up.  I don’t think anybody is gong to make very much money.  The fellow that can make his money now and invests it properly is the one that’s going to be on top.

Taxes are going to be enormous.  That’s what is going to hit the service man so hard when he comes back into civilian life and tries to go into business.  Very few are going to have the money to pay cash for everything.  The majority will have to depend on finding jobs.  That’s a big job for somebody to figure out.

Well, I suppose you both are pretty busy now with spring work.  Hope you are well.

Wish I could see your chicks.  I won’t know the place around there when I see it again with the garden changes around and converted to a chicken yard.

Write as often as you can.

April 24, 1944

I received your V-mail today and was glad to hear you got the box.  I was a little worried about it as I wasn’t able to get it insured and I’d heard that some of that stuff had been lost.

I hope it arrived intact and that you were able to get it divided up OK.

I guess the weather by now has warmed up enough now so that your chicks are out of danger of getting chilled.  What I would like to know is why are you raising so many chickens if they don’t pay?  I’d thing you could find plenty else to do.  As far as those powdered eggs are concerned, I’d just as soon they keep them.

Editor’s note:  I’ve had the displeasure of being served powdered eggs and completely agree.  There aren’t enough onions or ketchup to disguise the dreadful flavor.

I wrote you a regular letter yesterday and am just writing this in response to your V-mail.

April 26, 1944

Mother’s Day Greetings

So many things I’d like to say
To gladden and brighten your day
All your dear heart can hold
As the days and the years unfold
And many joys along life’s way
To you, Dear mom,
On Mother’s Day.

April 30, 1944

This has been my day off again and I started the morning off by washing out my dirty socks and handkerchiefs.  Then I cleaned out some jungle behind the tent.  Then I shaved and tidied up the tent a bit.

This afternoon I wrote a letter and reread some of my old ones.  This afternoon we got paid once again.  Pay doesn’t mean much anymore except that it means a few more rupees to the collection.  PX day is the most important now as that is when the beer flows freely, but not for long as it is soon drunk up.

I received your letter, Dad of the second of March.  It seems that the mail gets sort of mixed up as I’ve gotten considerable later than that.

I was glad to hear about the livestock and how things are going around the place. If the weather permits, you’ll be thinking of planting corn as tomorrow is the first of May.

Clyde on leave in Chesterfield (2)Dad on leave at the home place

I probably won’t know the home place the next time I see it as there have been so many changes made.

Yes, I imagine that it is hard to get repairs for any kind of equipment anymore.  I’ve read a few articles on how Washington has messed things up by making it almost impossible for a farmer to get machinery.

Well, I don’t know much to say.  The weather is about the same, only more so.

May 9, 1944

I received your letters of April 16th.  I didn’t write a letter yesterday as I figured I would be getting one from you and then I would answer.

You seem to be having a late spring again this year.

I’ll bet it’s sure pretty around there with the fruit trees in bloom.  Are the cherry trees still there?  I remember one year when we had all kinds of cherries I’ll bet you still have some cans of them in the cellar.

The strawberries haven’t hit recently have they?  I could sure go for some strawberry shortcake or cobbler.  Occasionally we get some strawberry jam to put on our bread.  Most time it is marmalade or apple butter.  I don’t car for the marmalade at all anymore.

I was sort of commenting on the prospects in Alaska after the war.  I don’t suppose that it’s very likely that I’ll wind up there as I’m getting a little too old to do something like that.  I do think that it will offer good opportunity for a young man starting out.

I hope to settle down on the farm if I don’t have to stay in the army too much longer.  That is something a person should start at before he gets too old to come out.  It takes quite a while at that for a person to realize anything.  I do think a farm is a good place to raise kids.  I hope that I can farm on Uncle George’s place for a few years. l I wish it were possible that I could buy the place, but that’s out of the question now.

How’s Uncle Pete coming with his place?  I guess he’s having a time of it since he has his sick spells.  Do you still have in mind taking over the place sometime?  That would be nice if we could combine the two places.  I’ve often thought how nice it wold be to combine the two places and then if a person could get hold of the old Wooley place cheap enough when the place sells (some day it will) it would make a nice sized place to make room for a herd of cattle and still have plenty of cultivable land.  This is only a dream but it sounds good.  I always wanted to farm a place that had plenty of pasture land suitably located and adaptable to grazing with enough cultivable land.

I always thought it would be nice to have a herd of cattle growing up on a place without having to depend too much on buying stock cattle at the yards.  If a person could build himself a herd to raise his own calves and then follow them through until they were finished for market.  Of course it would take several years, lots of capital and patience to build up something like that.  Maybe someday I can do that or maybe it’s just an idle daydream.  It all depends on how everything worked out in the next few years.

I’m going to have to sort of keep my nose to the grindstone trying to get set up.  I’ll have to buy quite a bit of machinery at the start.  I want to get by on as little as possible at the start but then again it takes good equipment to do a good job of farming.  Nowadays it takes more and more expensive equipment to compete than it did when you started out.  Dorothy and I have (or should have by then) enough put away in a special account to set up our home.  She’s saving the allotment from me and also what she can from her job.  We should be able to furnish our home very nicely.  Naturally she wants it fixed pretty nice and I want her to have it that way as she is helping save for that purpose.  I’m satisfied on that angle.

The most “scratching” is going to come on the business end.  If we have a few good years at the start we’ll come out OK.

I’m glad to hear that you are getting your debts whittled down.  I would say that now is the time to do so.  Then when I get back, you two can sort of settle back and take things easier without too many worries.  I’ll need lots of advice on running the farm as it’s been so long seems like since I’ve been off.  I feel confidant that Dorothy and I can make a go of it.  She seems perfectly willing to give it a try.  I think she’ll be all right if someone doesn’t discourage her.  I’ve noticed that if a person says the wrong thing, that she gets discouraged, so I know I’ll have to be careful bawling her out.  I’ll have to use discretion and not do that.

Dad, I’m glad to hear that the cattle on the home place did so well.  You should realize a little clear money on them.

It the weather clears soon enough you may stand a good chance of having a good corn crop this year as you haven’t had one lately.

My two little hills of corn are coming along fine.  It has quit growing any taller at the present and the stalk is getting heavier.  So maybe it’ll grow to normal size after all.  It sure grew in a hurry at the start.  I suppose that was due to the warmer climate.  I never did plant anymore as there really isn’t a suitable place without grubbing out stumps, etc.  I’m anxious to see how this turns out.  Maybe if we can stay in this location long enough I’ll have some roasting ears Illinois style?

We’ve been getting a vitamin tablet a day here lately and I seem to feel better and have a better appetite.

Well, if this rotation policy works out maybe I’ll be seeing you about the first part of next year.  I sure hope the situation both in Europe and over here keeps on the up grade and maybe the future will be much brighter by then.

I’ll have to close for this time.  Hope you are well.  Keep writing.

May 14, 1944

Here it is Mother’s Day again and it’s the second one I’ve spent in India.  I hope I can spend the next one at home.  It was a much prettier day last year that it is this.  I sent some money to Dorothy to buy some flowers for our mothers.

I washed out some socks and handkerchiefs this morning, but they won’t dry any today.  I went out and pulled some grass away from my two hills of corn while ago.  It’s up to pocket high (not quite waist-high yet).

I cut out some more weeds as they deep growing up.  The grass is taking over now where the weeds are kept down and there is nothing else to interfere. It is a crab grass just like you find at home during the wet season.  If grows fast at all the joints.  I should have a good milk goat.  There’s plenty of grazing for one and I cold have fresh milk.  I suppose the main trouble would be trying to find one that was free of disease.  I sure would like to have some good cold milk to drink and some fresh butter.

I suppose your chicks are getting at the size now where they are pretty lively and eat a lot.  Do you have any goslings or ducklings?  Young fowl should do good over here as there are lots of insects for them to catch.  There are lots of wild animals, too, to catch the fowl.  Something finally killed our duck mascot.  He was an old fellow anyway and lived his time I guess.  He didn’t seem to get around much.

monitor lizardMonitor lizard, native to India

I saw the largest lizard over here a while back that I ever saw or expect to see.  It was actually, without exaggeration, four feet long and its body at the largest part was big around as my leg below the knee.  When he first saw us (some of my tent mates) he didn’t waste time in getting away.  He sounded like a horse running through the brush.  Before he knew we were around, he stayed still in our spot for several minutes so we got a good look at him.  I wouldn’t have believed that they grew that large if I hadn’t seen it myself.  It reminded of those prehistoric monsters that you read about.

Editor’s note:  Was it a coincidence–the presence of a large lizard and one missing duck?

So Bob Duckels made captain.  I didn’t even know he had gone to O. C. S.  I guess his folks are right proud of him now.  Whatever happened to Clarence?  Is he still around Chesterfield?

Sometimes I wonder just how much longer this war is going to last.  Sometimes I get so discouraged that it all seems hopeless.  I sometimes wonder if I’ll be satisfied anywhere after I get out of the army.  I certainly am not satisfied in the army.  I never was and don’t suppose that I ever will be. All I can do is hope that is sometimes domes to an end.  I’ve done that so much that I get tired of it.  I suppose a person can endure it though.  I guess it is the monotony that makes it so hard.  I only wish I could spend a week or so on the farm during spring or early summer.  I guess I’m a little homesick.

Well I guess I’ll close for this time.

May 24, 1944

After about a week and a half of doing without mail I finally got a flock of it.  Right now I’m about ten letters behind on my writing.

There is no need for you to worry about me over here.  I’m in no more danger than if I were in the States.  There are as many people killed accidentally back there every year as there are killed in the war.  The situation is well in had over here now so there’s no need for worry.

Chances are fairly good that I may be getting home sometime the fore part of nest year.  Of course that isn’t definite yet.

While school was going on, Dorothy didn’t have much spare time.  She kept telling me how busy she was and she would say that she was taking time out to write me a letter before going to bed and it would be near midnight then.  School activities and her course at Blackburn [College] with the household duties kept her pretty well occupied.

No, so far I haven’t heard from Chas. Sanders.  I heard from Harvey Clark once and Lee Clark [two brothers-in-law] a couple of times.  Aunt Mary still writes.  She sent me an Easter card.  I got it a couple of days ago.

How do you like the Dawson’s for neighbors?

It looks like Arthur Hall got his new wife in time to take care of him.  That is some pair.  I can’t hardly feature it.

I’m not worrying too much.  When a person gets a family of his own he has to do a little worrying to figure how to make ends meet.  A person has to have a few worries or he isn’t happy.  A person that has no responsibilities is the one most likely to get into devilment.

I received the radish seeds OK.  I’ll have to clear off a place to plant them.  They should grow all right once I get them in the ground.  The corn is up waist-high but has sort of a yellow cast.  I guess there’s too much moisture for it over here.

It seems funny to think of Cora Francis and Charles Preston Clements [cousins] going to high school.  It seems only yesterday when they were just little tykes.

Uncle Pres sure has had quite a time getting settled.  It looks like I’m going to be just like him as I’m getting such a late start in life.

flood cleanup 1944Cleanup after Mississippi River flooding Spring ’44, Cape Girardeau, MO

It looks like the farmers are going to be way behind in getting their crops in again this year because of the wet weather.  It’s funny how it’s wet every year like that.  I suppose though, it is better to have too much rain than not enough, as you always have something when it’s wet, but when it’s too dry everything dries up.  I read where the old Mississippi went on a rampage.  I guess Floyd was flooded out in the bottom again.  It’s lucky he didn’t have corn in.

Editor’s note:  Because of Mighty Mississippi spring rampages, the Pick-Sloan Flood Control Act of 1944 was passed.  A number of dams and levees were constructed on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.  The legislation was named for Brigadier General Lewis A. Pick of the Army Corps of Engineers.  He was also in command of Ledo road construction under Gen. Stilwell.  As Stilwell and his troops drove the Japanese out, road construction followed closely behind.  The new road was referred to, as “Pick’s Pike.”

Well, I’m getting these letters answered gradually.  I’m now answering one of yours which was written May 3rd.

I’ll bet it is pretty around there now.  this time of the year when nature took on a new always was pleasant.  Over here the vegetation is too much the same the year around.  Things do grow more now than they do during the cooler season, but they are always green.  You speak of cherry trees blooming.  Maybe there’ll be cherries this year.

Speaking of garden I could sure go for a big bowl of lettuce the way you used to fix it.  We had some asparagus for chow the other day and I sure gobbled it up.  I didn’t know that I did like it so well.  I thin the main reason was that it was something green.  I find that onions make a good appetizer, bu the only drawback is that they sometimes disagree with me afterwards.  So far we’ve never had any green onions.  They are too hard to handle for the army.  There wouldn’t be much greenness left in them by the time they reached us.

Editor’s note:  Dad’s favorite [and mine too] was wilted fresh garden leaf lettuce with hot sweet and sour hot vinagrette dressing poured over it.  Of course it wasn’t low-calorie–made with bacon grease.

I suppose George and Delbert Duckels are still plugging along together.

So Uncle George is going to sell the place.  That is sort of disappointing to me although I sort of halfway expected that to happen some day.  I was hoping that I could farm it for a couple of years first.  It’s good land and a person could make money there.  Whoever gets it will have a nice place.  Of course it’ll take some fixing up, but not too much.

If I had the money, I sure would have bought the place.  I suppose there are places better though.  It’s probably mostly sentimental because it was the first place that I really started to take an interest in farming.  I suppose that if Bill Rigsbey should get the place, he would put Floyd there.

The Frank Dams place would be all right to start with I guess, although the improvements aren’t so much.  There’s no silo on the place and only one small barn.  The land isn’t too good.  How many acres are there?  What kind of rent would they want?  It would be hard to know what to do about it, as it’s so indefinite when I’ll be able to start farming.  They’ll probably want someone in the house as soon as possible.

If you want me to farm the home place, I’ll have to have a place close enough where I can handle them both.  I’ll have to more or less leave it up to you to keep on the lookout for an opening.

Of course if there is no other alternative, I’ll have to find a job somewhere for a while until you give up the place at home and move off and I have enough capital to help myself and get by on that much land.  I would rather start right out farming at first.

If I should get back to the States by the time things are pretty settled in Europe, I might stand a chance of getting out of the army to farm.

Well,I’d better bring this letter to a close.  I’ve sort of went on a writing binge.  I had four of your letters to answer and I had the time and everything was quiet so that I could concentrate.  Usually when I try to write there just doesn’t seem to ba anything to write about.

For goodness sakes don’t work too hard.  Like is too short to overdo it.

5-28-44:  My corn is shoulder-high now and beginning to tassel.  The stalk is very small.  I don’t believe that it’s going to amount to anything.  The rumor is out that we are going to get compulsory furloughs.  We’ve been told to conserve our money.

DAD’S WWII LETTERS: Ch. 11, Another Birthday, Food Hunting

Feb. 12, 1944

Here it is Saturday night once again.  Tomorrow is Sunday, but will be just another day.  It is supposed to be my day off but caught KP so will be putting in nice long day.  Details are about the only things that make a distinction between days.

The mail situation was poor this week so I don’t seem to be able to get in the swing of writing a letter.  There’s nothing over here that I can discuss.

We are due to get our PX supplies before very long.  It is possible that we’ll get them tonight as the company office has drawn them, I hear.

By the time you get this letter, it will be close to the first of March and you’ll be getting your man back again and you’ll be starting on your spring work.  Let’s hope that it won’t be so wet this time as it was last spring.  It seems that you’ve had your share of wet weather since I’ve been away.  I’ve had my share of it too in the last year.

The news has been favorable lately.  Maybe this war won’t last too long.  I don’t see how the Axis can stand long under the terrific pounding that the Allies seem to be giving them from the air.

Some one has the radio on in the day room and are getting some pretty music.  My basha is close and can hear it plain.  If it wasn’t for things like that to make a person feel a few contacts with home.  I think a person would go wacky.


I saw a show last night and it was an interesting picture.  the name of it was “Saboteur.”  Once in a while they have a double feature.  Don’t get the idea that we have regular theaters, because we haven’t.  These are on the same order as those they used to have on Monday nights back home when you furnished your own seat.

I made myself a stool to use in the basha as well as at the show.  I also made a table, but almost got crowded out as there is a letter writing fiend in the basha.  I don’t know what he writes about so much.  I’ll close for this time.  Hope to hear from you soon.

Editor’s note:  There had to be more behind Dad’s remarks.  Perhaps he went off on the person “hogging” his letter-writing table?

Feb. 20, 1944

I received your letter of  the 20th of Jan a couple of days ago.  How are you by now?  Did you escape the flu epidemic that went around?  I am feeling fine.  I have been gaining a little weight here of late as the food has been better and my appetite has been improved.  I haven’t  been sick so don’t get me wrong, I just don’t seem to have much of an appetite is all.

I think I told you that I had a tooth pulled a while back.  It was sort of tough one (lower wisdom) and the dentist had a hard time getting it out as the roots were crooked.  My jaw got pretty sore for a couple of days, but it is all right now.  I had one filled one day last week.  There’s still one or two that I thing need attention in spite of the dentist telling me the est were OK.  As soon as I get a chance to see a different dentist, I’m going to have them checked again.

I sure would have liked to have been there when you butchered and got some that fresh fried liver and sausage.  We had fresh pork again the other day that we chipped in and bought on the hoof and fed a few days and then butchered.  Our is always in the form of a pork roast as there isn’t enough to make anything else of it.  By the way we have an electric ice box that some of the fellows made.  Whenever we get fresh meat, we keep it there over night.

Yes, I wrote a letter to Mrs. Hounsley in answer to her Christmas card.  I intended to answer all of them that way, but found so man more late cards.  I think that Mrs. Hounsley did mention about her boy being on some island as a radio operator.  She also mentioned that Rosalie was either married or to be to some lieutenant.

Several of the boys seem to be getting furloughs from back there but I imagine that it’ll be their last for a while as I wouldn’t be surprised to be seeing some of them.

By the way, did you ever hear of the Harris twins from Medora?  I can’t recall knowing them, but the other day I ran across a fellow from around Vandalia, Ill. and he knew one of the Harris twins that was in this organization.  At first he couldn’t think of that name of the town and then when he did and mentioned Medora.  I brightened up and said sure that’s close to my home town.  If I could get a chance to see this Harris, I might recognize him as he played *basketball, although he is quite a bit younger than I.

*Editor’s note:  Dad played on the high school basketball team.  It must have skipped a generation, none of us kids were good at sports–including basketball.

Fred Hauser and George Kessler are still with us and their address is the same as mine outside of their serial numbers.  I think the would have gotten the cards OK if you had sent their address without them.  They are both addressed as “Sgt.”

I had a couple of letters from Carl and **Evelyn Getz this last week.  She writes part of the time and Carl writes part of the time.

**Editor’s note:  Evelyn Getz and her husband were neighbors.  Evelyn would later be our babysitter.  She had a long memory and related stories about mischief we’d gotten into for many years.

2-26-44:  Moved back toward Ledo at M.P. 5.  Building new camp.  British tents.  Half of company up road.

Feb. 27, 1944

I received two letters from you this past week which made up for the while that wasn’t getting any.

I’m glad you know what I’m doing.  You know why I haven’t been able to tell you anything.  Now you can find a lot without my telling you.

Editor’s note:  This may be a reference to the aforementioned “Saturday Evening Post” story.

Yes, most of the time we are able to keep up with the news pretty well.  I sometimes get so disgusted though that I don’t pay much attention to it.  About the only diversion I have is the few shows we have ( a lot of them are old ones that I’ve seen once or twice) and letters that I write and the ones that I get.  I keep in close touch with Dorothy and that is my main attraction.

You should have wood to burn now that you’ve sawed some.  I imagine that coal is a little hard to get, isn’t it?

What do you mean by Leaches’ house being made of wartime materials?  Tell more about it.  I think the building industry is gong to be revolutionized after the war.  I think that houses will be made of new plastic materials.  They’ll probably be brought to the building site in sections and set up in a day.   That’ll make the cost of building cheaper or should unless there is too much graft involved.  Who knows, I might some day have a home like that.  I think that there’s going to be a lot of changes in the post war world.

Editor’s note:  Dad seemed to describe modular and manufactured homes.  Plywood proved to be an important part of the war effort.  Was the first reference about plywood?  It was used for various things in the war effort–for PT boats, gliders, housing.  After the war, plywood was widely used.

I may not get to come home this year, but I should get the chance after two years of overseas service as they claim to be doing that.  Two years are long enough to spend over here, or anyplace else as far as that goes.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll get out of the service.  I hope you don’t think that being over here is like being in the States in any respect, because it isn’t in the slightest.  Some day I’ll tell you why.

Dorothy was telling me about the Co. Supt. of Schools being out to the Community Club meeting.  I kidded her about getting in good with the big shots.

Yes, I received Dad’s letter and its about time for another.  I thought that I made mention of it at the time.

Uncle Pete is sure having a time of it.  He’s going to have a time trying to keep a farm going in his condition and he can’t afford to quit.  In army slang he “hasn’t got too much.”

Olin Trill never was much of a hustler if I remember correctly.  A guy like that should be working all the time at a time like this.  I would like to see a person like that over here with us.

I’m glad that you are able to get the vitamin tablets.  They do help quite a bit as I’ve found out.  I haven’t taken but very few, but they helped me out even at that.  A couple of times when I got run down, they gave them to me and I snapped right out of it.  We don’t get them though, unless we absolutely need them.  I suppose the reason for that is that there wouldn’t be enough to go around.

You are getting a lot of eggs.  Has the price improved any?  The last time I heard they had taken a drop.

No, I’m not the chore boy, but I was carrying the wood for the stove in our basha.  We take our turns at getting it in.  I’m afraid that I’ve almost forgotten how to milk.  I’ll have to teach Dorothy how to do that.  Ha!  I’ll bet it would be a little hard to talk her into doing that.  I would have to finagle her into it some how.  She says she’ll raise chickens etc.

Editor’s note:  Because of censorship, Dad couldn’t talk about the company and what he did.  Grandma may have wondered if Dad was the only one doing KP and housework.  That wasn’t true, there’s more to come about the mission.     

I still have seed corn.  I suppose it’ll still grow.  It looks all right yet.  I’m going to put some into the ground as soon as it warms up a little more and see what happens.  I’ve been waiting for the “golden opportunity” but I guess I’ll just have to take a chance like Columbus did.

We ate our last porker here some time ago.  We’ve had about three messes now of fresh pork.  That is in larger terms (mess) than what you are used to thinking of.  You can get some idea from feeding a threshing crew and multiplying it several times.

threshingOld time threshing crew

Some of the fellows have been hunting wild hogs, but haven’t been successful in getting any yet.  They have seen a few, but always at the inopportune time and then later or can’t find them.  One of the fellows has a wild boar’s tusks.  Boy, they are sure beauties.  They are curved and about nine inches long and sharp as a knife on the end.  I don’t hardly believe I would care to meet up with that gentleman of the jungle.

I’m trying to be satisfied where I am.  I could be in a worse place, but there aren’t so many of them.  Yes, I have lost some weight, but am OK.  I’ll close for this time.  Hope you are still well.

March 3, 1944

I am reminded of spring now as it is rather warm.  I have a head cold today and it makes me feel miserable.

I received the package yesterday with the pillow and pillow slips.  I use it last night and it sore was nice to lay my head on something nice and soft.  It was thoughtful of you to send two pillow slips instead of one.  I don’t know yet where the quarter-master laundry will launder them for me along with rest of the clothes or not.  If not, I can do them myself.  I have to wash my own socks and handkerchiefs as they are too hard to keep track of to send out.  It is bad enough with the other stuff.

The package med better time than I expected in getting here in a little more than two months.  Even yet someone once in a while gets a Christmas package.

One of the fellows got a fruitcake.  It was good, but a little dry.  I don’t remember whether I told you that Dorothy sent me a fruit cake for Christmas or not.  It was a little late, but came in good condition.  It was nice and moist and tasted real good.

I had guard again last night and KP day before yesterday.  If it wasn’t for those two details, army life wouldn’t be quite as bad.

We had canned chicken today for dinner.  I don’t suppose it was for any special occasion, but we could call it an anniversary as we arrived in India on this date.  By this time next year, I hope to be a long way from here.  I’ve certainly seen all I want of this place and I haven’t seen so much of it either.

Well, there isn’t much news, so I’ll close for this time.

March 5, 1944

I received your letter (both of your letters) yesterday of the 6th of February.

I had today off for a change and I spent practically the whole morning washing out some clothes and cleaning my rifle.  I shaved too before dinner.  I don’t shave over here as often as I did in the States.  I don’t like to shave too often anyway with no more facilities than we have as it is too hard on one’s face.

You spoke in one of your letters, I think about Mrs. Rigsbey getting a picture from Leo and he looked like he was getting balk-headed.  A lot of fellows over here are getting bald and gray-headed.  I’ve noticed that I’m getting some gray in my beard.  I may have a little in my hair, but I haven’t noticed over one or two yet.

I don’t care if I do get a few gray hairs as long as it doesn’t get too bad and as long as I feel all right.

Sounds like you are going in for the chicken raising again this year.  You’ll have chickens all over the place before long.

Editor’s note:  Grandma had her own little “stash” of money from selling eggs and cream.  Over the years it was probably a tidy sum.

So Miss. Annie Towse died.  She must have been well in her sixties.  I can remember when she was my Sunday School teacher.  That has been a long time ago.

Olin G. must have all he can take care of without handling Uncle Alvin’s place.  Maybe thought the place is so tied in mortgage that it would be better to sell it?  Who does Olin have for a cook?  He’s still single and unattached, isn’t he?

Yes, I suppose all these young fellows get scared when they think the draft board is going to get them.  That is one way to make them get on the ball.

“The Keeles” must be planning on doing some big farming with three tractors.  I’ll bet it would sure break Rolly’s heart if the army were to call him.  In a way I believe the training would do him some good.

Where did Ostermeier move to?  Palmyra, was it?  I believe you told me, but I forget.  Is Bill Bowman still living on his place and has Wayne been living in town all this time?  I wonder how his “dainty” [high maintenance?] wife is getting along.  They have a child don’t they?  I’ve almost forgotten who has what and who’s who around there anymore.  I’ll have to get acquainted all over again.

Dad, I’m glad to hear from you again.  It’s been almost three months since you wrote the last time.  Hogs and cattle prices seem to be running pretty close together.  Did you realize any profit on your 18 head of hogs after buying corn to feed them?  O course I suppose you’ve had corn to feed them since the new crop came in.  Do they still run an embargo on the hog market or has it sort of quieted down?

Clyde's 1937 Ford*Dad’s ’37 Ford

When was the last time you had the tractor overhauled?  How are the tires holding out?  Did you ever have the tires changed over from one side to the other?  You know the land wheel was wearing more than the furrow one.  How’s the *Ford running?  Have you had anything done to the brakes since I was home last?  They weren’t so good at the time and I had to tighten up on them some.  I suppose parts for machinery of all kinds are hard to get.

Well, I guess I had better close for this time.  I want to write a few lines to the better half before bedtime.

Hope you are well. cbi roundup  Editor’s note:  from March 9, 1944 issue, “Poet’s Corner”


Nestled ‘tween the towering mountains
Lies a lush and fertile land;
Part of India, old enchanted;
Part of paradise–Assam.
Through it flows the Brahmaputra,
South, from Tibet to the sea;
Down its waters steam the vessels,
Laden with her product–tea.
Came the war and all its horrors
Every nation bound to fight
Men were sent to far-off place,
Pledged to contest tyrant’s might,
Some of us, we lucky fellows,
Members of a favored band,
Journeyed up the Brahmaputra,
To that paradise–Assam.
Came the winter, without fanfare,
Every day the sun was bright;
But we shivered after sunset,
Cold and damp was every night.
Came the summer, rainy season,
And we viewed each other’s plight.
Used to sit up nights and watch them;
Shoes, socks–floating out of sight.
Comes the peace, pray not distant,
Let me board that outbound tram;
I’ll go elsewhere–you can have it,
Part of paradise–Assam.

Sgt. Robert A. Fuchs–

DAD’S WWII LETTERS: Chapter 10, War Weariness, Entertainment

Jan. 9, 1944

It was hard for me to get used to putting down 44 instead of 43.  Some of my letters I know that I have used the old year.

This is Sunday again.  The weeks seem to roll by.  I’ve spent all of 29 months in the service now and am going on the 30th one.  I sure wish that I could be home after three years of it.

I would like to be home in time to put in a crop in ’45.  I don’t know though, as the war sure seems to be dragging out.  It don’t look like any of the boys overseas are going to get back either before the war ends except those discharged or sent back for limited service.  As soon as the war is over, the boys with the jobs waiting will have the first chance at the discharges.  If and as soon as I hit the states again I’m going to try to get to come home.  I’ve had about enough of this or will by that time and want to do something else for a change.

battle of the bulgeEditor’s note:  In Europe the war took a nasty turn, as the Germans took advantage of bad weather, and American overconfidence.  It was their last-ditch effort to break through Allied supply lines–in what would be known as the “Battle of the Bulge.”

You are having some real winter weather back there now, I hear.  In Dorothy’s last letter she said that it was ten below that morning.  I believe I would freeze to death in that kind of weather.  I don’t think I would get any chillier than I do now of a morning though.

You spoke of having to move the garden in the spring as you had chickens in the old orchard where we used to have potatoes?  That would be all right for a garden wouldn’t it?  It would be a little unhandy as you have to go through two gates.

I don’t know whether I told you or not, that Aunt Mary enclosed some pictures in with her Christmas card of the Horn family.  They all look about the same except Helen and she looks awfully thin.  She did have quite a time when the baby was born, didn’t she?  I suppose that she never picked up since.  The youngster, I think favors the Horns quite a bit.

Well, someday if this war doesn’t last too long, maybe Dorothy and I can have something like that to comment on and take up our time.  That’s when the fun will begin, if you want to call it that.  I hope that we can have more than one as I don’t to raise one youngster by himself.  I’d like a boy and a girl, but I’ll have to settle for whatever happens.   Ha!

Editor’s note:  As it turned out, I was the second son in a family of four–three boys and one girl (another daughter, Julia Jean, died at birth in 1962).

I’m still getting Christmas cards.  I received three today.  I still haven’t received Dorothy’s package, but haven’t given up hope yet as they are still coming in.

You spoke of Wiese’s having a sale.  Is the old man selling out to make room for the younger generation, or is he quitting.

I’m sending you a paper that we get over here to read.  It is put out by the Army and we get it once a week.  It contains a lot of interesting news we have from the outside world except the radio.  It may take a bit longer to reach you than the letter.

I’ll have to close.  Everything is about the same with me.  I hope you are all well.

Jan. 15, 1944

Here it is Saturday night and no place to go or nothing to do which is usually the case.  If I were home now on Saturday night, I probably would just sit around not knowing what to do.

I finished chow a couple of hours ago and have split up wood and carried it in the basha for the stove since then.  I built a fire to knock off the chill.

Last night we had a double feature movie that I attended.  One was a western and the other was a comedy.  It rained on us a little, but we stuck it out and soon it stopped.

I received your letter of Dec 19th yesterday.  You say Leo Rigsbey is in Hawaii now.  That is a pretty nice place from the reports that some of the fellows send back home from there.

I hope they do something about this eighteen months overseas bill.  I’ll be good and ready to go back in another six months.  It seems that everybody is getting tired of it over here.  The climate is such that isn’t too good for a person either.

I suppose that Uncle George looks about the same only a little older.  Looks like he’s undertaking quite a bit to feed the cattle this winter.  I’ll bet he has all he can do all day long with their chickens to take care of.

Well, there doesn’t seem to be much to say tonight so I’ll close hoping you are well.  I hear there has been quite a bit of flu around.

Jan 17, 1944

Received your letter today that you wrote on Christmas day.  Your letter was air mail and Dorothy wrote one on Christmas Day also and sent it with three cents and they both got here at the same time.  So you see it doesn’t pay to send air mail anymore.  V-mail really comes a little the quickest, but I don’t care much for it as they are so short.  You say you got my letters in about two weeks.  On the average with the exception of before Christmas a short time, my letters come in three weeks time.

Our Christmas dinner was nice, but sure didn’t come up to my vision of Christmas dinner back home, especially from your description of what you had.  Dorothy had quite a dinner at her house on Christmas day.  From what she said they must have had quite a program out at the school.  She said that she invited you, but you weren’t there so she supposed that you didn’t have a way.  There were eight in her car so she didn’t have room or she would have picked you up.  She said she put some presents on the tree for you.

War-related, circa 1943
War-related, circa 1943 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I got a lot of Christmas cards and am still getting them.  I got three today and one yesterday.

It seems that almost everybody back in Missouri is working in a defense plant.  That should sort of give them a lift financially.

I had been wondering if you had any source of wood this winter.  We have been burning wood in our stoves in the basha.  They cut it up with a power saw and split it in large chunks and pile it for us to use from.  There is a detail for this job.  We split it up as we use it and that reminds me of home when we used to have wood in the winter time.

You are getting quite a few eggs now, but the price seems awfully unstable.  I understand that they are high in the cities.  When all the pullets get to laying you’ll have to have a wheelbarrow to haul the eggs to the house.

Is Harold Adam still located in Alaska?  How long has Charles Clements been in the service now?  I remember that he was the conservation agent when we were down there in ’41.

How is Frank Simily getting along?  The last I heard about them was when he was recuperating for an appendicitis operation.  Aunt Mary had told me that Dorothy S. was sporting a diamond.  They’ll probably be getting hitched the next time he gets home.

Well, I’ll close for this time.  Write often.

Editor’s note:  The following is a letter to Dad’s parents penned by William R. Barr, a young serviceman from the community, upon his discharge from the military.  It was intended as an assurance of Dad’s safety in India.  The Saturday Evening Post issue dated 12-25-43 included a well-written, informative article by Edgar Snow.  I may include it in a separate post.

Chalmers, Ind.
January 18, 1944

Dear Mr. Adam

Recently I returned from India, having been discharged from active duty with Army because of my age.  I was in the  same company with your son, Clyde; and he asked me to write you upon my return to the states.

When I left late in October he was looking well and his quarters, food, etc., were adequate.  The company has one of the best locations in that area.

Clyde is located in upper Assam.  If you have the Christmas issue of the Saturday Evening Post you will find a good article about the country where he is, and the project going on there.  The title of the article is:  “The new road to Tokyo,” (I think that is correct, I do not have a copy at hand.)  I’m sorry this news is not fresher, but it requires a long time to travel half-way around the world under present conditions.

Clyde is in as fine an organization as I have seen in my travels.  The men are doing fine work.  Of course everyone is anxious to get the job done and to return to the best country on earth

Yours truly,
Wm. R. Barr

Jan 23, 1944

Another Sunday almost gone.  I have every other one off and today was the one.  Now, I’ll have to work next Sunday.

I’ve already answered your last letter so I don’t know how this one will turn out without one to comment on.

Tonight seems to be a night of reminiscences as we all have our pictures out showing them to each other and telling who they are and where they were taken.  Every so often we have to do this.

By now you should have gotten a print of the negative of the picture I sent Dot.  I’m going to give you a little description of the background in the picture.  This was taken one Sunday by one of the fellows.  Due to the shortage of printing paper over here, I could only get the negative to send.  I understand that now we can no longer send pictures of any kind home.  To get back to the picture itself, I was standing on the steps of the basha that I later moved into.  To your left you can see a tent in which I was living at the time.  At the time this picture was taken I had my hair cut real short.  Outside of that and being a little thinner than I was before I left the States, I don’t think that I’ve changed much.  They tell me I have a few gray hairs, but not many.

Dad in India

The basha as you’ve noticed, has a woven bamboo floor that is set up off the ground about 18 inches.  As you’ll notice the roof is leaves from the bamboo.

Jan. 24, 1944

Due to an interruption, I failed to finish this letter last night, so I’ll do so tonight.

I got some mail today again.  There were five letters and a belated Christmas card, but none of them were from you.  I’ll be getting one though one of these days now.

Tomorrow, I see by the duty roster, I’m on KP.  That is one job I hate the worst and it comes around quite often anymore.  It looks like after two years and a half a person could graduate from that job, but I guess no such luck.

I finally received Dorothy’s package on Saturday night and it had the most delicious fruitcake in it besides soe candy, chewing gum and cigarettes & tobacco and stationary.

Write often.  Hope you are well.

Jan. 30, 1944

I received your letter yesterday of the 2nd and one today of the 12th.  So you see how the mail runs.  I also received a telegram from the wife, yesterday in the mail containing birthday greetings.  As near as I could tell it had been sent on the 15th.

The pillow will sure be nice to have, as pillows with feathers seem to be scarce over here.  I have a small one now that have to double to get much out of it as it is so flat.  It is filled with cotton and packs down and doesn’t fluff ut no matter how hard I try.

I got several Christmas cards this year.  In fact most of them came after Christmas.  The one that Dorothy sent ( a nice big one) was mailed the 30th of Nov. and had been missent to another PO and came about a week ago.  The boys are still getting packages.  There were so many I guess it was hard to get them over here in time.  I think the post office did a remarkable job considering.

Dorothy told me that her mother had the flu.  I don’t think she is very well this winter.

I’m glad to hear that you don’t have much to do this winter.  It’ll give you a chance to sort of recuperate for another season.  I have hopes of being home in time to help put in the crops in ’45.  I don’t think the war will be over, but have hopes of getting back to the States by then and if I do that maybe I’ll have a chance to come home to do a little farming for a change.  Anyway, I can try after having been overseas.  There should be plenty of replacements by that time and I sure don’t want to get caught in the army of occupation as that means several more years.

I suppose that it does make a lot of difference in who feeds cattle and an old-timer at the job (although *Finis should be an old hand at it, he just doesn’t take an interest or have the knack) seems to make quite a difference.  I think that the cattle did fairly well when I was feeding them.  Anyway, I took an interest in them and liked to take care of them.  It makes a difference when a person lives right there with them too, and doesn’t have to run back and forth.

Editor’s note:  From records, Finis Wade, [Grandpa’s hired-man], would have been in his early sixties.

I’m glad that you have been able to get the place limed.  It should make a lot of difference in the crops.  Now, if we can just get it tiled, it should be in good shape.

It seems funny to hear you say that the corn is all shucked as the way I remember it, we used to have plenty of shock corn to shuck during the winter (much to my dismay).

You spoke of the price of eggs having gone down 30 and 31 cents a dozen.  One of the fellows whose home state is in New York state says that the consumers back there were paying around 75 cents the last he heard.  There seems to be an awful lot of difference there.  Somebody must be making a lot of money on the handling of eggs.

We fed our hogs the garbage from the mess and kitchen along with rice as grain (rice seems to be a common food among the natives as well as the animals).  In parts of India they raise wheat and barley as well as rice.  They raise many other products which I won’t mention as I would have to refer to a book the same as you.  Rice and tea are about all that I could verify at the present from having seen it growing and consumed.

Thanks for straightening me out on the birthdays.  Dorothy was the only one that I was in doubt about as you had told me the others before.  I’ll have to close.  Write.

Feb. 3, 1944

I received your birthday card yesterday with your picture.  I certainly surprised when I opened it and found you looking out at me.  It is such a plain picture of you both that it made me feel that you were actually present.  You both have a pleasant expression on your faces.  Dad, you are as poor as ever and mom you are as plump as ever.  Ha!  Mom, you seem to have the most gray hair of the two of you.

Your are in the middle of your winter the same as we are but there is quite a difference.  That is about all I can tell you about the weather.  I might add, if the censor will allow, I am reminded of some of the springs back there.  We have been burning wood for a couple of months.

You say that you have ordered chickens already.  You must be going to get an early start this year.  I suppose that you have to get your order in early.  Are you going to raise more chickens this year since you are getting another brooder house or is ti because the others are filled with pullets.

I don’t think I told you yet that I received the second Christmas package from Dorothy with more gum, candy tobacco, cigarettes and a fountain pen, (which I am using now).

You haven’t mentioned the car lately, so I take it that it’s working OK since the trouble last winter.  I think you’ll find if you use it more often it’ll give you less trouble than if you let it sit idle for long periods at a time.  A car motor and the other moving parts are like anything else, which corrodes and rusts from disuse unless they are specially stored.

The news on the Allied fronts seems encouraging enough of late even though it is a slow process wich is no more than to be expected.  We are hoping that the war will be over by the end of ’45.

Oh yes, I must tell you that I saw a very nice show here the other night put on by the “Swing Patrol” of the Air Corps boys.  The captain in charge was none other than Melvin Douglas formerly of the movies.  The “Swing Patrol” was a very nice orchestra to be so far out in the sticks.  It sure was a treat and they gave us a full hour and a half of entertainment in the form of a make believe radio broadcast.  We had an amplifying system but the stage was sort of a crude affair with a tarp roof.

Editor’s note:  The following gives more show information.

cbi roundup

Dateline: January 27, 1944, Entertainment news, “C-B-I Roundup,” pp. 17-18

To Be Rounded Up to Entertain Troops

Over a period of months, the Theater has been the recipient of various and sundry promises that USO shows would tour this haven known as “the end of the line.”  Al Jolson started out, but went back with some dread disease that probably necessitated the use of a wheelchair upon his arrival in Miami.  Joel McCrae got as far as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and turned back because he suspected CBI audience reaction would not be suitable to his 14 carat talents.

That caricaturist, Don Barclay, who was touring with McCrae, decided he didn’t expect quite so much from his audience, so he continued.  Joe E. Brown managed to drag his “fiftyish” carcass this far and put on a series of swell shows that wowed the lads in the weeds.  A USO group of kerosene circuit performers, traveling under the direction of one Wesley Pierce, got off in India by mistake and finally made the grand gesture by putting on a show in Karachi.  Afterwards, Pierce, as reported in a previous issue of this journal of enlightenment, raised hell because he was furnished American coffee and doughnuts and not Scotch and soda.   

It seems that most of these touring prima donnas either become critically ill or lose their ardor “to do something for the boys” while en route.  This situation has caused various “brains” in the Special Service Division to do a little thinking.  (We don’t mean to infer that they have never thought before).  This first product of this thinking was mined by the late Maj. Clark Robinson, who dreamed up the ATC show, “Assam Dragon” which was a pip.

This show covered India and is now making some one-night stands in the Middle East.  Upon return, Maj. John Nixon, Theater Special Service Officer, feels it should be offered to China.  This show was such a success and the “Hurry Up and Wait” show, now touring the Ledo Road, was so good that Special Services said to hell with outside shows, and decided to dig up its own talent.

Joe E. Brown and his crony, Harry Barris, were so impressed with a GI orchestra in Karachi that it was decided to take the band on tour.  Called “Swing Patrol,” This organization is now in New Delhi rehearsing for a forthcoming tour.  Capt. Melvyn Douglas will conduct this trip as an excuse to get out into the Theater and dig up more talent for more of the same.  Should any of you feel you have any talents, be sure and give for the captain if and when he hits your area.

The Theater commander is sincerely interested in these shows and they are being organized as fast as his little body of hand-picked men in Special Service can do it.  Lt. Leonard Bailey, assistant SSO for the 14th Air Force, is working on things from that end.  The business will never be a complete success, however, if you G. I.’s hide your light behind a mango tree.  If you don’t bump into Douglas, write him a letter addressed to Special Services Division, Rear Echelon Hq., APO 885 (Delhi).

There is plenty of latent talent in this Theater.  Don’t be shy.  If you are a pretty hot sketch on a harp, write in.  If you can blow “Pistol Packin’ Momma” out of a cider jug or play a musical saw or recite Shakespeare or do any other damn thing, write Douglas a letter.  His mail has been pretty light since he left home.  


I don’t think I told you that I also received a cablegram giving birthday greetings from my wife.  I wasn’t alarmed as she had told me that she planned on sending me one some of these days.  It came in the mail and took two weeks to arrive form the States.  The one that I sent her for our anniversary arrived in a weeks time.

Well, I don’t know much more to say.  I’m still doing KP and guard duty.  I had guard last night and am tired and sleepy tonight.  I think I’ll turn in as soon as I write a few lines to Dorothy.

I’ll have some more money to send some of these days.  I have to save over fifty dollars before I can [send] it by radio as that is the minimum.  I don’t like to send money orders as it is too easy for them to get lost and there is too much red tape to recover the money in case they are.

I’m expecting to get back to civilization by the end of the year or the first of they next.  The sooner the better.  If we don’t, there’s going to be a lot of disappointed boys.  I just hope the second one seems as short as the first.  I’ll have to close for this time.  Write often.


DAD’S WWII LETTERS: Ch. 9, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years

US Army Technician 5th Grade rank insignia, in...

Nov. 20, 1943

I received your nice long letter yesterday.  I have been getting my mail pretty good here of late except they don’t always come in order.  I get some of them two weeks behind time.

You should have received the letter where I told you that I received your first box OK.  The pencils have sure come in handy.  The erasers and the leads have also.  I have borrowed a flashlight and am using the batteries in it now.  I use my whisk broom to brush the dust and dirt off my bunk.  A lot of dust and dirt falls down during the day.

You asked what T/5 means.  It means technician fifth grade or corporal technician which is the same that I have always been.

I’ve been doing pretty well here of late on the eating proposition.  My appetite has come back since the weather has gotten cooler and I have gained a few pounds that I lost during the summer.  I am feeling good now.  We don’t get much fresh fruit.  The last couple of days we had fresh tangerines.  We get canned fruit such as peaches, pears, and pineapple.

They don’t raise much of anything right around here, but they raise a lot of rice in India.  I haven’t seen many crops over here as I passed through at the wrong season when the land was lying idle.

I think I told you that I sent some money home by radio.  It may take quite some time before it reaches you, but will get there eventually.  Dorothy has been doing right well at saving money.  So we should have enough to make a fair start.

In her last letter she that she had been so busy going to her history classes at night and taking music lessons that she doesn’t have much time to herself.  Her sister and her little girl have been staying there.  She says that she is allowed two gallons of gas a week now.  That isn’t very much and doesn’t allow a person to do much driving.

The natives patched up the floor in our basha today.  It is made of woven bamboo and bounces up and down when anyone walks over it.

Well, next week is Thanksgiving.  I don’t suppose we’ll have turkey.  I understand that we are to get it Christmas.

I guess I had better close for tonight and write to the wife.  Write as often as you can.

November 30, 1943

I received your nice long letter this week.  I believe that I wrote to you since I received it.  I heard from Carl Getz today and he said that the weather had turned wet before the beans were all combined.  I am wondering if you got yours combined before it got too wet.  It looks like you are going to have a tough time getting the corn in the crib this year again.

Well, I suppose you had a nice chicken in the pot for Thanksgiving.  We had canned turkey and all the trimmings.  I can truthfully say that it was the best meal we had since we left the states.

It seems to me like the old and the young are being bit by the love bug.  It seems to me that the Pointer girl, Norma Jean, is rather young to be getting married, but I guess age either one way or the other has little to do with it.

You might send me a pillow, if you want to send me something for my birthday.  The only ones we can get over here have cotton inside and it soon packs flat.  You wouldn’t have to send a full size one.  A cushion like you use in a chair would be better as it wouldn’t take quite so much room either to send or carry around.

I don’t know much to say  .  I’m busy every day and think lots about home and wonder how you are getting along.Christmas St. Eve. Post

Dec. 9, 1943

I have about an hour before bed time so I’ll write you a few lines.  I received your letter of the 14th yesterday.  Well, you are having winter sure enough.  I don’t suppose I’ll see any snow this winter unless I go on top of a mountain.  It feels cold enough here to be winter, but isn’t as cold as it actually feels.  It is the dampness that makes it so.  When the sun  comes out during the day it is nice.  Right now I have on almost as many clothes as I used to wear in the winter time at home.

You sure have quite a few pullets this winter.  You should get a lot of eggs when they get started laying good.  I can imagine that it does keep you quite busy taking care of them.  What are eggs worth now?  They must be at least fifty cents a dozen.  [“Saturday Evening Post” Christmas ’43 cover depicted right]

If you haven’t combined the beans yet, they probably won’t turn out so good as they’ll probably shatter pretty bad and a lot of them will have fallen down.

I sent Dorothy a cable gram for our anniversary on the second of Nov. and she received it on the ninth.  It made very good time.  I intended to send you and her each one for Christmas, but was very disappointed when I found out that I was unable to.  In case that you ever want to send me a cable gram send to this address only:  Cpl. Clyde F. Adam, 36045831, A M L Y E T.  This is a code and if you do not use this address it is doubtful whether I would receive it.  Some of the fellows have failed to received cablegrams which were very important just because they didn’t use this address.

I hear that Wendell Dowland got a furlough in November.  I got a letter from him just before he was supposed to go.  George Parker is sure lucky to still be stationed in the states and get furloughs to have been in the service as long as he has.

The cold storage plant is sure going to come in handy for the folks around Chesterfield especially during these times when it is hard to buy fresh meat on the market.

Dorothy sent me some pictures of their place in Carlinville and of a pig with two tails in Palmyra [IL] and also of her little niece and nephew.  They sure make a cute pair.  They are her two sister’s kids and they are both about the same size–both blondes.  One picture was of her mother’s flower garden which looks nice.  Maybe you have seen it?

Yes, I hope very much that I can be home in another year for many reasons.

Well, I hope the both of you are still in good health.  Write as often as you can as I’m always eager to hear.  It helps the morale a lot to get lots of mail and is always an incentive to write.

December 26, 1943

Here it is the day after Christmas.  I hope that you had a nice one.  We had a nice Christmas considering our whereabouts.  We had some time off although not all day.  We had a very nice pork dinner.  We killed the meat here.  We still have a couple of porkers yet to kill.

We went to church last night at a colored outfit’s chapel.  They sure had the place nicely decorated and their service was carried out nicely.  After the service, they gave us entertainment with a band and some singers.  They really put on a good show.  We have always gotten along fine and dandy with the colored troops.  Of course it is to our advantage that we fully cooperate with them.  I find them easier to get along with than a lot of the whites.

Some of the fellows got packages yesterday and the day before.  So far I haven’t gotten mine yet.  For the majority not many have arrived yet.  I got your Christmas card and letter on the day before Christmas along with the one from Aunt Mary and Mr.& Mrs. E. O. Rigsbey, and Uncle George and Aunt Minnie’s.

Fred Bratton (that is my buddy from Arthur, Ill.) got a fruit cake from his wife yesterday.  It tastes a little stale and we don’t know whether it is all right or not.  It looks OK, except for a few spots on the outside.

Today, I’ve been on detail cutting wood, keeping the fire going in the water heater and tonight I had to build a fire in the dayroom stove.  I’m just about to catch my turn at guard again tomorrow night.  Seems like it comes around too often.

I got a letter from Wendell Dowland and he told me about his furlough.  He said things were rather quiet around there now.  He mentioned his girls first name, but I forgot it now.  I’ve been trying to figure out who she is, but guess I don’t know her.  He’s spending so far about the same amount of time that I did before going over.  I imagine that he’ll be taking a nice little trip before long.

Dorothy was telling me that Eldon Miller (one of Frank MIller’s boys) is over here in India somewhere, but the chance is very slim of getting to see him as it is a rather large place.

So Uncle George is going to feed the cattle himself this winter?  I imagine that he is going to have his hands full.  He is so slow and his age is getting well up there too.  If *Finis gets a better offer for a job in the spring, you liable to be out of luck for a man.

*Editor’s note:  Finis was Grandpa’s hired man.  Dad was a farm boy a long way from home.  In the next paragraph the corn and bean crops were discussed.  Iowa and Illinois played tit-for-tat every year on corn production.  It depended on which state had more favorable weather.

I’m glad to hear that you have your work pretty well caught up.  I was afraid that you would lose your beans as it was so wet back there for a while.  Some of the Iowa boys here said that they had a good crop of corn back there this year.

Aunt Mary sent me some pictures of the Horn family in her letter.  Helen sure doesn’t look good.  She must have lost a lot of weight.

Well, I’ll close for this time.  Write.

December 28, 1943

I received your box today that you sent me for Christmas so it didn’t lack much of making it on time.  It arrived in good condition except for the tooth powder which the top came off and spilled about half of it in the box.  The candy coated peanuts broke out of the sack and were mixed with the tooth powder so I just threw them away.  Everything else was OK.  the candy was good outside of being a little stale which a person could no more than expect after travelling so far.  It reminded me of home.  The mirror sure is handy.  I can really get at those whiskers now.  I’ll probably shave oftener as they’ll show up more.  The soap will sure come in handy as it is hard to get.  The scrub brush is something priceless too and I’ll probably have to keep it hid or someone will make away with it.  In fact every thing will be useful.  As you see, I’m trying out the new stationary tonight.

Fred Bratton got a fruit cake through the mail from his wife on Christmas day.  There was just a little mold on the outside and after he trimmed that off, it was all right.  It was in a tin box and that preserved it.  Some of the fellows before had received them and they were spoiled.

Editor’s note:  Fruitcake, the perennial butt of jokes.  Proof that fruitcake did indeed go bad.

I received your letter of the 26th of Nov. yesterday.  I was on guard last night and didn’t get a chance to answer.  I also got quite a novel Christmas card from Mrs. Charles Hounsley.  It was made so that you opened it something like two little doors and there was a picture of Mr. & Mrs. Hounsley.

The clipping that you sent me of the picture of Sgt. and Mrs. Emery takes me back to old times.  They make a nice looking couple.

Yes, I recall when the Steiners used to live in Chesterfield.  Some of these fellows that are joining the navy may be smart instead of letting the army get them.  There they get better training and when they are assigned to a ship, their living conditions are better.

Do you remember whether Dorothy’s birthday is the 24th of March or April?  I was thinking that it was April 24th, but I’m ashamed to ask her anymore.  I would like to know for sure so that I can send her a greeting when the time comes.  lt seems that my memory isn’t so good for remembering dates.

Editor’s note:  Mom’s birthday was April 24th. 

No, I’ve never gotten any cigarettes from Dorothy as yet.  She said that she was sending tobacco in the Christmas package.  I expect to be getting it any day now.  Dorothy has a picture of me that was taken over here.  I don’t know how it turned out yet as the last I heard she had received the negative, but hadn’t gotten it back from being developed.  I couldn’t get it developed over here because of the shortage of paper.  You’ve probably seen it by now.

Some of the fellows have cameras and film, but it is almost an impossibility to get them developed.  Before a person can send them home, they have to be censored.

Well, I’ll close for this time, hoping that you are well.  Write often.

12-31-43:  Had merry old Xmas this year.  Everyone had something to drink and was feeling it.  Hope to spend next year at home with family.

Jan. 6, 1944

Well, here are started on the new year and week of it is almost gone.  I have been aiming to write the last couple of days, but guard duty interfered and last night we had a double feature show, both of which were good.  I just finished packing a box to send home and should have time to knock out a couple of letters.

I”m still getting Christmas cards.  I got a couple more today.  One was from Tom & Edna Dowland and the others from Edgar and Ida Lockyer.  I also got a letter from you, one from the Brattons in Arthur, and five sugar reports.  That sure helps the morale.  When I go a week without mail I sort of get the blues.  Seem that I get more homesick now than I did when I first came over, but I suppose that is because India was a novelty to me then and now the novelty has worn off.  I can stand it for a while yet as I don’t mind it too bad yet.   I hope that I can be home for Christmas this year.  If I am, I’ll consider myself rather lucky.  I believe I (as well as many others) will be the happiest man alive when I can come home to my family.

I feel in a way, that this being away like this will make a person appreciate those things that we are fighting for.

Editor’s note:  Home and freedom–two things soldiers never took for granted.

This box I’m sending is some things that I picked up in the bazaar for you and Dorothy and her mother.  I sent it all in one box instead of making two because it saves quite a bit of trouble.  There is a little red tape to go through such as censoring, etc.

I haven’t marked any of this stuff I’m sending, but I’ll try to tell you.  I had to hustle to get the box packed tonight so that it would go in the morning.  It is surprising how little time I find to do what I want.  As long as my time is occupied, time passes quickly.  I have two large scarfs, one of which is for you and the color is maroon as near as I can describe it.  The other large one is for Dorothy and has the inscription “to wife with love” and the smaller one with a border is for Mrs. Clark [Grandma Clark].  There is a brass bowl with workings on the outside and that is for you.  There is a silver velvet lined box and that is for Dorothy.  Inside of the box there is a bracelet for Dorothy.  There is a towel also for Dorothy’s hope chest or whatever you call it.  There are two C. B. I. insignias, one for you and one for Dorothy.  There are some “Round Ups” which the weekly paper that we get and you can have them to read and then let Dorothy read them if she wants to, but you can divide them up the way you want as I’m going to send more if I can.  Dorothy has already gotten one that I sent her.  I sent most of the Christmas cards home that I received and the wife can take care of those.  That is all there is, I believe.

cbi roundupEditor’s note:  The “C-B-I Roundup,” reminded me of the “Stars and Stripes” newspaper, I read while stationed in Germany.

You don’t need to expect this box for three or four months as it may take it that long to get there.  Don’t tell Dorothy everything I’m sending her as I want it to be sort of a surprise.  I’m going to tell her that I’m sending a box home and you can tell her that it has some scarfs and a few things.  I want to keep the jewel box and bracelet a surprise.  These things aren’t anything so very fancy, but it is about all a person can get over here without spending an enormous amount of money for stuff that isn’t any too good as quality in comparison to ours in the states.  The main idea was to get a few souvenirs.  You had better save this letter for reference when the box arrives so that you’ll know which is what and what’s which.  If I would have had more time I would have enclosed a list in the box.  I think you can get it straightened out OK.

It is possible that I might run across one of the boys from back home over here in India, but not so likely as INdia is a good sized place and I stay pretty much put, so to speak.  In other words, I don’t get around much.  I haven’t even seen even an Indian woman anywhere in quite some time.  So you see our associations are strictly male.  As long as I get plenty of mail and can see shows I’m satisfied.

I’ll have to close for this time.  We’ll write some more later.  Hope you are well.

DAD’S WWII LETTERS: Chapter 8, Comforts of Home

August 21, 1943

I thought I would get some more mail this week, but I didn’t.  I hope that you have been able to keep cooler than I.

I don’t remember whether I told you or not that we got in some more PX supplies this week.  We got another carton of cigarettes and 2 more cans of beers besides a couple of packages of chewing gum with the exception of a stick per man given out by the Red Cross a couple of times.  That makes 24 cans of beer that we got this month.

The boys here played a challenge game of volleyball last night with another team and got beat pretty bad.

We are getting a shower built.  Some of the fellows have used a bucket or can with holes punched in the bottom.  You can pour water in the can and stand under it and enjoy it while the water lasts.  We can’t be too free with the water because all our water has to be hauled except what we catch off the tents when it rains.

Some one just brought me your V-mail letter of August 3rd.  That wasn’t bad time, as it came in 18 days.  It takes several days for a letter to reach me after it gets to India.

You speak of Dad plowing for wheat.  Didn’t he get all the ground put into crops this time or is it the stubble ground that had wheat on it this year?  Your corn is rather late this time, but if it is a quick maturing hybrid it’ll probably beat the frost.  I suppose silo filling will be much later this year.  Maybe it will be better as the weather won’t be quite so hot as it usually is during that time.

It was too bad about Dr. Sarginson.  I suppose the Skinner’s will sell the house as well as most of the other things they don’t want to keep.  that will put Harold without a home of any kind.  I wonder who will buy the house?  It would be nice if Dorothy had that house instead of the one in Carlinville.  It would be closer to her school and handy to visit. you.  I just happened to think that would be a good opportunity for you to get you a house to live in during later years when you retire.  It is close to the home place and everything.  Of course I don’t know what your plans are.  If you want to buy that and needed a little financial backing, I could let you use the extra money that I’m sending home, which will amount to 30 or 40 dollars a month as long as I’m overseas with a corporal technician rating.

Well, you should have a lot of beans to eat this winter along with tomatoes.  I would like to have some of that good home cooking again.  I’m just about to get burnt out on this army chow.  Now, I know how Uncle Pres feels about some of the things he no longer liked after getting so much of it in the army.

I hope you got the letter explaining the Christmas mailing overseas packages between Sept. 15th and Oct. 15th.  The post offices back there may post bulletins of similar nature.

Well, I hope this letter finds you all well.  We’ll close for this time as I have to write to my wife yet.  I wrote a V-mail to Carl Getz.  He is good about writing.

8-23-43:  2nd day of diarrhea–Was up half the time last night.  Went on sick call today.  The doctor gave me a bunch of pills to take (7-3x with water.)

8-24-43:  Feel better today.  Only made two trips so far to crapper.  Still taking pills.  Guts are sore.  Got back letter from my wife–July 26.  Wrote her a V-mail.  She sent a couple of air mail stamps and these were stuck to envelope on inside.

August 27, 1943

I received your air mail of August 9th yesterday.  I am glad to hear that you have got caught up on your work.

You should have plenty of beans to eat this winter.  That is one nice thing raising your own eats, you don’t have to worry about rationing.

You can pretty well figure what I am doing most of the time.  We always run on about the same schedules.  On week days we get up at 6:15 and go to work at 7:30.  On Sunday we sleep an hour later.  We get most of the Sundays off to straighten out our tents, wash clothes, write letters or whatever we want to do.  Of curse if we are especially rushed with work, we work then just like any other day.

No, I haven’t been to church in the last three months.  It is a little too far to go and conditions aren’t always so favorable.  If a person does go from here it takes up the biggest part of his day.

You spoke of the tomatoes ripening.  I sure would like to have some nice sliced tomatoes.  We get quite a few of them they come out of the can.  They still taste good to me though.  I have been eating better here the last few days.  My appetite has seemed to have improved.

garden tomatoesLuscious garden tomatoes

I can’t understand why Harold S. isn’t able to keep a job.  I thought that now a person could get a job most anywhere.  It’s too bad that the army wouldn’t take him as he doesn’t have anything to do anyway.

We got three more cartons of cigarettes this evening.  We are supposed to continue getting about 4 cartons a month from now on.  They cost us 8 cents per pack or 80 cents a carton.

I don’t remember just how much I’ve told you about India.  I’ve been here long enough that things no longer seem strange to me.  I take it all as a matter of course.

The women of the lower classes dress very simple.  They take a couple of yards of cloth or so and wrap it around them a few times until they are pretty well covered and then throw one end over their shoulders.  This is the process of dressing.  When they wash they have just a long piece of goods–no fancy frills or tucks.

The men use practically the same method except they bring the strip of cloth up between their legs once which gives the effect more or less of pantaloons.  Every caste (religious sect) dresses in a different manner.  Some of the men wear a sari which is a turban sort of affair that they wrap around their heads.

Some of the men wear just shorts and undershirts.  There is a sect that will not take a bath in the nude because it against their religion.

Some of the men wear long hair like a woman.  I’ve seen this more in the Indian Army than anywhere else.  Others have haircuts just like us Americans.  Others have short hair cuts but leave a little pig tail in the back so that they will be pulled into heaven by it when they die.

There are 2300 castes, sects, and creeds in this country and they all have different customs.  Often times one sect won’t have anything to do with the other.  There are 222 different languages spoken.  Now you can see what a variety there is over the whole of India.  I have only seen a small part, so I could only touch very lightly on the subject.

bambooMature bamboo stalks

Bamboo grows very abundantly around here.  Whenever we need a pole or a post we go cut a bamboo.  For fire we burn dry bamboo and it really burns once it gets started.

I’ll close for this time.  Hope you are all still well.  Write.


I don’t have much to say tonight so I’ll just send you a few lines.  I know you don’t like these brief letters any more than I.

Things are still going about the same as usual.  We got a few more PX supplies.  Chewing gum, cigars, soap, matches, and razor blades.

Some of the fellows here have been getting their packages from home.  One in my tent today got a package from his wife in Detroit.  It contained two pipes, a pound of tobacco and a carton of chewing gum.  It was mailed some time the last of June.

I heard from Dorothy today in a letter written in Arkansas about the 16th of August.  She said she didn’t think much of Arkansas as it was too dry and hot.

The news has been encouraging here of late.  I hope it continues to be so.  Write.

9-5-43:  Drove truck to Hell Gate.  Saw Fred.  Seemed in good humor after making T-5.  Said he might come down next Sunday.  Gave me book to read “Postman Rings Twice”-Good.

9-6-43:  Finally heard from Dorothy again (Aug. 11th).  Said she had cut her leg with a reap hook and had infection in it.  She also sent watch strap in her letter.

9-7-43:  Felt bad today with cold.  Sinuses on right side of face hurt me last night so I couldn’t sleep.  Took aspirin this morning and it relieved pain.  Sneeze and have sniffles tonight.  Got a letter from folks dated Aug. 16th.  Answered it.

9-13-43:  Lt. told us tonight as chow that we are to move to 34 M.P. at end of week.  The morale dropped immediately.  Everyone likes it here and knows what it’ll be like back in the company.

9-14-43:  Loaded up and hauled to Hell Gate some of our spare parts this morning.  Immediately after chow, a truck of Chinese turned over at the curve at our camp here.  We all rushed to help them.  Took the wrecker to lift the truck off two or three of them.  Nome were dead when they left the scene of the accident, but some were unconscious..  Several had broken arms and legs.  There were about twenty injured.  We had the injured picked up and sent to the hospital and the truck turned upright in hour and half.

9-17-43:  Preparing to move to Hell Gate with rest of outfit.  Went to Lido & Margherita today with some of the fellows.  I bought a couple of souvenirs.  A little brass bowl and a silver box.  *Saw amphibian 6×6 and Jeep.  Had wreck on the way back.  No one in our bunch was hurt.  One of the natives riding in Chinese 6×6 that hit us was hurt some.  Waited for wrecker and it pulled us in.

Editor’s note:  The Ledo Road was built in rough jungle country with steep grades, dropoffs, and switchback curves.  During monsoon season it was especially treacherous.

gmc dukw*GMC Amphibious 6×6 DUKW or “Duck”

9-18-43:  Very hot today.  Wash dirty clothes.  Not much activity as are waiting for orders to move.  Four fellows went up to prepare area.

9-19-43:  Got 2 letters from Dorothy.  Answered them and wrote to parents.  Still very hot.  Have very annoying cough.  No orders to move as yet.

9-20-43:  Eighteen new men came into company today.  Have been here at Hell Gate about 2 weeks.

10-13-43:  Caught guard last night for first time in about 5 months.  New fellows started work in shop this afternoon.

Oct. 14, 1943

I got the package today that I’ve been expecting.  It came just three months and one week to the day since it was mailed.  That is about the average time for a package to come from home.

You sure sent me plenty of lead and pencils.  I gave a couple to some of the other boys that didn’t have any.  I gave one to Fred, who is my best buddy, his being from Illinois.  I should have enough writing tools to do me for the duration now.  I really hope the duration doesn’t last that long.

The flash light batteries are the wrong size for my flash light that I have here.  They are real good batteries and I’m going to have to wait and see if you send me a flashlight in my Christmas package and then use them in it or else try to get one somewhere.  I’m keeping them in a box so they won’t corrode as everything molds that isn’t kept put away out of the dampness.

The erasers I can use everyday.  I can use the whisk broom to brush the varmints and bugs out of my bed at night before I get in it.  I’m pretty well stocked up on razor blades too, now.  I can use the thread to sew my stripes on when ever I do it.  I’m not too eager to put them on until I leave for home.

Thanks a lot.  I appreciate the trouble you went to, to send me this stuff.  I can make good use of it and what I can’t use myself I can help out some of the other fellows that are short.

More of Clyde's coworkers in India.Editor’s note:  The names of Dad’s work associates in this picture have been lost over the years.  The names “Pismo Pete” Peterson and Gorski stuck with me.  I’m sure they’re represented here somewhere.

You remember Fred Hauser?  He and I are working together now.  We can use a couple of the pencils between us as he is always losing track of his little old stubby one and it isn’t much force as it is.

I don’t remember whether I answered your last V-mail letter or not.  It made better time than most of the others.  Yesterday I heard from Dorothy as of Sept. 26th.  I have been getting more mail here of late so my morale is higher.  A letter from home seems almost like a visit home or seeing someone from there.

I’m glad to hear that Harold finally landed a job.  It will sort of relieve you folks.

I had guard the other night and it was nice and moon light.  I sort of enjoyed it which is unusual for a job like that.  It sort of reminded me of the moon light nights I used to spend at home.  It is more like early fall here now.  I have been crawling  way down under my blankets at night.  The days are more comfortable to work.

I missed out on some excitement the other day as our native KP’s got in an argument with the natives working for a neighboring organization.  It ended up in one of our natives getting his head cut by one of the other natives that hit him over the head with a bamboo pole.  It was all over some ducks that the other natives were supposed to have stolen from our natives.  I heard that our natives evened up the score the next morning before one of the fellows put a stop to the feud.

Speaking of ducks, we have a couple running around here now.  Some of the boys hae been catching rats in traps (not Japs) and the other morning one of the traps had a duck in it.  It caught him by the foot.  After he was turned loose he joined his buddy and did a lot of talking about it.  He never let out a whimper though before they let him loose.  He seems to be all right now, so I guess it didn’t hurt him very bad.  It was both amusing and pathetic at the time.  A poor old duck seems so helpless any time.

I hope that you are well back there.  I suppose that you are enjoying the cool weather now after the warm summer.

I heard that one of the younger Hewitt girls married the younger Huyear boy.  That should be quite a nice juicy bit of scandal for Chesterfield.

I’ve sort of petered out of anything to say so I’ll sign off and get ready for bed as lights will be out in another hour.  I got to get my beauty sleep you know.

Write as often as you can.

Oct. 22, 1943

Dad, I received your letter yesterday.  I was glad to hear from you again.  I hope that your corn gets a chance to mature before frost.  You should have quite a few beans if they mature.  What are they worth now?  That is a good cash crop now isn’t it?

There isn’t much difference in the price of wheat and corn now according to what you said you paid for both.  What is the price of hogs now?

Well, sure would like to shuck some of those old ears of corn again.  I saw some pictures of cribs of corn stored in Illinois in a “Life” magazine.  I also saw a field of corn just cultivated over for the first time in a field near Champaign, IL.

Fred showed me the pictures and it made both of us sort of homesick.  He lives at Arthur which is about forty miles east of Decatur.

ears if cornCorn ready for harvest

I started this letter last night and Fred came along and we got started talking over old times and future times until it was time to go to bed.  So, I didn’t get to finish the letter.  I’m n guard tonight and I just came off the first shift.  Our PX supplies came in last night and we got them tonight.  We got three cartons of cigarettes, two bottles of Indian beer and our choice of chewing gum and hard candy.  I sold one of my bottles of beer as I don’t care too much for this Indian beer.

I’ve been unusually busy this week.  I worked a couple of hours a couple of nights to sort of keep caught up.

Fred got a package from home today and it was mailed July 2nd.  He got some pipe tobacco which he gave a package to me (Sir Walter Raleigh).  He also got a flash light from home and he loaned it to me to use until I get one.  I am now using my batteries that you sent me.  He has an issue flashlight that he is using now.

He also got some stationary and envelopes and some razor blades.  He also got a pocket knife.

Well, the news seems good enough.  I hope the war doesn’t last too much longer.  I hear that congress passed a law limiting the men in service to 18 months overseas.  I haven’t put too much stock in it yet, as I haven’t heard too much about it.  I hope that it does take effect though.

I hope you all are well.

Oct. 27, 1943

I received your V-mail letter today of Oct. 7th.  The mornings here now remind me of the winter mornings we used to have in southern California when we were living under similar conditions.  I could sure use my sleeping bag now if I had it.  I don’t see why they wouldn’t let us bring them along.  We got another blanket here some time ago and it sure comes in handy.  A couple of months ago I would have laughed at the idea.

The Skinner place brought a good price all right.  I imagine the other stuff such as furniture brought a good price also.  There are four of the children, aren’t there?  They should get about five hundred dollars apiece.

You said that W. H. Dams had a sale selling out his farm implements and livestock.  Does he have someone renting his place now?

You spoke of getting an announcement card from Wayne Hudgins of a daughter born.  Who is that, anyway?  I just can’t place the name.  It must be some relative, but I’m at a loss, who.

well,I’m as busy as usual now-a-days and I’m glad that I am, because it keeps my mind occupied and I don’t have time to think of home too much.

I heard from Evelyn Getz today.  She was pinch-hitting for Carl again as I suppose he was too busy.  I’ll have to answer tonight, I guess.  Take care of yourself.