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Roberson family correspondence during and after World War II

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“Dear Ivan”

Roberson Family ­­Correspondence

During World War II and After

­­­­­­­­

May 27, 1942

 

My Dear Son Ivan,

 

I was so glad to get your letter.  I intended to answer yesterday but I didn’t get through my chores in time.  Dad got me 20 [200?] little red chicks Monday.  He gave 8 and a half cents for them.  I have 13 little turkeys too.  I don’t know how Tom and the draft is coming but I guess we will know before long.  Tuba’s address is Joe Tuba, Fort Orchard, Washington, Route #2, Box 342D.  Minnie called Josephine at the hospital and asked her their address.  Josephine can’t hardly wait till she can start out there to see her folks.  Ivan I am late today as usual but wanted this to go so will start it if it’s short.  I hope you are over your cold and feeling good.  I have a cold, makes me lazy.  Dad is about the same.  He has 14 little calves and is so proud of them.  The colts have growed a lot and are fat, you’d hardly know them.  New beds are fine, comfort a light blue, color of one of your shirts.  It’s new cotton so is nice and fluffy.  It’s ten after ten I’ll mail this if he isn’t gone.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

May 28th

I missed carrier so will try again today.  It takes so long to get the chores done.  Old Roanie is a little better.  Dad had Knappenberger out yesterday.  He said it was impaction of the leuman, I don’t think that I spelled it right.  It is hot and dry here now.  I have 18 little turks now.  Well Ivan, I’ll stop and do better next time. Lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

 

[Page 1 – Introduction]

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

When I was growing up in Hutchinson, Kansas, a constant presence was a large box of old letters stored in the basement of our house at 609 East 9th. I would look in the box once in a while, and see a sea of yellowing envelopes and letters and postcards, all of them dating from the 1940s. Eventually I learned that they were the correspondence between my father Ivan and his family while he was in the US Army during World War II. As I grew older and more interested in family history, I slowly realized what a treasure these letters were. They don’t offer towering political ideas or commentary on the issues of the day. But they reveal what daily life was like in rural Kansas during the War, and the quality of the relationships in this very large family.

 

At the center of this big family stood William David Roberson (1870-1967) and Lottie Jane Haller (1881-1963). They were both born in Linn County, Kansas, and married there in 1901. They soon moved in a covered wagon to Reno County, Kansas, where they spent the rest of their lives.  They were not wealthy, and were living on rented farm land during this correspondence. In the letters Lottie Jane almost always refers to her husband as “Dad,” but he was known to his friends as Will. Lottie wrote to her son Ivan very frequently and Will did so occasionally. Altogether Will and Lottie Roberson had these twelve children, most of them represented in the letters:

 

1. John Dow Roberson (1902-1987) never married and appears to have lived with his parents or siblings during most of these years, and at least twice found himself in California looking for work. He served briefly in the armed forces, but was soon discharged. There was some dismay in the family that he was unable to hold down a steady job.

2. Edna Annie Roberson (1903-1973) married Morris Tucker (1898-1993) in 1923. Morris worked for the US Postal Service, and they had three children together: Virgil (b. 1926), Gayle (1929-1992), and Loren Gene, who was born in December 1944 while this correspondence was in progress. Edna contributed a large number of letters.

3. Wilma Angeline Roberson (1905-2002) married Vincent Rowland (1903-1942) in 1932. Sadly, news about his death in March 1942 is contained in these letters. She and Vincent had five children: Marjorie (b. 1933), Charles (b. 1934), Ruth (1935-2011), Clyde (b. 1938) and Emilie (b. 1939). There are very few letters from Wilma in this correspondence, clearly because she had little time to write while raising five children as a single parent.

4. Violet Juanita Roberson (1907-1980) married Clarence (C.D.) Emery (1904-1995) in 1927. They lived in the Hutchinson area and in Wichita during these years, and had four children: Juanita (b. 1928), Lottie Grace (1933-2014), Clarice (1938-1990) and Clarence Jr. (b. 1941). Violet was a regular letter writer during these years, as was her daughter Juanita.

5. Minnie Lysena Roberson (1909-2004) married Fred Evans (1910-1989) in 1935. They were raising three children: Evelyn (b. 1933), Delores (b. 1938) and Murriel Dee who was born during this correspondence in April 1944. Minnie was by far the most prolific of all the relatives engaged in this correspondence, often writing nearly every day.

6. Forrest Roberson (1911-1935) had already passed away by this time, and is mentioned once or twice in the letters.

7. Schuyler Charles Roberson (1913-1986) married Ruth Martin (1911-1999) in 1940. They had a daughter Delores (1943-2007) during this correspondence; a son Charles (1946-2006) was born later. Schuyler was also serving in the US armed forces during the war, and wrote a few times from where he was stationed in India. In these letters “Ruth” almost always refers to Schuyler’s wife and not to Ruth the daughter of Wilma Rowland.

 

 

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8. Carl Haller Roberson (1914-1973) married Saxon Rivers (1915-1964) in 1941, just as this correspondence was beginning. Carl had moved to Arizona at an early age and spent the rest of his life there working for the railroad. They had no children.

9. Lottie Irene Roberson (1916-1999) always went by Irene and married Roy Emery (1914-1993) in 1937. During the time of this correspondence they had three young children: Wilma Marie (b. 1937), Walter (1939-2012), and Beth (1940-2005). Later they would have Howard (1947-1994) and George (b. 1949). Irene wrote many letters, but mentions at one point that Minnie had berated her for not writing to Ivan often enough.

10.  Ivan Glenn Roberson (1919-1975) was serving in the US Army during this correspondence. He was single, and would marry Joyce Marie Hewitt (1928-2010) in 1948. They had three children: Ronald (b. 1950), Jane (b. 1961) and Jeffrey (b. 1966). I will say more about Ivan below.

11. Thomas Roberson (1921-2013) married Mary Berry (1923-2014) during this correspondence in October 1943. Their first child Wayne was born in August 1945 just as this correspondence was drawing to a close. They would later give birth to Bill (b. 1950) and Allen (b. 1956). Tommy was a regular correspondent with his brother Ivan; they were nearly the same age and seem to have been particularly close.

12. Vernon Murriel Roberson lived only a year, 1923-1924.

 

Having known most of my aunts and uncles while growing up, I had to keep reminding myself how young they were during these years. When the correspondence began in 1941 John was 39 years old, Edna was 38, Wilma was 36, Violet was 34, Minnie was 32, Schuyler was 28, Carl was 27, Irene was 25, Ivan was 22, and Tom was 20. On the other hand, Will Roberson was 71 in 1941; Lottie Jane was 60.

 

A couple of other names in this correspondence should be mentioned. There are quite a few letters from “Aunt Florence.” This is Florence (Rivers) Haller (1891-1977) who married Lottie Jane Haller’s brother Abraham (1882-1966) in 1920. “Uncle Abe” was born and grew up in Linn County, Kansas. He moved to the San Francisco Bay area sometime after 1905 and spent the rest of his life there. Florence had an earlier marriage with Leonard Berrien (1886- ?) and they had one child Edwin (1912-1973). There are also several letters to Ivan from Kay Siron, who usually referred to himself as “a cousin.” He was the son of Ellen Carlile (1885-1989), the daughter of Lycena Roberson (1852-1935), William David Roberson’s half-sister.  There is some evidence he is still alive and living in the Kansas City area, but I have not been able to confirm this. 

 

During World War II, four of the Roberson boys served in the armed forces: John, Schuyler, Ivan and Tom. The vast majority of the letters transcribed here were correspondence between Ivan and his family, although a few other letters are also found among them.

 

Ivan Glenn Roberson entered active service on October 10, 1941, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was assigned to the 40th Infantry Division of the United States Army, which had been activated for World War II in March 1941. Ivan appears to have been sent immediately to Camp San Luis Obispo, California, where he was assigned to Battery B of the 222nd Field Artillery Regiment. In April 1942 the division moved to Fort Lewis, Washington. It departed for overseas service in August 1942, and arrived in Hawaii in September of that year where they were assigned to defend the north side of Oahu.  They were relieved in October 1943 to begin a period of intensive training. The division left Hawaii for Guadalcanal in January 1944. In April 1944 the division was transferred to the island of New

 

 

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Britain, now part of Papua New Guinea. They were relieved of their duties in November 1944 to begin another period of intense training for the invasion of the Philippines. They sailed from New Britain on December 9, 1944, and reached Luzon, Philippines on January 9, 1945. The division participated in the invasion and remained in the Philippines until September 1945 when it was moved to Korea. It appears that Ivan left the Philippines around the time the division was being transferred to Korea. He was formally separated from the US Army at Fort Logan, Colorado, on October 4, 1945. 40th Division casualties during the war included 614 killed in action, 2,407 wounded in action, and 134 died of wounds. I have noted the major movements of Ivan’s 40th Division from one place to another at the appropriate places in the letters.

 

Most of these letters are in regular envelopes with airmail postage. I have indicated the post cards, and most importantly the V-MAIL letters that make up a large portion of this correspondence. An article in Wikipedia indicates that V-Mail was “a hybrid mail process used during the Second World War in America as the primary and secure method to correspond with soldiers stationed abroad. To reduce the logistics of transferring an original letter across the military postal system, a V-Mail letter would be censored, copied to film, and printed back to paper upon arrival at its destination.” V-mails were written on small letter sheets measuring 9x7 inches. These would be photographed and reduced to a thumbnail image on microfilm. When the film arrived at its destination, it would be blown up to 60% of the original size (about 5x4 inches) and printed. The result was usually a letter with very small handwriting, often dark and with low contrast. In most cases to transcribe these V-Mails I blew them up on a photocopy machine to 175% and increased the contrast. In general this made them fairly easy to read.

 

Occasionally in these transcriptions I have added information or comments to help the reader understand the contents of a letter or its author. All of these comments are in italics. Also, when  following the back and forth of the conversations in this correspondence, it’s good to keep in mind that on average these letters took  about a week to ten days to reach their destinations.  

 

I have not counted these letters, but I’d estimate that the total number comes in around 900. It’s also very clear to me that this collection of letters is incomplete.  On the very first page is a letter from Lottie Jane to Ivan in which she thanks him for the letter they had received the previous day. That letter has been lost. I have no doubt that the total number of letters exchanged between Ivan and his family was much larger than what is found here.

 

This has been a long-term project for me; I’d say I have been working on the transcriptions off and on for at least three years. There have been plenty of frustrations, wishing that this person or that would have written more clearly, or dated a letter. But overall it’s been quite an adventure, and has helped me to understand much more clearly my father’s family of origin and the crowd of relatives who would inevitably appear at my parents’ house when I would visit after moving away to college and beyond. But most of all, it has helped me to understand my father better, a farm kid from Kansas in the South Pacific during a global conflict, obviously much loved and sorely missed back home. For that, I am very grateful.

 

Ron Roberson

Washington, DC

May 2014

 

 

[Page 1 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

“Dear Ivan”

Roberson Family Correspondence

During World War II and After

 

1941

June 16, 1941:  Leo Ford to Ivan

Camp Robinson, Arkansas. 

Hello Ivan. 

How are you?  I’m just fine.  I hear you are going to half to come to the dam Army.  So I thought I would write and find out for shore.  And if you do and got to come down here and get in the Infantry write and tell me and we will fix it so you can get in our Btry.  So write me right back and let me know.  Well Ivan it’s about bed time so will close.  Write soon.  Your friend, Leo Ford

My address: Pvt. L. A. Ford, 130 F. A. Btry B. Camp Robinson, Arkansas

 

Ivan entered active service on October 10, 1941, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  He joined the 40th Infantry Division of the US Army and was immediately sent to Camp San Luis Obispo in southern California, assigned to Battery B of the 222nd Field Artillery Regiment. 

 

October 24, 1941:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son,

We were so glad to hear from you yesterday and to know that you were well and enjoying your work.  Yes we received your folder you sent from Colorado and thank you for it.  Most of all we enjoy each little personal message you send us.  We were so glad of cards and letters.  Where is your camp located?  Are you near John?  Uncle Abe’s address is 1111 Filbert Street, Oakland, Calif.  We just had a letter from Aunt Florence.  She was hoping you would be sent to California so maybe they could go see you.  John was well and weighs 190 lbs, so Aunt Florence said. 

Violet and babies visited Irene last night and this week is visiting Wilma’s.  Clarence is still at Leland Robinsons.  It is real quiet around here with just Tommy.  Tommy said, tell you about Ralph Barnes getting married.  He was to be married tonight at the Penial Church in town to a girl he met at the fair this fall.  Quick work. 

Well Hutchinson is ¾ covered with water, or was last night, we haven’t got any news this a. m. yet.  I am afraid we won’t get any mail today.  Union Valley school is closed today.  Hutchinson schools have been closed since Tuesday morning.  We’ve had lots of rain here since you left, but the flood in town was caused by heavy rains at Lyons and other places along Cow Creek. 

Just part of feed is up, some cut that isn’t raked yet, it’s been too wet.  Some isn’t cut, but we’ve not had any frost yet so it’s OK.  Fields are standing in water.

Tommy was to be one of the ushers at Ralph’s wedding and they were to practice last night but too much water to go to town.  More than 600 homes were thrown open to people whose homes were under water last night, and many slept in the First Christian Church and fire station and school houses.  Tommy started to fix your engine to your car (guess he is buying it from you) but can’t get repairs till water goes down. 

We are all better than we were.  Dad wasn’t well for over a week after you left.  He was real sick, had temperature of 101 for some time.  He is better now, runs low yet but is out of bed forenoons now.  Tommy is putting a handle in the ax now.  I sold 22 red roosters for $13.05.  So I have my chicks paid for.

Well Ivan how does it seem to go to bed at 9 o’clock?  I’ll bet you didn’t know how to go to sleep at that time, ha ha.  It was too bad that so many were rejected at For Leavenworth.  I’m glad you weren’t.  Your suit case came OK.  Everything you do is of interest to us so you have lots to write about.  Just send us a card real often if nothing more.  Bet I can put more words on a card than you can, what do you think?  Ivan it’s time for carrier so I’ll stop and maybe he will come.  Be a good boy and write to us often as you can. Good-bye with lots of love, Mamma.

 

 

[Page 2 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

Your girl brought the money to pay for your insurance with Sat.  Thomas talked to her as he was outside. 

 

October 25, 1941:  Lottie Jane and Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter, but it looks like I won’t get an answer mailed to you.  I wrote yesterday but letter is still in the mail box.  Hutchinson is still partly under water, but maybe this can be mailed at the airport.  Tom, Dad and I was to see some of the water this a.m.  We are here at Minnie’s now and I am holding Delores.  She, Minnie I mean, will try and write some to you.  It is dark, cloudy and misty.  I think it will soon be raining so we had better be going home.  We will send letter soon as we can.  Be a good boy and write often.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mama

 

Dear Ivan:

Never mailed this on account of getting to town with flood there.  I’ll add some to it and mail it today.  How are you?  How do you like your new job?  What kind of work do you do in the signal corps?  Juanita is talking of going to Betty and Leland Robinson’s for the rest of the winter.  Betty would like to have someone stay there while Leland works nights.  Jerry Teter’s want her one week during the month.  Don’t know for sure what she will do.  Fred told you about the flood, about tomorrow we’ll mail you some papers telling about it.  Beulah May and her mother were at Grant’s about two weeks ago and I saw them.  She sang at Ralph Barnes’ wedding.  Ralph had his first date with Lucy Schlatter (his wife) at the fair.  Sure a hurried-up affair.  Beulah May and another girl sang.  Violet, Mother, Tommy and I went to the wedding. 

We went to church this morning, got dinner over and dishes done.  We’ll go into Edna’s pretty soon so the girls can see their folks.

“Your girl” called here last night.  She said you hadn’t heard from her as yet.  She wonders why because she has written to you twice.  I haven’t written until now but will try to do better now. 

Clarence is still binding corn.  Been so wet he hasn’t put in full time.  I’d better close and mail this.  Write when you can.

Love, Minnie

 

October 26, 1941:  Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Brother,

How do you like it out there?  Hope you are having nice weather.  How far are you from Uncle Abe?  In Aunt Florence’s last letter she hoped you would come to Calif. so you could come to see them sometime.  That was before you had left for California.

Everyone here is fine.  We have had quite a flood here, but not as bad as in 29 so I thought maybe I’d better let you know that everyone is OK.  Mother wrote to you as soon as she knew where to send it but couldn’t mail it on account of so much water the carrier didn’t get out of town.  In fact, we had no school in town after Wednesday noon of last week as so much of the residential section was inundated.  The water even came down Main to B Street.  Many were stranded and refugee stations were set up at no. 1. Fire Station and the 1st Baptist Church.  Tractors, boats and high wheeled hay racks and wagons were used to deliver milk and to rescue people from their homes.  The Fifth Street dike broke Thursday and that was what flooded the business section.

Catherine Suartz is still in and can’t get out only wade as the water was up to the last step on their porch.  Most basements were full of water.  Ray Bush had water up to the house and so did Arthur’s but they didn’t have to leave.  Mother and Daddy T. spent two nights at George’s but water came up to the front porch but didn’t get into the house.  The back yard is still knee deep in a lot of places.  So much for the flood.  Everything is getting back to normal now.  Most of the buildings were barricaded with sand bags so we might have thought we were in Europe. 

Morris worked all night last night.  As they couldn’t make deliveries for two days they really will be busy next week. 

How do you like your new work?  Tell us all about it. 

Mother and Dad seem to be feeling pretty good.  Dad’s poison is better.  Violet visited here for a day or two and was out to

 

 

[Page 3 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

Wilma’s during the flood.  I’ll bet they had a time with so many children.  Clarence wanted to go to Mo. this week but don’t expect they will on account of so much water.  We weren’t bothered with the water not hardly a bit in our basement.

I want to mail this and I’ll send it air mail so you will soon get it.

The lady at Broad Acres, Mrs. Jones, passed away last Thursday.

Hope you are well and happy. Love and Best Wishes,  “The Tuckers”

 

October 30, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter yesterday.  We were sorry you hadn’t heard from us yet, but I guess by now you have more letters than you can read.  It is cold and rainy today and has been for so long we are used to it.  The sun did shine Sunday and some Monday but it was so cold I didn’t wash and it’s been bad ever since.  We had our first frost Monday night.  I got my green tomatoes picked before frost.

Tommy was sick in bed all day yesterday, but he felt better around 7 o’clock, so went to Ralph’s wedding as he was one of the ushers.  He doesn’t feel too good today, but will take Dad to town this a.m. to pay the rent.  Dad said tell you he got $9.50 a [cwt?] for his white face steers and 8.25 for the others, except the red Guernsey looking steer, old roanie’s calf got $7.00 a [cwt?] for it.  Our cow’s calf brought 10.50 and weighed 290 lbs.  If it’s OK with you, I’ll put the money in on the rent and let you have the next calf. 

Well Ivan I hope you will like your work and enjoy Calif.  Tell us all about your work.  What you do and what you’ll learn in school.  Always do the best you can in all you do.  Don’t just drift with the tide. 

Hazel Coats says her husband is in Camp Roberts too but doesn’t like army life.  Have you met him?  How far are you from Oakland?  I hope the folks there can come and see you.  Aunt Florence said, if you were sent to Calif., she wanted to go see you.  I am so glad you write us so much news.  I’ll try and answer all your letters the day after I get them.  Violet’s and Irene’s were home Sunday.

Is there a place you can go to church and Sunday school?  If there is and you can go, I hope you will go.  I’ve read that lots of the soldier boys were better to go Sunday school than the people that lived in the community.  Hope you are one.  Your geranium (I don’t know how to spell it ha) is blooming again.  Be a good boy and take good care of Ivan and don’t do anything you’d think that Mother wouldn’t want you to do.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mamma

 

October 30, 1941:  William David to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Son:

We received your welcome letter.  Was real good to hear from you.  Glad that you are OK and in a good camp and I hope they take good care of you and you will learn what the army is and what it is for. 

We are as well as common.  My trouble is getting better.  Cooler weather is a help.  We have had a bad spell of weather, something that we are not used to for this time of the year.  It has rained so much we could not [?] up any feed until it dried off.  Hutchinson has flooded as bad as 1929 and it put a lot of people out of their homes.  There was three families that stayed in the church on the corner.  Our new church the whole [?] was soaked with water.  The [?] Lake was filled up both sides and the water went on down in the low places to the river.  But everybody is feeling better now and the water has went down and they are pumping out the cellars and basements.

Ralph Barnes was married last night.  Tommy and mama went.  They was married in the church.  Clarence and Violet are still here have not gone to Missouri yet.  Clarence is still working and doing good, Violet is over at Edna’s.  Lottie Grace and Juanita is at Fred and Minnie’s going to school.  They are going to feed both dinner to the children from now on.  Mrs. Owens and Mrs. Griffin was the job.  Minnie came and got some of your white coats for Mr. Griffin to wear while serving the eats.  I guess they got along all right.  Mr. Owens is not well and not able to do much.  So they got the job of cooking.  Well Mama is going to write. Thomas does not feel good this morning.  Write soon, from your father W. D. Roberson

 

 

[Page 4 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

November 1, 1941:  Lottie Jane and Tom to Ivan

This letter is dated October 1, but from the postmark and contents, she clearly wrote on November 1, 1941.  The same envelope also contains a letter from Tommy to Ivan; both letters are on half sheets of paper. 

Hutchinson, Kansas

October 1st 1941

My Dear Son Ivan,

We received your ever welcome letter yesterday and I intended to write you a long letter today and have Tommy mail it tonight.  Well it’s been one thing and another and I forgot about writing till he was ready to start.  He said he’d wait 20 minutes for me to write and he’d address the envelope to you. 

We had snow yesterday, about five inches, on the green leaves of the trees and everything.  It sure looked like Christmas outside.  The sun shone today and most of the snow is gone.  So your rainy season is beginning.  We hope ours is ended.  We’ve got the windows fixed in the house this week, so we are glad.  Tommy fixed the glass in the door this afternoon. 

Dad is better than he was but not well yet.  Thomas feels OK today.  Violet is still at Edna’s.  Schuyler and Ruth are at Ulysses, Kansas.  They hope to be through by Thanksgiving.  Carl and Saxon want to come home for Christmas if they can. 

Well Ivan I’m so sorry you haven’t heard from us, but hope you’ve received lots of letters by now.  Tom says close it, so I’ll say good-bye with lots of love, Mamma

===

Dear Ivan,

How is army life by now?  Wednesday night Ralph got married.  I was going to take your girl home but mother went with me so I couldn’t aren’t you glad.  Your girl had a picture of you and she showed it to me she had it on the back of a mirror.  Ralph B’s wife’s sister thanked me for being usher and told me to come over and see them some time.  I might do it maybe.  The feed is still wet but I got some of it shocked that’s over the hill.  I had to turn the shocks over that was in the pasture field and now they will have to be turned over again.  So I don’t know when they will be dry enough to shock.  Say!  What would you take for your girl if I run out of one?  Your brother, Thomas Roberson, Love to you and your girl!

 

November 1, 1941:  Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are able to eat.  The kids have colds, which could be expected with three weeks of damp weather topped with a snow storm. 

It snowed yesterday, started before daylight and kept it up yesterday.  It had rained before it snowed so some melted before it fell.  It was more like Christmas than Halloween.  It is clear today.  The sun is shining and I think the snow will melt fast and will I be glad!

Say if any of you guys that didn’t want to be soldiers but had to be anyway proves that you weren’t smart enough from a clipping I read in the paper last night.  I’ll send it to you.

Last week when the flood was so bad in town Roy and Tommy got up wood and were going to saw it last Saturday but Roy had to work in afternoon.  So Tom and Roy got Clarence to help them and they sawed it Sunday afternoon.

Violet and Clarence and I and Roy were home Sunday.  Minnie and Fred went back home to rest.  There sure isn’t much rest for either during the week with the extra family they have.  I reckon we’ll got to Mother’s tomorrow I don’t know yet.

Violet and Clarence plan to go back to Missouri to get that Gov loan before moving here.  Right now though Leland Robinson has fixed a pump onto his tractor and they plan to pump out basements in town.  I guess a lot got flooded last week.  Violet was at Edna’s last I heard, last week she was at Edna’s and Wilma’s the week before she was here at my place and Minnie’s. 

Dad seems to be feeling a lot better since it is cooler.

They are having hot lunches at Obieville at the cost of seven cents a dinner.  Minnie has helped quite a bit with that this week.  I haven’t seen her at all since Sunday.  They also had the Buhler Fair Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week. Yesterday they were supposed to have the parade with floats and all in this snow

 

 

[Page 5 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

and was it cold. 

Wilma Marie said she’d like to use the snow as icing on her mud cakes to make them pretty.  She also wanted a sled.

Beth is starting to fuss so I’d better close and start on some Saturday house cleaning.  Love, Roy, Irene and kiddies

 

November 2, 1941: Fred to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

We have read your ever welcome letters.  Glad to hear you are alright and in, I hope, pleasant climate and other surroundings.  You sure missed an awful mess by not being here the week of the flood.

Thursday night around 7:30 Dot came over and wanted me to go to town with him.  The fire and police departments had made a call by radio for all trucks, tractors, trailers and boats available and he wanted to go in.  Roy was here so we all three went in.  We gathered everything from beans to blankets as there was sure a lot of people at the fire station and other places needing a place to sleep and eat.  Old and young alike.  The dike gave way just above the gates at about 6th and caught a lot of people away from home.

About 8 o’clock we were sent to take a man and wife home at 1525(?) North Washington.  With special permit we went to 13th and Main then over onto Washington.  At 16th and Main water was almost over the running boards on Dot’s truck.  At midnight the water made a sudden rise and was almost over the top of the fire plug at the Wiley corner.  We went to 206 East 9th.  Here was the deepest we went.  Water here was up to the doors on the truck.  About 2 o’clock we were starting home. We couldn’t come out on 4th as water was too deep nor could we come back over G as it was running board deep when we came in and was higher at the time.  We had to either go to Haven or chance going north to 30th and Main.  This we did, and made it home about 2:30.

Next morning at 6:00 Dot called me out of bed as the water was running across the road about 50 feet south of the pavement out here.  By eight it was going down so we didn’t get wet.  South from our place to where the sand pit is just north of the railroad the road is washed out for about 75 feet and about 5 to 10 feet deep.  The water is down now but everywhere it is just a mess.

It snowed here about all day Friday and all melted yesterday.  Fields are all full of ponds.  It didn’t freeze last night and so far today.

No, I haven’t seen your lady friend but Minnie has talked to her on the phone.  I think we all had better check your skirts to Tommy.  Is that OK by you?  Well don’t worry about it or any of the rest of them. 

Dinner is ready so we’ll close.  Write when you can.  Will answer often as can find time. Fred Evans

 

November 4, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We received your letter you wrote October 30th and we were so glad you had received some letters.  I expect you’ll be getting so many you can’t get them all answered, ha, ha.  What do you think? 

It’s still wet here, we’ve had one whole day of sunshine since Oct. 11th, so the paper said.  I’ve lost count myself. 

Violet is still at Edna’s.  Irene’s and Wilma’s were home Sunday.  Wilma was so anxious to read your letters.  You must write to her, as she doesn’t get to come home very often and she likes to hear from you.  She thinks lots of her little brother, so do the rest of your sisters. 

There was a nice brunette asking about you Sunday, at Sunday School.  You ought to write to her as I am sure she would write interesting letters. 

Yes Tom has started to change your engine into his car, but hasn’t done anything to it lately.  He wasn’t able to work two or three days last week but is OK now.  Him and Dad made a new corral for the cattle just north of the other one yesterday.  They want to move the feed rack and fix a shed for the cattle.  The cattle were to their knees in mud and water in the old one.  Dad isn’t well but works a little now.  I washed yesterday, got most of the clothes dry.  It is cloudy and looks like rain now.  We are so anxious to get our feed put up. 

Do you hire your laundry done?  Tell us about how you spend a day at camp.  Everything you do is interesting to us.  Do you know Ed

 

 

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Coats?  His wife says he doesn’t like army life.  Do you sleep in tents?  Uncle John Roberson lives in San Bernardino, California, near L.A.  Uncle Myron’s wife and daughter Pearl lives in L.A.  Also Ed Roberson.  Uncle Sam Grooms’ daughter and family live near there.  I don’t know her address.  I hope you have a good time where you are.  You can see lots of new country and people too. 

Ivan you sure are a good boy to write to us, and we are so glad you are too.  Tommy is so glad to hear from you too.  I’ll have him to write soon.  He is hauling feed to the cattle now.  We want a snap shot of you in your uniform.  Minnie says you must feel big to have so many letters in your address, ha, ha.  We have to look twice to see if we have them all OK. 

It’s about time for the carrier so must mail this, maybe you’re glad.  Our snow didn’t take many green leaves off the trees.  We hope this find you well and happy, and that we will hear again soon.  Goodbye with lots of love, Mamma.

I missed the carrier, but will try again today.  Love, Mother

 

November 8, 1941: Minnie to Ivan

Saturday evening

Delores was three years old when this was written; Evelyn was eight. 

Dear Ivan,

How are you making it by now?  We are OK here only have colds.  I guess all of us have some while several have a lot.  You want some?  Or do you have colds there?

Daddy Tucker had a slight stroke this week sometime.  Seems to have affected his right side this time.  Clara and Arthur get milk here at Elliott’s.  Clara was telling Fred and I saw Edna a few minutes downtown today.  It is 6:30.  We are going to town after a while to get a window shade for our northwest window.  It sure needs it bad as it is about torn clear to top.

Evelyn has infatago (how do you spell it?) on her nose and mouth I guess.  First started with a sore in her nose and now it has spread until she has a sore on the side of her lip too.  I’m putting on ammoniated mercury so I expect it will heal soon.  I took scab off first, did you hear her yell?  Don’t blame her, but it won’t heal unless scab is removed first.

Evelyn, Delores and I went to town early this morning and bought Delores a wine colored snow suit.  Wiley’s had a month-end sale, or something, anyhow they had one three-year-old snow suit was $5.98 for $2.99.  It is large for Delores but she can wear it next year too.  She is quite proud of it. 

I ask Delores where Uncle Ivan went, she says, “on the bus.”  I ask her what is he going to be.  She says, “a cowboy.”  I’ve told her a soldier boy but she seems to forget that, it is always “cowboy.” 

Violet was at Mrs. Emery’s this week end so Juanita and Lottie went in there yesterday afternoon as Tommy went to town.  They will stay until tomorrow sometime.

Clarence is still cutting corn don’t know how much longer he will cut.

Juanita stayed three nights last week with Jerry Teter’s.  His wife likes to have someone there while Jerry works at night.  They gave her 50 cents.  She is planning on staying at Leland Robinson’s this week.  Maybe she’ll get settled and stay first at Leland’s then at Jerry’s.  She must study though someplace.  She made D’s in all her subjects but physical education.  She made a B in it.

Do they feed you good in the army?  We have been having hot lunches over at school house.  Mrs. Robert Owens and Ralph Griffith have been assigned as WPA workers to cook and serve the meals.  We are trying to get some NYA help.  Bobby Teter was going to but they wanted him to get teeth filled, shots for something, eyes tested, etc., and he said he wouldn’t do it.  I don’t know what we will do.  So far two ladies have gone over and helped about four hours a day.  We can’t keep that up all year still we hate to stop the project.  The RTA is sponsoring it.  About 75 out of the 79 kids have been eating.  The WPA furnish us commodities.  Children pay 5 cents a meal and we buy other needed things.  How is mashed potatoes, hamburger gravy, baked beans, chocolate pudding and grapefruit juice in a drink, hot rolls and butter sound for a nickel?  Really it is a good thing for a lot of kids that don’t get much of right things at home to eat.

Tommy was just here is on his way to town.  Said Dad didn’t feel too well tonight.

 

 

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I’ve intended to send “flood papers.”  I will some time next week as I won’t help at school so much.  Write and tell us how you are, Lots of love, Fred, Minnie, and girls.

 

November 9, 1941: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan:

How are you making it now? We would be OK if colds, flu, and so forth would leave us alone.  I was sick with flu last week and don’t feel so good yet.  The kids have had colds but are doing better now.

I was home yesterday and Dad hasn’t been feeling so good either lately.  Mother thinks he has fever part of the time.  Some way the thermometer got broken.  Mother had put it in the case and when she took it out again the end was broke off.  She thought maybe it had been screwed in too tight or something.

Clarence and Violet have been planning on Tom taking them back to Missouri.  Mother thinks it would be a fairly tight squeeze in the car with all three in the car and the baby too.  They want to take Clarice too.  Violet said maybe she could ride in the back up above seat.  Mother said maybe she could but she can’t, anyway.  Dad isn’t well enough to do chores with Tommy gone.  Mother said the bull seemed gentle enough but she would [not] trust it to go in around cattle where it was.  So she couldn’t take care of things.  Then Dad said why did they want to take the only boy he had.  They would have wanted Tommy to take Roy’s trailer along and haul back stuff over heaven only knows what kind of roads.  Looks as though they will need to find another way back to Missouri.  Vincent said once he would take them; maybe he still will. 

Right now Wilma Marie has been wanting the scissors to cut out pictures out of funny papers but she needs to put her shoe on first.

Say you wanted to know what your nieces and nephews were doing.  Well when Junior is around it is usually one big brawl.  He’s better now, ha.  Two teeth now, cut them at Edna’s.  When Minnie’s kids, Violet’s and mine get together we think we have joined the army instead of you.  They sure get on the war path, yell, it is one big YELL from morning till night.  You really don’t know what you have missed. 

There was one Sunday at home.  Violet and I were there and Minnie had left Evelyn.  Walter had taken a notion to bite.  He would bite Clarice, she’d bite back then of course we’d get after them.  They were out doors a while and I heard Walter bawling.  I went out there.  He and Clarice were seated on the tractor, Clarice trying to shove him off.  Walter said, “she bites” then she showed me where he bit.  They really had bit.  I figured they had been punished enough so I took them in, rubbed alcohol on the bites and gave them some hard bread to bite on.  They say Clarice is a lot like Juanita used to be but not quite so bad.  This last week Violet spent part of it with Helen at Castleton and rest of it with Clarence’s mother.  I don’t know where they are at now.

Ivan, Wilma Marie just brought me a magazine with a picture of an old mother pig laying down and about a dozen pigs getting their dinner.  She wanted to know what that was.  I told her some pigs then she said, “What’s the matter.”  I told her they were getting their dinner.  Wilma Marie’s favorite expression is “Oh Grief” and “you’ll be happy,” she gets them in the funniest places like Walter got his glove all wet and she told me then she said “Walter got his gloves all wet and you’ll be happy.”  Sounds so crazy!  She wants to write to you too but you’d have to use your imagination to read it.  Wilma Marie just said, “Who you writing, Uncle Ivan or Tommy?”  I answered “Ivan,” and she said, “I know about him.” 

Tuesday morning

Roy has already gone to work.  He seems to like it fine and is selling quite a few sewing machines and irons.  He says he can sell them if he has to.

I saw Minnie last night and she came down wanting me to join and go to P.T.A.  Parent and Teacher Association.  I told her I would later.  I didn’t feel like it last night.  Minnie said she told Violet that Tom couldn’t take them back so she said maybe Vincent would.  Juanita is staying with Betty and Leland Robinson now, that is for three weeks and then the other week with Jerry Tetter’s as Leland and Jerry work at night, Jerry one week of the month and Leland three weeks, so she will stay at one place then the other.  That takes a little load off Minnie’s hands.

 

 

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Minnie says she is not responsible for the kid now if she (Juanita) wants to go some place.  Leland or Jerry will have to take her.  All the time Juanita was at Minnie’s she wouldn’t try to help Minnie any more than she barely had to.  Always had her nose in a book.

Mother says it is not Juanita’s fault the way she does it is more Violet and Clarence’s fault for not training her better.  Roy says Juanita ought to be old enough pretty soon to have enough sense to see how to do things without anyone telling her.  Violet’s kids are like Topsy they just grew.

You remember Mr. Froese’s girl Connie that was married in the summer and went to Philadelphia to live?  Well her and her husband are back again.  They will stay here and visit until after Thanksgiving then they plan on going to Arizona to be missionaries to the Indians.  They came in their car and brought their things in a trailer. 

It is cloudy again today.  We haven’t had much nice weather for a long time. 

Minnie bought Delores a snow suit, a wine colored one with the snow pants and coat with the hat attached.  It was size three.  Minnie says the girl can wear it for three years.  The pants like fasten up under her chin and the rest is high enough she looks as big as she is tall in it. 

Say it suits me to go home to read your letters but Roy figures you should answer each one.  These husbands are rather funny at times, can’t understand everything like we’d like them to.  So if you would write us a card occasionally it ought to suit him all right.  He probably won’t know how many letters I do write to you or how long they are.  I wouldn’t give a darn if he did, but you see how it is.  His sister Marie only writes when I do so he is a little like her.

Sunday, Beth kept getting Tommy’s socks out of his good shoes.  He left them in the front room.  She’d get them out and carry them around with her.  When it came time for Tommy to go he could find only one sock.  This morning in looking through the kids things that I had taken to Mom, I found the missing sock.  I guess Beth had stuffed it in the sack, of course she wouldn’t tell us about it. 

Well I’d better close before you get tired of reading this.  I hope you are well.

Love, Roy, Irene, and Kids

November 10, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

The following message was squeezed on the back of a single post card.  It was both dated and postmarked November 10, so it seems she got the letter ready in time for the carrier. 

My Dear Son,

It’s ten minutes till time for carrier (he has been coming lately a little after ten o’clock.)  We were a little late this a.m. getting chores done.  I will write a letter for tomorrow.  We were so glad to get your letter Saturday.  Dad is about the same, is better, then not so well.  Tom is OK.  He hasn’t got motors changed in cars yet.  Irene’s were here yesterday and had dinner started when we got home from church.  Roy was getting wood, he and Tom sawed it after dinner. Roy sold two new machines last week.  The feed was good if we [??] have got it cut and put up when it was ready.  They are going to rake and shock today some that was cut nearly two weeks ago.  The cattle eat it though.  The animal is nice so far.  Tom took the halter off three weeks ago and he is still nice and gentle.  What does F.A. stand for?  See we don’t know the meaning of all your letters, ha, ha.  Fred’s were over to see Dad last night they gave him a hot water bottle for his birthday.  Well Ivan good-bye till tomorrow. Lots of love, Mother

 

November 10, 1941: Saxon to Ivan

24 North 14th Avenue

Phoenix, Arizona

Dear Private Ivan,

How’s the Army?  California? And Ivan?  Where is Camp Roberts?  That is, what town is it near?  Have you seen the ocean yet?  Oh yes Ivan the hills we call them mountains out west here.

When you went to California did you go through Arizona?  If so why didn’t you let us know?  We would have liked to seen you.  Do you think you could have a furlough at Xmas time?  Are you close to where you brother John is?

Last week we went to Gallup to see my folks, they hadn’t written in a long time and I was worried about them.  They were O.K.  We brought Mamma back with us, but she has gone home now.

Guess your weather in California is like it is here.  What does F.A.Bn stand for? 

 

 

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Carl is cleaning the spark plus on the Ford.  Must get dinner for him.  Write –

Love, Carl and Saxon

 

November 11, 1941: Lottie  Jane to Ivan

In this letter Lottie Jane refers to an Armistice Day speech Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered on the same day at Arlington National Cemetery.  The United States was still not in the war at this point; Pearl Harbor would take place less than a month later, on December 7, 1941.  In November 1941 “Dad” (William David Roberson) was 71 years old; Lottie Jane was 60 and Tommy was 20. 

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I sent you a card yesterday (maybe you’re like Schuyler, don’t like cards) but I’m glad for even a card.  I expected to write you a long letter today, but as the mail didn’t go today I put off writing till afternoon.  Now Dad and Tom are getting ready to go to town to get Dad some medicine, and they tell me to hurry. 

It’s a nice day today, and they shocked feed this a.m. till eleven o’clock, came in then to hear the President’s speech, but missed it some way.  They must have forgotten the right time he was to talk. 

Clarence is about through his work, then they are going to Missouri to get their things.  Clarence wanted Tom to take him back, and he would pay for the gas and oil.  Tom would like to go, but he expects to be gone a month so he can get a government loan on his place.  That would leave Tommy to come home alone anyway.  Dad gets better and then worse so I am glad to keep our boy home.  Tom is putting water in the car and says to tell you he will write tomorrow. 

We received a letter from John but I haven’t answered it yet.  I swept milk house yesterday and made more room by moving things around.  Then I got a lot of dry [pieces of] kindling and put them where they would be dry for the 31 snows we are to have, ha, ha.  See, I’ve been making most of the fires as they generally eat breakfast before they go out to do chores.  Violet is still away, so it’s real quiet around here.

Well Ivan I’ll have to stop and let them start to town.  Be a good boy and I’ll say good-bye with love,  Mamma

 

November 12, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

How are you this bright sun shiny day?  Have you been feeling good in California?  How much do you weigh?  Tommy weighs 175 now.  Florence and Ethel planned a surprise on Edna last night.  She was sure surprised.  Mr and Mrs Tucker, Arthur S., Florence’s, Ethel’s, Fred’s, Violet and three youngest children, and us were there.  Clarence’s mother was there too.  Violet is visiting her now but said she was coming home soon.  Sunday they all plan on being here for Dad’s Birthday.  Wish you could be with us too.  They took your letter to town yesterday and forgot to mail it so we mailed it as we went to Edna’s last night.  I guess it will be a jump ahead of this.  Tom has gone to the field to mow feed, so didn’t get to write today. John Hess of Hutchinson died and was buried Saturday.  Tom and Dad went to the funeral.  I must send your insurance off today.  Just got the notice the other day.  Well Ivan you answer all my questions and I’ll try and do the same.  It’s ten o’clock so must mail this.  Good-bye till tomorrow.

Love, Mamma.

 

November 12, 1941: Minnie to Ivan

Written on a post card of the Junior College in Hutchinson.

Dear Ivan! 

How are you?  We are all better from our colds.  Was home last night.  Dad isn’t very well yet.  Seems like that poison just won’t heal up.  It’s better but he had chills and fever last week.  Mother seems to be feeling pretty well.  Clarence is about through his corn binding.  Tommy doesn’t think he’ll go to Missouri until Dad is better.  He shouldn’t go, either.  It’s a pretty day to-day.  I finally got those papers ready to mail.  Love, Minnie

 

November 13, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Thursday

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Ivan,

I hope I hear from you today and that you are well.  Ruth and Schuyler came last night and will go back tonight so he can work

 

 

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tomorrow.  Dad has gone with them to Valley Center.  Ruth wanted to get some money she had in the Post office there and buy herself a new coat today.  Tom has gone to haul feed for the cattle.  I am sending you the paper that came with your watch Tommy got.  Schuyler paid me five dollars this a.m. for watch and also for me to send and get his Birth Certificate at Topeka.  I expect you are getting tired of hearing from us every day.  Just tell us when you do.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mamma

 

November 13, 1941: Tom  to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you and army life?  You didn’t tell me yet how you like army life.  Say! Do you think that your girl will wait on you and I didn’t know you had any strings on her.  You don’t need to think anything about it cause I wouldn’t want to take her away from my brother.  I got girl troubles Alyada said that now she is going to treat all the boys alike but she said that I’m the only boy she sits out in the car with.  Tonight I’m going to go to Ralph B. place and he is going to get me a date with his sister in law and we will go to church.  I got your car tore up and I expect to get the motor in mine next week.  Fred had a hard time finding valves for it I’m getting all new values and guides new rings new water pump and a new starter gear clutch plate.  Clarence told Fred that he would help put the motor together and put it back in your car he would drive it to Mo, but Fred did say anything to Clarence.  Me and Dad has practically all the feed in the shock that in the pasture field.  Dad has to go to town to sign for the next year’s conservation farm plan.  I forgot to tell you that Ralph B. is getting along all right a married man.

Say does your girl write such long letters as she did the first time?  I went over on the Lear place and got some posts and me and Dad built a corral north of the old one, clear to the pasture fence.  I promised Clarence that I would take him home to MO. but Dad is not over his weed poison yet.  So I’m not going to take him he thinks he will take Roy’s trailer with him if I would take him so I’m staying home.  I saw your girl from Haven Tuesday afternoon it was Anna Schoonober.  I talked to her a long time and when she got ready to go she told me to come down that way some time I told her I might.  Alyada went with Wayne Waddle Nov 8 and he got her a birthday present Nov 9 and she lost it at the show Sunday night.  She had a birthday party on herself Nov. 9 and about 9:15pm Wayne wanted to go to the show and we all went but Wayne had to help take another car home and he didn’t get to see the show.  In about another week I going to find a job if I can.  Ralph Ford is working down at Wichita on an air plane factory.  He said that I could get on as a laborer and get 55 cents an hour but I would have to pay $25.00 to get in the Union.  He said that it would take about a year to finish it.  You better be good, Love, your brother Thomas. 

 

November 14, 1941: Florence to Ivan

1111 Filbert Street

Oakland, California

Dear Ivan,

Just had a card from your mother telling us where you was stationed so will drop you a line.  If you are having fog like we are here you won’t get a very good impression of our California weather but we do have nice weather at that.

Now Ivan while Uncle Abe is working so steady we won’t be able to get down your way but why can’t you come up here when you can get a few days off?  I would like you to be able to spend Christmas with us if possible and you wouldn’t get homesick as much for I guess this is the first time you have been away from home at holiday time.  But anytime at all that you can come up just come along for you will find some of us home.  We have the car and can take you around and show you the sights.  I know John would be glad to have you stay with him nights for he has plenty of room and you won’t have any trouble getting around. 

Our telephone number is Higate 4889 so when you land in Oakland call me up and I can pick you up wherever you are.  Be sure and let us hear from you soon for Uncle Abe and I are anxious to hear how you are making out.

With love, Aunt Florence

 

November 14, 1941:  Lottie Jane  to Ivan

Folded inside this letter – now hardly recognizable – are some flower petals that Lottie Jane sent to her son Ivan.  At the top of

 

 

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the letter she wrote, “I’ll share a little of my blossoms with you.”

October 14, 1941 (This is an error: the envelope was postmarked November 14, 1941)

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to hear from you yesterday and to know you were well.  Dad is some better than he was last week, hope he continues to improve.  Everyone else is OK I think. I’ve a little cold, first I’ve had, makes me lazy.  I haven’t answered John’s letter yet, but he didn’t understand exactly how things were.  He just jumped at conclusions about how you said, how you would send Violet some money before Junior was born, and he also didn’t want to help pay for the animal you bought.  It looked like a useless buy to him.  He wants us to sell out and live on the lot at Edna’s then he would help, if the rest would do their part. (I guess if they didn’t we would be left just sitting there) ha, ha.  He means OK but doesn’t understand about everything. 

We sold the 7 calves for $260.00 after all expenses were taken out.  Paid rent and still have $140.00 of it left.  So don’t worry about us.  Tommy wants to get a job then he says, “we’ll get along so you needn’t help either, as you’ve helped enough anyway.”  We are grateful for what you’ve done for us and hope we can save for you what you send home.  Beulah May sent your check home by Tom last night.  She said she was working part time and didn’t need any for pictures.  Where would you rather we put it for you?  Tommy says Postal Savings.  What do you say?  Josephine was the Brunette.  Alice intends to write you too. 

The stock all look good and mule can walk lots better.  We have lots more feed than last year, but of course it isn’t so good.  Tom says he had answered a lot of your questions in the letter he wrote yesterday, before he knew you had asked them. 

The girls expect to be here Sunday as it’s near Dad’s birthday.  They always read all your letters when they come, but I believe if you’d send them a post card once and a while, they would maybe write oftener.  Aunt Florence says, “I can put a lot on a post card.”  Well I expect I had better stop and work some.  Tom is moving in feed.  The sun is shining nice today.  It didn’t even freeze last night.  What will you study?  Always do your best, and the best will come back to you.  Is there any church or Sunday School that you can go to?  Well good-bye with lots of love, Mamma

 

November 14, 1941: Saxon to Ivan

Friday PM

24 North 14th Avenue

Dear Capt. Ivan (or is it still private?),

How’s the old army these days and everything?  Been on KP yet?

Am sending you a box with a few cookies in it.  Excuse wrapping paper – as it’s sure hard to get.  Hope you don’t get a belly ache.  Carl eats it all the time and is still surviving so this once won’t hurt you – wish you could be with us for Thanksgiving dinner.

We haven’t heard from you yet – nor your mother.  The last letter we got from you she said it seemed like a year since you left.

Say how about using that new pen you got back home and writing to Carl and me.  They gave it to you to use you know.  Try post cards.

Carl’s still working 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Do you have any airplanes where you are?  Have you started to smoke yet?  They tell me this Army does queer things.

We figured up how many miles it was to where you are only 516 if I remember correctly.  So don’t be surprised if you see us sometime.  John should go and see you he’s fairly close.  To bad you’re not close to the Santa Fe R.R. or we’d get a pass and go. Love,  Saxon and Carl

 

Saturday November 15, 1941: Ivan to Parents and Family

Dear Mother, Dad, Tom and rest of family,

How are you?  I hope Dad is feeling better and everyone is well.  I am just fine.  I am laying on the nice green grass and birds are singing in the trees and trees are nice and green and the sun is nice and warm today.  I am about three miles north of Camp Roberts and it sure is pretty out here. 

I am on guard detail and have an empty 45 colts pistol on belt.  It is the kind that the cylinder falls out from left side.  We stayed here last night,  Elmo Thomas, a kid from Russell, Kansas, and me.  It is training area. They teach us out here about switchboards and portable

 

 

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telephones.  I went into camp this morning first in a weapon carrier about a one half ton truck and ate first.  Had two eggs and coffee, 40% bran flakes and bread and apricots, a pretty good meal. They had fried eggs individual, they are usually scrambled. 

When Elmo went in I tried to learn semaphore or flag waving to make letters.  I have a little of it learned.  We are guarding equipment.  We also have no shells for pistols.  The flies are buzzing around once in a while until I went in this morning.  It was foggy -- it usually is -- and cold of nights but it is clear now.  The sun evaporated the fog and it is now 10 o’clock. 

Say, I don’t in particular like cards but still like to hear from you everyday letters preferred.  The reason I am using pencil is that Elmo is using the pen. His pen leaks. He is a very good kid. 

Say Mom, you and Tom will have to keep Pop inside until he gets better.  Will you have enough feed to last this winter?  It does not seem like there is any winter anywhere according to the weather here.  Say why don’t you answer questions I ask and write more often?

We had a gas drill yesterday morning.  We went through tear gas chamber with masks on, and then went in and put them on after already in it.  It burns the eyes somewhat but masks keep out the gas.  We also climbed high hill with them on and it seemed as though one didn’t get enough air through them. They are a little hard to breath through and it sure tires one out.  We also went through smoke screen. They really produce smoke, and then they turned loose a little of each of deadly gases used in warfare so we could identify them by smell.  Phosgene (I am not sure of name) is the worse of them all and smelled like geraniums. It is like mustard gas only a couple of times more powerful. They seldom if ever use any gas in warfare because it usually denies area to both armies. It is used mostly to deny area to troops and they have to go around area until it is decontaminated or air forces it out. 

They have a bunch of big white birds that roost near our camp and they look something like a fish eating bird. They have neck or crop that is real big and they fly with feet trailing behind them. We also have wood peckers here and hear I hear one now. 

I went through Rifle, Colorado, and Meeker where Dillon was supposed to have froze to death and we also saw Mount Massey, supposed to be the highest peak in Colorado.  I don’t know whether we saw Pike’s Peak or not but we were supposed to have seen it. 

Say Mom why don’t you do better writing at night and maybe you could write every day. 

I just was outside tent and saw a pretty squirrel. This reservation was formerly owned by Hearst and he turned it over to government for income tax and they made a military reservation out of it. 

Say, tell Tom to take picture of me to my girl, the one that was taken when I graduated, the small one in frame. If she wants it he should know where she lives, 519  East Carpenter.  Who was brunette at church that was inquiring about me anyway? You say things and never finish your stories.  I don’t like unfinished stories the kind you tell.  Say, did Tom get engines changed?  How is tires holding out?  Say when was Dad’s birthday anyway? I forgot when it was.  Say you never did tell me whether John is sending any dough home or not or do I have to go see him and tell him or write to him?  Ask Tom if he knows whether Leo Ford thinks he is going to get out of Guards for Christmas. I would kinda like to know.  It kind of looks very much like I won’t be home for Christmas but hope to be home soon after 13 weeks as can.  It also looks like I will be kept on west coast for a year or more, or time I have to spend here.  Well I am about to run out anything to say so I reckon I will sign off.  Say Tom, why don’t you write and tell all of gossip.  Love, Ivan

Saturday night

I think I will mail letter and hope you write soon. Why don’t you have Tom to write? It gets very lonesome out here at times.  Some more men came in today, some from Kansas I hear.  Is there any from Hutch that have been sent from there?  Well I’ll mail this by air mail and hope you send answer soon as possible.  I am at barracks now and listening to a program on Miles Standish, John Alden. It is about 7:45 pm now and 9:45 at home.  Well hope letter finds everyone well.  Goodbye

 

 

[Page 13 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

November 15, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

== POST CARD ==

My Dear Son,

Well this is Saturday.  Tom is cleaning the barn and Dad is outside somewhere.  Tom couldn’t cut all feed in orchard yesterday, as the ground was too wet.  Water still standing in places.  Tom is weaning his calf, put it down in the calf pasture yesterday.  Can’t you hear it bawl for its mother? Ha, ha!  The sun is shining nice today and it isn’t cold either.  Are you getting tired of getting a letter every day?  Your letter came the same day Carl’s did, and he wrote his on Sunday too.  They said they were writing to you at the same time, did you get it?  Have you read in your Testament any, or have you lost it?  Hazel Coats said her husband was in the hospital now.  He is in the same camp you are.  Left the same day you did from Hutchinson.  I  would like to see your sun tan.  Hope you feel good, and will write again soon.  We are all so glad to hear from you.  Be a good boy and I’ll say good-bye till next time.  I suppose you’ll get a rest tomorrow as the carrier doesn’t go.

 

November 17, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Ivan,

How are you this fine morning?  OK I hope.  It will soon be ten o’clock so here is another card.  Children were all here yesterday and surprised Dad.  Clarence’s Grandma was here too.  They made ice cream twice in the evening. When they made the last Wilma said, “it seems like we ought to go call Ivan to get up and eat cream with us.”  I told her I wished I could.  Clarence is helping Vincent now till he gets his feed all up so he can take them to Missouri.  Tom has gone to Fred’s to work on his car today.  He wants to get it done so he can get him a job.  Dad seems to feel pretty good today.  The girls said it was OK to read letters here, but they want to hear directly sometimes, so send them a card.  Roy says they want to hear from you too.  Hazel Coats said her husband had TB and would be discharged from service.  He was going to try and get a job around camp, as he felt better in that climate.  She asked how you were.  The wind is blowing from the south so maybe I had better wash before we have bad weather.  Good bye with lots of love till tomorrow, Mamma

 

November 18, 1941:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I am afraid I won’t get this started in time to go today.  I’ve been outside too long tending to chickens.  Some of them have colds like I have so I’ve been doctoring them.  I sold 88 of the red ones and averaged over 50 cents apiece and the market had gone down too.  Tommy is at Fred’s today.  Obee school is closed this week as one of their pupils has scarlet fever.  Violet is staying at Minnie’s this week.  I washed yesterday and got clothes dry.  It’s windy and cloudy today.  Don’t forget to answer all my questions so I’ll know where to put your check.  Tom will write soon and we hope you will too.  Dad’s poison isn’t very good yet.  Well good-bye till tomorrow with lots of love, Mamma

 

November 18, 1941: Minnie to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Hutchinson, Kansas

Tuesday morning

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all fine here.  Dad is getting better but he isn’t well.  Mother has a pretty bad cold, Tommy said.  We were all home Sunday.  Wilma said, seemed like we should call you so you could have some ice cream too.  We made two batches of cream so kids got all they wanted, I think.  You see Wednesday is Dad’s birthday so we were all home Sunday.  Violet and two little ones are here.  There is no school this week as Mary Alice Mendenhall has scarlet fever.  They dismissed a week to fumigate and see if others would take it.  Tommy wants me to go to town so I can get chicken feed for the folks. He is working on car.  Vincent is going to take Clarence home when they get feed up.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

November 19, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Hutchinson, Kansas

 

 

[Page 14 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

My Dear Ivan,

If you are tired of cards, speak up.  I am a little late as usual.  Today is Dad’s birthday and we are all alone.  Tom is at Fred’s.  You must hurry and answer his letter so he will write again.  They expect to change engines today.  It is dark and cloudy today, raining a little.  I was in hopes our rainy season was over.  Yours is just beginning.  Minnie and Violet were over yesterday, they were ready to read a letter from you, but I didn’t have any new ones.  Better get busy, as we are all anxious to hear from you.  It’s ten o’clock; churning to do and cream buckets to wash.  Come over I’ll give you a job!  What are you studying?  Tell us all about what you are doing and I’ll stop hoping to hear from you today as mail won’t go tomorrow.  Good-bye till next time, lots of love, Mamma

 

November 21, 1941: Tom and Lottie Jane to Ivan

Dear Ivan or Brother,

What have you been telling your girl about me?  She wanted to know what I told you about her and I didn’t say.  Last Sunday night I went with Odeda Slaughter.  She is a nice girl I think I will go back sometime.  Tonight I’m going to take Pearl N. to a show and tell her good-bye for you and will tell you how it comes out.  I got the motors changed over from one car to the other.  I had to put on a new air pump and it cost $3.85.  I’m waiting on Fred to come and get me so I can go and get a radiator hose so I can get it started and go over to Buhler and get some feed.  Say you asked about Alyada she is going to treat all the boys alike from now on so I will treat the girls alike.  Betty Ford quit Joe Cook and is going with some one else and is when Alyada is going to treat all the boys alike so I think Betty Ford told Alyada a lot of junk about something.

Dad is about the same. I got that medicine for him that he been wanting for a long time but he says it is too strong for his legs.  We got all the feed up but Dad is going to mow some hay for bedding.  We have to fix the feed back and the shed then we will be fixed for the winter.

Dear Ivan,

I guess Tom has run out of anything more to say so I’ll finish.  I’ve been out tending to chickens. I think they will soon be better.  Clarence left for Missouri yesterday on a truck, as Uncle Miny telegraphed to him, he was leaving Saturday.  I suppose Violet will go on the bus.  She is still at Minnie’s.  Vincent couldn’t leave now, as he didn’t have all his feed up.  The sun is shining today.  We were so glad to get your letter you wrote Saturday.  I am sorry you’ve not been hearing from us as I thought I’d done a pretty good job of writing.  Do you get any mail or what becomes of them all?  We’ve answered all your questions but if you didn’t get the answers tell us and we’ll try again.  Did you hear from Carl’s?  Dad’s birthday was 19th and he was 71 years old.  I’ve not noticed much how many boys left for the training after you left.  Here is group 3 that was leaving the 19th  [reference to a newspaper article included with the letter].   

Did you have Thanksgiving the 20th?  We in Kansas have ours the 27th.  Federal employees had theirs yesterday, so we got no mail.  Well Ivan I dreamed last night I saw you.  We sure thank you for your long letter and hope to hear from you again soon.  It doesn’t seem like you are so far away when we hear often from you.  How long does it take a letter to reach you after it leaves here?  We received your last letter you had mailed Monday, Wednesday.  Fred has just come and got Tommy, he was a little late as it’s about mail time.  We are so glad you are well and feeling good.  Well I had better quit till tomorrow.  Minnie, Fred and Delores brought Tommy home last night and stayed a while.  Delores says, “Uncle Ivan went off on the bus to be a cowboy.”  I wish you could hear her say it. 

Good-bye with lots of love, Mamma

 

November 25, 1941: Irene  to Ivan

This letter was written on one three or four foot long piece of toilet paper. 

Dear Ivan,

I just received your letter yesterday.  Was glad to hear from you.  We are all well.  I’ll answer your questions as I come to them.  SWAL means “Sealed With A Lick.”  Simple, isn’t it?  Your girl would probably put “SWAK” which means sealed with a kiss.  But I lick the flap instead of kiss it.

You want to know how the niece and

 

 

[Page 15 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

nephew are.  Of course mine are little angels without the wings yet.  The rest, well, as Mother says, every crow thinks their own is the blackest, so I’d think my own were best. 

I think the turkey will get to live a while longer.  Minnie wants us to come to her house for Thanksgiving and said we’d roast chicken for dinner.  Roy says he’ll have work that day.  I wish he didn’t have to.  There will just be mother, dad and Tom and I and Roy at Minnie’s Thursday as Violet and Clarence have already gone back to Missouri.  Clarence went back last Thursday and Vincent and Wilma were taking Violet, Junior and Clarice early yesterday morning. 

I was home Sunday.  Mother and Dad seem fairly well.  Mother was sleepy as she had been up late the night before. 

I sure hope you finish training period in time to be home Christmas.  I really don’t think we will be in war by then. 

Say you shouldn’t run out of anything to say.  You can tell us about camp, climate, country, what you are doing, what you eat, how you sleep.  Say, draw us a picture for Mom so she can see how beds are placed and where your head and feet are.  Say there are so many things we would like to know about you.

Last week Roy killed 17 chicken for me.  I picked, singed and dressed all of them in one day, the next day I canned 16 of them.  Roy took the [?] to Grandma Emery. 

It suits me to go home to read your letters as I go home oftener than the rest of them.  But say you really should answer Saxon’s letters as it is rather hard for her to get home to read them. 

Say you know the army is a little like married life, rather hard to get out after you get in, and the best thing to do is to make the best of it.  If you do everything the best you can and make your mind up to like it, you will eventually.  How do you spend your spare time anyway?

I’m still figgering out the initials out on the back of the letter.  I’ll let Minnie figger when she comes.  Figger reminds me of a story I heard.  Rastus and Mandy were married and in four and a half months Mandy had a baby.  And Rastus’ friends asked him about it saying it took 9 months and he hadn’t been married that long, so he went and asked Mandy how come and she said, “I figger I been married four and a half months and you been married four and a half months.  Four and a half months and four and a half months make nine months.  Figger.

Well I’d better close and mail this and try to write more next time.  Love, Roy, Irene and kids

 

November 25, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

In this letter “Grandma” is Annie Haller, Lottie Jane’s mother.  At the time she was 85 years old and would pass away about four months later in March 1942. 

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to read your letter you wrote 19th (on Papa’s birthday).  We got it yesterday and I wanted to send an answer to it today, but didn’t get it done.  Early this morning Tommy and I started to see Grandma.  Well we stopped at Minnie’s so her and Delores went with us.  We stopped in town a little while and then stopped at Edna’s.  Of course we had to talk a while, and then we went on to see Grandma.  Oh yes, we read your letter to Edna.  She was so pleased to hear from you, and also glad you didn’t join the Navy.  I’m also thankful you weren’t air-minded, ha ha.  Grandma was glad to see us and she liked us all.  I think she is more feeble than she was. 

We got a letter from Carl’s.  Saxon said she had written twice to you but hadn’t heard from you.  Maybe she has heard by now.  Vincent, Wilma and Emilie and Clyde took Violet, baby and Clarice to Missouri yesterday.  They plan to move to Kansas if everything goes right.  I hope they do come back.  Tommy has gone to a birthday party for Odeda Slaughter (Ralph’s sister-in-law) tonight.  There is to be a farewell party for Mr. Tubas tomorrow night and they are leaving for Washington Friday.  I hate to see them go, we will miss them in our Sunday School.

What do you do on Sunday?  I hope you can go to Sunday School sometimes anyway.  Well Ivan, Tom can’t figure out what those letters stand for on the back of your last envelope.  You’ll have to tell us.  I’m glad you got to see the Missouri River.  You’ve seen lots of new scenery since you left home I know. 

 

 

[Page 16 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

Tommy is going to try to get him a job soon.  I hope he can get one so he could live at home.  It sure would be lonesome without any boys home.  Tom said Leo Ford wouldn’t be out by Christmas as he had to stay six months longer.  Did you hear from Aunt Florence?  She was writing to you when she wrote to Edna.  Well Ivan, we think you have a fine girl back here in Kansas waiting for you.  And we are glad, for then you will want to come back someday.  Tom just wanted to see what you’d say when he told you “he guessed he’d get a date with her.”  Be a good boy and work hard and then time goes much faster.  Maybe some day you’ll be one that will give orders too.  Would you like that?

Dad husked some corn today and was real tired tonight, so went to bed around eight o’clock.  The fire has gone out so I’ll stop and say good night for this time.  Are you getting tired of so many letters?  You’ll wear that new pen out if you aren’t careful. 

Lots of love, Mamma

 

November 26, 1941: Florence to Ivan

Oakland, California

Dear Ivan,

Your letter received and was glad to hear from you so soon.  We will be looking forward to seeing you whenever it is convenient for you to come up, but as for bringing anyone with you I know that John wouldn’t have any accommodations for anyone besides yourself and we just have two bedrooms here so I would suggest that you come by yourself.  Hope you will be able to come for Christmas, for Uncle Abe is planning on being off and John always is with us on holidays.  Had a nice letter from Edna and everything is well with them and grandma is better satisfied where she is.  Let us hear from you again and I guess you know John’s address in case you care to write to him, it is 571 Warren Avenue – San [?], California.  I know he would be glad to hear from you.  Must get busy so will sign off for this time.

With love, Aunt Florence

 

November 27, 1941: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson,  Kansas

Thanksgiving  Morning

At the top of the letter: You got Delores’ name in Christmas draw.  Planning to pay 20 or 25 cents for present.

Dear Ivan,

How are you liking it by now?  I hope better as when you like something it is much easier for one to do it and time passes faster. 

We are going to Mother’s for Thanksgiving.  Sure hope it’s so you can be there next year.  We’re having chicken.  Mother is fixing it and I’m making pumpkin pies, apple sauce cake, taking celery, cranberries and bananas for a salad.  Irene is fixing fruit salad.  I made my pies over the recipe the lady won first in the Hutchinson Herald pumpkin pie contest.  Mine won’t look like hers, though.

Juanita is back with us now.  Harold Willison came back to Leland’s so they didn’t need both of them to be with Betty.  We went and got Juanita Tuesday night.  I sure hope she studies better as she hasn’t made too good grades yet. 

Edna is going to Tuckers, Wilma is going to Rowlands.  Irene, us and Schuyler and Ruth are going home I guess. 

Edna said Ruth and Schuyler came to her place last night for a little while.  Schuyler is through out west now, seems as though Herbert Emery and he got into it about the time he worked.  He said Herb was drunk quite a bit of the time.  His wife Helen keeps his boss’ girl friend out to her place part of time.  She stays until Helen gets jealous of her as she likes Herb’s boss too.  Quite a set up they have.  I’m glad Schuyler is going to try something else.  Thinks he’ll try and et some job here in town.  Hope he can.

So far John hasn’t helped at home.  Some way he understood you bought bull and still owed for it, wondered why you wanted it, etc.  Mother has written and explained best she could about what he misunderstood.  Hope he sees how things really are by Mother’s letters.  He wants folks to go to town, that is on Edna’s lots and build a house.  Folks won’t do that as long as Dad can work any way at all. Dad is feeling better.  Mother is too, I think.

Violet, Wilma, Clyde and Emily took Violet to Missouri Monday morning.  They weren’t back yesterday at 3:30 as I talked to Mrs. Rowland.  I hope they had a nice trip and found things OK down there.

I must get busy and get my family

 

 

[Page 17 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

around.  Write again when you can as Delores was sure proud of your letter.  She still says you’re going to be a cowboy. 

Lots of love, Minnie and Family 

 

December 1, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Ivan,

Well this is Monday morning.  I hope the sun will shine after awhile as it hasn’t here since Friday.  It isn’t cold only foggy and misty.  Kansas has been promised snow by Wednesday.

Wilma and Vincent came home Thursday.  They stayed all night at Uncle Tom’s on their way home.  He was at Josie’s on the home place.  Uncle Tom was just fine, chops all the wood and carries it in the house.  He will be 88 years old 1st of July.  Wilma says he looked better than Dad does. 

Clarence stayed at Vincent’s till Monday when he took Violet back.  Vincent wanted to fool Violet so we didn’t know about it till after Vincents got home.  We are afraid they will stay in Missouri and send for the girls.  Vincent didn’t see how they could make a living there.  Wilma and Vincent were over here yesterday to tell us about their trip and Uncle Tom.  Josie’s boy Thane graduated from High School last year.  He is working in Wichita in defense work.  Ellen’s boy Kay Siron (?) was a school teacher he is in training at Camp Robinson.  He’ll be gone a year in April, but doesn’t care for the life.  Beth was married this fall to a school teacher. 

Roy was over and hauled up wood yesterday.  He has Tuesday off and expects to get more and saw then.  Tommy has gone to the strawboard to apply for a job this a.m.  I sure hope he can get a job so he can stay home at nights.  Schuyler and Ruth were home yesterday to get the traps.  He will trap awhile at Jim’s. 

Ivan your Sunday School teacher wanted to know if you were coming home Christmas.  What shall I tell her?  Of course we would all love to see you, and we are thankful you are such a good boy to write to us.  Fred’s weren’t at Sunday School Sunday.  Delores was sick with a cold.  Tommy said she seemed to be pretty good in the evening. 

Well Ivan I hope you came out OK in your examination.  Minnie just sent those films to be developed the other day.  So maybe you’ll get a picture some day.  I sent cards because they were quicker to write than letters.  Are you getting tired of hearing from us every day yet?  Have you ever found any new boys from Hutchinson yet?  Did you find out the name of those birds?  I hope you are having a good time and feel well.  So good-bye till tomorrow.

Lots of love, Mamma

 

December 2, 1941:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter you wrote November 26th.  Yes Carls’ have heard from you, for Saxon sent your letter to us to read, it came yesterday too.  We also heard from John.  He was real nice, sent a dollar for stamps.  I was afraid he might not like the letter I’d sent him.  I tried to be nice but I told him I thought he’d jumped at conclusions, and explained what he didn’t know.  He said for Dad to go to a doctor and get shots and send him the bill.  He said if we’d buy a quarter of beef he would pay for it. 

Every one is OK except Delores and Irene’s children, they have colds.  We are glad you got a picture of Beulah May.  Minnie saw her the other day.  Minnie thinks she is a fine girl.  Yes Tom has his car fixed , and he was at the Straw Board yesterday morning to see about a job.  They said they’d not take applications for work till first of the year.  He went to Fred Robertson’s yesterday afternoon to help him top feed.  I expect he will be gone all week.  It’s sure quiet around here. 

Roy has today off so expects to saw wood and Schuyler is supposed to help him saw, as Tommy isn’t here to help him.  Dad is some better today.  He would like to go to Mr. Tuba’s sale today.  It’s this afternoon. 

This is a fine sunshiny morning.  Just got to 32 last night.  It was nice yesterday afternoon.  The clouds rolled away and the sun was nice and warm.  I was outside all afternoon, filled the baskets with kindling that I’d used when it was bad outside, and fixed the hen house a little warmer.  Dad split wood and worked up those apple stumps so we can burn them.  He was sure tired last night. 

The cattle look good and your colt

 

 

[Page 18 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

is worked a little most every day.  Dad says he is lots gentler and he thinks lots of him.  He gathered corn with them.  The mule was lots better, but he is worse again.  We don’t know the cause as he was still in the calf pasture. 

I sure hope you get good grades.  Will you have to study any more?  Just try and beat the other fellow in all you do.  It will make you feel better.  Well Ivan you and I have a lot of practice in writing lately.  Do you think we will improve any? Ha, ha!  I am sending Violet a card today.  I sure hope they come back to Kansas to live.  Be a good boy and take good care of Ivan.  Don’t let him do anything I wouldn’t want him to do.  Good bye with lots of love, Mamma

 

December 3, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I’ve just written to Carl’s as tomorrow is Carl’s birthday.  You see I am old fashioned, sending a letter instead of a card.  But I’d really rather have a letter than a card myself.  Anyway I didn’t have any cards. 

Dad said tell you the stock were doing fine, that we had more feed than last year but not enough to do us all winter, he didn’t think.  Dad is putting your battery in your car so he can go to Buhler after feed.  He is milking 4 now and soon be 3.  He wanted to know if you wanted to buy a cow with the check you sent.  We’ve not done anything with the check yet. 

The sun is shining again today, but wind is in southeast and it’s cool.  I worked on the hen house yesterday afternoon, maybe I’ll get it fixed so it will be a little warmer.  Dad drove the colts and went to Tuba’s sale yesterday afternoon.  He said Minnie and Delores were there.  Dad bought a pitch fork.  Tuba’s are leaving tomorrow for Washington.  They are driving through.  Roy never came to saw wood yesterday.  I expect he couldn’t get Schuyler to help him and Tom isn’t here.

Ivan do you have to furnish your own towels?  Did you answer Aunt Florence’s letter?  John said they were going to invite you there for Christmas.

Well I’ve been out feeding chickens and I must mail this.  I don’t believe it’s worth even an envelope, do you?  So you’ll be fooled thinking you are getting a letter, see.  But remember that whatever you write we are glad to get it for it’s from our boy and we think of you so often.  Do you ever see a Hutchinson paper?  Well Ivan be a good boy till tomorrow, then I’ll try and write to see what you are doing, ha ha!  Good bye with lots of love, Mamma

 

December 6, 1941:  Ivan to Parents and Tom

Friday forenoon

Across top of page:  Say Mom, have Pop to write.

Dear Mamma, Dad and Tom:  How are you and how is weather at home?  How is Dad feeling by now?  Say Mom I don't think I'll be home for Christmas because they are not giving any furloughs for men in training camps.  I would like to get home for Christmas but it doesn't look like I'll make it.  Maybe I'll be able to get home after I get to a regular camp.  The sooner I get a furlough the better.  I'll like it though. 

Well Mom I am in the Guard house.  The reason is that I am on Guard and have to stay here for a 24 hour shift.  I go off at 4:30.  I walked from 5:00 to 5:30 and 9:30 to 11:30 and 3:30 to 5:30 last night.  The night was clear and the moon was sure pretty, but I did not get a chance to enjoy it.  We carried rifles on guard and it took about a half hour to walk my post.  It frosted some last night and it is nice and clear this morning. 

Ask Morris if he ever heard of the Corporal of the Guard.  I'll bet he has.  I'm glad that Uncle Tom is feeling fine and that Wilma could see him and take the trip to Missouri.  I still think that Missouri is a darn poor place to live.  How did you like the meaning of the initials anyway?  Say Mom why don't you buy something for Delores for Christmas and I'll pay for it because you know what she would like to have and there sure is not much in an army camp to buy for three-year-old girls.  Does Tom think he'll be able to get a job at Strawboard?  I hope Delores is feeling better. 

I haven't found any new boys from Hutch yet and I still haven't found out name of birds but I think they are herons.  Say by the way I feel fine.  We have new rifles now, new to us, but older models than Springfields I think.  They are longer and heavier and I had to carry one last night.  Did I tell you I finally got my

 

 

[Page 19 – Transcriptions, 1941]

 

 

second issue of clothes?  By the way the rifles are Enfields and English rifle...[next page(s) are missing]. 

 

December 8, 1941: Beulah May Young to Ivan

Beulah May Young was Ivan’s girlfriend.  I did not transcribe most of her letters but I thought this one was particularly interesting. She was living at 519 Carpenter Street in Hutchinson but this letter has Hutchinson Junior College as the return address.

Monday afternoon

Dearest Ivan,

I wrote you a letter but I left it in my Sociology book at school so I’ll write you another one.

Say, Honey, they aren’t going to send you off to Alaska or the Philippines or Hawaii or anywhere are they?  We hear so many rumors and propaganda around here that it’s hard to know what to believe.  We heard that they were clearing out Camp Roberts for a new group of fellows and the old ones were supposed to go to Alaska.  But stories always get stretched and out of proportion after they are told once or twice.  Gee I wish they wouldn’t send you off as far as that goes; if wishing would do any good, you would have been home long ago.  But now it looks as though you may not get a furlough.  At least over the radio yesterday they said that there were going to be no more furloughs issued.  I’ll still live in hope that you’ll get to come home after Christmas.  I suppose it will depend on how the war is developing by then. 

Anyway we have something no one can ever take away from us – our memories – Ferris wheels and ice cream, Model A’s and sand hills, moons and the stillness of the country.  Honey, I really do love you.  You once asked me how I knew.  I couldn’t tell you and I still can’t except that it’s something I feel – I wish I could tell you what I’m trying to, but it’s something too big to try to describe.

So our good old peace-loving USA is in war with Japan.  It seems strange to think that the thing we had dreaded for so long is really here upon us but why talk about it….

School is going OK.  The things that seemed so important a few days ago seem so insignificant now.  This morning on the news broadcast some guy said they would probably draft the girls in time.  But I suppose they will use all the fellows first.  Maybe we should wait till it happens to worry about it. 

I was going to change the subject, but it looks like I got back on it….

The new auto tags are out.  They’re a lot prettier than any Kansas has had for a long time – green and white with a little yellow sunflower in the bottom corners. 

I’m at the library writing.  I like the musty smell.  The sun is shining in on my back and it’s plenty warm.  I’d better go call up Mom or she will be worrying.

Daddy didn’t have to work last night, so we celebrated.  Junior and Lyndell came over and Tubby was home.  So we practically had a family reunion.  Tub ruined the radiator on his car – a rack flew up and knocked the fan into the radiator.  So he has been staying home the last few nights.  Mom said if that was what it took to get him to stay home, she’d keep his radiator full of holes.  I’d better close for now…I’ll try to finish the other letter soon.  So long for now,

With all my love, Beulah May

 

December 8, 1941: Edna to Ivan

This letter was written the day after Pearl Harbor.

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you by now?  We are all OK.  Mother and Dad are pretty good.  Minnie told me that Dad went to Dr Stewart with his poison so it seems better.  We hope he stays with him. 

Delores is OK now.  She was pretty sick with a cold last week.

Violet and Clarence and two babies are in Missouri.  Junior had a cold before they left and he has been pretty sick since they have been there.  They took him to the doctor several times.  He is some better but far from well yet.  They are coming back as soon as the baby gets better.  Clarence can’t get a loan on the place so expect they will lose it, which won’t be much anyway.  It seems to me the sooner they forget about that place the better.  If they rent it they can’t get but $5.00 a month and that isn’t much and who would want to buy it?  Violet says the people who make a go of it in Missouri are the ones who get a pension.  Clarence should have

 

 

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waited until he got one “maybe.” 

We are having grand weather now. 

I’m planning to work on Christmas program for Sunday School today, but thought I’d take care of some letter writing first.  I washed and ironed yesterday and helped serve dinner in the Templeton home where the mother had died.

How do you like your work now?

It’s really too bad that Japan wants to fight us, but we hope it won’t last long.  We are all thinking about you out there, and are anxious that it won’t last long.  “May God bless you and help you in the anxious hours ahead” is our prayer. Love and Best Wishes, “The Tuckers”

 

December 19, 1941: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

It seems like I missed writing to everyone last week as I missed writing to you too.  I started this yesterday and Minnie came just as I did, and by the time she left it was too late to finish it.

Around here it has been “you’d better watch out or Santa won’t come.”  Minnie told Delores that if she didn’t quit sucking her thumb Santa would [not] bring her a doll for Christmas.  Delores said she’d hide in the back room so Santa couldn’t see her.

We went to the school house and saw the school children’s program.  All the kiddies under school age got sacks of candy.  So that is all my kids have been doing all morning is eat it.

I reckon you have been wondering what we have been doing since war started.  Well same as usual:  washing, ironing, cleaning house and seeing our family get fed. 

Say those initials mean BBDCYK is Bye Bye Darling Consider Yourself Kissed.  The other, YTHFO: Yours Till Hell Freezes Over.

Say Ivan what is love?  Wilma says it is a ticklish feeling around the heart that can’t be scratched.  I wonder if she were right.

We have been having October weather this week.  The sun has shone and it has been cool but warm enough to go without our coats part of the time.  Hardly seems like it is almost Christmas.

We have bought some things for the kids but not everything yet.  We haven’t the dolls yet, even Walter wants a doll and when Beth sees a doll she says doll, so she is learning to talk.,

Well I think I’ll go out to the box and wait for the mail man.  I’ll [write] more next time. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

PS:  Take care of yourself.

PPS:  Violet and Clarence are supposed to start back to Kansas December 20.  I guess they have sold most everything but bedding and [?] and clothing. They will probably stay at Edna’s till they get located.  I.L.E.

 

December 19, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

Are you getting tired of letters every day or do you get them all at once?  It’s around 40 this a.m. and the wind is in the west, just a little cool.  Ralph’s father-in-law didn’t come to finish the plastering yesterday so Tom didn’t work in the afternoon.  He came home and Dad had gone to Nyborg’s to shuck corn.  Tom took the gun and went to help him.  Tom got a jackrabbit.  One wheel of the trailer got loose so they didn’t shock but eight bushels then come home to fix wheel.  Tommy has it fixed now, but I think they are going to put the rest of the stack of hay in the barn so it will be there in case of a storm.  They intend to get the sprouts off the little potatoes, then bury them in the ground for seed.  Maybe they won’t sprout so bad out of the cellar.

Fred told Tom yesterday noon that they got a letter from Ivan and he wanted to know if we got check.  Yes we got it, and it’s in the Bank at Buhler now.  I hope you’ve received my letter telling you we had received it, by this time. 

Schuyler has bought him a hunting dog and he and Fred went hunting night before last but didn’t get a thing.  We haven’t seen Schuler since he got the traps.  Guess he has forgotten where we live.  He told Edna the other night he didn’t know why he got married.  She told him, she didn’t know either. 

Well Ivan, you haven’t told me what you wanted for Christmas.  Will a letter do?  The girls have mailed you a box.  We hope it reaches you before you leave for some other place.  We will send watch soon as fixed.  Well Ivan I don’t

 

 

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know any news so I’d better stop. 

Dalton Hills’ father is in the hospital.  He had a bursted appendix.  Dalton gets to stay home 60 days.  I think Tom said, then he has to go.  His father was very low, but I guess he is getting better.  Well Ivan, I’ll say good-bye till tomorrow.  I hope you are well and OK.  Lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

December 24, 1941: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

Well you’ve never said that you were tired of letters, so I’ll just keep sending them till you say stop.  It’s cool today, most of the snow melted yesterday afternoon.  It is still cloudy today. 

I went to town yesterday with Minnie, Violet, Irene and Wilma Marie.  Edna met us at the post office and we all went shopping.  For quite a while Edna played like she was going to buy herself some easy chairs and wanted us to see which we liked best.  I wasn’t much interested in chairs .  We found two old fashioned rockers that I would like, but of course I wasn’t buying any anyway.  At last they told me that John had sent them $30.00 dollars for to buy Dad and I an easy chair.  I tried to talk them out of it, but Edna said she would have to do as John said.  Well we got one easy chair for $12.00 and another for $5.00.  They are green.  With the rest they got a bed, springs and a new mattress.  I guess all we will do now will [be to] sit in an easy chair and sleep, ha ha!  They will be fine to have, but it looked like a lot of money to spend on us when we could have got along without it. 

Tom is out helping Dad, it’s nice to have him home but I guess they will all be registered soon after Christmas.  But maybe a farmer boy can stay on the farm.  Violets are still at Minnie’s but I believe Violet ought to come here for it’s too many for Minnie.  They sold their farm in Missouri for what they gave for it, took a second mortgage on the place for all except $100.00.  They got that much in cash, but lots of that went for back taxes and interest.  Anyway we are glad Violet is back where we can see them sometimes.  They plan on renting a house soon. 

I hope you have received your Christmas package by now.  And Tom’s car papers he sent to you.  How many miles are you from the coast?  How far from Mexico?  Bet you think I can ask lots of questions.  I think Schuyler will be here tomorrow and I’ll ask him about sleeping bag.  Well Ivan I hope you have a good time Christmas.  We’ll be thinking about you.  Be a good boy and take good care of Ivan.  May God keep you in his loving care.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

December 28, 1941: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Sunday evening

Dear Ivan,

Guess I’ll try out Evelyn’s new pencil and see how it works.  She got a pencil box for Christmas with several in it.  This one was sharpened so I’ll see how it goes.

How are you?  We are fine here.  Juanita, Lottie and Clarice stayed at Edna’s last three days.  Fred said it was so quiet here seemed like he was in a cemetery.  Yes, it does make a difference whether it is just us here or more.

Clarence and Violet got here before Christmas, came Monday morning with a broken axle on the car.  It broke south of Clinton’s.  They got Tommy’s car and came on here to see the girls.  Violet had all her Christmas shopping to do.  You can imagine how we got along here.  Violet and all stayed here only at night.  Girls or Fred and I went to Irene’s to sleep.  Monday evening after supper Fred, Clarence, Violet and I went to town to shop some.  After shopping we went and saw “Charley’s Aunt” and “Affectionately Yours” at the Strand.  Sure was a scream from beginning to end.  Violet was tired and sleepy in the afternoon.  She stayed awake through the show; it was so funny I guess was the reason.  

How do you like where you are at now?  Hope you like it better there.

Did you ever get your box for Christmas?  That picture on the chocolate box, Virgil said, would be nice for you to hang in your barracks. 

Clarence just came with his girls.  We are going to mail this letter and a card to Shorty Day and collect $1.50 that a fellow left for Fred up town.

 

 

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We got Delores a large rubber ball with your quarter for her Christmas.  She sure was tickled when I told her Uncle Ivan gave it to her.  She went around telling different ones Uncle Ivan gave it to her.  She sure is having a time, sucking her thumb as much as usual.

Mr. Unruh’s have moved back in with Owens.  He is working at Mr. Clinton’s in the daytime.  Guess he comes home just for Sunday.

I’d better mail this and I’ll write more next time.  We want to go to town then to church as Rev. Sparks said he needed more people there at night.  Write when you can,

Lots of love, Minnie

Beulah May sent me a Christmas card so now I’ll have to get a New Year’s card.

 

December 31, 1941:  Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  Do you have colds where you are located?  Seems like my family can’t get over their colds.

If you can’t read this just get after Delores.  She is on opposite side of the table writing a “thank you” note to you.  She is telling you that [the ball] is red and that she likes to play with it.  You’ll just have to read between the lines.  She says she wrote two rows to you and is going to write two more to you.

It is sleety here this morning.  Looked like snow yesterday but it didn’t snow.  It is pretty chilly out.  So far we have had a moderate winter. 

Delores just crawled across the table and tried to put her pencil in my ink bottle.  She said she wanted some “blue.” 

The girls won’t have school tomorrow but they will have school Friday.  I helped at the schoolhouse yesterday right at noon.  Mr. Griffith is sick.  I guess I’ll go and help some today if I get around to it.

See where Wilma Evans is married.  Richard Evans is supposed to be married in the spring.  Do you get to read any of the Hutchinson papers now?  If you don’t I might send few more clippings to you.  Let me know.

Virgil took Edna’s baby bed down to Fred’s Dad to get some rods fixed so Junior could be in it.  Mr. Evans asked Virgil if they had a hospital or what up there.  Virgil says no I think it is a house for unfortunate girls.  When Fred was there yesterday his Dad and Bennie were laughing about it so when Fred came home he called Edna and asked if it was Tuckers.  He said he heard they were running a home for unfortunate girls.  I think for a little bit he had her guessing.  He kidded her along, she said it was Fred Evans he said he didn’t know the man.  At last she said she was sorry she thought it was her brother-in-law.  He had a big laugh over it. 

I’m glad my girl doesn’t talk too plain.  Mr. Gerald Macklin was just in here to use the phone.  We have to bump the door pretty good to shut it.  He didn’t get it shut so Delores went to shut it. While doing so, she hollered out to him, “you didn’t shut the door Mr. Mac.”  He didn’t know she was talking to him. 

A Basinger girl going to Buhler wants Juanita to double date with her some night.  Juanita is sure begging her mama to let her have a date.  My idea is she’d better have her first dates with someone she knows.

I’ve got to sweep then iron so I suppose I’d better sign off.

Tommy was here last evening.  He was going to Ralph Barnes’ for supper.  He took negatives of those pictures I sent you to get them printed.  Seems as though Beulah May wanted to see them.  I think Tommy needs watching.  Fred said Ralph’s wife and Odeta were out here yesterday afternoon looking for Tommy. 

Do you have help with cooking very much?  Do you like to?  What kind of training are you doing now?  Same as before?

Violet and Clarence are going to be Aunt and Uncle again.  Don’t get excited, you aren’t that I know of.  Elsie and Don have their fourth one ordered.  Guess they don’t want Violet and Clarence ahead of them.

We got a ton of coal yesterday.  I hope it lasts a month or two.  We’ve spent $15 plus $11 about $26 for coal now.  We have to keep both fires going that is what really counts up.

Delores says she is about done so I guess I’ll have to have her quit so we can mail this.  Don’t think carrier goes tomorrow, does he? 

We have 7 chickens left.  Think I’ll eat one today as I’m afraid I’ll have to go out and hold their feet to keep them warm pretty soon. Be good and careful, Lots of love, Minnie

 

 

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1942

January 12, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter Saturday and to know you were OK.  We are having warmer weather, lots of the snow melted yesterday.  I think it will all be gone by night.  It is so nice to have warmer weather.  Dad and Tom expect to get wood today.  They are shelling corn here in the kitchen for the chickens now. 

We went to church and Sunday School yesterday.  Ruth and Schuyler came in time for dinner.  Then Wilma and the children came and stayed till 9 o’clock.  The children had a good time playing in the house.  It’s fun to hear Clyde and Emily sing songs.  They know what they are trying to say if you don’t. 

Clarence has rented a house, over by Oswalts somewhere.  Anyway Juanita can still go on the bus to Buhler and Lottie Grace will be one and three quarters miles from Wilma’s school.  But some one near them takes their children to school and Lottie Grace expects to ride with them.  Juanita and Lottie Grace’s colds are better, but they didn’t go to church Sunday. Minnie thought it best for them to stay at home.  I hope they will be able to go to school today.

Schuyler still talks of going to California. 

Tom wants to know how the watch runs.  He sent your car papers to you so you could sign them over to him, so he could get a tag for them.  I hope they come soon as he registered them to you.  Tom tested his flashlight battery like you told him, he said it didn’t taste but he has a cold, maybe was the reason.  We haven’t heard any more from Uncle John.  His wife is real old, older than Uncle John. 

How do you spend your time when you are not guarding?  Do you study any?  I’ll bet you’ve not read those 24 letters get?  I guess you thought when it rains it pours.  Minnie asked me Sunday if I’d heard from Ivan.  She was so glad when I told her yes.  She was afraid you had been sent on to the Islands.  I’ll tell you a good way to do.  Don’t write to all of us the same day.  Write several days apart, then when we ask, have you heard from Ivan, we can’t all say yes or no at once.  I’ll bet you are getting tired of reading mine so often, but are too nice to say so, ha ha! 

Tommy would write some today but he doesn’t feel good, aches with his cold, but insists on helping Dad. 

Well Ivan I hope this finds you well and still enjoying California weather.  Good bye with lots of love,  Mom¸ Pop and Tom

 

January 14, 1942:  Ivan to Parents and Tom

Escondido, California

Dear Mom, Dad and Tom: 

I hope this letter finds you feeling fine and I hope the rest of the family is OK.  I am just fine.  We went on a hike this morning and it really was warm.  One kid had winter underwear on and he really sweated.  We are still doing guard duty so far, and it doesn't look like we will move anywhere for a while I hope.  I got Phyllis' Christmas card she sent from Sunday school class.  I was sort of surprised to hear from them.  I haven't heard from Carl since I have been here at Escondido yet. 

Say Mother tell everyone Hello at Sunday school for me will you?  I hardly have time to write to everyone right now.  I can't keep up mail I do get.  I hope Juanita is getting better.  How is Dad's poison getting along?  I didn't happen to be on guard tonight and we are getting part of afternoon off because we are supposed to have sports on Wednesday.  But most of boys are on guard and had to get ready at two, so our soft ball game broke up. 

I still haven't received car papers or box that was sent from home.  I had a chicken dinner last night.  Some girls invited me and a Corporal in wire section out to their place.  They are pretty nice girls too.  I bought a sleeping bag last Saturday.  It cost $12.98 but it is worth it.  It is much better than blankets. 

Say Mother there is no need to worry about me if you don't hear from me every day because I just don't have time to write so often here as I did at Roberts.  So don't worry if you don't hear from me because I am just getting along fine.  I saw a rattle snake the other day that some one killed out to the dam.  It was about four feet long and about as big around as

 

 

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one's wrist and it was supposed to have had 12 rattles on it. 

Say Mother I'll try to send you some orange blossoms the next time I write.  They sure are fragrant.  Say it is darn near too bad that Ralph passed his physical exam.  Well it still isn't raining yet here and weather is like a warm day in spring.  It sure is swell.  How is [...] getting along is my Bull and Horse growing any?  I have a slight cold and my nose is stopped up a big part of the time.  Well Mother I hope there is more to write about [next] time.  Love, Ivan.

 

January 15, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

Well I’ve not written for two days.  I was afraid you were tired of too many letters from home and I’d give you a breathing spell.  We hope to hear from you soon as the last we heard was January 6th.  We hope you’ll write right away if you get your car papers.  The letter was registered so maybe it can be traced. 

We are still having nice weather.  Snow is gone, only a little on the north sides of buildings.  Dad and Tom sawed some wood Tuesday then took Mr. Fields’ saw home as he wanted it.  Dad offered to pay him for the use of it but he wouldn’t take anything.  Roland Fields said his brother had three sons in training.  Dad and Tom and working on an engine and they have borrowed the preacher’s saw and so they will saw more wood. 

They went to town yesterday.  Dad got the lease for this place again.  Tom signed up for defense work, to take a course at the NYA.  I hope it will be for the best.  He thought if he couldn’t stay at home, he would have the training for something.  What do you think? 

Clarences’ are still at Edna’s waiting for their things to come from Missouri.  The girls are still out of school.  They have began to think that they have the whooping cough.  It looks like they could get over a common cold sometime.  Tuesday night the church had a skating party on Hysom’s pond.  Tom went and took Odeta.  They had a wiener roast afterward too.  Does your watch run OK?  Did you get a sleeping bag?  Tommy paid his insurance while in town yesterday.  When he has more money he expects to change it to a 20 year pay.  I canned sausage yesterday, had 8 quarts.  We had almost 9 gallons of lard.  I guess we won’t have to buy any for a while.

Well Ivan I hope you are well and having a good time.  What do you do when not guarding?  Do you study any now?  Excuse writing as my hands aren’t working so good today.  Send us a line whenever you can, if only as much as Carl used to say, ha ha.  That much is a whole lot in times like these.  I’ve lost their address, do you know what it is?  Have you played Black Jack lately?  Well Ivan good bye for now, be a good boy, be just as good as the girl that is waiting for her soldier boy. Lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

January 16, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I am so glad I have a letter to answer.  It came yesterday, also one from Saxon.  So I have their address again and can write to them.  It’s OK to send letters home, we’ll keep them for you but don’t send ours, we will talk to you when you get home.  Tom is at Fred’s working on the little engine to run the saw.  It’s not the Cushman (is that the way to spell it?) it’s the other one.  Well it seems like you are getting letters OK now.  It seemed like for a while they must be dumping them in the ocean, ha ha! 

Well it’s so nice of you to think I look better than my picture, for I’d like to look better than some I’ve had taken.  I think Dad always takes a good picture.  Aren’t you going to send us one of you, how you look in uniform?  Tommy has one of your pictures in his car, one you had taken when you were taking the Civil Service examination.  I really like it better all the time.  I see it every Sunday morning when I start to Sunday school.  We take you to church with us every Sunday, so you must take Ivan to Church too. 

Thank you a lot for what you said about the money but I hope we can get along without using it.  We would like to have that saved for you when you come back.  Are any of the boys you knew at Camp Roberts with you now?  Where is Escondido from San Diego?  It wasn’t given on the map I looked at.  We told Minnie yesterday you hadn’t received package, so she is

 

 

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going to have it traced.  And we will the car papers too. 

The hog is really good, such nice meat.  Wish you were here to help eat it.  I guess Ralph’s house is done, at least they are living in it.  I didn’t send your letter to Minnie to read.  Tom says Beulah May wouldn’t like it for you to have other dates.  So we are keeping still about your dates.  She would sure find out if the rest of the family knew.  They are as bad as a radio, ha ha! 

Well Ivan our carrier comes before ten now sometimes so I want this to go, so will stop.  We were so glad to hear from you and hope this finds you well and enjoying California weather.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom, Pop, and Tom

 

January 22, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

How are you this nice morning?  We are still having fine weather, something like you are having I suppose.  If it doesn’t get colder pretty soon I’ll be for making a garden.  Won’t you come over and help me?  You remember, you planted the peas last spring? 

Yesterday morning Tommy and I went to Minnie’s to see how mother was.  She was a little better and so was Juanita.  Violets’ planned on moving yesterday if the Dr. thought it would be OK to take the children.  Fred was about sick with a cold, it was hard for him to talk, so you know that was bad for him.  He is a little boy in a play at Obee school house tonight.  They are having a box supper after the play to pay for their loudspeaker at the school house.  We may go to see Fred perform. 

The chores are done and Dad and Tommy have gone to saw wood.  They have got the saw to work better than it did at first.  What do you think about Tommy taking that course in defense work?  Minnie is afraid it wouldn’t help him anyway. 

Morris has bought a bicycle to ride to work on to save his car.  He is even saving the bicycle and riding with Howard Mock when he has to go at the time Howard has to go to work. 

I mopped the kitchen yesterday and wanted to wash today but the water in the well isn’t clear enough to wash with, so Tommy wanted me to wait till tomorrow.  He said if I washed I’d be too tired to go to Obee tonight.  Our young pullets are beginning to lay and I’m glad as feed is so high I really didn’t know what to do with them.  Eggs are a good price if I’d only get more of them. 

Has your Christmas box come or the car papers?  The girls had give Grandma a box of candy like they sent you.  She couldn’t eat it, so sent it to the children.  Minnie tasted of it and it wasn’t so good when it had dried out.  Minnie said, “and this is the kind of candy that Ivan will get.”  It was good at first. 

Well Ivan answer all my questions and I’ll try and do the same.  Oh, Tom found a Santa Fe map, so we know where you are now.  Are you almost as near the coast as San Diego is?  I don’t believe you get as lonesome where you are as you did in Camp Roberts, do you? 

I’d better stop and fix the fire and mail this before carrier gets here.  I hope you are well and that you’ll soon get over the cold in your nose and head.  Good bye with lots of love from Mom, Pop and Tom.

 

January 23, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson,  Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  I am so darn sleepy I can hardly keep awake.  They had a box supper and first day of school program at Obee last night.  Roy and I and kids went – didn’t get home till twelve.  Fred was in the program.  It sure was good.  I took a box and it won first prize in the married folks class so I’ve two pictures of flowers to hang on the walls now.  My box was made like a shoe with windows and doors on it.  Minnie made hers like a bed.  Mother, Evelyn and Delores took a box too.

Tommy brought Dad and Mom to Minnie’s and then went and got his girl and Beulah May to the program too.  I got to talk to her a bit after program was over.  She said Walter sure looked like you.  She played with him a bit.  Beulah May and Tommy’s girl didn’t bring boxes.

Violet and Clarence and all the family got moved yesterday afternoon to their home.  I reckon they are happy.  Juanita and the rest have the whooping cough too.  From what Morris says, Violet and Clarence think they have it now too.  You remember how scarred they were

 

 

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they’d get it from the kids.  Aunt Grace, Clarence’s mother, said it would have been better if they had got it then because they would have been over it before cold weather.  And in the wintertime they have it so much harder than any other time. 

Roy’s mother and Howard were up here this week and I guess from what they say Howard, he is Roy’s youngest brother, is drafted.  You remember I wrote and said Art enlisted, well they examined him said his feet were too flat (he is a picture of perfect health) so he came back to Oklahoma and got married.  He thought he was through with the army and now the draft has caught him so there is a possible chance he will be a soldier boy after all. 

Since that cold spell the first of January, we have been having fairly mild weather, almost like spring.  The sun is shining too. 

I’ve spent most of the week at Minnie’s making boxes and trying to figure out how to make curtains so I am going to have clean up my house, bake bread today and iron.  That is if I can keep awake.  I doubt if you can read this as I can’t hardly write or spell either.

Well take care of yourself and I’ll try to write more often. Love, Roy, Irene and kids

PS:  Say I aimed to tell you quite a while ago about that fancy stationery I wrote to you once on.  Edna said in the other war Morris would get letters and the other boys would write on that kind first for pure devilment.  That where I got my idea so am I [?] her to blame for it.  It is almost ten o’clock and Walter hasn’t got up yet so he is making up for lost time I guess.

 

January 24, 1942: Ivan to Parents and Tom

Escondido, California

Dear Mother, Dad and Tom: 

How are you all by now?  Do you still have colds?  How is Dad's poison getting along?  Say Mother does the rheumatism bother you?  You said your hands were not working very well.  I received your package this week and was sure glad to get it.  The candy was still good and I haven't ate any of the cake yet so I don't know whether it is any good--I mean spoiled--or not.  I got sleeping bag quite a while ago.  Did Fred get knife and flash light?  They are sure nice and so was sewing kit and candy was very good.  Thanks a lot for the nice gifts.  Mom you want to thank everyone for me that helped get it? 

I am doing guard duty out to Bridge again.  There are about 50 mud hens around here.  I think we also have blue herons too.  The watch was OK till it fell out on the side walk.  I went to look at time and screws or something were loose in the case and the whole works fell out.  I am getting it fixed.  I bought me a Yankee Ingersol.  I hope it works OK. 

Say Tom: use a couple of good flash light batteries and stick part to tongue and put a knife or something on bottom of it and I'll bet you taste it.  I really think it is a good idea to get in NYA.  Tom I sure hope you don't go to the army.  It is not much fun.  Did they get the wood sawed OK?  There are some boys with me that I knew at Roberts, but none that I knew very well.  Say Mother you may have to get a road map of California to find Escondido.  It is about 36 miles north of San Diego. 

I think I'll have to buy a new billfold because my old one is about shot. I think I'll get it tonight.  It costs 50 cents for hair cut here, and it takes one about every two weeks too.  I'll have to have some pictures taken of me in my uniform to send to you.  I think I'll send wrist watch back home when I get it fixed too.  It will cost about $4.50.  I think it costs more here in Escondido to get along than it did at Roberts, but I figure it won't hurt to have a good time as long as I am here.  I got the check too this week.  I'll send the check, and I have already sent car papers and I hope you have received them.  When you get them please tell me.  I sent $10 in with car papers and hope they reach you OK.  These people I know are around Springfield Missouri I think.  I am fine and hope letter finds you the same.  Love, Ivan.  [In ink]:  I got some ink over at a filling station here close to bridge I have fixed out check for Dad to sign so don't make trip to town without him signing it.  You ought to cash it pretty soon, too.

 

January 26, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==POST CARD==

My Dear Son Ivan,

Well this isn’t a Birthday card but the carrier will soon be here and I wanted you to know that we received your papers and letter Saturday.  We were so glad to hear from you and

 

 

[Page 27 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

I’ll try and send a letter tomorrow.  Edna, Minnie and I have been to see Mother three days straight now.  We think maybe she is a little better.  But she is very sick yet.  We think Violet’s children and three of Wilma’s have whooping cough.  We saw them all yesterday.  They aren’t so sick yet.  Juanita and Lottie Grace is some better.  Dad isn’t so good, broke out more.  It was so nice and warm yesterday, but it’s cloudy and looks like snow today.  Ivan I hope you are well and can read this and I’ll say good-bye with lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

January 30, 1942:

Tom and Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

In this letter Tommy writes about the NYA, the National Youth Administration.  It was a New Deal agency that focused on providing educa­tion and work for Americans aged 16 to 24. It was established in 1935, and officially folded in 1943. 

Dear Ivan,

I haven’t got my car license plates yet.  You have to give me a bill of sale of your motor.  I went up to the court house and they said that signing the car over to me wouldn’t do any good, that you had to write out a bill of sale to me.  So I am sending a paper for you to sign and to be notarized.  I put the motor number on the paper and make of vehicle so you can fill out the rest without the certificate of Title. Send it back as quick as possible.

Odeta had a birthday supper on me at Odeta’s place last night and after supper they had a farewell party on Ralph they were about 35 people there and Beulah May.  Beulah May gave me a birthday card and Odeta gave me a book to read.  I got a five year diary and Hazel and Dorothy gave me five handkerchiefs. 

Mother went to see Grandmother yesterday and Dad went to the Old Settlers Homecoming.  Grandmother is in bed and her feet and legs are swollen and she is very weak. 

I drove my car 1000 miles without changing oil it was a little below half full but I am going to change to oftener than that.  I bought four quarts of 25 cent oil from Poppy Ward and I got it for 90 cents.  Before I got 5 quarts for $1.10 he said oil came up four quarts filled it to the full mark.  I had my wheels lined up by Fred and I went and had them tested they in 50 feet to the mile so Fred fixed them again they were out 30 feet to the mile.  So I pulled them in a little and changed the wheels to the back wheels.

This morning it is blowing and it has been snowing some before now. 

Dad got a drag saw from the Preacher.  He just borrowed it for a while.  We sawed up a big log on Coberley pasture the other day in about two hours.  Dad went over there and he sawed off one block and the engine died and he couldn’t get it started anymore. 

Say I about forgot to tell you about I going to the NYA School at Hutchinson.  Well I went up there Tuesday morning a little after 8:00 o’clock the morning and I signed a bunch of papers then I was sent over to the shop.  They gave me a bunch of tags to check out tools with so I watched the boys work for awhile then I sat on a bench. Then the instructor came around and told me to not to sit on the benches.  I stayed until noon and then they told me to come back at 5:00 pm o’clock.  So I went down to Fred’s place and helped him put the upholstering his doors in his car.  Then I went back at 5:00 pm o’clock. There were other instructor there named Glenn that was to be classroom work.  So he gave us a test over certain parts of the lathe and other things. Well he got through he took each question and answered them but he got about half through and it was 8:00 o’clock so I went home.  Then the next morning I got there at 8:00 am that day.  I and some other boys cleaned up some pipe and iron and then cleaned the floor up.  After that I loafed around until noon.  I went in the office and told them that I had to go home to work for a couple of months.  They said they would keep my work card and when I came back I could loaf around again.  They would give me $24.00 per month for going but I decided that I couldn’t learn much with out books to learn from.  They had one big book and some little hand books they used.  I talked to one boy. He been there five and a half months and he said that he was in there a month and a half before he got on a lathe to work.  They have three lathes and about three milling machines but they don’t use only one of the milling machines.  It is a good place to loaf around and to keep out of mischief.  If a feller like that kind of work I

 

 

[Page 28 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

guess it is all right but I like something to do.  That day I was there were four new boys that week and I and two others left in the machine shop class. 

Well I better close so a happy birthday and many more to come.  It’s too bad that I couldn’t come over and spank you on your birthday.  If you can’t get it fixed up about the Bill of Sale without any more papers you tell us and I will send them to you.

Your brother, love, Thomas R.

I’m sending you a auto registration receipt with the paper so you can fill it out.  You won’t have to send it back if you don’t want to.

Hello Ivan, I’ll write in the morning if I can.  It’s time for the mail this, so it will sure go today.  I hope you are well and enjoying fine weather.  Good bye with lots of love, Mamma

 

February 2, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

In this letter Lottie Jane expresses increasing worry about the health of her mother, Annie Haller.  She was 86 years old and apparently already at Broadacres nursing home where she will pass away a month later, on March 3.  Ivan’s birthday was coming up on February 4.

My Dear Son Ivan,

Just a few lines to let you know I still am thinking of you.  Saturday Tommy took me to see Grandma.  I stayed all day and Freds’ came after me around 9 o’clock and took me home.  Yesterday we went to Sunday school and church, then went home to take Dad.  Tommy took Minnie and girls and me to Edna’s for dinner.  His car is nearly too small for his family.  Dad didn’t want to go.  Mother and daddy Tucker were at Edna’s too.  Tommy took me to Mother’s after dinner.  Mother is about the same, is a little weaker if anything.  She is asleep now.  I stayed at Edna’s last night and she brought me here this morning.  Minnie expects to take me home tonight.  Morris, Edna and Minnie talked to Aunt Florence last night.  Her and Uncle Abe will come to see mother as soon as they can get an emergency pass.  It will take about three days to get one but we hope they can get here by Sunday anyway. 

February 3.  Wilma and Vincent came to see mother yesterday and I stopped writing so didn’t get this finished.  I stayed at Edna’s last night.  Ruth and Schuyler came after me.  Fred is fixing Morris’ car, so Ruth brought me this morning.  Delores was sick with a cold so Minnie had to stay home with her.  Wilma’s Ruth coughs real bad with whooping cough. They keep her in bed.  Clyde and Emilie aren’t so bad.  Well Ivan I hope you are well and that you have a happy birthday.  I intended to write you a long letter but it’s hard to write with a pencil.  Mother is about the same.  She likes everyone since she is so sick.  She asked about you.  I am anxious to get home maybe there will be a letter from you.  I won’t object how often the carrier honks at our box.  But you are a good boy to write so often.  I’ve been surprised that you’ve been so good to write letters.  You had never written many before you went away.  Thanks a lot for the geranium.  It wasn’t wilted much and so nice.  Well good bye for today.  I’ll try and write oftener.  With lots of love, Mamma

 

February 23, 1942: Tom to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

This letter has November 25, 1942, written at the top, but it was in an envelope post marked February 23, 1942.  The post mark date is probably correct since in the letter Tommy makes reference to his grandmother who passed away in March 1942.

Hello Ivan,

How are you by now; how come you changed your address? What have you become now?  The weather is pretty cool by now.  It got to 20 above last night, but the sun is shining now I hope it keeps shining. 

I got a card from the NYA office at Hutchinson Saturday telling me to come up and have a talk so I went up and talked about the school. He told me that they just moved in to the new building and they did have all the machines working.  He said he could give me a new assignment if I wanted it but I told him I would talk it over at home first.  He said that if I wanted to go to Wichita he would send me there. That is where Ralph Ford is but I would not be at home. I don’t know what to do.  I saw in the paper where they are going to try and keep the farm boys at home on the farm if they are needed and that is up to the Board to decide.  The man I talked to up at the NYA office said that they are going to take boys out of the

 

 

[Page 29 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

defense factories and put them in the army and put girls in their places if they are not good enough in that line of work.  He said that after a while the Government was going to have the boys that were going to school that were from the farm be sent home to work on the farm and the ones in the city stay at school.

Yesterday Dad and I fixed the west side of the shed and hope to fix the east side some day.  Did the cookies and candy that Beulah May sent you make you sick?

Mother is still out with Grandma. I and my girl went out to get her Saturday night, but she did [not] come home with me so she will probably stay out there until it is all over with.  When Dad and I were going to Church Sunday we saw a coyote. He was a big one. He crossed the road and went north into Nyborg’s pasture and when I got home me and Roy tried to find him but I did [not] see him.  I should go see how Mother and Grandma is tonight.  Grandma hasn’t eaten anything for several days now and Mother don’t think she can last long at that rate.  So I don’t know what to do. I might be better off to stay at home and help Dad farm. 

Robert N. wanted to buy my calf. He said that he would give me $45 for it but I told him he was going to try to make money with her and I wanted to too.  Say, have you changed girls at the camp yet? You better, you don’t want to go with one too long at a time you might get in trouble.  Odeta and Beulah May were talking Sunday about you and what you were going.  I asked Odeta if they said anything bad about you and she said they didn’t.  Say you didn’t answer my questions about my girl.  You told me I better change girls. Why should I and don’t you think Odeta is good enough or WHAT? Your brother, Thomas Roberson

 

February 25, 1942: Saxon to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Phoenix, Arizona

Dear Ivan,

How’s guard duty by now?  We are both just fine.  I am still working every day.  We haven’t heard from Tom whether he is coming out or not.  He could get work if he would come out.  How is the girl friend by now?  It is nice and warm here today. How long do you think you will be at Escondido?  Write when you can. Love, Saxon and Carl

 

March 3, 1942: Lottie Jane, Minnie and Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson,, Kansas

==POST CARD==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are fine here but Grandma she began slipping fast yesterday.  Don’t think she can be here much longer.  Edna, Sadie, Mother and I are here with Grandma.  Delores is at Luella’s (?), she has been since Saturday night.  Do you think she will know me when I do get to see her?  Mother slept pretty good last night.  Edna and I took turns.  We both slept some.  Grandma seems to be in no pain and hasn’t had anything to quiet her tonight.  Love, Mother, Minnie and Edna

 

March 4, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==POST CARD==

Wednesday PM

Dear Ivan,

Just a line to let you know Grandma passed away at 9:25 last night.  Mother, Edna and I were there with her.  Funeral will be at 3:00 at Johnson’s tomorrow afternoon.  The Johnson hearse will take her to Mound City and funeral there will be at 2:00 Friday afternoon.  Fred and I will take Mother and Dad to Linn County.  Tommy will watch the shop.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

March 5, 1942: Ivan to Parents and Tom

[some words missing because the letter is torn on the edges]

Escondido, California

Dear Mom, Pop, Tom: 

How are you all by now?  I am [...] as usual.  We didn't go on guard duty last week.  [...] I will probably go on it this week.  I would like to go to San Diego on guard.  Some of us we'll probably go there.  Say Tom: the address is the same as usual, only some more added on so mail will be sure to reach me. 

The weather here now is swell.  It is nice and sunshiny at present and cool as usual at nights.  I saw a humming bird the other day. They are sure small.  I thought at first that they were a big bug or something but it was just the

 

 

[Page 30 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

bird.  I mailed a letter early last week but I reckon they didn't mail it very quick out of battery.  I'll mail this upo [...]wn so it will reach here quicker.  Have you had snow lately and has it melted?  The cookies and candy that Beulah May sent were sure swell and they didn't make me sick.  Leo Ford lives about 300 miles north.  He is about 40 miles from Roberts.  I wish I could see him.  I would like to be in his battery but I couldn't get a transfer. 

How is Grandmother by now?  Has she ate anything?  How is Dad's poison?  It sure looks like the doctors could clear it up.  How is mother?  How is the tires holding up on your wreck anyway?  Say, have you heard anything from Tel Co. at home?  What is Roy doing lately anyway?  Is Fred as busy as ever?  I got my wrist watch back and have been wearing it lately.  It keeps good time so far.  But I think I should send it home.  I probably will one of these days.  The pocket watch keeps swell time.  Have you heard any more about Carl having to go to the Army?  I am supposed to pay a little income tax but I wouldn't think so though.  I'll let them send me the bill before I pay it.  Well, hope you are well.  Love, Ivan.

 

March 8 (or 1), 1942:  Carl to his Parents

This letter from Carl and Saxon Roberson was in the same envelope as one from Lottie Jane to Ivan dated March 16, 1942; I presume Lottie Jane was forwarding it to Ivan to read.  The letter is only dated “Sunday Nite.”  Since it had been sent to Kansas from Arizona, it was probably written on March 8 or perhaps March 1, 1942.  It looks to me like it was written by Carl, not Saxon. 

Sunday Nite

Dear Folks,

How is everyone by now?  We were sure sorry to hear about Grandma, but it is something which none of us has any control.  We wanted to send flowers but didn’t get the card from Minnie until Saturday so it was too late.

My income tax this year was almost $80.00.  Sure seems like a lot of money to give each year.  They say next year it will be double.

Tell Tom to do what he wants to about coming out to work on the R.R.  I am sure he can get work if he comes out.  I will do all I can to get him started.  I have had several student firemen out with me since I have been working.  I am back on the road again but am home every nite.  Tom might even be able to stay out of the army longer if he works for the R.R.  He can make more money at it than he can at lots of other jobs.  I made $2737.30 last year and think I will make more this year but I am out a lot of money on road expenses.  Also it costs a lot more to live out here than it does in Kansas.  I would be as well off back east on a smaller salary. 

We are well except Saxon’s Dad.  He cut his leg pretty bad on a axe but is some better now.  Write. Love, Saxon and Carl

 

March 13, 1942: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you by now?  It seems that I have not answered your letter as yet.  I’ve been thinking about it so here goes.  I am sorry I waited so long, but somehow it seems that there has been so many things lately that I put it off. 

I talked to Minnie over the telephone this morning and Delores has pneumonia.  She also has the red measles, was broken out when she got back from Linn County on Sunday.  We are quite anxious about her.  They had the Dr. this morning and started to give her that Sulpha compound.  We surely hope she will get over it O.K. but it is always quite serious with the measles. 

What are you doing these days?  We want to make garden tomorrow if we can.

Daddy Tucker took sick from a severe internal hemorrhage four weeks ago tomorrow, caused by high blood pressure.  He is quite bad, doesn’t know us much of the time now.  He just seems to be getting weaker.  Some of us are with Mother T. night and day.  I have been there for three days during the day.  It is our night to stay tonight.  We don’t get much else done it seems, but Dr. doesn’t give us any hope, but we don’t know how long he can linger.

Minnie saw Mother and Dad yesterday.  She said Dad was fine but Mother had taken cold so wasn’t so good.  Mother stood the strain of Grandma’s going better than we expected.

Clarence Emery’s are all OK now.  We really are glad.  I guess everyone else is OK too. 

 

 

[Page 31 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

We are having lovely spring weather. 

Tommy is working at Johnsons this week.  I don’t know if he has work longer or not.

Morris is taking a First Aid course at the Post Office and Virgil and Gayle are taking one here in South Hutchinson.  They will finish in two more lessons.  My class has two more lessons too.  I plan to go to a meeting tonight of the First Aid Instructors over town.

I want to write to Carl and Saxon today if I don’t get too sleepy.

How’s the girl friend?  Do they have pretty nice girls out there?  Anyhow it isn’t so lonesome is it. 

Maybe I’d better quit.  I’m writing this on my knee here watching Daddy.  He doesn’t stay covered very good.  His mental condition is bad and doesn’t improve.

Hope you are well. Love and Best Wishes, Edna and all [envelope contained a leaflet from Annie Haller’s funeral]

 

March 13, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I got your card yesterday and were glad you were well.  I waited to hear from you before I wrote again because I wasn’t sure whether your address was still the same.

You ask about the new arrived lately in family.  Junior was the last and so far as I know there is no more expected yet.  I put the “yet” as you can’t tell what might happen even in the best of families.  I imagine Ruth Schuyler’s wife would like one but I don’t see any signs yet.

Roy is working at the sand pit northeast of town now.  He started this week.  The Singer job wasn’t so good there at last.  You have to sell sewing machines to make very good pay and the last few weeks he didn’t.  He hardly made ends meet so he saw head guy at sand pit Sunday and started to work there Tuesday noon.  Fred said he was sure lucky to get more work so quickly.

I reckon by now you have Minnie’s card telling you of Grandma’s death.  She died on March 3, Tuesday evening about 9:25.  Minnie, Mother and Edna made all the arrangements the day.  The funeral here was at 3:00 Thursday at Johnson’s Funeral Parlor and another service was held at 9:00 at Wesley Chapel in Linn County.  She was buried there.  Minnie and Fred took Dad and Mother down.  They started about 4:00 Friday morning and got there in time.  While they were there Delores broke out with the measles.  She was pretty sick before they got here home Sunday evening.  Dad and Mother got to see a lot of people they knew while they were there, Uncle Tom, Cousin Ellen, Aunt Jennie and all the rest.  Myrtle McRae’s took care of things down in Linn County.  Edna phoned them and they had things ready in time.  Johnson’s drove the hearse through.  Bill Pitts went with the hearse so they would be sure of the way there.

Grandma looked natural but was terribly thin.  Those seven weeks she was sick she ate hardly anything and the last few days didn’t drink water even.  It’s a wonder she lived as long as she did after she was taken ill.  Mother stayed with her all the time last week.  Minnie and Edna and some of the girls were with Mother so she wasn’t alone.  Minnie and Edna were both with Mother when Grandma died. 

Tommy is working at Allison (?) Johnson’s this week.  Started Monday I guess.  Dad went to town yesterday in that red four wheel trailer John made with the team hitched to it.  He stopped in here long enough to say hello and good bye.  He said Mother wasn’t feeling so well, but after all she has been through it will be a while before she is herself again. 

We got our garden plowed yesterday so I’ll have to make garden now.  It is time most of the stuff was in.

I’m hoping we have good weather for a while too.  It is foggy this morning.  We have had so much moisture that it has been too wet to do anything.  The kids here are all well but awfully ornery.  Can’t do a thing with them sometimes. 

Say how often do you get your mail?  How very soon after we mail it?  Takes quite a while, doesn’t it?  Say Morris’ Dad is a lot better.  Doctor told him he could get up and dress if he wanted to.  So he may fool all of them and live a lot longer yet.  They have had him about dead every since he took sick this last time.  Well I’d better get to work.  Write when you can. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids  PS: Maybe you can make this all out

 

 

[Page 32 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

March 16, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your last two letters and to know that you were all right.  We’ve been having weather similar to what you’ve been having till last night.  It began to rain, then sleet and now it’s been snowing hard all morning.  The wind is blowing hard from the north, it just is freezing.  We had planned to make garden today, but I believe it will be nicer in the house by the fire. 

Dad is doing chores.  He has five new calves now.  He said he had never had a nicer bunch of calves than this time.  Every one is red or with just a little white on them, mostly in their faces.  The brown Swiss had a big nice calf, but she died, she had been hurt so she never got up.  But the calf is just fine. 

Tommy came home Saturday night and went back yesterday.  He doesn’t know what to do, he gets $1.50 per day.  Some days he doesn’t do much, helps in the house some.  Ralph Johnson, Albian’s brother, and Lorene Hansell (I don’t know how to spell it, the girl that always worked for Albian’s) were married Saturday and will live near Haven.  Wilma’s were here Sunday afternoon, also Edna, Morris, Virgil, Schuyler and Ruth.  Daddy Tucker is slowly getting weaker.  Wilma’s children are about over the whooping cough.  Ruth has gained since she has had the whooping cough.  Her face is lots fuller.  Emily had it lighter than the other two.  Delores is better.  Instead of three day measles she had the other kind and pneumonia fever with it.  We saw her a few minutes before Sunday School yesterday.  She was sitting in bed coloring.  She didn’t have any fever then.  The preacher’s girl has the measles now, and I suppose she will have the mumps too. 

Carl still wants Tommy to come out there.  He would like to earn the money he could get out there but don’t like to leave Dad and me.  And I wonder if that’s all he don’t want to leave.  Anyway it’s nice he thinks of us.  But I wish we knew what would be best for him to do.  What is your opinion? 

Dad still has his poison and he doctors it all the time too.  I am afraid it will be worse when summer comes.  Violet’s are better except colds.  I haven’t seen Irene since Mother’s funeral.  I am afraid they will have measles, I am glad Roy has a better job.  He works at the sand pit where Schuyler used to work. 

Well Ivan it’s time to mail this so I’ll stop.  I can’t find your letters (the children all had to read them yesterday, so if you asked me any questions I’ll try and answer them when I find where they put your letters).  Do you go to Sunday School and church?  Ben Vogt’s parents, sister and brothers live in Escondido.  Ben is Sadie Hunt’s husband.  Ray Siron is at Fort Ord.  Would you like to write to him if you had his address?  What do you do when not on guard duty?  Well Ivan I’ll say good-bye with lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

March 20, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to get your letter and I ought to have answered it yesterday, but didn’t get it done.  We will see about your Birth Certificate right away.  We’ve never heard from John’s yet.  They sure are slow, but of course John’s wasn’t recorded in Topeka.  Just commenced to record them in 1911.  I’ll send for yours and Tommy’s at the same time. 

The latest is Tommy has decided to go out to Carl’s to get a job.  Carl is most sure he can get a job and phoned Minnie the other night to tell Tom to come right away if he was coming.  So this is Saturday morning.  Tom came home from Albian’s last night to get ready to go to Carl’s Monday.  He has gone to Buhler now to borrow some money of you.  Carl said, he would let him have money to come on but it would take longer to get Carl’s.  Well I hope it’s all for the best, but we will sure be lonesome.  It doesn’t seem long since we had to see you go but I guess “Birds must fly or they wouldn’t have wings.” 

Dad says, calves were the best bunch he ever had, even the Brown Swiss calf was red with white spots on it.  Tommy’s white face cow’s calf is a male but a good calf.  We have five calves now, Dad sure enjoys taking care of them.  Has a big pen south of the barn and they can run in the shed from the pen.  They sure have fun running in the pen and shed.

I’ll try and see about all you want me to [do]first of week.  I’ll try and send for certificate

 

 

[Page 33 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

today.  I must help Tommy get ready too.  Uncle Tom is 87 now will be 88 the 13th of July.  We haven’t heard anything from Telephone Company yet.  We haven’t heard from John since 1st of February.  He doesn’t like to write letters.

Dad planted some potatoes, will finish next week.  It’s been cold and windy last few days so I stayed in the house.  I want to make some garden soon.  Delores was better the middle of week.  She had the red measles instead of the three day ones.  Then she had pneumonia fever.  But she was out of bed Wednesday night when Tom stopped there.  We’ve not heard from Daddy Tucker all week. 

Well Ivan I’ll close for now and do better next time maybe.  If you think you had rather be in the Air Core, I guess it will be the best.  When I read of a plane going down I’ve been glad my boys weren’t air minded.

Goodbye with lots of love, Mamma.  I’ll tell Tom to write to you soon. Mom, Pop and Tom.  Paper says they get 1,600 applications in one day for Birth Certificates.

 

March 20, 1942: Ivan to Parents and Tom

Escondido, California

Dear Mother, Dad and Tom: 

How are you by now?  Mother how do you feel?  And Dad?  I'll bet you get tired of me asking you how you feel but I always like to know.  You probably don't tell me how you feel anyway.  It's too bad about the brown Swiss cow.  I think Dad ought to sell some of the older cows this summer when they are fatter because a younger animal is always stronger.  How is the team doing by now?  Do they work together good?  I believe you are having typical spring weather at home now.  It is even windy today here.  How is gardening coming along anyway?  Is it cold for it? 

Say Mom, have Tom to take a picture of calves after a while.  I would sure like to see them.  How is Delores?  Tell Minnie, Irene and Edna hello and the rest of family.  I am kinda busy now because I am going to non-commission officer's school now.  It might help me out.  Say mother are you going to get me my birth certificate for me?  I believe I would like to get in air corps.  I think it would help me out and learn me something and also I think it is about as safe anyway.  Please tell me what you think of it Mom. 

Say Mom I don't know what to say about Tom and his staying at home or going to work on R.R.  I wish he could stay at home and help you and Dad.  I think that the draft board should let him stay at home on account of you and Dad.  If you and Dad were well, why I would say for him to go to R.R. But now I think he should stay home, don't you think so?  I just work around battery when not on guard and do regular stuff, marches and class, and try to learn something every day.  I haven't been to church for quite a while but plan on starting right away.  I may go to the desert next Sunday if I get a chance and people go.  I know I have never been there. 

Say Mother I wish you could get me some letters of recommendation and birth certificate, for I need them to get into aircorps please.  It is too bad that Daddy Tucker is sick.  What does Pop think of the Bull?  He ought to be careful with him and take no chances with him.  Well Mother I reckon I'll mail letter and so long for now.  Please tell me about certificate and letters please.  Love, Ivan.

 

March 25, 1942:  Ivan to Parents and Tom

Escondido, California

Dear Mother, Dad, and Tom: 

How are you by now?  I am fine but I am about to go on guard for six days at Lakeside.  We leave this evening so I thought I would try and write a little bit and see how you are.  When is Tom going to see Carl?  What are you and Dad going to do when Tom leaves?  It will be kinda hard sliding, I'll bet.  Mom and Dad I went to the desert last Sunday.  It is the Borego desert, somewhere near how you spell it.  There were sure a lot of wild flowers there.  The desert was sure in bloom.  I went with some people I knew and I had a pretty good time too.  There was sure a lot of fool's gold laying around or just mica. 

Mother I was going with a girl here and broke up a couple of weeks ago, and she is going to marry a Sergeant in the wire section.  I liked this girl quite a bit.  But I like Beulah May a lot better but she is not here.  I wrote and told her I was going with other girls but still liked her a lot better.  But I reckon I didn't write the proper

 

 

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things because she has quit writing me.  I can't say as I blame her, but why don't you ask Tom if he is still home and see if his girl knows what is wrong?  Well, if she doesn't care to write, I reckon it will save me a lot of writing, but I would just as soon keep on writing.  Mother I believe it is just as safe in air corps as on ground because when a plane goes down everyone knows about it, but when a soldier is shot no one knows about it.  I don't want to worry you any but would like it better in air corps if I could make it. 

I am glad that Delores is better.  It is too bad she was sick and rest of family.  How many calves does Dad think he will have?  Mom, Tom is welcome to borrow money from me.  Say Mother, that money I sent home is for you and Dad to use so don't be bashful.  The weather here is sure swell right now and it ought to be a good time to go on guard.  Mom I reckon I don't know a whole lot about girls so I don't know what to write to her and if she doesn't write I reckon I can't write any more letters to her. So I wish Tom would find out what is the matter if he can. 

Mom if I get birth certificate next week and letters of recommendation, maybe I could see about air corps when I get a day off.  I wish you would please hurry it as much as possible because after guard duty I get a 24 hour pass so I can see then.  Well Mother, don't mind my troubles.  I wish you would send me the papers though.  From what years did I attend school I know but the dates I reckon it is not necessary though.  I hope you are all well.  Love, Ivan.

 

March 25, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son,

We were so glad to read your letter Monday.  Tommy was ready so he left for Carl’s Monday night, supposed to be at Carl’s now.  You know how I hated to see him go, but maybe it was for the best.  Daddy Tucker died Monday at 8 o’clock in the morning, is to be buried this afternoon.  Vincent is very sick in the hospital.  I and Mrs. Rowland are here with Wilma.  We stayed all night here.  Vincent’s temperature went to 108 yesterday but didn’t stay long.  Dr. said his condition was better today 103 temperature and we sure hope he will soon be out of danger.  I’ll write a letter soon as I get home.  Minnie and Fred stayed with Wilma’s children last night.  It’s raining out side.  Good bye with lots of love,   Mom and Pop

 

March 27, 1942: Violet to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Brother,

Tuesday they took Vincent to the hospital.  He had fever 108.  They got it down some and Thursday the doctors were for operating.  No chance without it, they said.  About 2 pm they operated.  Bill Morris and Clarence watched the operation.  Clarence said he was terribly bad when he came home.  He ate supper and went back to the hospital.  Vincent lived through the night and until one o’clock today.

Minnie, Edna, Mother and I are here at Wilma’s.  It is about 6:30 pm.  Mother wanted me to write you. The funeral will be Monday.  Minnie has had Emilie and Clyde most of the time since Vincent has been sick.  Edna is going to mail this.  Write soon.  Love, Violet

On the front of the post card:  “Mother will stay with Wilma for a while.  V.E.”

 

March 29, 1942:  Ivan to Parents

Lakeside, California

Dear Mother and Dad: 

How are you and how is Vincent?  Did Tom get to Carl's alright?  Mother I sure hope he gets a job quick.  Say by the way what do you and Dad plan on doing?  Will you still be able to farm?  It is too bad that Tom had to leave.  I wish you would write and tell me how you are getting along.  If Dad wouldn't milk the cows and just sow the feed maybe he could make it alright.  Does his poison still bother him quite a bit?  Say what was the matter with Vincent, what caused his fever to be so high?  It is too bad about Daddy Tucker. 

Say Mom and Dad I heard from Beulah May Friday.  She was just busy and didn't get around to writing I reckon.  Well Pop I'll bet you would like to be here with us just now.  We are guarding the El Captain Dam near Lakeside, California.  It supplies the water for most of San Diego and it has a pipe leading out of it that is

 

 

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six feet in diameter.  The Dam is a dirt filled affair.  We drive across it with trucks to post guard.  It is 217 feet high on top and 197 feet high at spillway so it is pretty good sized.  The reason Pop I'll bet you wish you were here is that the boys went fishing in the lake and caught about 17 bass that weighed from 3/4 to about 2 lbs apiece.  The boys said they pulled them out about as fast as they dropped their hook.  We have about 17 men from Battery here and live in a house and have showers nearby so it is a pretty good deal. 

It looks like I'll be here for 30 days so I reckon you will have plenty of time to get birth certificate.  I don't know whether to get into air corps or not but if I could, I could learn a lot more and make more money.  Has it been raining much at home now?  Is Pop going to try and farm by himself?  I wonder what Mrs. Tucker will do?  Mom I guard from 12 to 4 and 12 to 4 so it kinda breaks up my sleep but I get plenty of sleep.  I help clean the fish, me and Corporal.  They ought to taste good for breakfast.  Have you heard from Tom yet? 

Well Mom I think I'll sign off and get a little sleep before 12 because it is about 8 now in the evening.  Well hope letter finds everyone better.  Have you got whippoorwills at home yet?  Love, Ivan.  Say Mother I think they have whippoorwills around here unless my ears are deceiving me.  I sure think I hear them.

 

March 30, 1942: Tom to Ivan

Winslow, Arizona

==POST CARD==

Ivan,

I’m at Winslow taking my student trips.  I took one to Gallup yesterday and I think I will like it.  Say did you get to go home to Vincent’s funeral?  I like it here.  Saxon and her father took me over to Winslow and all the way they drink whiskey and beer but you don’t need to tell mother about it.  I don’t have my clothes yet.  The bus left them at Albuquerque so I will go to Phoenix and get them. Your brother, Thomas. Address: L. L. Laham (?), 112 ½ West Fourth, Winslow, Arizona

 

March 31, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==POST CARD==

My Dear Ivan,

I’ve been here with Wilma since Vincent passed away.  The funeral was yesterday.  Dad is about to get used to living alone.  He says he can live all right as long as the hens lay eggs.  Emilie took cold and has not been well, but is getting better.  She talks lots more than she did.  It is just a little lonesome at home to think my little boys are so far away.  I am anxious to read your last letter.  Dad forgot to bring it to me.  We have a nice day here today but it freezes ice of a night.  Wilma will take this over and mail it.  I’ll write soon as I go home. 

On the front of the card: I’ve sent for your birth certificate week ago.  Love, Mamma

 

In April 1942 Ivan’s division moved to Fort Lewis, Washington. 

 

April 3, 1942: Ivan to Parents

Escondido, California

Dear Mother and Dad: 

How are you?  It sure was too bad about Vincent.  I wrote to Wilma and expressed my sympathy after I got Violet's card.  What was the matter with him anyway?  What is Wilma going to do now?  It sure will be tough on her. 

How is Pop anyway, and you Mom?  I am just fine as usual, still standing guard steady.  It sure is nice here but it gets pretty tiresome.  The dam holds 38,000,000 gallons of water pretty much doesn't it?  Say Mom how much water does Lake of the Ozarks hold anyway?  How is the cattle and calves making it?  Is Pop getting the feed sowed?  If he is not able he ought to hire it done.  There sure is a lot of whippoorwills around here, they sure sound pretty at night.  Mother I think I'll send $10 home because I would just spend it if I kept it so I reckon you would get more out of it than I would.  Say Mom if I ever get a furlough, if I ever do, I would have you send me money to come on then, I could pay it back later. 

Well Mom how is Tom making it?  Has he got a job yet?  I sure hope he isn't caught in the draft.  Say have you seen about my birth certificate yet?  I still think it is still worth looking into.  I still would like to have it.  Say Mom, I was wondering how everything is at home so please tell me the details.  I like even the little things.  There is not much news here at

 

 

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present but the same old guard business at present.  Mom they don't bring us mail every day so maybe I won't be able to answer some of your letters that may be here at present.  Well I reckon I'll sign off and try and get some sleep.  Love, Ivan.  PS:  Tell everyone hello for me please.  I hope you have a happy Easter Day.  What are you going to wear?  I think I'll wear O.D.'s.  They are popular just now with the young men. 

 

April 12, 1942: Tom to his Parents

Winslow, Arizona

This letter from Tom to his parents was in the same envelope with the letter Lottie Jane wrote to Ivan on April 17, 1942.  Lottie Jane wrote “Tom’s last letter” at the top of the page.

10:30 a.m.

Dear Mother and Dad,

I’m still in Winslow.  I got an OK yesterday and started to write my book.  It isn’t so bad I guess.  I got two letters from Odeta and a box of candy last week.  It was sure good and so were the letters.  Say how is things getting along by now?  Did Dad have to buy much hay or not?  Say how is Dad’s weed poison getting along by now?  How is your garden, is it up yet?  They have to water there gardens out here and I haven’t seen any up yet.  It is sure dry here. Last summer the water got bad and they had to buy it and it cost 50 cents per five gallons to drink.  How is Clarence getting along by now? Is Roy still working?  I got a letter from Ivan last week.  He told me he was guarding a dam.  Have you told my draft board my address yet and have you heard any more about it?  They haven’t drafted any from the railroad here yet but they say they will some day.  I sent your letter on to Carl so he could read it.

Mrs. Laham doesn’t feel very well and so when I getting to working I will find a room some other place.  I washed the dishes this morning and cleaned up.  I still have $15.00 I gave to Mrs. Laham to save, but I have some bills to pay in Ash Fork so I haven’t spent so much yet. If I can I will let Mrs. Laham have the $15.00 for my keep.  Carl said he would pay them but I would instead.  When I went to Gallup Mr. Laham paid for my meals.  I told him I could but he said to keep it so I did.  I ruined my Sunday shoes working in them so I will have to buy a new pair. 

Say Mother why don’t you stop and see Odeta she said she hasn’t seen you since I left.  Is my Ford still running yet?  Is the grass getting green?  The trees out here, what they trees they have, are leafing out.  You tell Virgil to take care of Odeta while I’m out here.  How is Fred getting along by now? 

I wish I could write some more but there isn’t any more news to write about.  I thought they had big trees out here but they don’t out here around Winslow it’s bushes is all.  The mountains are pretty when there is snow on them.  I went through one night and it snowed and rained on us when we had to take water.  It is 133 miles to Gallup and I had to take 4 trips and it is about 125 miles to Seligman and I took three trips there.  I took two trips out of Ash Fork up to Supai about 25 miles up a mountain east.  I took one west up to Crookton about 12 miles.  I had to work on a Goat in Winslow and you had to shovel it but it isn’t bad.  The only thing I can’t catch on to is the water but they say you won’t until you know the road. 

Odeta sent a letter Friday and I got it Saturday.  Wasn’t that good she sure wrote a long letter too.  Lucy called it a book.  Odeta said that some people thought we were married before I came out here. 

Carl said that we might go home in a couple of months if he can get off and I get to working soon.  He said that I could bring my girl out then if I’m not in the army.  Well I hope you are all well as I’m so write soon.

Your Son, Thomas Roberson

 

April 17, 1942:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to hear from you yesterday, and to know you were OK.  We are pretty good.  I am about over my cold and Dad’s poison is some better than when I came home.  Some day maybe I can get him to go to a doctor.  All the children have tried to get him to go, but he hasn’t gone yet. 

When Thomas got ready to go to Carl’s he took $25.00 of yours out of the Buhler Bank and we sent you $15.00 out of the Bank, so there is still $107.00 in the Bank of yours.  Now when Tom took his out Mr. Showalter said he couldn’t

 

 

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let any more be checked out unless you signed the checks.  Anyway he gave Tom a couple of Buhler checks and a card to send to you.  I haven’t been able to find either since I’ve been home.  You just write to the Bank and they will send it straight to you.  Now we haven’t needed any money for ourselves, and hope we won’t.  We don’t want to use yours if we can get along without it.  And thanks a lot anyway. 

Bran got too high so Dad feeds ground barley to cows.  As our feed wasn’t so good on account of so much rain last fall, we have to feed some kind of grain to the cows.  Well milking, breakfast and calves fed and chickens is over.  I am practicing up on milking so I’ll know how this summer.  We just have three cows apiece now, and it cheers Dad up for to have me out with him. 

I guess Clarice is better or we would have heard.  Dad will go to town today I guess, then I’ll hear. 

Thanks a lot for your money, but I hope we won’t need to use it all.  We’ve not bought any hay yet, but Dad will have to get some as he has only more load of feed in the field.  The cattle pasture on Lear’s now saves feed and they do very well. 

Wouldn’t it be fine if you did get to come home on a visit sometime.  Write to the Bank right away, so you will have everything ready if you did happen to get to come.  I heard one of our quail yesterday, “Bob White” he sang.  It’s warm today and showery.  Thanks so much for the stamps, I’ll send them to you one at a time ha, ha. 

You were born in the morning around 7:30 or 8 o’clock.  Yes the doctor was there, had been all night.  I don’t know why they didn’t put the time on it. 

Are you planning on going to Sunday School?  I hope you will go whenever you can.  Be a good boy and write when you can as we love to hear from our boys. 

Good bye with lots of love,  Mom and Pop

It’s sure raining down now and Old Watch is so afraid of thunder he is in milk house.

 

May 17, 1942: Tom to his Parents

Lottie Jane included this letter with her letter to Ivan dated May 22, 1942.

Hutchinson, Kansas 10:55 pm

Dear Mother and Dad,

How are things at home?  I’m just fine but I get sleepy working at night.  I got a good sleep today so I might not get so sleepy tonight.  The other night I went to sleep and 12:5 the call boy came over and wanted to know if I wanted to be called.  I sure hurried around.  The engineer got the engine ready for me but I hope I don’t let it happen again.  I don’t have my watch yet but it will come soon I hope.  Carl sent me my shirts the other day.  I got a letter from Ralph B. and he said they might move him in June sometime.  I got Odeta’s picture yesterday and it sure is good.  How is Fred getting along at the shop?  Can he still get supplies yet?  I bought me a new pair of shoes yesterday. 

I will finish it in the morning before I go to the post office.  I have already written to Odeta now I had better get ready to go to work.  Well I’m ready to go so I will finish it.  I don’t have far to walk to the roundhouse.  Say have you heard about Ivan?  Is he still in Washington or have they moved him from there?  I haven’t got my work clothes from Laham yet but I got a card and they said they would send them.  The Mr. Laham is away and as soon as he comes back they would send them.  The Santa Fe wants my birth certificate so I’m taking it with me tonight.  Are you going to see my girl graduate May 28?  You tell Minnie and she will take you I hope.  I wish I could be there but I guess I cannot.  Write on.  I worked 10 hours and 25 minutes last night.  Love, your Thomas.

 

May 22, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to hear from you yesterday, the letter you wrote May 16th.  Now who would ever think of you being lazy when it comes to writing letters?  Wait till you are as old as I am before you think of being lazy.  Well I tried to put all those figures on your envelope, if I didn’t get them correct make them just a little plainer next time.  If you get more letters and figures on your envelopes I’ll have to write smaller or get larger envelopes, ha ha.  What do they stand for? 

Your watch came yesterday.  It had

 

 

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come the day before but it was insured and had to be signed up before we could get it.  We weren’t here the fore noon of the day before, Dad and I went to help plant Bermuda grass on the church yard.  They made the yard level with the church foundation and put a rock wall around to hold it.  We have stone steps.  It’s going to be real nice some day. 

It’s cold and cloudy today, guess we will set out tomato plants today.  I hope you are over your cold, you must doctor a cold for it might run into something worse if you don’t get rid of it.  It was nice of you to get B. M. [Beulah May] a pen set, something she can always use. 

We heard from telephone company in the form of a check for $74.18.  It was from January 10 till April 30th.  We were surprised.  Dad said he hoped he could save it for you when you came home.  He cashed the check and it’s in Buhler bank now.  Tom was working on a switch engine when he wrote Sunday.  Works of a night.  I don’t think he will be married soon, of course I don’t know.  I hope he doesn’t do as Schuyler done, then don’t know if he wants to stay with his wife or not. 

You’ll have to write to Minnie and thank her for her cake, as she is kept busy same as you are.  Delores was sick again the first of the week.  Had fever 104.  I think it was tonsillitis, this from what Mrs. Sparks told me. 

Our corn is coming up and still more to plant.  Dad has most of manure hauled out.  He is doing very well for him I think.  Some one is pasturing the pasture south of us, so we have seven head of cattle pasturing on Mr. Nyborg.  He is high but so is cattle.  I’ll see what about a war clause in your Insurance policy.  We aren’t having too much rain for us, but it’s too cool yet for warm weather crops.  I have 15 little turks, eggs didn’t hatch good and something, a coyote I suppose, killed an old hen sitting on 17 eggs that would have hatched in a few days. 

Why don’t you send word to Josephine what your address is.  She is coming out there in June.  Guess you wouldn’t have time.  Are you tired of trying to read this?  I must mail it right away, aren’t you glad?  Good bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop. Have you gone to church since you’ve been in your new camp?

 

 

May 24, 1942: Mrs. John H. Moore to Ivan

Haven, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

We were glad to hear from you, and rather surprised that you are so far from home.  I imagine it is real nice up there.

John is so busy so I am writing this for him, hope it is satisfactory and that you will be able to get in what you would rather do.

The weather is quite cool here for this time of year but suppose it will change some of these days and will be plenty hot. 

Haven’t seen your folks for quite some time.  We are both about as well as usual, and Richards’ are pretty good too, only just now little John Richard has an awfully sore foot.  Stepped on something.  Glenn Van Buren was married the 16th to Betty McMullen.  I don’t guess you know her.  She is our mail man’s daughter.  Richards’ have moved over where Fred Laughlin lived, and that is going to be so much nicer for little John when he starts to school.  Plans on starting this fall.  Freds’ are living in the filling station on Cupp’s corner.  I guess it was there when you lived here.

Well Ivan I don’t believe I can think of anything more that would be of any interest to you, as I suppose your folks keep you pretty well posted on home news.  I hope you are all over your cold by this time.  I will close with best wishes,

Mrs. J. H. Moore. 

PS:  You sure have a plenty of address

 

May 24, 1942: To whom this may concern

Dear Sirs,

I have known Ivan Glenn Roberson eleven years.  He with his folks lived on an adjoining farm about five years.  During this time I hired him some to help me on the farm.  I found him to be a dependable boy, and unless he has changed in the last couple of years, I feel free to recommend him as a young man with good character.

Respectfully, John H. Moore

 

May 24, 1942: Tom to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Seligman, Arizona

Hello Ivan,

How are you and your girl or wife?  I’m

 

 

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working on a switch engine at Seligman.  I work from 11:59 pm to 8:00 am but we get some overtime.  The first day I made $12.00, worked 12(?) hours.  I get $6.95 for 8 hrs.  I sure see a lot of army trains go through.  I got a check of $53.19 the 21st.  I started to work at Ash Fork on the platform in May and only worked three days on the switch and got a check for $24.00 I got two checks totaling $53.19.  Lots of love, Thomas

 

May 27, 1942:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to get your letter.  I intended to answer yesterday but I didn’t get through my chores in time.  Dad got me 20 [200?] little red chicks Monday.  He gave 8 and a half cents for them.  I have 13 little turkeys too.  I don’t know how Tom and the draft is coming but I guess we will know before long.  Tuba’s address is Joe Tuba, Fort Orchard, Washington, Route #2, Box 342D.  Minnie called Josephine at the hospital and asked her their address.  Josephine can’t hardly wait till she can start out there to see her folks.  Ivan I am late today as usual but wanted this to go so will start it if it’s short.  I hope you are over your cold and feeling good.  I have a cold, makes me lazy.  Dad is about the same.  He has 14 little calves and is so proud of them.  The colts have growed a lot and are fat, you’d hardly know them.  New beds are fine, comfort a light blue, color of one of your shirts.  It’s new cotton so is nice and fluffy.  It’s ten after ten I’ll mail this if he isn’t gone.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

May 28th -- I missed carrier so will try again today.  It takes so long to get the chores done.  Old Roanie is a little better.  Dad had Knappenberger out yesterday.  He said it was impaction of the leuman, I don’t think that I spelled it right.  It is hot and dry here now.  I have 18 little turks now.  Well Ivan, I’ll stop and do better next time. Lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

May 27, 1942:  Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are OK here.  Everybody is just doing OK now.  Delores had tonsillitis last week but is fine now.

Edna, Irene and I went to cemetery this morning and cleared off the three lots, Roberson, Evans and Emery.  Am glad it is done.

Dad says you may be moved so I’m going to send these letters of recommendation by air mail.  Hope they are what you want.  Sorry so late with them.  I called Billingsly a week ago but he neglected to get it done.  It is just the close of school so he is quite busy.

Dad is getting his seed and is ready I guess to put in his feed.  He says he’s not supposed to sow it until June.  Guess he knows, I don’t. 

How is your cold?  Hope it is better.  I’ve had a cough but it is better.  Am glad you liked cake and cookies.  Guess we’ve been neglectful in not sending some oftener.

I got mother a seven quart canner for your present for her.  She mentioned several weeks ago how maybe she ought to get one as it took so much to start canning in the boiler.  It was $1.05 wholesale, last year I got one like it for 79 cents.  Things have raised in price.

All the girls and their families are OK. We were to Wilma’s Sunday evening and helped put linoleum down in the dining room.  She is having a sale the 20th.

Edna said Floyd Forney was there to see her this morning.  He went out and saw Wilma a few minutes.

I’d like you to see Beulah May’s present.  Bet she was proud of it.  Guess Odeta is sporting a diamond at least Wilma saw it.  She asked Odeta when the next one would be put on there and she said in July about the 9th.  Looks like we’re about to lose Tommy, doesn’t it? 

I expect I’d better sign off and go mail this.  Let me know soon as you can where you are moved to.  We all wish you the best of luck.  As to the air core I don’t think Mother objects much.  You do what you think best about it.  Good luck and best wishes, Your Sister, Minnie

 

May 27, 1942: Two Recommendations

To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that I have known Ivan Glenn Roberson for three and a half years and have always known him to be honest and upright in all his dealings.  I do not know of a young man in this neighborhood that I can recommend

 

 

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any higher.

D. J. Ward, Obeeville Service Stn(?), R. R. 4, Hutchinson, Kansas

======

To whom it may concern:

I am glad to recommend so fine a fellow as Ivan Glenn Roberson.  He is a hard and conscientious worker.  He is intelligent about his work.  Ivan is entirely dependable. One can count on his judgment and ability to carry through a responsibility.  I have known Ivan for a good many years and know him to be entirely trustworthy.

Sincerely, Will Billingsley, Former Superintendant of Schools

 

May 28, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  I hope all OK.  We are all well.  I’m enclosing a few pictures, one of a girl maybe you happen to know her. 

Roy is still working at the Collingwood sand pit, makes good money.  He brought Fred’s push plow home last evening and plowed my garden.  It sure needed it.  It is growing good only we sure need rain badly.  We have had such cool weather during April and May that the last few days have been hard to take.  It sure has been warm.  How is the weather where you are?

I was over to mother’s Sunday.  It sure beat all how fast her garden grows.  It’s twice as good as mine.  We went to Wilma’s in the evening.  Fred and Minnie, Violet, Clarence and all the little Evanses and Emerys were there and Fred and Roy and Clarence helped put linoleum on Wilma’s dining room floor.  They will have to go back and help her put one down in the kitchen yet.  She seems to be getting along fairly well considering.  She has a good big garden, hens setting and she plans to raise lots of chickens.  I think they will get along OK, providing they don’t sell off too much stuff in this sale. They have to pay up all the debt and settle estate.  Howard drives the car all the time.  He is a good and careful driver for no older than he is. 

We went to the cemetery (by we I mean Minnie, Edna, boys and myself and all the little ones) We took along a lawn mower and it sure was a lot easier to do than it had been.  It looks real nice.

They say Mrs. Charlie Evans is real sick.  We plan to go see her Decoration Day if we can.  I reckon mother told you Richard Evans was married a few weeks ago. 

All of Violet’s kids are feeling pretty good now and Junior gets around most everyplace on his feet and doesn’t talk much yet though.  Beth does, she says the most words.  “No! no!” seems to be her favorite when I tell her to do something.

I’ve a few flowers made for Decoration but not enough yet so I’ll have to get busy between now and then. 

Well I’d better close so I can get this in the mail.  I hope I got the right assortment of letters and numbers on the address.  I don’t see how they figure it all out.

Write when you can. Love, Roy, Irene and kids

PS:  That little picture was from Junior College graduates.  It was the prettiest girl on there.  I thought you might like to see it.  There is just something about her….

 

May 29, 1942:  Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you now?  Over that cold?  Mine is getting better.  Yes, that package I sent was the cake and cookies.  How long will you be there?  Let me know. If for awhile yet, I can mail another box if you care to add another pound or so.  Fred says it is just a lifetime on the hips.  Yes, I got your letter thanking us for the box, you’re surely welcome.  What kind of shape did they arrive in?

We’re having plenty of hot weather now, we’re wishing for rain.  Seems as though this wind has dried things so badly.

I saw Odeta’s ring last, no night before last.  They had a surprise on Mrs. Sparks Wednesday night.  It was her birthday.  Quite a few were there.  We got her a bed spread for her birthday.

Delores is fine now only I just put “hot stuff” on her fingers.  Yes, she still likes “to suck.”  She isn’t in very good humor right now. 

I went to Dr. Linscheid yesterday and had a tooth filled.  Evelyn had three filled.  She has five more to get filled.  Her six year molars

 

 

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are decayed a little bit.  I have at least two fillings that have come out.  I’m beginning to think Curtis isn’t so hot.  Juanita had hers cleaned yesterday.  She has eleven cavities to be filled.  Dr. said she lacked calcium.  She doesn’t drink milk as she should.  Delores has two little holes in hers.  He says with Evelyn and Delores they have such deep grooves in their teeth, easy for food to collect and decay. 

Say I never said anything about radiator, did I?  I said roadster, the whole thing.  Eddie Froese is in Wichita now, he may have changed his mind.  Tommy is making pretty good now, Dad says about $10 a day so at that rate he surely would buy himself a car and leave that coupe and your engine for Dad.  He’s never said anything about the car.  It would be foolish to drive it through from here there. 

Dad was just here, wanting to know if we were going tomorrow to cemetery.  I must make a bunch of flowers.  I haven’t made a one yet.  I must get busy.

Dad says he has some corn planted.  Sure is dry for anything though, hope it rains.  I must get to work, write when you can.  Those odd clippings that were in my last letter are what Delores cut out and had me put in.  She was sending them to Uncle Ivan. Lots of love, Fred and Minnie and girls

 

June 2, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letters, one yesterday and one Friday.  We had no mail Saturday.  I really intended to answer your letter and mail it in town as we went to the cemetery Saturday but I am so slow I didn’t get it done.  Yesterday morning we were a little late with the chores.  We had a nice shower Sunday night, first for some time.  The garden was getting real dry.  Old Roanie is well again.  She has a nice roan calf.  We had hoped it would be a heifer, but it wasn’t.  We have 14 calves in all and half are heifers.  Dad is listing corn, he has some ready to sled.  He will have to get his feed planted soon now.  Some hot days he couldn’t work too much but since the shower it’s been cooler.  Dad bought me 200 little red chickens week ago yesterday.  They are just fine so far. 

I’ll take care of your package of letters when they come.  I really don’t think any one ought to read them, not even me, so will put them away unopened.  Don’t never bother to send any of mine home.  I’ll just send you some more, ha ha.  I still have a few that Dad sent me over 40 years ago, but they are getting dim with age now. 

I haven’t been to town to get my dress yet, but will some day.  Now I am too old to be flattered but am glad our boy would like to take us places, see.  I hope to hear from Tommy today, it’s been several days since I’ve heard but I was slow in answering his letter.  I haven’t heard what class he will be in.  I don’t know his plans, but I told him I would like for him to tell us first.  I didn’t like to get all the news from [about?] him, from the Strawboard.  Maybe I was a little mean to tell him that. 

Schuyler and Ruth were here Sunday evening.  He has gone to Salina to work on a big army camp.  He will be gone three months. 

Well Ivan, I hope you are over your cold.  Mine is some better.  Fine time to have a cold in such warm weather.  I’ll stop and mail this, so maybe I won’t miss him.  I’ll write soon again.  Hope you got the letters of recommendations Minnie sent you.  Be a good boy and go to church when you can.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

June 2, 1942: Tom to Ivan

9:00 am

Dear Ivan,

I got your letter yesterday along with two of Odeta but I didn’t get any today from no one.  I don’t like night life very well.  I get sleepy about 3:00 am in the morning till six but I keep it hot pretty good and about enough water in it, sometimes too much water.  It is a lot of fun sitting on a seat doing very little just keeping a fire in the boiler to keep the steam up and keep water in it and watch out for anything to happen when we are going.  May 31 I doubled a day and worked 14 hr. too.  I got about $17.00 for that day one day I got a little over $24.00 I worked 15 hrs 45 minutes.  I go to work at 11:59 pm and if they call me before then I get paid another day and the overtime too.  I got called at 9:30 pm the other night and worked till 12:09 the next day but we put down that we started to work 10:00 pm.  Say I might get married the last of June.  I

 

 

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asked the feller over at the Round house about getting off June 21 and he said I probably could.  So I will go home the 21 of June if the army doesn’t call me before.  Yesterday I saw about 500 soldiers walking along the road and just before that I saw an empty troop train go by and stop at Seligman so I guess they let them out and walk for a ways.  Say has Carl ever paid you what he owes you yet?  Saxon told me when I was there that she had Carl to pay up all his debts so tell me.  I will get you paid off pretty soon if I still keep working and if Uncle Sam don’t want or need me. 

Well I had better write to Odeta.  I like the work fine but I don’t like the hoghead or the engineer very good at times.  I’m going to try to get the switch engine from 3:59 pm to 11:59 pm.  He is going to take the one day that one he always gets between 1 to 3 hours overtime that would be pretty good.  I figured up and I will get about $153.00 clear this half.  I had to buy a watch and I paid $56.00 for it.  They take out $10.00 for it and other fees, but I done taken out them and still leaving me $153.60.  After I pay off my debts I have after I come out there and I want to send mother $10.00 and Carl $10.00 and I owe a café $11.10 before I started to work.  I get a room for $2.50 a week.  After I pay everything I will have about $75.00 clear money to go home on and come back with.  It hasn’t rained here since I came here to work.  It sure gets cold at nights and stays cool during the daytime too.  But the country isn’t very pretty, just mountainous.  Well be good write soon.

Your Brother, Thomas F. Roberson

 

June 6, 1942: Florence to Ivan

==POST CARD==

1111 Filbert Street, Oakland, California

Dear Ivan,

Wrote to you sometime ago after being in Kansas but guess you didn’t receive my card.  Got your new address from John so thought I would drop you a line.  How do you like Washington?  I have a cousin in Puyallup and she likes it up there.  Uncle Abe is getting a week’s vacation the first week of August and if you are still at Ft. Lewis we are thinking of coming to see you.  Would like to hear from you.  John expects to be called by Fall.  Wrote your mother last week but haven’t had an answer yet.  My chum’s nephew is at Ft. Lewis, his name is Ralph Glashoff.  I think he’s in the 185 – do you happen to know him?  Think he is doing office work there.  Hope you are keeping well and will write soon. With love, Aunt Florence and Uncle Abe

 

June 6, 1942: Tom to his Parents

[more likely July 6, 1942]

Lottie Jane sent this letter to Ivan along with her letter to him of July 11, 1942.

Dear Mother and Dad,

How are you by now?  I got a letter from Pearl today and already answered it.  I also got two letters from Odeta.  She told me she heard that I keep company with Pearl.  The Sunday I was home I didn’t tell her that some one must did.  Well I don’t care.  Pearl told me she got heck for going with me.  She said she didn’t care and would do it again if she had a chance but don’t tell everybody about that. 

Well I got paid today for the month.  I got $210.68.  They didn’t pay me enough.  I figured it up and I got $223.58 so I’m going to send in my time and find out why.  I paid my eats; it came to $8.25.  I figured it to $8.15 but I might left out something.  I got to pay my room rent.  Then I will keep back a little to eat on at night and send the rest home.  Say when is my life insurance due?  It will be soon, won’t it? 

I got a card from Violet and they are all right.  I haven’t written to Edna or Wilma yet but will you send me Wilma’s address?  I guess I left it at home.  Thanks for sending the pictures.  That is all I want I think that was also of them anyway.  I haven’t got a card yet to go take my exams yet. 

The doctor over here got word not to send any more screen tests.  It is blood test to Flagstaff till he is notified so it will be for a while yet. 

I forgot to tell you I got $88.18 this check.  I lost three days on this half.  I will get a better one the next half.  I guess I had better write to Carl some day.  He hasn’t come over to see me yet and hasn’t written either. 

Say Mother, about me going to Church.  Sometimes we don’t get off soon enough and at night I got to sleep a little from 9:00 to 11:00 or I will go to sleep at night when I work.  I get sleep and go to sleep sometimes.  All I do is set

 

 

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and work firing the valve with one hand and put in water with the other so I get plenty sleepy doing not much of nothing.  I went to the show Saturday night but we got off early and I got enough sleep but still I got sleepy on the engine.  But I will try and so some time. 

I told Odeta I went with Pearl and she told me what we had done, the past history and a lot of stuff.  She said that if I wanted to go with the other girl that we would break up and wouldn’t go together again.  I don’t know what to do, do you Momie?  Will write soon.

Your son, Love, Thomas F. Roberson

I paid room up today, $10.00.  I will keep $6 and send $63.00 home.  Pay life insurance if close, if not keep the three dollars and put the rest into the bank.

 

June 7, 1942: John to Ivan

==POST CARD==

571 Warren Avenue

San Leandro, California

Dear Ivan,

As I had an accident this week and broke my thumb, Aunt Florence is writing to you for me.  Had hoped we might see you as you passed here on your way north.  What rank do you hold now?  I will soon be inducted and what line do you think would be the best for advancement?  Do they still have reveille?  I am working six days a week now.  Have you heard from Tommy or Carl lately?  Would like to hear from you sometime.  I’m down to Aunt Florence’s today.  Uncle Abe is pretty tired tonight for he is working seven days a week now.  With love, John

 

June 8, 1942:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

==POST CARD==

June 6, 1942

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter yesterday.  I also got one from Tom, he is in class I. 

June 8 -- I took too much time writing to Tom, so I didn’t have this written when carrier came.  I was trying to tell Tom how foolish I thought it was of him to be married before he went into training.  Somehow I can’t feel it is best for either of them.  He says Odeta wants them to be married before he goes.  I hear some of the girls in town are marrying the boys before they leave just to get their insurance, if they never came back.  Tom is planning on coming home June 21st to be married.  It isn’t the best I don’t think.  But I know he won’t care what we think. 

I told Alice to have your address changed on your papers and she will.  You ought to have told me sooner.  I hope your cold is better, I feel some better but I am worried over Tom.  We had a big rain yesterday morning so we will set out plants today.  I’ll write again soon so be a good boy. Goodbye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

June 9, 1942: Tom to his Parents

Dear Mother and Dad,

I’m sure glad to get the new paper clippings.  I got paper to fill out to be deferred.  I had to send them to the superintendant but I don’t know if he will fill them out or not. 

Mother I think you are right about getting married.  I will send the clippings to Odeta.  But what will I do? I told her that we would get married when I got back.  Say, do you know if she meant it about the ring in my nose leading me around?  If she did it will be too bad, I think. I know Fred would tell the truth but she might be joking.  She is the one that mentioned the rings and about getting married.  Well I will write and tell her not to do any more planning till I get back.  I’m not for sure I can get off or not.

Mother you haven’t said anything to make me mad at you. I just didn’t have anything to write about or you didn’t write so I could answer your letters.  I try to answer all the letters.  I got a card from Mrs. L.L. Laham thanking me for the $10.00 I sent them for lettering me stay there, they already had $15.00 I left there. 

Well Mother and Dad I feel fine and like my job all right but we haven’t put in much overtime yet this half.  This morning we worked till 9:09 am without anything to eat but I don’t get hungry on the job.  The engineer is the only one that does any work. 

If you told Edna to plan anything to me getting married, tell her not to.  I believe I can get off, I hope so.  Tell me if you got a letter

 

 

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with $25.00 in it.  I sent it Saturday afternoon and I didn’t register it so I hope it got there all right.  I sent Carl $10.00 too I haven’t heard if he got it or not.

Say about me getting married I don’t think I will if I can get out of it till I get back from the army. She is trying to whip me around her little finger I think, but I’m not married to her yet. 

Well there sure a lot of business on the railroad.  They come in from Winslow and send them back before or right on their rest.  They have to have 8 hours rest before they can go back.  The 3.59 switch engine it works till 11:59 but it got over 6 hours overtime last night.  Well it is all the news now write soon and tell me all that you hear. Your Son, Love, Thomas F. Roberson

 

June 10, 1943: Ivan to Parents and Family

Thursday night

Dear Dad, Mom and Family: 

How are you doing these lovely June days?  I am getting along just fine and I sure hope you are too.  The weather here now is typical Hawaiian weather.  Winds from the east and showers most every day of some sort.  About the most it ever rains is to settle the dust and get one wet so the sunshine can show how quick it dries things out. 

I received your V letter of the 2nd yesterday and also V letter from Minnie wrote the 1st.  Say Mom, Minnie doesn't think I have much tact when it comes to talking about you and Dad working too hard, but then anyone ought to know I'd have to get information from somewhere even though it is from my sisters, don't you think?  Now I don't worry much about you working too hard.  But then, Mom and Dad, as long as you have been around you ought to know enough to take it easy.  I know too you think it is your duty to work as hard as possible in times like these.  I also believe it is your duty to take it easy and be well because one hasn't accomplished much if one works themselves sick.  Then too, if you never work anymore I am sure you have done more than your share to make this world a better place to live in.  I am sure glad the mail service is getting better.

I am glad Mr. Unruh is working at telephone office and likes his job.  I hope, even though they put out a lot of soft soap about me. I get the church papers OK.  It was nice that you got to see a lot of people Decoration Day and that everything was in fine shape.  I'll be glad when I get knife and watch.  You hadn't mentioned them for a while and I thought you might have forgotten them, but it would be hard to forget them when I mention them most all the time and you don't forget anyway.

I just got through seeing the show at our battery, "The Stage Door Canteen."  It was a picture where most of all the stars played in it.  The story in it was supposed to represent the things that take place at large USO's.  It had music in it by all of the leading bands and the show itself was one of the best I have seen on the island.  I wonder if they have a USO in Hutch?

It has been windy tonight and rainy but tomorrow will be a sunny day.  Well hope all are getting along fine at home.  Lots of love, Ivan. 

PS:  I don't remember which one of sisters that talk about you working too hard Mom and Pop. 

 

June 11, 1942:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I’ve been so glad to read all your letters, and I’ll begin and try and do better in answering them from now on.  I’ve been so worried about Thomas that I couldn’t write if I had tried.  I haven’t heard from him since my first letter, asking him to wait till the war was over to be married.  I just can’t see it any other way, but that it would be best to wait.  But I don’t think it will do a bit of good for me to ask him, but I feel like it was my duty to ask him anyway. 

The first of the week has been cloudy and rainy so Dad set out plants.  Minnie and Irene came over and helped two forenoons.  I’ve not been much good to work lately but help a little.  Dad said he would never have got them out if it hadn’t been for the girls.  Minnie bought 140 plants and set out too.  I think they will have a fine patch but I guess they will have to help pick them too if there is any.  The evening of the 9th of June Irenes’, Minnie and girls, Edna’s, and Violet’s came over and made ice cream.  They sure surprised us.  We had been married 41 years the 9th of June.  Wish you could have been

 

 

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with us too.

Irene read your letters.  She said you were such a good writer, you describe everything so plain, that you ought to be a writer when you are through there.  Has Josephine got out there yet?  She is slimmer than when you left I think.  She is a good whistler.  She has whistled at church several times lately. 

I missed the carrier and this is Friday morning [June 12]. 

We had a wind and rain storm about 6 am.  It blowed over some trees and limbs and tops out of them north of the house.  They made a hole in roof and broke a window pane and a hole in the siding, west side.  Our little catalpa in the front yard is flat, it was so pretty covered with flowers.  The tower of wind mill is leaning and wheel bent.  We are thankful we are as well off as we are.  Minnie and Fred were over right afterward to see how we were.  Preacher was here too.  It blowed the front from Ward’s store, but they say it was worse east of here. 

I heard from Tom yesterday and he thinks I am right about him not getting married till the war is over.  He said it was Odeta’s idea.  But how was he to get out of it, if he come back?  Oh, I’ll be so glad if it’s put off.  Ivan excuse this and I’ll write soon again and answer all your questions.  Lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

June 11, 1942: Tommy to his Parents

This letter was included with the letter Lottie Jane sent to Ivan on June 18, 1942. 

Dear Mother and Dad,

How are you by now?  When I was at work I got a special delivery letter from Odeta telling me that Minnie and Irene was there to talk her out of getting married.  Well they didn’t do it so I’m sending a letter that will probably break her heart but I can’t help it.  Well Mother I’m not going to get married till I come back from the army so don’t need to worry about it any more will you not. 

I got two letters yesterday, one from Minnie and other from Irene.  They sure can write long letters when they want to.  Minnie wrote 5 sheets on both sides and Irene 7.  So Irene can write the longest letter.  I was sure glad to get the news if you call it that.  I didn’t know that Lucy had to come home from Chitwoods to get Odeta supper but that is what Minnie told me.  And I didn’t know that she hasn’t been looking neat at church either.  I don’t know what has come over her, but I guess she don’t care because she thought she had me, but she hasn’t yet.  She is the one that wanted the rings so I sent her the money.  I should have sent it to you and Dad than her. 

Well Mother I can’t get deferred because I haven’t been working long enough but Carl will if he has to be deferred.  I will send you the letter I got from the superintendant.  Well Mother that money I sent you keep it for what I borrowed from you. 

I wrote to the crew dispatcher at Winslow to see if I can get off.  I think I will write to the superintendant to see if I can fill out my release papers before I go home if I get off.  Then I can stay home till they call me or till I enlist. 

Well Mother I’m in the money again I worked 13 hours 45 minutes yesterday and made $14.66.  Today I made $13.44 not bad but it won’t last long, I don’t think. I mean over time. 

It is warming up here a little but it still gets cool at night when working.  I don’t get so sleep anymore at nights as I did.  Have you heard from Ivan lately?  Tell him to write to me, I won’t bite him.  Say, about hearing from you, I would rather hear from you than anybody so write when you can and have time.  It is 2:00pm and I should be asleep but I had to answer your letter.  I haven’t heard from Carl yet if he got my $10 or not.  I will tomorrow I hope.  I hope you can make out what I have written.  I’m in a hurry to get it mailed so you can get it sooner. 

Say, tell Dad to ask Carl Hismen (sp?) if he can come over to [woneway?] the ground for you.  I will pay him for it and Dad can get it planted quicker if you do it before I get back.  I will if you don’t have it all listed so do it will you.  Well Mother I feel fine today.  Yesterday I had a headache after I got off work.  Will write soon. Love, Thomas F. Roberson

 

June 18, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I’ll bet you think I’ve forgotten I have a nice little boy like you.  Well I’ve been surprised.  Carl, Saxon and Tom came to see us Saturday and left for home just before noon

 

 

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Wednesday.  It seemed like I couldn’t find time to write.  It rained most ever night and was cloudy most of the time they were here.  Tuesday it rained hard part of the day, and was so dark we had to light the lamp.  We got your letter and they were all glad to read it. 

Thomas has decided to wait to be married till the war was over.  He thought it best, as he wasn’t much enthused about being married anyway.  I don’t believe he cares enough for her to be married now.  He took Pearl to a show Monday night.  Virgil went with them too.  He said it was Odeta’s idea about being married so soon.  It rained last night and is dark and cloudy now. 

We all, except Tommy, went to Wilma’s sale.  It amounted to over 2,000 dollars so she will have a little left after the debts are paid. 

We have a little of the trees cleaned up around the house.  The wheel of the windmill was bent till it’s about ruined.  It blowed a big tree on Clinton’s milk house and broke the roof through.  Had to build it all over, the walls too.  The storm sure ruined things where it went. 

The children were all here Tuesday night except Schuyler’s, and Virgil and Clarence they had to work.  The children made four gallons of ice cream. 

Tom said for you to write to him.  I sure didn’t like to see him leave again, but of course did say so.  Ivan I’ll write again soon.  I sure thank you for the pictures of the mountains.  I know it is pretty and the flowers too.  Carl and Saxon visited with the manager of the hotel.  They knew him in the West.  Carl also saw a boy by the name of Davis that used to work here with Carl.  He is fireing in Arizona someplace.  Came home to see his father who is sick.  Did you get to see Josephine?  It’s late, so good-bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

June 18, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  I’m feeling better now.  I either strained muscle, broke, cracked a rib or something.  It sure has hurt to breathe and on top of that I’ve had bronchial cough.  Got medicine from Doctor for that but my side sure hurt anyway.  He listened to my chest but I didn’t suspect it was something from outside causing trouble.  Mother said, way I described, way it hurt and all, acted like rib injured some way.  Week ago yesterday I did try to heave Roy Emery’s trailer around.  It was on back of Violet’s car, she went to Coberly pasture to get wood.  The gate was padlocked so we tried to turn around in middle of road.  Trailer was too long and road shoulders too soft.  Irene and I lifted to see if we could slide trailer over. It wouldn’t work.  We went on farther north, then uncoupled trailer and turned it around. 

I expect Mother told you Carl and Saxon and Tommy came in Saturday.  We had a nice visit with them.  Ivan, how much money did Carl owe you?  He borrowed money so he could come home.  Making $300 almost every month, he’s doing swell.  I asked Carl about the $5 that mother paid for him at Haven.  He said he didn’t know a thing about it but would pay it.  He said he’d taken care of Saxon’s folks last six months.  Anyhow due to them he was plain “broke.”  I told him when he did get some money to pay folks on what he’d borrowed from me, if he’d send it to me I’d see it was used for Mother’s medicine instead of cow and chicken feed. 

Mother should go to Doctor and get check up.  Her right leg has hurt her last month an awful lot.  Don’t know if it is arthritis or those veins causing trouble.  I got her medicine for her last week.  She thinks she is some better.  She has had that breaking out all over her neck too. If it doesn’t get better soon I’m going to just take her to doctor.  Carl says since he has helped Saxon’s folks she won’t have any objections when he helps his. 

Burns one down though to hear how they live.  $36 for house rent for a month, $72 for groceries, she has new ice box, washing machine, [she got a] new fur coat from “Pop,” as she calls Carl, for Christmas.  He still owes 9 payments on his car. 

Tommy can sure tell you some things that make you open your eyes.  Figured they got along swell but they don’t too well.  Anyway Carl went to see Tommy one morning with his lip swollen.  Two times Tommy knows Saxon broke bunch of dishes, one time just threw them on the floor other time she tipped table.  What a life!  Fred and I have our disagreements but never anything like that.

Tommy saw Odeta Sunday and Tuesday

 

 

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night while he was here.  He went with Pearl Nyborg on Monday night.  Guess Carl Hyson sure was peeved.  He was with her last night.  She told Tommy if he’d write first she’d write to him.  Don’t sound like he cares too much for Odeta.  He told us here that it was Odeta that wrote and wanted to get married.  He said he never did just love her, he guessed he felt sorry for her.  He’d better watch and keep eyes open after this.

Wilma had her sale Monday.  It was $26 and something.  It will leave her some in bank after debts are paid. 

Clarence is still working on elevators.  He got mad at Day boss and quit.  Time keeper came out and asked him to work at night, so he went back to work. 

Carl and Saxon are trying to adopt a baby.  They have their bid in Arizona but maybe will have to wait two years before they get their order filled.  Fred says he thought Carl was better man than that, but guess it is Saxon.  She’s had some x-rays taken she told Edna.  But Dr. hasn’t told her yet what he found out. 

Did you say it rained there?  Sure does here.  Has rained last week about every day, even had fire in heater other day.

Irene and I went to Mother’s and cleaned up her house before the kids got there.  She’d had chickens in bedroom, we scrubbed, etc.  Carl and Saxon brought their family, two dogs, with them.  Sunday evening Saxon put big teaspoonful of ice cream on floor for each dog.  Kitchen had grease all over it where dogs carried bones.  I’m sure Mother hopes they bring baby next time and leave dogs at home. 

Tommy said Carl got too much beer one night.  He played nickel punch board, used $5.  He told Saxon he loaned it to Tommy.  Tommy says how will I ever make that right with Saxon?  He sure thinks it is limit.   Carl isn’t home but 10 nights a month.  Looks like they ought to get along swell those few days they are together. 

Delores has some “infatigo” on her nose.  It is getting better.  Clarice had some about two weeks ago, it hasn’t healed a great lot.  Am afraid Violet doesn’t take scab off.

Carl Evans is at Camp Berkley, Texas.  He said he’d heard his division might go to Texas, he hopes so as it is too hot there.  Draft board here told Tommy if he could work about six months before his number was called he’d be deferred.  He’s afraid he won’t have such good luck. 

Our gardens all look sick, wind last week about wrecked things.  I won’t have any beans to can.  Hope my tomatoes decide to make some.  They are setting on some now. 

I’d better mail this, write when you can.

Lots of love, Minnie

 

June 22, 1942: Tom to Ivan

Seligman, Arizona

Dear Ivan,

How are you and the girls getting along by now?  I guess you know that Carl and Saxon and me went home the 12th and stayed till Wednesday morning.  Well I saw your girl Beulah May Sunday night.  Monday night I asked Pearl for a date and we and Virgil went to the Fox.  It only cost 30 cents now, not bad.  The show was the Jungle Book.  It was sure a good show.  Pearl told me when I decided to get married to tell her about it.  I ask her if she would write to me and she said she would if I would write first so I wrote her a card.  I guess Carl H. was sure mad at me for going with her but I can’t help that.  Carl H. got deferred till December.  When they call me I’m going to find out why.  I ask Pearl how her and Carl were getting along and she said the same as always. 

Say I’m sending home $75.00 for mother to put in the bank.  I told her to put $25.00 of it on your account.  Say what about your motor and tires, do you want me to pay you for them or what?  If it is all the same to you I will trade cars with you. 

Write and tell me the news.  I talked with the Draft Board and they said I would be called till August sometime.  Well be good.  Say I bought a radio in Winslow so I don’t get so lonesome.  When I go to camp I will let Mother and Dad have it. Your brother, Thomas F. Roberson

 

June 23, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to hear from you yesterday and will try and answer in the morning.  Tom is back in Seligman working, he

 

 

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wrote the 19th.  Rev. Sparks’ address is Route 4, same as ours.  Do you get your church papers?  Dad has straightened up the tower of windmill and has about got the fans and vane fixed.  It’s been too wet we haven’t the feed sowed.  We are all OK, far as I know.  It didn’t rain last night but there is a cloud in the west now.  The corn looks good.  Calves are fine, we feed milk to 11 of them.  I’ll send your insurance money soon.  Edna and Violet were home Sunday.  Dad says thanks for your gift but he wants you to have something to come home to that’s your own.  Time’s up so good-bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

June 23, 1942 : Violet and Family to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Brother,

I expect you think we’re [no] good for not writing sooner.  Seems like something always happens that keeps me from writing.

It’s bedtime now and Junior is saying Mama.  He’s ready for bed but thinks I should take care of him instead of Juanita.  Clarice has her feet washed and is ready for her sleepers.  Clarence is asleep and Lottie Grace is sitting up in bed to write to you.  Clarence has been so tired lately – can’t seem to get rested, so he goes to bed as soon as possible.

Do you have wind much there?  We had a wind storm and hail here around two weeks ago.  We have some large cottonwood trees close to the west side of the house.  A big part of the branches were broken off, tearing several holes in the roof of the house.  I had a dandy garden with over 1,000 tomatoes setting on.  The hail, the same as cleaned the patch.  The toilet was laid flat.  Boards scattered over quite an area.

They couldn’t get anyone to fix the roof for about a week and it rained and really poured in – so we had to move things out of our middle room on the west where the roof leaked.  That part of the roof is fixed now.  We replanted tomato plants again. 

Minnie told me yesterday that Marie and Everett Willison had four acres of beets, tomatoes and watermelons and the hail cleaned it all .  With her expecting it was quite a shock, I expect. 

Sunday morning we got up – our kitchen chimney was gone and our road blocked.  Some more branches broken off.  They traveled over the house to land in the drive.  They just missed our heifer calf that was tied to the fence.  So we were lucky again.  Our roof was damaged some and the kitchen leaked like a sieve.  Anyway, we are to have a new kitchen roof I guess tomorrow, also a chimney.  We have been cooking on the heating stove. 

Almost every night it rains and sometimes in the daytime.  It makes me think of Missouri.

Thursday a.m. -- Got too sleepy to finish this the other night and the mail man went too soon for me yesterday.  We got up late for us.  It had rained and C.D. could not harvest.  He is to help Leland Robinson. 

Sunday we got the road cleared about eleven and then came in the house and a big patch of plaster fell in the dining room.  The water about ruined things.  They never got the things done they intended to do yesterday so we’re still cooking on the heating stove. 

We have been digging our potatoes.  They say they will rot or take second growth now, it has rained so much.  We have dug 7 bushels so far. 

I must get to work.  The sun is shining so C.D. will harvest this p.m., I guess.  Seems good to see the sun again.

Howard Rowland was just here to see if C.D. could list for them today.  The watermelons on them were hailed out and they want to list it to corn. 

Minnie has been almost in bed with a cold – and complications – sinuses, etc.  She felt better, she said, the last time I saw her.

C.D. went over to the folks’ yesterday p.m.  (when Leland couldn’t harvest) to trim up wood.  Dad had so many trees blown down and he’s needing to plant feed and some are on his feed ground.

The babies (Clarice and Junior) are up so must dress and feed them.  The mail has gone today.  So will send this as soon as possible.

Take care of yourself and write often.  We really enjoy your letters you send to the folks. Love, Clarence, Violet and family

In the envelope were also two letters from Clarice.  Both of them have “Dear Uncle Ivan” and one of them “How are you?  I am just fine”

 

 

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 in an unsteady hand, followed by scribbles.  Violet wrote on the bottom of one of them, “From Clarice.  She says she wants to send you two letters.” There was also this letter from Lottie Grace:

Hutchinson, Kansas

June 23, 1942

Dear Uncle Ivan,

How are you?  I am just fine.  Well I thought I would write you a line or two.  It is time for me to go to bed.  Daddy went to Grandmother R to cut wood.  We have two little kittens and the Mother cat.  Well I must close, Love, Lottie Grace

There was also this longer letter from Juanita:

June 25, 1942

Hutchinson, Kansas, RR 4

Dear Uncle Ivan,

The sun is shining for the first time in a long while. 

Daddy went to town today.  This afternoon he will start to harvest.

I started a dress at school in homemaking.  Then I was sick.  I didn’t get to get my dress till a while back.  Then we didn’t have a sewing machine.  We got one from Mrs. Cannon about a month ago.  I have to put collar zipper and hem in my dress.  Then I will be done with it.

A couple of weeks ago Daddy brought home an electric iron.  Us kids were over to Oswalts.  Well it was the night of Grandpa and Grandma’s wedding anniversary.  We didn’t know we were going to Grandma’s.  Us kids were over there.  Mother came after us.  She said we were going to Grandma’s.  We came home and ate supper.  Then Daddy got the iron.  Were we surprised!

Then we went to Grandma’s and made ice cream.

We were trying to get this off before the mailman came.  We didn’t quite make it so will send this tomorrow. Well I must close.  Please write soon. With lots of love, Your niece, Juanita

 

June 25, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I feel like I’ve neglected writing to you but we’ve been too busy writing to Tommy.  Changing his mind about marriage  [Toj?] it all off.  He said he just felt sorry for the girl, didn’t really love her so he didn’t feel a bit bad about postponing the wedding till after the war is over.  Then he will probably marry someone else. 

I reckon you have probably heard about Carl and Saxon and Tommy coming home.  We had a good time visiting.  Then last Saturday noon Roy called and wanted to know if I wanted to go to Oklahoma to see his mother.  Minnie came and helped me and we went.  Came back Sunday afternoon.  We got more acquainted with Art’s wife Helen and got to see Roy’s sister Pearl’s husband.  She married Thurman Sharrock and he works in the Pillsbury Flour Mill in Enid.  They and Art live in Enid.

From what I see of some of this married life you should thank your lucky stars you are in the army.  Almost everything Art’s wife asked him to do, he jumped right up and did it.  They stayed all night at Roy’s Mother’s Saturday night.  The next morning when we were ready to go he came out where her night clothes draped over his arm carrying them to the car.  It looks like she would have done it.  She seems quite a bit older than him too.

Too they have a dog that they hold, let lick their faces, make over it.  Guess I shouldn’t mind, Carl and Saxon brought two dogs back with them.  One was a Toy Spitz, a pretty thing all long hair and white.  But those dogs ate out of the dishes, chewed chicken bones on the floor.  Guess we shouldn’t mind but I like dogs all right when they are in their places.  Carl and Saxon are thinking about adopting a baby, might be a good thing.  Carl looked so tired and worn out all the time he was here.  No wonder.  Saxon’s folks have lived with them for a while.  They fight all the time making Saxon nervous and in general they had a time getting along.  I guess they aren’t there now so they should get along better. 

I saw Josephine Tuba the other day and she said you have grown about two or three inches, also you wanted pictures.  It’s a shame we haven’t sent any to you but I haven’t taken a picture of these kids all summer.  When I do I’ll send the first ones to you.  I’ll get that done as soon as I can.

Oh yes, we have a new member of the family:  a white rabbit with pink eye.  Roy

 

 

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brought the kids some sand so they have a sand pile. 

Schuyler and Ruth traded the old car for another, a special deluxe or something Hudson.  It’s a big green car.   Sure pretty thing, lots of room, big enough for a family if they have one.

Violet says they can take a shower in their kitchen.  That first storm we had blew all the limbs off the tree at their house and carried the toilet clean away.  Then they had more wind and hail that took the chimney and a lot of the roof.  So they have about decided that the landlord could either fix it or they could move.

This is the first clear sunshiny day we’ve had for a long while.  The wind is blowing though.  I hope it doesn’t blow up more rain.  The paper said the farmers would harvest more ducks this harvest than wheat, it is so wet.  Eddie Fraese when he was getting his thing ready to go help harvest was going to take his gun, rod and reel, all proper equipment this summer.  It has rained every day for almost two weeks.  We had the wettest year for a long time. 

Well I guess I’d better close and get some more letter writing done.  I owe Carl and Tom a letter yet.  Well take care of yourself and write when you can.  I’ll try not to make it so long between letters next time. Love, Roy, Irene and kids.  PS:  If you add any more numbers to your address let me know!

 

June 26, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

Guess you think I’ve been taking my vacation, as I’ve been so slow to answer your letters.  Well I’ve been awful slow, but was so glad to get your letters and will try to do better next time.  We hope this finds you well and having a good time.  I am glad you got to visit at Tuba’s.  Did you send them a “Bread and Butter” letter afterward, telling them you enjoyed visiting with them?  What kind of a church do they go to out there?  I would sure love to see the trees and flowers out there. 

I’ve not seen Josephine since she came back.  But she told someone that it seemed like you had grown taller since you left, that you really didn’t look heavier than you were when you left.  Can’t you have a picture taken? We all would like to see how our boy looks. 

Tom has decided not to be married till the war is over.  Now you are older than Tom and I think I would be OK if you wanted to get married.  I don’t think Tom even thought enough of Odeta to be married to her.  He may not be so easily influenced when he is a little older.  I believe Odeta is a good girl and that Lucy, Ralph’s wife, was planning for her.  Lucy told Minnie that Beulah May’s mother and sister were trying to break you kids up, as Beulah May’s older sister was an old maid, because she loved a soldier boy that never came back, or didn’t marry her anyway.  Her mother didn’t want another old maid in the family.  Minnie thinks B.M. a fine girl. 

Rev. Sparks’ address is R #4, same as ours.  I told you on a card the other day, hope you got it.  Tom sent $80.00 to put in the bank.  $25.00 of it he had put to your account.  And thanks for the loan.  Well Ivan I’ll try and write again soon. Lots of love, Mom & Pop

 

June 29, 1942: Florence to Ivan

==POST CARD==

1111 Filbert Street, Oakland, California

[Postmarked July 3, 1942]

Dear Ivan,

So glad to get your letter.  Would like to hear from you again soon and know if there is a possibility of you still being at Ft Lewis the 1st of August.  Uncle Abe will have to put in for our pass from Portland, Oregon, and we sure would like to see you.  John received your letter and I think will have the splint off his finer this week and then he can write to you.  Haven’t heard from Kansas for a month but guess they are all OK just busy.  Let us hear from you again soon. With love, Aunt Florence

 

June 29, 1942: Tom to Ivan

Seligman, Arizona

Dear Ivan,

I’m feeling fine and like my work all right at times but sometimes I get mad at the engineer but I don’t say anything.  I worked one hour and ten minutes overtime this morning. 

I wish you could have gone too.  I would have had a better time coming back on the bus than with Carl and Saxon.  The first night we stopped Carl went and bought a pint of whiskey.  He said he was nervous and wanted

 

 

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something to quiet his nerves.  So I guess they both killed it before morning. 

Well everything looked good at home.  Your horse is about as big as mine is now.  They are both fat and slick.  The calves sure look good too.  Dad’s weed poison is lots better and he feels better than he did last year.  The crops look good but he has the big field to put out yet and over the hill and the orchard yet to put out.,  I wanted him to hire someone with a tractor to [oneway?] it but he said he could go it.  Minnie told me Mother was sick and wanted to know if I would come home to help if I could get deferred and I told her I would it didn’t make much difference what I did. 

Say about the draft I plan to get in some other part than just be drafted in the army but I want to stay here long as I can and make all the money I can.  Last check I sent home was $80.00 so they could put it in the bank.  I told Mother to put $25.00 on your account and take out what I owed them and put the rest in my name.  I plan to send home $75.00 the 6th of July. 

Say, about Beulah May, she showed me you pen and pencil set and she seemed to be thrilled over them.  I asked her if she had heard from you and she said a couple of days ago.  I guess she still likes you but her sister is there and she doesn’t want B. May to have a boyfriend till she does.  Say about me getting married I am not for a long time and I don’t suppose I will ever marry Odeta either.  She will have to change a lot.  Irene said she saw Pearl and she said that she was going to write but I haven’t heard yet.  I guess Carl H. thinks he owns Pearl but he will find out different someday I hope.  Did I tell you Carl H. got deferred till December? His mother told the board that he owned all the equipment.  When I go back I’m going to find out if he does or not.  I ask Pearl how her and Carl H. were getting along and she said the same as they always were. 

Say about the cars.  They both run but the Roster doesn’t have the papers straightened up on it yet.  What I meant is that you have your motor and tires on my car so I thought you can have it and I will take the Roster when we get out of the service.  As far as going any thing with rather I wouldn’t sell them or anything like that.  I will never need a car [eathes?]. 

When I was back Virgil wanted to know if he could have one of them to run around with so if it is all right with you when I go home I will try to get the papers straightened up on the Roster and let him run it if his folks don’t care.

Your brother, Thomas F. Roberson

 

June 30, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter yesterday and to know that you were OK.  It was the one you wrote June 25th.  We never have gotten the letter you sent $11.00 in yet.  We’ve taken care of the insurance, so don’t worry about it, and maybe the other letter will come sometime. 

We are having weather like you are having, it’s hard on farm work and harvest too.  Well it’s so good of you for us to be your dependents, and we sure thank you so much.  How much you will never know.  You’ve always been such a good boy to us and we appreciate it too. 

Dad has the wind mill ready to put up now.  Roy came over the other evening and helped him put up the vane and wanted to help with the wheel, but Dad was tired and didn’t do it.  Dad thanks you a lot for your Father’s Day gift, but says he wants you to have something to come back for, so is keeping it for you.  He likes the Animal so well I expect he wants to keep him another year.  He hasn’t said for sure.

I didn’t like the way Carl looked when home and he didn’t seem to have the pep he used to have.  He drinks quite a bit of beer and even keeps it in ice box at home.  I’m sure it’s one cause of his looks.  Ivan please don’t learn to drink the stuff, or have I asked too late?  He, Carl I mean, smokes a lot now and I just wonder what will be the outcome.  If he would only go to church and learn how was the way to live I’d be so glad. 

Wilma and the children were over Sunday.  They are all fairly good.  Ivan, this is John’s birthday.  I must stop and mail this and try to do better next time.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

 

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July 3, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to hear from you yesterday, and to know that you were OK.  It was the letter you wrote Sunday afternoon the 25th of June.  The letter that you sent the $11.00 in hasn’t arrived yet.  But don’t worry about it.  I sent the insurance money anyway.  It’s so kind and thoughtful of you to have us for your dependents.  I told Dad you didn’t want him to work so much.  He said, with his boys in the army, he was going to do all he could too to help. 

We milk ten cows, but we rather enjoy it.  Dad feeds them ground barley and they have gained a lot in weight.  Dad had put two calves on Snowball as she milked so hard.  Well Wilma wanted a cow to milk if we could spare one so Dad let her have Snowball.  It would make one less on the pasture too.  Dad told her she milked hard but she took her anyway.  All the cows milk easy only Spot and our red heifer.  It makes milking an easier job too.  Minnie took 9 of the calves’ pictures not long ago so she could send you one if they were good. 

Wish I could have been with you to see Mt. Rainier.  I know it was beautiful to look at.  You are moving, so you can tell us about your new country.  Is it where Schuyler was picking apples?  I haven’t heard from Tom all week, hope I’ll hear today.  I don’t think he cared enough for Odeta to be married right away.  He said, he just felt sorry for her.  Dad is sledding corn today.*  I hear a Bob White near here and another one farther away answering him, as I write.  So many birds are singing this morning and each one is trying to sing the loudest, it seems. 

Well Ivan how is your cold?  I sure like for you to ask questions then I’ll know what to tell you when I do write.  I’ll tell Minnie to take some more pictures.  She said she intended to take some pictures of all the folks and send Ivan.  We sure would love to get one of you too.  Well Ivan I hope this finds you well and that I’ll hear again soon from you.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 * “Sledding” was a method of harvesting corn that was developed around 1880.  It involved a horse-drawn stalk cutter that consisted of sled-like implements mounted on a set of wheels that also carried knives set an angle proficient for cutting corn. Men stood on the platform and grabbed armfuls of corn as the cutter sled cut the corn. This type of harvester was effective at the time and could cut up to eight acres a day. Its use extended well into the 20th century.

 

July 7, 1942: Lottie Jane to  Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letters yesterday.  Two letters came at once as we hadn’t had mail since Friday.  One letter from Carl came along with yours.  It’s so nice to get letters from my boys.  I haven’t heard from John for some time.  Aunt Florence wrote and told Edna that John had a broken thumb, so couldn’t write.  But he hadn’t written for a long time anyway.  Aunt Florence and Uncle Abe planned on visiting you at Fort Lewis soon.  Maybe it would be good plan to tell them when you expect to be back or where you are anyway.  They were so sorry they didn’t go see you while you were in Camp Roberts.  But they were planning on you coming to see them Christmas, so didn’t make any effort to go see you. 

We’ve been having hot weather too, but what can you expect in July?  Carl said it was 100 in their house.  Be careful and don’t get snake bit, somehow I am afraid of snakes.  I’ll bet you get tired of writing letters don’t you?  I suppose all the boys have the same job, but not so many sisters and brothers to write to. 

What do you wear on your heads?  Edna said, the soldiers that were here the 4th of July wore little round caps, and they were sure brown (the soldier boys were brown).  We were wondering what you wore in the sun.  Tell Dad all about your big guns and shells.  He’d like to be there helping you shoot them.  Tom doesn’t know when he will be drafted or didn’t know when I heard last from him.  I am glad you liked the poem.  Dad said he would write to you someday, he has been so busy lately. 

Would you believe we have all chores done before sundown and supper over generally?  Dad wants to start milking at six o’clock so he will be through by 8 o’clock to be in the house then to get the war news.  We have a nice cool breeze this a.m. so we feel like

 

 

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working. 

Ivan I hope you are well and OK.  Ivan what do you think of the USO?  Mrs. Barnes says Ralph does not like it at all.  Ralph is at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, now.  He was home several days in June, before Tom came home.  I’ve missed the carrier, he came before ten o’clock today.  Just guess I am too slow.  Well good bye for now I’ll try and write more soon.  Pop and Mom

 

July 8, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Wednesday morning

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Brother,

How are you getting along now?  We are all just fine here.  Edna saw Mother Sunday afternoon.  She said Mother was feeling quite a bit better than she had for quite a while.  I think this dry weather helps her and too she is resting more.  I guess she decided she’d have to.

I have me a fruit cupboard built in the corner where my clothes closet was.  My dresser and Evelyn’s bed are in the bedroom.  Sure makes more room here in the front part.  I’ve used old fruit shelves to put boxes, etc., in.  Helps to get things where I can find them easier.  I want to varnish some of furniture and paint some chairs.  I’ll make my chairs brown so they won’t show the dirt from the shop.

Fred has been busy as can be.  He is just worn out all the time.  Wish he could work regular hours and quit.

Last Sunday the girls were in a program at church.  Delores spoke, “I’m Daddy’s Sweetheart, he whispered so to me.  But I don’t mention it to mama cause she used to be.”  She walked up on stage, held her hand up to her mouth and looked around.  Pearl Nyborg told her the first line several times, finally she got started and said it all.  When she left the stage she went to the south end and instead of using the steps, she jumped down.  Delores is wanting me to read your last letter to her.  She is trying to read it herself.  She says, “how are you, I am just fine I have a cold sister has too.”  Quite a letter writer she’d make.

In the program Sunday, Richard Smith went to Pearl and told her he wanted to say his piece.  While practicing he said he was going to say the first line, that was all.  They hadn’t put his reading down as he hadn’t ever said it for them but Pearl asked him if he knew it.  He said yes, he wanted to say it.  When Pearl called off his number he walked up on stage big as you please.  He looked around and started to cry.  Pearl helped him down from the stage. Then Phyllis Smith consoled him while they went on with the program.  See Phyllis has been going with Charles a lot lately so I guess she has been with Richard quite a bit too.  Esther didn’t know he’d told them he wanted to speak.

There are two combines in the yard now.  Lots of breakdowns this year due to mud holes.  Not very many are through harvest yet.  Most are about half done.  Georganna Collin’s husband and Virginia Hoskinson’s husband are in the army.  Virginia has baby about a year old.  Phil Collins was married about the same time as Georganna.  He has been deferred for a while.  He’s working in oil refinery.

I am going to wash today.  I have the boiler on now.  I haven’t finished last week’s ironing so I’ll have two in one I guess.  Wilma and her children went to the parade of soldiers and the demonstration in front of the grandstand the 4th.  She has been going more with her children than before Vincent’s death.  She goes to town after her groceries, etc. 

Ivan you mentioned Beulah May not writing so often.  Lucy and Odeta told us that BM’s sister Zada (I think that is it) is home and she and her mother are trying to get BM to not care so much for you.  Lucy says Zada is jealous of BM and doesn’t want her to have a good time.  Also they don’t want her to go with someone outside of their church.  She said a fellow without an arm or hand (don’t know which she said) from their church had been coming to see BM but BM didn’t like him.  She sees him to keep peace in the family. 

I have a graduation present for BM.  I’m going to take it to her soon.  Should have before now.  Lucy said to tell you not to worry too much, that it was the influence of others that was keeping BM from being her old self.  She thinks when BM gets to teaching she’ll write oftener as her folks won’t know what’s going on quite as much.

I saw the pup tents on the 4th.  How many sleep in them?  Ivan, do you buy your uniforms?  I was just told the soldiers had to buy

 

 

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most of their clothes and sailors the same way.  Sailors are issued two uniforms and have to buy the rest.  How true is it?  Well write and let me know what news there is.

Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

July 9, 1942: Kay Siron to Ivan

Escondido, California

Dear Ivan,

I received your letter several days ago, neglected to answer it as soon as I should have so you would know I got your letter.  You asked if they need men in the 35th Division.  I was wondering the same thing about the 40th Division.  I guess a soldier is never satisfied no matter where he is.

I guess the 222nd really had a good time from what the civilians here say.  We asked them where are all the girls that live here, surely the people in this town must have raised some female children.  They say, “Well, they all became pregnant and had to leave home after the 222nd left.”  You sure see lots of them pushing baby buggies.  There is a “battalion whore” that lives down the road from camp about two blocks east of Broadway on Lincoln, so they tell me.  Was she there when you were here?  There is also the “Blonde Bomber” who now pushes a baby buggy.  Did you know her?

We have about the same setup as you do, I expect.  I am a radio operator in a firing battery.  We have the 155 Howitzer.  We did guard duty at the Northrop Aircraft when we were at Hawthorne (Los Angeles).  We are doing basic training now RSOPs, etc.  We got a new remote control outfit to hook the walkie-talkie onto a telephone line to enable the officer at the forward OP to talk to the GP over his radio.  The radio at the OP picks it up and the remote control amplifies it and sends it on to the GP over the telephone wire. 

I have been to visit Lake Henshaw, the Mount Palomar Observatory, San Diego, twice.  Went down once with Pearl and Shirley (Uncle Myram Roberson’s wife’s daughter and granddaughter).  They were awful nice to me.  We visited the zoo.  They couldn’t find any place to stay all night so they came back that night.  I also went to Sequoia National Park with them when I was at Hawthorne. 

My folks are all right.  Mom is having her teeth out.  Granddad (your Uncle Tom) is OK and able to work some.  We thought he was failing this spring but he rallied and is apparently as strong as ever. 

We went down to Camp Eliot to watch the Marines fire the other day.  A couple of days after that we went down there to fire the sub-calibers (37 mm.) mounted on the Howitzer.  Our section fired 44 rounds. 

We shower at the high school, also have class there.  Had a dance there last Tuesday night.  What do you do for recreation?

I must quit, write soon.

Your cousin, Kay 

PS:  The colonel told us tonight that he doesn’t expect us to be here long.  Your letter will get to me at APO 35.  My serial number is 20760086.  Pvt. Kay Siron, Bty. “A” 127 T.A. Bn., Escondido, California, APO 35

 

July 11, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson,  Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  Well I got home the other day for the first time in weeks or seemed that long so I read up on your letters.  The Sunday after Carl and Saxon were here we went to see Roy’s mother and after that Roy’s been working on Sundays.  I’ve gone to Sunday School though and saw her there.  I’d have written sooner too only we’ve been writing Tommy. You know about Odeta.  When he was here he went with Pearl N. and Odeta wrote to him and said if he was going with other girls then would just quit, and Tommy wrote Mom and wanted to know what he should do.  It’s up to him but I think it would be a good thing to call it quits anyway.

Well it is a lot cooler today and I’m sure glad. We’ve about cooked the last two days and I had to can beans too.  I’ve canned 19 quarts so far, picked out in my garden.  I should have a lot more too if it ever rains.  My cucumbers are doing fair, but it beats all how much faster weeds grow than anything else.  Ought to be some way of [resing?] the darned things. 

You remember Connie Froese don’t you Ivan, the girl that was married here last summer that went to Arizona to live.  Well she is back on a visit.  Her husband is a minister and he’s to be ordained in Philadelphia.  Anyway they started

 

 

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and got to New Mexico when they had to get off the train and rush Connie to hospital where she had a miscarriage.  She was about 4 months along.  Doctor said she couldn’t have carried the child the full nine months anyway.  They stayed there three days and came on.  She is staying here while George goes on to Philadelphia.  The worst part about it is that she wanted the baby so darn bad and not to have it, and George’s brothers sent her the money to come to Philadelphia and she couldn’t go.  They put her to bed when they got her here.  She won’t do much but rest so she can go back.  I guess she feels fine now.  Such is life isn’t it?

Roy helped Uncle George harvest part of his wheat.  Now he is working for the county shoveling dirt and whatever needs to be done.  He has been at this two days now.  Must be hard work as he sure is tired when he gets home.  Well the heat doesn’t help either.  Still as hot where you are? Tell me just which part of you sleeps in the pup tent and which out, feet or head?  I’m curious, how many sleep in them anyway?  Do you have one to yourself?  How do you keep the darned things neat?  Those we saw the 4th were stuffed full of all kind of equipment, clothes, etc. 

These kids are yelling out here.  Hard to tell what’s the matter.  Well I reckon I’d better go settle them.  Well I’ll try to write more news next time. Love, Roy, Irene, and Kids

 

July 11, 1942:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to read your letter that you had written the Fourth of July, on the bank of the river.  You must be careful going swimming in those rivers and don’t get into any holes.  I think the rivers are deeper out there than in Reno County, too.  So be careful.  Are there any trees on the banks of the rivers?  It’s been real warm here so we know what kind of weather you have too.  It’s some cooler this morning and a little cloudy. 

Wilma’s are harvesting now.  The stalk ground wheat made 5 bushels to the acre.  It was hailed some.  They had just started on the better wheat, so don’t know what it will make yet.  Minnie and I were in town yesterday and stopped to see Wilma and Violet as we came home.  Wilma’s family was getting along fine.  Wilma is busy every minute I think, but she seems to be happy.  She got my incubator and set it.  It was hatching, she had taken out 114 little chicks and there were a few more to hatch.  She has 175 older little chicks that she hatched with hens.  If she can have a lot of eggs to sell it will help a lot. 

Archie Clinton was here the other evening to see if Dad could fix their cultivator.  He said to tell you that they often thought of you and hoped you were OK.  Archie is a lot thinner than he was last summer I think.  Dad says he suffers a lot.  We should be thankful that we are well and not crippled. 

I’ll let you read Tommy’s last letter.  He doesn’t know hardly what to do about Odeta.  I don’t think he cares enough for her, or he would know what he wanted to do without asking.  I am afraid I heard the carrier and it’s just ten.  I hope it wasn’t but I’ll say Good-bye and go see.

Lots of love, Mom and Pop

Well I missed the carrier I’ll try and not be so slow next time.  We had a small shower of rain Saturday and it’s been lots cooler since.  Rev. Sparks asked me Sunday if Ivan had got any letters from them.  He said that Josephine sure told it to them when she came home about not writing to you.  Josephine is a good-hearted scout anyway.  All the girls except Wilma were here awhile yesterday.  I’ll write again soon.  I saw in that book about Bagnal Dam in the Ozarks that it impounded 650,000,000 gallons of water.  Little late in telling you. Love, Mom

 

July 15, 1942: Cecil Moore to Ivan

This letter to Ivan when he was at Ft. Lewis, Washington, is from a companion in the army who had gone home to Iowa because of his father’s illness. Cecil died in 1973. 

Dear Ivan,

Finally got home at midnight last night.  Was not a very good trip for me.  Am glad to be home though.

My father sure isn’t in very good shape, he can hardly talk to us he’s so weak.  He has had a stroke and left him very weak.

What I was writing for is that I want you to do me a little favor.  You will I’m sure.  You will have to take care of my junk down there and see that it gets to Ft. Lewis.  Say Ivan if we go in

 

 

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the same place again, why don’t you get our same beds back.  They are darn good ones aren’t they?

It is a little hot out today.  Most people are cutting oats around here.  The corn looks good, it stands about as tall as I do. 

Some parts of Nebraska didn’t look so hot, the corn was about 2 feet tall there.  Was 109 degrees in the shade at Grand Island, Nebraska, yesterday when we stopped there.  Must close, A friend, Cecil.  Box 107 Yale, Iowa

 

July 17, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you now?  Are you still using your pup tents or are you back to Fort Lewis?  How many slept in your pup tent?  This paper was scribbled on by Beth.  I don’t have a decent eraser so I’ll just write over it.

Did Mother tell you I took her to the doctor last Friday?  She had high blood pressure.  180 is what it was.  Not so terrible high but enough. Doctor gave her two kinds of medicine and told her to come back today.  I’m going to take her this afternoon.

I have a boy, 13 years old one, spotted now to help the folks.  If Mother had nothing outside to do she could rest so much more and that is what she needs to do. 

Delores is wearing gloves again.  I tried thumb stalls and she just sucked her fingers.  I just put a pair of gloves on her and I’m just leaving them on.  She washed yesterday to eat just as though she didn’t have them on. 

I cleaned up ice box yesterday and put ice in it.  Fred was wanting ice in his water out at the shop.  He has a water fountain, the one Schuyler left here, that he is using but water got so hot in the afternoon.  With a chunk of ice in it, it stayed nice.I’m trying to sew some this morning.  I have my washing and ironing done for this week. 

Garnet Sthob’s Father died day before yesterday.  Funeral is Saturday afternoon.  Morris Sthob is a prisoner of the Japs on Wake Island is what paper said.  I think he is in China someplace from what Garnet’s wife told Wilma.  He was working on Wake Island when it was taken over. 

Carl Evans wrote yesterday to Fred.  He said he didn’t think the Japs would continue fighting if they knew what kind of country there was in Texas.  He says sometimes he has to have a bath before breakfast so he can eat, so much sand and dirt there where he was.  He doesn’t think much of Camp Barkeley, Texas, where he is. 

Fred was just in, he wants me to go to Colladays.  Guess I’ll have to get ready and go pretty soon.  Fred has sure been worn out.  I sure wish he could change and work 8 hours a day, then rest.  I gave him medicine about five nights the doctor gave me to make him sleep.  He was too sleepy next day too so he wouldn’t take any more of it. 

I’ve canned four and a half quarts of pickles off my vines but it is so dry now the vines are getting burned.  I’m about sure my pickle crop is gone. 

Yesterday when I rocked Delores to sleep, she really had a fit.  She’d put her gloves in her mouth and just pull.  Finally, after fussing and crying some, she went to sleep.  She went to sleep last night without fussing or trying to get them off.  They sure are black now.  Guess she will have to use some Clorox in water when she washes her hands to get them white.

I did Mother’s washing and ironing this week.  Seems as though she is a very clean or dirty one.  Dad had his clothes in the wash but there wasn’t a single dress or anything else for Mother.  She has just washed them out herself.  I’m going to tell her about it. 

It is dry and windy here.  Hasn’t been so awful hot.  Towards morning we have to put a blanket or cover over us. 

Luella is going to work in a milk store in Wichita.  Vie is going to do housework.  Lee sleeps daytimes and works nights.  Nice setup I think. I’d better write to Tommy.  Write soon! Lots of love, Fred and Minnie and girls

 

July 18, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Saturday

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to read your letter you wrote while in Yakima.  I hope you had a good time while there.  I am sorry I am so slow about writing.  I surely intended to write in time to

 

 

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mail this today.  Well Dad didn’t get up early, so we were late with chores and breakfast.  If we don’t do better in the morning we will be late for Sunday School.  I didn’t write any yesterday as I was trying to get all the work done before Minnie came after me to take me to the Doctor.  I was lots better.  Blood pressure was down 40 points.  Doctor said something was helping.  Anyway I believe I’ve slept 4/5 of the past week.  Guess that helps.  Dad’s pretty good and we are hoping for a rain.  I’ll send this if I can and write soon again. Love, Mom and Pop

 

July 20, 1942: Edna and Morris to Ivan

Letter addressed to Ivan in Fort Lewis, Washington

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Brother,

I really know you will be surprised to hear from us, but here goes.

We are all fine here and how are you?  We were down home yesterday evening a little while to get Mother’s washing and to see how she is.  She really is some better.  Her blood pressure has dropped from 180 to 140 in a week’s time.  The Dr. was quite pleased with her condition.  He told her to rest all she could.  She says she wants to sleep all the time.  She isn’t supposed to do hardly any work.  We girls have been doing the washing and ironing for a month now.  We are so glad she is better.  She is to go back to the Dr. in 10 days now, and is still taking two kinds of medicine.  Dad seems to be pretty good for him.  He was after the cows when we were home yesterday. 

We enjoyed reading your letters at home.  You surely must be getting a good workout lately with those big guns.  How do you like that kind of work?  I expect you will be glad when you get back to camp.  How many of you boys were out on that?

Morris went to work at 5:00 a.m. this morning.  He has been doing that quite a lot for about two weeks now.  I was planning to wash this morning but it is raining so I think I’ll plan to do something else.  It really poured down during the night.  It is slacking up some now.  There was quite a lot of thunder and lightening.  Our electric ice box was stopped when we got up at five so think something must be burned out, as it sounded as if something happened before a loud clap of thunder.  Say, do you have much rain up there?  Is it very hot there?

Last Thursday we had an afternoon off and we had “our vacation” you might call it.  We went to Sterling Lake and had a good swim and also a picnic supper, with the Bonnets in the park close to the lake.  We really had a nice time.  They do have a grand place to swim too.

Virgil is working in Hart’s Grocery.  He is behind the meat counter.  He lost a finger nail, half a thumb nail, and had a cut to the bone on the end of one of his fingers.  Outside of this he is getting along fine.  He likes his work too.  He goes to work this week at 7:00 a.m. and gets off at 6:00 p.m.  Last week he went to work at 1:00 p.m. and got off when they closed which was between 10:00 and midnight.  He makes pretty good.  He got $30.00 the last two weeks.  It really is nice for him to have his own money with which to buy his clothes, as it really takes clothes when he works.  It usually takes a clean outfit each day.

Everybody here is OK as far as I know.

The Red Cross are giving swimming lessons at the Pool this summer.  Gayle is planning to take them.  He begins this a.m. at 9:00 a.m.  I expect it will be rather cool.  Must close and get Virgil up.

Love,  Tuckers

Written at the top of the first page:  I’m sorry to have waited so long to write to you but am out of the habit of writing.  I must get back to it for I do plan to write oftener.  Love and best wishes, Tuckers.

In the same envelope is a post card of “Mountain Scenery” which is actually a painting of an outhouse in the woods.  Edna wrote on the back: Ivan, is this the kind of scenery you have in Washington?  Oh well, we just wondered.  We’re sending you a box of cake and cookies.  Love, Edna.

Also on the same post card Morris wrote this note:  I hope you are enjoying your outing.  Get all the insurance you can.  Then send the right amount to get all you can for support of the folks.  They won’t need it all and can save some for you when you come back.  You write very interesting letters to your mother.  Keep it up.  It helps her a lot.  I must get to work.  – Morris

 

 

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July 20, 1942: Ivan to Tom

Fort Lewis, Washington

Dear Tommy: 

How are you and how do you like the hot weather?  I am sorry I haven't answered your letter sooner but I have been fairly busy.  Tom I am glad you are breaking up with Odetha.  I think you can do a lot better somewhere else.  I always did think she was trying to marry you.  I am glad you are making out OK.  Say what is the matter?  Are you trying to make over corn fed neighbor girl, Pearl N.?  Well I hope you luck.

Say Tom I can't hardly blame you about the way you feel about Carl.  It is too bad he has to do the way he does, but maybe his wife doesn't make life any easier, and too, when you start drinking and smoking it is a hard habit to stop. 

Tommy I really don't know what to advise you on your coming to the army in the draft or otherwise.  I really don't know, all I can do is tell you what I think would be the best, and what I probably would have done if I knew what I know now when I was drafted.  Tom did you ever figure that if you ever got into a branch of service you might like, would make life easier your days in the armed forces of U.S., and if you liked the branch of service, that you could probably go up in it and make good money while you are in. 

Tom if you got in the coast guard or some other branch of the service so that you could use your fireman experience, you could probably get a rating right off, or you like airplanes and mechanics maybe you could get in the air corps.  What ever you do, if you are a few jumps [ahead] of the draft board, I think you are better off.  Well I hope you do the best whatever you do and that it works out. 

I came from Yakima last Saturday to the Fort here and took my mental exam for the air corps and passed it.  Tomorrow I take my physical then my interview Wednesday.  I sure hope I pass them all so I'll have something to look forward to.  I had a nice trip up here.  We went through Mt Rainier National Park.  It was a pretty place.

Well Tom I think Beulah May likes me a little and so I think we will get along OK.  As long as I have her I'll get along OK even though we are far apart.  Well Tom hope you are OK.  Love, Ivan.

 

July 20, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Addressed to Ivan in Fort Lewis, Washington

Dear Ivan,

Where are you now?  It is cool here this morning.  Rained good last night.  We sure needed it too.  Mother’s blood pressure was 140 Friday.  Doctor said something sure had done her lots of good.  She is easier, too.  Violet and Clarence are moving Tuesday to Leland’s place.  I’ll get to see them oftener.

Love, Minnie

 

July 21, 1942: John to Ivan

This is a rare letter from John Roberson, Ivan’s oldest sibling.  He mentions his intention to visit “Uncle John” on his way back to Kansas.  That would be John L. Roberson, one of William D. Roberson’s full brothers.  He was born in Linn County in 1867, was in southern California by 1900, and died there in 1950. 

Oakland, California

Addressed to Ivan in Fort Lewis, Washington

Dear Ivan,

I got your letter and was glad to hear from you.  I am now staying at Aunt Florence’s place.  Soon I shall be going home.  I quit my job because I have a low order number in the draft and I am a potential A-1.  I know or think that the army will get me soon so I want to visit the folks for a while.  I shall drive across if my old 30 Shev will stand up.  I think it will.  I put a lot of money out for work on it.  I shall visit Uncle John in San Bernardino and try to see Carl and Tommy.  I have been gone from home two years since my last visit.

Aunt Florence says she got your letter.  She and Uncle Abe can’t make up their minds whether they should come north or not.  Uncle Abe just has one week vacation and unless they knew definitely that you would be at Ft. Lewis it would be a wild goose chase.  Aunt Florence says she will be writing in a day or two. 

My thumb isn’t quite well.  So I have an alibi for my bad writing. Your loving brother, John

 

 

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July 22, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

The kids are outdoors playing so maybe I’ll have a few minutes peace.  Maybe.

Yesterday Violet and Clarence moved to the house just a mile north of the Airport.  I helped them and Minnie took care of the kids.  Roy helped move stones in the evening.  It was a hard job.  Leland Robinson just moved out as they moved in.  He was moving to Earrol McDermed’s place.  We did fix a place for them all to sleep and Violet could get breakfast this morning so maybe the rest of the week they can put things where they want them. 

Grandma Emery’s place a mile and a half south of Castleton burned down Sunday evening.  Uncle George was trying to light a gasoline stove.  It exploded and burned him on one arm and hand.  He saved some bedding that was all.  Grandma Emery hated it pretty bad.  Such thing do happen though.

I just finished a letter to Tommy.  He had been wondering why we hadn’t written so I’m going to have to write oftener to you both. If I don’t I get out of the practice.  It is so darn easy to put it off thinking well I’ll do it tomorrow.  And Wilma Marie has the darndest time wondering why tomorrow doesn’t come.  It is always today when it gets here and she’s almost mad sometimes because it isn’t tomorrow.

It is almost time for the mail to come so maybe I’d better mail this so you will get it.  I’ll write more net time. Hope you are OK.

Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

July 22, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to hear from you and to know that you were OK.  We had a fine rain Sunday night and it’s been cooler since then.  It was 60 this morning just about sunup.  But it’s getting warm now.  We sure enjoyed being cooled off once.  I am so glad your $11.00 wasn’t lost. There is no need to rush about sending it again.  Morris read your letter.  He said, Ivan sure writes good letters.  Morris says there are boys in the Post Office that can tell if a letter has money in it by feeling of it.  I sure couldn’t tell unless it was silver money.  No, we haven’t gotten any checks from the government and the last one from the telephone company was for May.  We are doing all right, so don’t worry about it anyway. 

Schuyler is still at Salina, far as we know.  I think they are getting along better than they did at first.  I must write to them.  I haven’t written to them since they have been there.  And if I don’t write fairly often to Carl’s, they think I don’t love them anymore.  I am glad you write to Kay.  He doesn’t have as many relations to write to, as you do though.  Practice makes perfect, so you’ll be a good writer someday, as you are blessed with so many near relations, ha ha. 

Dad’s melons and cucumbers were hailed out in our wind storm, but he has some more growing that will soon be in bloom.  So come over.  He had them in that ground just east of the correll (I don’t know how to spell it).  Well, I sure hope Uncle Abe and Aunt Florence get to see you this summer. 

Tommy also had a letter to go back, because he forgot to put Rt. 4 on it.  Morris said he would see if our names were in the Directory, where they were supposed to be.  He said Showalter had our names in his Directory but they should be in the one where all the postmen could see. 

Well I didn’t get this to the box yesterday before the carrier went.  So this is 23 of July.  Hope you pass in all your tests.  I’ll say Good bye with lots of love, “Mom and Pop”

 

July 23, 1942: Florence to Ivan

Oakland, California

Dear Ivan,

John left here Tuesday morning about 7:30 and was going to stop at Uncle John’s and then to Phoenix and hopes to see Carl and Tommy.  Uncle Abe and I have decided to come up to Washington and will leave here Sunday morning August 2nd, and could arrive in Tacoma the next afternoon.  If you are back at Ft Lewis by that time we would sure love to see you. Now I know by your letter that you didn’t know just when you would be getting back but I will enclose an airmail envelope and you can answer this anyway.  Otherwise we will go through to Seattle for our pass will take us that

 

 

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far and we have never been up in Oregon or Washington and they say the scenery is worth seeing.  Uncle Abe just has a week off.  Should you be back at Ft Lewis, we could meet you on Monday evening in Tacoma if they would let you come in town or we could come out to where you are if that could be possible.  At any rate let us hear from you again.  If you write by the middle of next week we will get it by Saturday for it will come air mail.  Hope you are keeping well and that it might be possible for us to be seeing you. With love, Aunt Florence

 

July 23, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan:

How are you making it by now?  Where are you at?  Still in the sagebrush?  Bet civilization does look good to you.

Mrs. Cannon told me that Ralph Barnes is to leave the States soon.  Alice, her dad, Hazel, Josephine, Chester, Lucy, went to Fort Sill to see him.  He was in Tennessee but was moved to Oklahoma. 

I am canning beets.  I cooked them yesterday.  Went to town in the afternoon.  Then when I got home from town I had to go to Fred’s Dad’s place as Fred broke spring on trip hammer.  I didn’t get them canned since I had to run around so much. 

Tonight is our Sunday School picnic at Lake Bedell.  I hope mosquitoes aren’t too bad.  Fred says he isn’t going.  Wish I could change his mind.

We sure have been having swell weather.  So cool at nights, I’ve been sleeping under covers.  How would carbon paper do under this so I could write to Tommy at the same time?  I believe I might try it.  Need a typewriter to carry on my correspondence.

Violet and Clarence moved on Tuesday.  I took care of her little kids, Irene’s mine and Mrs. Cannon.  There were just ten from Joyce’s size down.  Did they ever have a time.  Morning they got along swell but towards evening they really got cranky.

I got some more material.  Sure have a lot of sewing to do.  Have material of Mother’s here.  I want to make her a dress or two

I’ve bought some white house paint so now I can paint my doors on the outside.  Also have some green screen paint.  I must get around and get some of this painting done.  Plenty ahead to do.

I cleaned out north garden yesterday.  The south one needs it now too.  Evelyn is doing dishes for me.  She does pretty good job if she wants to.  Sometimes she does them in 25 minutes and again it takes three hours.

I bought a blanket yesterday.  Sure didn’t think I’d need it for a while but sleeping in bedroom this winter, it will be needed.

Am sending some pictures.  Plan to take some more.  These are Dad’s calves.  I was afraid all I’d have in the picture was wagging tales.  Look these over and keep the ones you want.  What you don’t want you can mail back.  You’re welcome to any or all.  I’m having more printed off of them. 

I’d better go can my beets, I smell them.

Lots of love, Fred and Minnie and Girls

 

July 24, 1942: Tom to Ivan

Seligman, Arizona

Dear Ivan,

How the girls and you getting along by now?  It is sure hot here in the daytime and the engine doesn’t make it any cooler.  It is nice at night, though.  The last couple of days we worked over 15 hours.  I’m sure making the money but it is awful tiresome to work that long. 

About the corn fed neighbor girl, she is just writing to me. That will probably be as far as it will go.  I like to get letters from her but she only writes one every 15 days. I guess I shouldn’t complain though.  Well I’m glad your girl friend is writing to you now.  Say I think you are right about Odeta. You should have told me sooner so I wouldn’t be out $25.00.  I got a letter from her today, one in about two weeks.  She said that she was too busy to write. 

Robert N. told Pearl that I was a sucker for writing to Pearl.  That is what Pearl told me.  I told Pearl that I have been a sucker over girls ever since I have started going with them.  I told her I like letters from girl friends anyway. 

About the draft, I haven’t been examined yet and I don’t want to go in the Coast Guard or the Navy.  I probably get first class rating in the Navy.  They were five boys went that got first class rating in the Navy.  They are down on the bottom of the ships and they are the

 

 

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ones that get killed if the ship is blown up.  So I would rather join the air core and be a mechanic or something like that.  I would take the army before I join the navy. 

Say I don’t think Pearl likes me very much. She just writes just to have someone to write to I think. But I’d like to get letters from her better than from Odeta though.  Write whenever you can.  Say I got letters from Irene, Minnie, Mother and Odeta.  The other day I got a box with cookies and a little cake in it from Edna too.  I’m going to have to buy some more writing paper before I finish writing my letters.  Well be good and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Your Brother, Thomas F. Roberson

I sent home $100.00 to put in the bank.  I have got $115.00 in the bank now.  When they put that $100.00 in I will have $215.00.  Not bad is it?  I got $125.45 this check.  Next check I will have my watch paid for. That will be August 6.  Well if you need any money tell me, ha ha!  Well be good.

 

July 25, 1942:  John to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Tucumcari, New Mexico

This is a post card John sent to Ivan during his trip from California back to Kansas.  On the front of the post card is a drawing of an oriental looking man in a military hat, his head connected to what looks like an animal skin laid out flat behind him.  The caption says:  “Made in Japan, Caught in the Pacific, Tanned in the U.S.A.  So Solly!” On the message side of the card it says:

Here hangs the pelt of a Jap

Who mistook a Yank for a sap;

He never deserved to be preserved

So we just kept his hide and his cap.

Hello, am still going after many stops on the way.  Had radiator trouble, burned a rod, a gear came loose on distributor.  So I had to be towed in twice and that wasn’t nice on my humor or pocket-book.  I went this far on the southern route.  Well I should write more to you in [letters?]  Am sending this to Aunt Florence and she can forward it.  I have your address packed where it is hard to find.  Love, John

 

July 25, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Lottie Jane also included a clipping from the newspaper, “Kansas Rates High in Air,” about the decision to establish a navy air reserve training station south of Hutchinson. 

My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to get your card the other day.  I also got a card from Tom the same day.  They had travelled along together, don’t you suppose?  Wonder if they told each other where they were going?  I hope you passed in your tests all right.  I forgot to tell you how much I liked your card, the trees looked so pretty all around the tavern.  I guess I like trees better than most anybody.  God made the trees, so we are reminded of Him when we see the trees, hills and mountains. 

This is a nice cool morning, just fine to work.  Do you get your church papers all right now?  I think Alice got all your address to put on them. 

Did anyone tell you there is going to be a Navy Army base near Yoder?  It will take four square miles of land.  It’s to be south and west of Yoder.  The owners of the land have been given 30 days to vacate.  Hendershotts are one family that have to leave, and lots of Amish.

Violet’s have moved to where Leland Robinson lived.  Leland moved to the McDermand farm where Roy lived once.  Maybe Violet’s will come to our church now.  Wilma hasn’t got all her wheat harvested yet, ground has been too wet.  Her hogs are sick now, she has more than her share of trouble, it looks like.  Garnet Stohl’s father was buried a week ago today.  Maybe if I stop and mail this, it will be on time.  So Good-bye with lots of love,  Mom and Pop

 

July 27, 1942: Lottie Jane to  Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

The envelope included an obituary for Charles J. Sthole and an article about the new naval air reserve training station to be built near Yoder.

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letters Saturday and to know that you were OK.  We are so proud of you that you passed in all that you did in your examinations.  We are sorry about your color blindness, but there are lots of things that could have been worse I suppose.  So don’t worry too much about it.  We are proud of

 

 

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your examination anyway.  How long do you suppose you will be in training near Yakima?  I suppose you are getting used to the hot weather there now.  We’ve had cooler weather since we had rain. 

I hear that Ralph Barnes is leaving the States soon.  He has been at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, over a month now.  Thanks a lot for the pictures in the paper you sent and the clipping too.  And the card also. 

Edna and Minnie were over Saturday just after the mail had come so they read all you sent.  We also got a letter from Kay, Uncle Tom and Josie.  Edna had sent you and Tommy a cake last week.  Hope you get it OK.   Preacher said he would write to you soon.  He often asks about you.  We had 93 at Sunday school yesterday.  Violet’s children were there.  They intend to come all the time since they have moved closer. 

Violet’s, Minnie’s and Irene and children were here yesterday and in the evening they made ice cream and took it over to Wilma’s to eat.  Wilma and children were glad we came.  Wilma weighs 145 now, she is almost as thin as Violet.  She works too much, hope she will let up a little some day.  Her hogs are sick, she has lost two.  Can’t tell how the others will be yet.  She has about 50 acres of wheat to harvest yet.  The ground has been so low it has been too wet to get into the field. 

Ivan we have some nice ripe tomatoes in the garden now.  Wish you were here to help eat them.  The wind storm ruined our big patch.  Dad has some poison but not near as bad as last summer.  He feels better than he did last summer.  I feel pretty good, lots better than a month ago.  No, we haven’t received any checks from anyone yet, don’t worry we are getting along OK.  We hope you are well and having a good time as you can under the circumstances.  Fred has been doing good in the shop.  He paid Morris back the $100.00 he borrowed when he built their house, last week. 

My little boy Ivan is so good to write to us.  And we are so glad.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

July 28, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you making it?  Too bad you don’t know red from green.  What does green look like?  Red or some other color?  Explain please.

Edna called yesterday towards evening and said someone was there that wanted to talk to me.  I talked.  He wanted to know the price of butter and eggs at Chicago.  It was John.  I recognized his voice even though he did try to disguise it.  He ate supper at Edna’s, stored his things in the basement, went downtown, got his hair cut and shave, came back and took a bath at Edna’s.  He left California last Tuesday night.  He had a rod to come out of car, distributor trouble, and car ran hot, got two different radiators on the road.  He plans to visit here until the army calls him.  He expects to be called next month. 

I told Clarence Emery when he was here that John was here so he goes home, gets his family around to go to Mother’s to see a man, he told Violet.  He [John] stopped to take me and girls.  Fred was too tired.  We went over about ten o’clock.  Car stopped, he got out, we of course acted innocent.  When he walked in you should have seen Mother’s face.  She was certainly surprised.  So were the rest but I was watching Mother more.  She said she just thought it must be Schuyler coming at that time. 

John told Edna he gave a man $5 to clean up his house when he left.  She said he washed dishes when he took a notion to, swept, etc., the same way.  He said no one came [to visit], what was the use?  I’ll bet he did have a clean house if he never swept only when the spirit moved him. He told Edna he often bought new clothes instead of sending them to laundry all the time as he should.  Edna said he looked about like Violet and Clarence when they came from Missouri.  He was sure loaded.  He also had about $10 worth of freight.  Edna thinks part of it must be dirty clothes.  He wants to visit here store his things, etc., before army calls him.

Think you’re smart as to which one you want to marry.  Does B.M. know you’d like to marry her instead of her sister and mother?  Write and tell me your plans, ha!

What is your blouse for?  Didn’t know you wore blouses.  Don’t you have anything to sleep in? Or do you all go nude?  What are fatigues?  What do you mean two suits of

 

 

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suntans?  Do you mean you are tanned good?

The girls’ colds are better.  Fred is doing better than last year.  This time last year he was in bed. 

Mother, Dad, Violet, Clarence and us made two gallons of [ice] cream at Dad’s, then went to Wilma’s.  Took it and got Violet’s freezer and made two more gallons of cream.  Had 4 gallons to eat there at Wilma’s.  Yes, there was some left over.  Just 19 of us to eat it and several of them were babies, almost.  Oh yes, Irene was there too so it made 23. 

Delores will be four years old the 30th, Beth will be 2 years old the 2nd of August and I’ll be 33 the fourth.  Guess I am getting up in years some.

Our car developed a noise in its anatomy so we can’t use it until Fred overhauls it.  I think I’ll borrow Dad’s coupe this afternoon.  John is going to take Mother to the doctor and I’ll go along and bring the car over here.  John can go and get what they want. 

Mother got plenty tired Sunday night but she said she was pretty well after resting yesterday.

John started last night telling Dad he should go to the Doctor with his “itch.”  It isn’t near as bad as last year but I know it is uncomfortable.  Dad has out what feed he plans to plant.  He’s going to put rye in some of the ground for fall pasture.

If you can’t read this come over and I’ll translate it for you.

Did you get a box from Edna?  You should by now.

John went through Seligman but couldn’t find Tommy.  His name wasn’t on the roster that told who ran trains and harney(?) house didn’t know anything about him so John figured he wasn’t there.  Tommy will hate it he didn’t get to see him.  Maybe Tommy will have to come home before John leaves.  I hope not though. I’d better get to work.  I am washing.  Write soon, Lots of love, Minnie and Family

 

In August 1942 Ivan’s Division departed Fort Lewis, Washington, for overseas service. 

 

August 1, 1942: Edna to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written across the top of the card:  Tommy got notice to take his first physical today.

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  Enjoyed reading your letters at Mother’s.  Sorry you were color blind.  Mother is some better.  Her blood pressure is down some.  The Dr. wants to see her in another week and thinks he can leave off the blood pressure medicine.  Minnie, Irene and I went home yesterday morning and cleaned Mother’s house.  We are also doing some sewing and mending for her.  John R. came home Monday to stay until he goes to the army.  We were glad to see him.  He’s OK.  Love, The Tuckers

 

August 1, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Son Ivan,

Well I’ve not written since the first of the week, but don’t think I don’t think of you.  I haven’t heard from you since Saturday, but I hope to get a letter today.  Anyway I hope you are OK and enjoying this hot weather as well as I am, ha ha! 

Monday night Clarence’s and Minnie and girls came over.  I didn’t know why they had come back so soon as they had been here Sunday.  Before they left, a car drove in the yard.  I supposed it was Schuyler as he hadn’t been home for some time.  Who do you suppose it was?  It was John, looking the same as he did two years ago.  He quit keeping house and loaded his car, started to Kansas.  He had quite a bit of car trouble on the road.  He left Tuesday night and got here Monday afternoon.  Drove night and day when he wasn’t having the car worked on, or was too sleepy to drive.  Then he would curl up in the seat and sleep.  He didn’t even undress all that time.  I’ll bet I would have rested on the way and enjoyed my trip more, if I had been taking that trip.  Edna said he looked like Clarences’ did when they came back from Missouri.  Had his car loaded about the same like Clarence’s was.  It’s a good thing she has a basement, ha ha.  John thought he would soon be called to the army and wanted to see us all before he went.  He is at Wilma’s today, was there yesterday too.  He is going to help grind feed, barley for cow feed.  They have to go to Uncle Alfred’s to grind, as their grinder was sold at the sale.  And maybe they will get the drain

 

 

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for Wilma’s sink fixed too today.  It will help Wilma a lot to have it fixed. 

Edna, Minnie and Irene were over yesterday morning, cleaned the house and even washed dishes, so I rested all day.  I feel like doing a lot of work today.  Dr. said I was doing fine Wednesday. I am afraid my children will spoil me.  Hope you are well and that I’ll hear soon.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

August 1, 1942: Ivan to Parents 

Fort Lewis, Washington

Dear Dad and Mom: 

How are you all?  This is answer to letter you wrote 27.  Well I reckon it wasn't much wrong with me about the air corps test.  If something had to be wrong with me I just as soon had color blindness as anything.  Oftentimes a color blind persons eye sight is better than others I hear.  I can tell red and green OK, but there is some parts of the colors I can't tell or shades of it. 

Maybe I'll leave the States as soon as Ralph Barnes and I have been in a lot longer.  So it is about time I should go. I don't mind anyway much.  How is Rev. Sparks making it?  Does he think he will be drafted too?  I doubt if he will.  I got the cake Edna sent OK.  I am glad you get to see Wilma more often.  Maybe she won't be so lonesome.  I wish I could come home and help you eat your tomatoes up.  We usually get plenty of fruit in the army though. 

Mom I don't see why the government don't send you some money, at least $22 per month, because that is taken out of my check each month.  Well we are getting ready to leave.  Uncle Abe and Aunt Florence are supposed to come down next Monday and I hope I am still here then to see them.  But it is hard to tell whether I'll be here or on the way to Frisco.  I'll probably send home bed rolls today by express and I'll send shoes and old letters in roll too.  We are just using two blankets now for sleeping but we have a bed.  It is a good deal. 

There is not much news, but I got paid yesterday and I'll be able to send sleeping bag home on my own money.  Maybe when Tom gets into the army he can use it.  It is pretty nice to use in the field.  I still think Tom ought to join up so he won't get in the infantry.  It looks like my G. F. let Minnie read some of my letters I wrote to her.  Well hope you are well and you don't want to work too hard.  Love, Ivan.  I'll bet you are glad John came home.  Were you surprised?

 

August 3, 1942: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Minnie told us today that you will soon be leaving.  We were in hopes that you wouldn't be leaving so soon, but I guess we can't do much about it, if we could we are sure none of the boys would be in camps, we'd have them all home if possible.

John was here and ate dinner with us.  He took a nap this P.M. and went to Wilma's this evening to help her some.  He is planning to put a tile drain in from sink and bath tub.  That will help her a lot as she has so much to do.  She is getting along O.K. but has lost quite a lot in weight.  The children are fine.

Mother seems to feel some better.  Hope she keeps on improving.

We had a good rain this evening.  It has cooled things off and will make sleeping good tonight.

I washed today, had some of Mother's and John's.  Lot is all dry but overalls and three blankets.

Gayle is taking Red Cross swimming lessons in the Pool.  He took a lesson this A.M. He likes it fine, and has two more lessons this week, Thursday and Friday.

Virgil is asleep.  He puts in good long hours at the store so is usually ready to rest.  They are open Sundays too. 

We had an all day meeting at our church yesterday.  We had a covered dish dinner and a business meeting in the P.M.  We are making plans for a revival to be held the last of October.

Next Sunday the Robersons are all planning a picnic at the park.  We hope we have a nice day.  Surely wish you could be here too. 

Did you get the box we sent?  Hope the cake and cookies came through O.K.  I planned to send a cake this week, but suppose I'd better wait.

All the Tuckers are O.K.  Arthur and Clara are expecting the stork most anytime now.  I knew you wouldn't be surprised...Arthur has been working at Salina.

 

 

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They are beginning to work on a navy air base over by Yoder real soon.  Our city of So. Hutchinson may grow some maybe. 

Hope you got to see Uncle Abe and Aunt Florence as they wanted to see you so much.

I'm sending some snap shots that you may like to have.  We didn't have them finished until this summer but here they come now.  We do hope you get our letter before you leave.  We have enjoyed reading your letters so much at Mother's.  We have neglected writing to you as we should.  Really our intentions were good, but we just didn't write as we should for which we're sorry.  We're hoping you will have a safe journey wherever you go, and we're hoping and praying that all will be well with you at all times.  These are the times when we must all have faith and look to our Heavenly Father for guidance and strength for each and every trial that comes.  He alone can lead us and help us and give us courage.  We know it may be hard, but remember we are all thinking of you and praying for you, and we know God will care for you wherever you may be.  Write to us whenever you can.  May God bless you and keep you in his loving care, wherever you may be, is our prayer. Love and Best Wishes, Edna and All

 

August 3, 1942:  Morris Tucker to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

This undated letter from Morris was with a letter from Edna to Ivan dated August 3, 1942.  They seem to have been sent together in the same envelope. 

Dear Ivan,

They say you might move soon.  We hope it isn’t too far away, yet it would be nice to see Australia or the Philippines.  I sure would enjoy that part a lot.

I really put in a good day today, almost 14 hours.  There was more work left when I quit.  The first of the month will all its bills and magazines and advertising caused a lot of extra work.

It has been raining this evening.  We’ve had four days of 100 degree weather, so this rain is fine.  The ground was awfully dry and hard.  I attempted to spade a small place in the lawn south of the house and couldn’t push the spade in over 1.5 inches.  So I quit but I think it would be easier now.

I carry a route on East E-D-C-B tomorrow, so if it rains some more I may have to wear overshoes.  They are quite warm [in] weather like this.  Of course, you’d think our 100 degrees temperature was rather balmy after your experiences but it surely makes us mop our brows.

The negroes are celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation today.  There are great droves of them in town.  They really put on a celebration.  I think this rain helped to cool them off.  They were having a big affair in Convention Hall. 

I’m mighty glad you write such interesting letters to your mother.  She really enjoys them and likes to know that you are well.  Some boys make it so hard for their parents.  We know it isn’t all play and that a lot of things are unpleasant, but things will be a lot worse if we don’t win this war.  According to our night’s paper, the Japs, Italians and Germans are not so friendly when they become “bed mates” in prison camps. 

Well, I may have to get up at 4 o’clock and it is 9:45pm now so I’m going to turn in and get a good sleep while the night is cool.  This letter is supposed to leave Wichita at 4 o’clock in the morning.  Let us know when you get it.  Good luck on your journey, Morris J. Tucker

 

August 3, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I’m a little slow answering your letter but better late than never I guess.

It was baby’s [Beth’s] birthday yesterday.  She was two years old.  We all went to Mother’s for dinner, all except the Tuckers -- they had some kind of an all day meeting at the church.  All the kids wanted a picnic but it was too darned hot.  Schuyler and Ruth had come to Mother’s late Saturday evening so they were there.  Ruth had got bit on the foot by a spider she thought. Anyway it was awful. Soon the place swelled up and green stuff ran out of it.  Schuyler decided to doctor it so he put on about a bottle of iodine. Then John said that’s the wrong thing so he put on alcohol to take off the iodine.  Well the foot was feeling better after all

 

 

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that.

It rained last night and this morning and is still cloudy as the dickens.

I reckon you got Minnie’s letter telling that John came.  Well she didn’t tell me at all till he came in that morning.  I was sewing there at Minnie’s and some one came in with her, spoke to me and I about jumped out of my skin.  I sure was surprised.  Then he teased Wilma Marie so much she hid under the bed while he ate his dinner there.  Finally Evelyn got her out to eat some.  He just loves to tease her because she doesn’t like it. 

Well Tuesday we got a dress made for Mother.  Next day she went to see doctor with John and she’s quite a bit better.  Still has to rest a lot.  Friday Edna, Minnie and I spent the morning cleaning house for Mother.  She didn’t have any business doing it. 

I took kids to Sunday School on the bus yesterday and say it’s no picnic.  Wilma Marie and Walter go to their class in Sunday School, but Beth, do you think she would stay with Pearl all the time and play in the sand, tables and color?  Not her.  I spent Sunday School hour keeping her still then during preaching I spent out on steps, in the bus getting Walter and Beth drinks and keeping them still.  Wilma [Marie] sat in with Mother.  She was good as gold.

Well Wilma lost all the pigs that were sick and she said she was glad they were gone as they would take so long to get well and probably then be no good.  John spent a few days with Wilma helping her, mostly playing with kids I think.  One thing John learned coming back from California is what makes his car go and other cars I think.  He went with Howard in the truck to Haven to get some feed and it stopped.  Well they fooled with this and that, anyway they got it started.

John has almost decided he doesn’t want to be a nurse in the army.  Too many sick and banged up ones, too darned much work.  He wants something different. 

The whole gang of kids wants to go swimming this afternoon.  I don’t know just whether it will be warm enough or not yet.  Hope so.  Well I’d better close and give Beth her breakfast.  Well take care of yourself, write when you can.

Love, Roy, Irene and kids

PS:  Saw B[eula] M[ay] Y[oung] Friday noon.  She came out to show Minnie the news clippings you sent.  Minnie had already seen Mother’s.  We talked quite a while before she went back.  Some about Odeta, Tom.  She said she was sure glad that broke up.

 

August 3, 1942: Kay Siron to Ivan

Escondido, Calif.

Typewritten; no envelope

Dear Ivan,

I received your letter last week, was certainly pleased to get such a nice long letter telling about what you are doing there at Ft. Lewis.  Did you get acquainted with Aunt Alice, Pearl and Shirley at Huntington Park and Ed Roberson at L.A., Uncle John at San Bernardino?  I took a three day pass last week and hitch-hiked to San Bernardino and Long Beach where Orville Heilman is with the 137th Infantry.  He got married last Sunday.  I think he has lots of nerve, don’t you?  So has his wife.

I hope you soon have better quarters to live in.  The desert is not a very nice place to be in the summer time.  However, as you say, it has its advantages as it is quite a ways from a camp and you don’t have so much competition in regards to women. 

I went down to San Diego last Sunday (yesterday) and met Jim Marsh who lives with Uncle John at San Bernardino.  We saw a good burlesque show, went out to Corona Beach and saw the beautiful girls in bathing suits.  I came back in the bus and like to never got back.  The bus broke down and we had to change cars on this side of Eliot.  It was so crowded a lot of us had to stand up and I rode on a luggage rack.  I was glad it wasn’t any farther.

We aren’t doing much down here.  A lot of the guys are going to O.C.S. school for artillery and engineers.  I don’t think I want to be in the engineers. 

We built a firing range for 22’s and have been firing them a little, go to school in the afternoon.  Solong.  Write.  Your cousin, Kay

 

August 3, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Just heard you might be leaving this week.  Am sure sorry to hear it, but maybe

 

 

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you’ll be sent some place you won’t mind so much.  Sure hope so.

They say Ralph Barnes was issued fur cap so he must be going where it is cold.  I suppose from that you won’t get to see each other.

It has been thundering, lightening, and rainy like everything last half hour.  Yes, we have no lights!  As per usual electricity is off.  We are using our kerosene lamp. 

Beulah May was here Friday to see me.  She brought the newspaper clippings that you sent her.  I had seen Mother’s.  Had a nice visit with her.  Sure do like her, she is so different from Odeta.  BM said Odeta told her right after Tommy went to Arizona that she was going there when school was out.  Seems as though she was quite sure of herself. 

I may be telling you some of the same things over that I told you this morning but that I’d try air mail and maybe you’d get it before you left. 

I was over at Mother’s this afternoon.  She is feeling pretty good for her.  John is having her take vitamin B tablets.  She thinks they are helping her.  Sure hope so.  Dad is getting along fine only for his poison.  It isn’t near as bad as last year though, so if he keeps at it maybe he’ll out grow it.  What poison Mother had on her nose and neck cleared up so maybe there is a chance for Dad.

Wilma’s, Edna’s, Violet’s, Irene’s and I planned to go swimming this afternoon.  Kids get in for a nickel on Mondays and Friday afternoons.  We were all set about ready to go when Juanita saw that the negroes got the pool this afternoon to celebrate their emancipation.  We decided we’d better not go too as maybe we’d get our kids mixed up and bring home the wrong ones.  Do colored folks sunburn?  They can’t turn red very easily at least, not to show.  It was cloudy for a while, just keen for swimming, but later sun shone pretty hot. 

John went to Wilma’s tonight.  He is going to help fix a drain for her sink and bathtub.  Fred and Clarence helped put her tub in bathroom some time back but as you know she hasn’t had any way to drain her water out.

Clarence got his work card to start to work for Cessna Wednesday.  He will help box and crate materials, etc.  I don’t know how much he will get per hour but if it is steady it will be that much. With him at Leland Robinson’s place it will be easy for him to get to work. 

Edna just phoned and said if we send this tonight you should get it tomorrow, so we’ll take it in tonight.  Be sure and write to Mother and Dad every chance you have.  We girls can read their letters.  Take just as good care of yourself as you can. And let us know how you are as often as possible.  Are we to continue writing to your old address?  Let us know.  Hope you get to see Uncle Abe’s.  We’re in hopes you’d have a furlough too.  Be careful and may God bless you and keep you safe.  Lots of love and best wishes, Fred, Minnie, Delores, and Evelyn.  I hope you don’t get seasick, ha!

 

August 3, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Just heard you were going sightseeing again.  Good luck to you!  I wrote you one letter this morning but Minnie says you might not get it.  BMY called and said you were issued a sun helmet. We went to see Mom and she had gotten your letter too.  She got one from Tommy too.  He wants to know why we didn’t tell him about Odeta sooner.  I guess it might have saved him from getting in so deep and would have saved more money.

It was Beth’s birthday Sunday, she was 2.  I took the kiddies to Sunday School on the bus.  They were good through Sunday School but bad through church.  I sat out with Beth and Walter. 

Schuyler and Ruth came to Mother’s Saturday evening and left Sunday evening.  Most all the gang were there for dinner Sunday but Edna and Morris, they had some kind of an all day meeting at church. 

We wanted to go swimming today but the Darkies have the pool so it was no go.  Mother said we might get our kids mixed with the others and not bring home the right ones. 

It is raining now and I want to go home.  Not quite all windows are down and sometimes it leaks on our bed, on Roy’s side of the bed.  One night it did and I sure had to move some things pretty fast.

From what I hear Clarence goes to work at Cessna airplane war plant middle of next

 

 

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week.  It sure will be fine as he won’t have far to go to work. 

Roy just came and he wants me to come home.  Think I should go.  It has about quit raining.  Roy says he is wet or he would come in so I’d better go on home so he can change.  Well take good care of yourself. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

August 3, 1942: Fred Evans to  Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas 9:30pm

Dear Ivan,

Just talked to Edna and found out by mailing tonight you will get this perhaps by tomorrow afternoon.  I figured upon writing this morning.  I have sure been busy  working all the time.  I am just a little more careful about myself than a year ago.  It was just a year ago this time I went to bed.  I some time feel like getting an 8 hour job so I can feel better all the time.  Yes it is sure tough to get certain supplies.  Now they are going to lay 6% of manufacturing production of electric rods to one side for shops in my bracket.  It is almost through raining.  Lights are still out.  Carl Evans is at Camp Barkley, Texas with the Engineers.  Write often as you can do we all like to read your mail. 

Best of luck, I remain yours as ever, Fred H. Evans

 

August 3, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Monday morning

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all find here.  Had a nice shower last night.  Sure do appreciate it.  It has cooled things off real well too.

We were home yesterday.  Wilma’s, Violet’s and Irene’s were there.  Edna and Morris couldn’t come as they were having an all-day meeting at their church. 

Mother is feeling pretty good for her.   Her blood pressure was 150 last Wednesday.  She will have to go back to doctor about Saturday, I expect.  She is to go back when her supply of capsules are gone.

John sure has a time with the little kids.  They sure do play with him.  He’ll carry two or three at a time.  Wilma Marie won’t make up very good.  First day he was here she crawled under bed.  Think she kinda remembered him from last time.  She told her mother two years ago, “he tease me.” 

Delores is running around in just her panties.  Don’t know if she’d go “nude” if I’d let her but I think she would.

Fred’s work is beginning to slow down some now.  He’s not working so early and late as usual.  A lot of farmers have quite plowing; it’s too dry.

Fred’s Dad sold his new car.  Afraid government might take it later and not pay him what it was worth is the reason he sold it I guess.  Don’t know what he got out of it.

I have some cucumbers just beginning to bloom, so I expect if we have some more showers we’ll have some to eat and can.

Beulah May was out here Friday.  Irene was here.  We had a nice visit with her.  She brought out those paper clippings to show us but I’d seen the ones Mother had.  She seemed in good spirits.  Was looking for another letter from you, so are we.  Say what does that boy friend mean of yours that wrote to Josephine Tuba and said you got in air core? You said you failed on red and green colors.  Please explain.  I’d better mail this, write soon.

Lots of love, Minnie

 

August 3, 1942: Tom to Ivan

Arizona 

Dear Ivan,

I got your letter and took it with me when I went over to see Carl today.  I got over at Ash Fork 11:00 am and came back at 3:30 pm.  I didn’t get much sleep when I got back.  I and Carl played some pool, but I beat him ever time.  It was too bad that you didn’t get in the air core.  Minnie called up the draft board and they told her that I would have time when they called me so I am staying till they call me.  Carl has sold his car and washing machine.  He weighs 141 lbs now, looks better too.

So your little girl is writing to you oftener now.  Well I’m glad of that.  I wish I had as nice a girl as she is.  Pearl is a good girl, but I don’t think she likes me very good.  She only writes ever 15 days.  I guess it is soon enough.  Odeta doesn’t write much sooner now.  I don’t think she liked me or loved me as much as she thought.  I’m sure glad that I didn’t marry the girl now.

 

 

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Well, they haven’t worked me very hard the last couple of days now.  I expect to get about $170.00 clear this half and I will send most all of it home to be put in the bank.  I sent home $100.00 the last half.  This pay I will have my watch paid for.  We got back the other switch engine this morning.  They sent it off to be inspected. 

Well I hope you won’t have to leave this country very soon. 

Love, Your Brother, Thomas Roberson

Well I will write some more now.  Did you know that Pearl N. was a first cousin to Paul and Roy Coon?  Mrs. Coon was a Nyborg.  Pearl asked Minnie which one of you or me got our leg broke.  I got a letter from Edna today too and let Carl take them home with him.  He is going to move closer to the Round house so he won’t have far to walk to work.  When he gets moved he will have only three blocks to walk.  I road the train down to Ash Fork and I had to ride in the smoker. All the other seats were taken.  I came back on the bus.  It too was full up.  About a week ago I took a little girl to the show but she had a date with some one else and after the show I left her with the other person. 

Ralph is going to be moved this month if he hasn’t already moved now.  He said that they were getting things ready for shipment, he thought to the west coast up close to Washington.  Well be good and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.  It is about time for me to get ready to go to work, 11:25pm.  So good luck till next letter.  Thanks for the complement. 

 

August 4, 1942: 

Florence to Lottie Jane and Will

Seattle, Washington

==POST CARD==

Dear Lottie and Will,

Met Ivan last evening and he got a pass and came with us to Seattle.  We will have a great day today looking over the city together.  He looks fine.  Think he was as glad to see us and we were to see him.  Will write more later. Love, Abe and Florence

 

August 4, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter yesterday.  You ought to feel good to think we all think so much of you and your letters as to miss them so much when they fail to come regularly.  Anyway when Beulah May got your letter yesterday she phoned to Minnie to tell her about it.  Then Minnie’s and Irene’s came over to see if I had heard from you.  Just see how important my little boy Ivan is, ha ha. 

Well I guess you know John is home now.  He was in class 1A, and thinks he will be soon called to the army.  He has been at Wilma’s most of the time since he has been here, helping her.  He is there now, going to dig a drain and put in tile for her sink and bath tub.  That will help her so much.  All the kids were home Sunday, except Edna’s.  They were having a dinner at the church.  Schuyler and Ruth came Saturday night, it was the first Sunday he had been off since he had been working at Salina.  They acted like they were getting along fine.  Both have gained in weight.  We had a big rain last night, it will be so nice for everything. 

I saw Josephine at church Sunday.  She just had a letter from a boy that knows you.  He said, “Ivan had passed in his examinations to get in the Air Corps.”  And “he would soon be saluting you he guessed.”  She was sorry that you didn’t make it, but was missing hearing from you.  She liked to get your letters, and had sent several lately.  Her mother was in the hospital. 

We are all better.  I am and I’ve rested so much I believe I’ll get downright lazy.  John bought a big bottle of Vitamin B tablets and sees to it that Dad and I take them when he is here.  My arthritis is lots better since my blood pressure went down.  The Dr. will give me something for my arthritis next time I go he said.  Merritt Emil isn’t a bit well.  He still works but the Dr. says he has cancer of the colon and can’t last long.  He has been bothered several years, but wouldn’t go to a doctor till it was too late.  I visited with him in the waiting room at the Doctor’s last Wednesday.  He asked about you boys, and seemed real cheerful.  But the Dr. told him he was afraid he wouldn’t be here to come back again. 

And so you are planning on a boat ride.  I hope you know how to swim, if you take a boat ride.  We are thankful you know how to write and are so good to write too.  I don’t suppose

 

 

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John will ever write when he gets away, he don’t like to write anyway.  Tom is better to write than I thought he would be.  He mailed some clothes home last week so I guess he is getting ready to go places too.  You boys don’t seem to stay put. 

Hear Dad, he is shooing the hens out of his melon and corn patch east of the barn.  He has one melon about the size of a gallon bucket now but I’ll bet he wouldn’t want me to eat it.  Minnie and Irene think Beulah May is a fine girl, they like her a lot. 

I had better stop before you get tired trying to read this.  I hope you don’t get too tired when you put in the long hours.  Don’t bother about that $11.00, it’s OK.  Wilma was good Sunday.  Her hogs all died, but they might not have been any good if they had lived.  She has a fine bunch of chickens.  The children have lots of fun playing with John.  He got them about 4 lbs of candy Sunday, so they were a sweet bunch. 

John read in a paper where a family lived principally on steeped alfalfa leaves and done so well, felt so good.  He asked Dad if he would eat some if he would get it.  Well, Dad didn’t promise, John went to town.  Along in the afternoon, I saw a truck of baled alfalfa and a hay rack of loose alfalfa coming along the road.  I thought John was getting us some alfalfa, but it went on down the road.  I was afraid to tell him what I saw that day.

Be careful when you take your boat ride and don’t forget, “God is on the ocean just same as on the land.”  He will gladly keep us in His loving care if we will only ask Him.  We must do our part and trust and obey Him.  God told Noah of old what to do to be saved from the flood.  Noah had faith so he builded the ark.  May God keep you free from harm and danger.

Your loving Mom and Dad (Today is Minnie’s birthday)

 

August 5, 1942: Ivan to his Parents

Tacoma, Washington

Dear Mom and Dad: 

How are you all by now?  Still getting a little help from my sisters and brothers?  Well Aunt Florence and Uncle Abe came to see me Monday night and I got off until Wednesday morning and went to Seattle with them.  It was a swell day and we had a nice time.  We went up in the Smith Building in Seattle, 42 stories high, and it was the highest building I had ever been in or saw, I think.  We really had a nice view of Seattle.  We went to Seattle Monday night and stayed there all night and during the day and they took an 11:00 train back to Portland.  They paid all of my way and also bought me a very nice kit to put my toilet articles in.  Aunt Florence also had picture of her grandson and he was sure a cute baby.  I also wanted a kit to put articles in, and they sure got a nice one, a little over $5 for it.  I don't suppose I would of bought one so expensive.  I got your letter you wrote the first.  I am glad John got home.  It was too bad about his car trouble.  I believe I would of taken it easier like you say Mom. I enjoyed my trip more, but then maybe he was anxious to get home.  By the way Aunt Florence had some pictures taken of me and I'll send you one of them.  It was taken in a dime affair and had one enlarged so don't be alarmed if it doesn't look like me.  Has Edna got a basement full of stuff yet?  It is too bad that Tom is going to have his physical so soon.  I sure hope they don't take him and gets deferred.  How is Wilma?

Uncle Abe and Aunt Florence look pretty good but Uncle Abe looks pretty thin.  He has been working pretty good.  How soon does John think he will be drafted?  I got Edna's card too yesterday.  Tell her I'll answer it later.  Well I hope sisters and brothers continue to help you out.  Say your pay from the army will get there about the 1st of November.  That is coming out of what the army pays me.  So don't get worried about it.  Well Mom we are still getting ready to go to Frisco and there is a change in address so I'll write it out for you here so it won't get messed up.  Hope you are well.  Love, Ivan. 

Say there is nothing to worry about too.  So it doesn't bother me so it shouldn't you.  Say you had better pass this around.  New address: Pvt. Ivan G. Roberson, ASN 37014575, Btry B222 FA Bn, APO 1288, c/o Postmaster, San Francisco, California

 

August 5, 1942: Evelyn to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Uncle Ivan,

How are you?  I am just fine.  Delores said you could not suck her thumb!  Mother has some tomatoes. She is going to can them.  I get

 

 

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to go to Lottie’s to stay all night next week.  Daddy bought 3 watermelons.  Delores is writing a letter to you too.  I am going to make a cake and send some of it too. When that will be I do not know.  We went swimming Friday. Love, Evelyn Evans

 

August 6, 1942: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

At the top of the letter: Don’t forget we think of you many times every day and are hoping and praying for your safe return. 

Dear Brother,

We enjoyed your letter so much that you wrote July 30.  I’m glad you enjoyed the cake and cookies even if the cookies were in small pieces.  I was afraid they’d do that, but thought I’d send them anyway.  I’d send some more if you were going to be there long enough.

Say, there really was a big bunch of you boys in Yakima.  How many are going on the boat ride? 

Virgil likes his work a lot as a meat cutter.  He forgot to make potato salad yesterday so had to go back today.  Today was his day off, but they are paid their “day off” if they work as they need help.  Harts are gone on their vacation so they are short-handed.  Virgil makes 50 lbs of potatoes into salad every week and he forgot to do it yesterday.  He said he forgot yesterday was Wednesday.  Do you ever forget that way?  Virgil has done pretty well in the store. He made $30.00 the last two weeks.  That helps so much for him to buy his clothes and does he get a real thrill out of having his own money.  He is taller than Morris and weighs more.  He’ll soon be as large as you if he keeps going.

Gayle is growing well this summer.  He has gone to the swimming pool this a.m. for play day when all the Red Cross classes in swimming get to swim from 9 to 12.  Won’t they have fun?  Do you ever get to go swimming?  I have gone in twice, but we expect to tomorrow p.m. if all goes well.  Maybe all the Robersons and the youngsters will go.  Won’t we have a pool of relations!  I know it will be fun if all can go.  John is at Wilma’s helping her.

Oh yes, that picture, well I got it at Kress.  Didn’t know they had such things so thought I’d like for you to see it -- just for fun!  Really I thought the trees were nice in the picture, didn’t you?  I know the trees must be really nice up there and I expect some of the country is really beautiful.  From the pictures you sent to Mother the scenery where you are is wonderful.  We’re glad that you can enjoy some of it.  It’s bad to have to see it in the way you are, but suppose we have to make the best of it, and enjoy everything possible, as we go along even though it is hard.

We don’t expect you to answer all of our letters, but we are so glad you write to Mother so often.  We do enjoy your letters when we get them and also all of Mother’s too.  We know you have lots of letters to write so don’t worry about answering ours, for you have been better to write than we have.  We are sorry that we didn’t do better, but I’m trying to write oftener now.  I hope I’m not guilty of being so neglectful again. 

Did Aunt Florence and Uncle Abe come?  Surely hope they did for I know you would have a grand time with them.

Mother is better.  Minnie is writing to you so will tell you all the news from over there.  Say, John gave me a lesson in bicycle riding Monday p.m. and I’m kinda old and stiff, but think I’ll make it OK.  I didn’t do much, but I do fall off more graceful than I did at first…

It’s dinner time so will stop and get it ready.  It is cool and nice today.  Just the kind of weather we like.  Had a good rain the first of week so that helped and a sprinkle this a.m.

Love and Best Wishes for a safe trip, “Tuckers”

 

August 6, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I received your letter yesterday.  It went to Violet as we have a new carrier then Minnie was there so she brought it to me after she read it, her and Mother.  She took Mother to town yesterday morning and Mother got a new pair of oxfords to wear.  John was going to get her a new dress too but she couldn’t find anything she likes so she will have to go back.  They stopped at Violet’s, got my mail and read your letter.  Mother would feel better to think you won’t leave so soon.

About these kids, of course they are as ornery as ever.  Walter telling his daddy, “I

 

 

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don’t have to.”  Then when you get ready to spank him he says, “I won’t do it again.”  Wilma Marie is independent enough – she doesn’t always have her own way but she sure would like to.  She can lay on the floor, kick and yell to get her own way.  Beth’s going to be a case; she can say no plenty quick. 

But in all they are no worse than the average kid.  You have to be on your toes or they will get the best of you.  For the last few weeks Wilma Marie had infantigo (sp?) anyway, sores on her bottom and I couldn’t spank her very easy.  She sure needed it.  Wilma Marie wrote you a letter and she wants to know when I’m going to put it in the mail box.  She said she told you everything, she had lots of things to do and was all right and for you to write to her and she’d write again, at least that is what she said she wrote.  Pretty good, eh what!

Don’t worry about us getting mad at you if you don’t write so often and we have to go to Mom’s to read your letters.  If we want to get mad we can get as mad as we please at the Japs and Germans for causing all this trouble.  We can work it off on them.  I think I’ll wash today if the sun stays out.  Then tomorrow Minnie wants me to come over in the morning and sew on a dress for Mother.  Oh yes, Minnie brought corn home from Mother’s and gave me some and had some for their supper.  This morning when I called her she said she didn’t feel so hot, guessed she ate too much corn.  Fred told her she should have been ashamed of herself.

I think this is the third letter this week I’ve written to you but I’ll make up for the weeks I didn’t write.  Sometimes I get busy and forget about it.  Well I’d better close,

Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

August 6, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I’ll try and answer your letter this morning, I said try.  Did you ever eat too many roasting ears?  They were sure good but don’t like the after effects.  I took Mother to town yesterday.  She bought a pair of oxfords to wear for every day.  When I took her home I got some roasting ears for Irene and us.  I brought them home and fixed them for supper.  We’ve been having sweet corn from some of ours here.  This was field corn.  Guess I made a pig hog out of myself, anyway I don’t feel so hot this morning and I’ve got to wash too.

How do you like my pen?  I don’t think it feeds too well for a $5 pen.  Fred got it for my birthday.  Maybe after it is used some it will limber up and work better.

I asked Delores if you could suck her thumb.  She said “no” very emphatically.  I asked her why not?  She said, “cause, I can suck it and he can’t.”  She thinks she has a monopoly on it.

What do you mean by rumors?  Do you mean to say they haven’t issued orders yet only you were going by the activities there in camp?  Is that what makes you think they are leaving right away?  Sure hope you are mistaken.  Maybe a boat ride would be fun.  Am afraid I’d be seasick too much of the time to enjoy any of it.

Delores got a new pair of black patent leather 4-strap shoes, roman sandals they are called.  She was over on day bed this morning, wishing it were Sunday.  I asked her why. “So I can wear my new shoes” was the answer. She is certainly proud of them. 

We do love to get your letters, we read mothers’ too.  Didn’t know you were so important, did you?

Mother looked for a print silk for a Sunday dress.  We looked and looked.  All of the figures were too large or not right color.  We went home without dress material.  Guess we’ll have to try it over again.

You said Fred should join the army so he’ll get fat.  I wonder!  How heavy have you gotten since you are in the army?  I weigh 165 lbs.  Guess I don’t have to be in the army to get fat. 

I plan to wash, water is getting hot.  I almost wish clothes wouldn’t get dirty.  How do you get your washing done?

I suppose I’d better mail this so you will get it. Clarence started work yesterday at Cessna.  He is fitting tubes.  He works from 4 to 12, gets 65 cents an hour.

So long, be good. Lots of love, Minnie, Fred and Girls

 

 

 

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August 7, 1942: Florence to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Oakland, California

Dear Ivan,

Arrived home yesterday morning OK.  Had a nice letter from Edna.  We sure had such a nice visit with you and hope we will be hearing from you soon.  Uncle Abe is resting up now so he will feel like starting to work Monday.  Be sure and get in touch with us if you get down this way.  Had a phone call from Edwin from Honolulu and he is thinking of coming back here. Love, Aunt Florence

 

August 7, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

How are you this nice morning?  I hope you are fine, and still in the good old USA.  Guess I’m a little selfish, I still think that is the best place to be.  I don’t see why they have never given you a furlough, when they gave Ralph Barnes one and he went into training lots later than you did.  Roasting ears are fine now and chickens about big enough to fry.  Wish you were here. 

John is still at Wilma’s, been digging a drain for her sink and bath tub.  He puts the tile down below the frost line, something like two feet.  Minnie took me to town Wednesday.  John wanted me to get a pair of shoes and new dress.  I got the shoes, but didn’t find what we wanted for a dress.  I’m sure getting hard to please, don’t you think?  The shoes will be fine when it gets cooler.  They are dark brown trim, medium black and will be warm for every day shoes as they are heavier than my Sunday ones.  It was $1.00 day so I got a dollar off so paid $2.98 for them. 

Fred wants to go to Colorado for a vacation before they tell him how many miles he can put on his car.  Minnie says he is foolish to go now, when there is so much work to do.  Don’t know who will win out.  We passed Beulah May on the street, at least someone said “Hello Minnie” and Minnie said it was she.  I didn’t even see her. 

Clarence went to work at the Cessna air plant Wednesday.  He gets 65 cents per hour.  Works from 4pm till 12 o’clock.  Violet is sure glad he is working.  Roy is working on roads near Yoder, making roads for that new plant they are putting in. 

Is Kay still at Escondido?  Doesn’t it keep you busy to answer all your letters?  You don’t have any time to get into mischief, do you?  I am so glad you are such a good boy to write home.  I hope you got to see Uncle Abe and Aunt Florence.  We received a folder of Oregon scenery from them yesterday, so they were surely on the way to see you. 

I’d better wash dishes.  Dad is plowing corn, listen you can hear him say, “Git up” to the team.  He sure thinks a lot of them, doesn’t like to work old horses.  Well good-bye with lots of love, Mom & Pop

 

August 8, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I thought I’d better write and tell you I received your always welcome letter and your sleeping bag too, yesterday.  Your letter was written August 1st but postmarked August 3rd.  I hope you were still there when Uncle Abe and Aunt Florence came to see you.  Wish I could have been along too.  I mailed you a letter yesterday.  I hope you get some of them before you leave.

I’ve not heard what Rev. Sparks thinks he will have to do, he may have to go.  Our little country Dr. Hill had to go early in the spring.  I think he is a fine Dr. and hope he can do lots of good in the army.  Probably the Government hasn’t got around sending out checks to the dependents.  Are you sure you keep plenty for your own use? I haven’t unrolled your sleeping bag yet, but I am sure everything is OK.  It sure came quick. 

Mrs. Arthur Collins, of the U.B. Church, wanted your address.  They are getting all the names of the boys that went to their Sunday School that are in the service.  They are having a prayer list of them.  Your name and address is framed at our church too, I suppose some more of my boys’ names will soon be there. 

I hope to hear from Tommy today.  I think he will soon be home, to leave again.  I don’t think your G.F. let Minnie read your letters.  But she was to visit Minnie not long ago, and might have told her something you had written.  Minnie has teased me, she was going to

 

 

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open your box of old letters.  But of course she hasn’t.

It’s ten o’clock so I must take this to the box.  Be a good boy and remember we are thinking of you and wishing you the best of luck.  Good-bye and may God keep you in his loving care. Lots of love, Mom & Pop

 

August 11, 1942: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Brother,

Suppose by now you are getting ready to go places.  We read Mother’s letter that she received Saturday and enjoyed it very much. 

All of the Robersons were here Sunday for dinner.  Everyone was here except those that are quite a distance away.  All the youngsters had quite a time with John.  He really has fallen for his nieces and nephews and they really have for him too.  We took some pictures in the afternoon. Minnie is getting hers finished.  I didn’t get our roll all taken yet.  Did you get the Kodak pictures we sent awhile back?  Hope you did.  We sent them airmail. 

We took the youngsters and went to the park in the evening.  We all took a merry-go-round ride.  One ride was enough for me, but I did take two and I think some of them would have been still riding if they hadn’t run out of “nickels.”  Believe it or not some of the children rode eleven times.  Just as soon as they’d get off from one ride, well John, Fred or Roy would shell out another bunch of tickets and start passing them around.  Well, we did all have fun. Wilma and children really had a good time.  I think Virgil did too, but he couldn’t finish his second ride as he got sick.  He’d been in swimming in the afternoon so maybe that made him dizzy.  Morris worked most of Sunday p.m. so missed out on most of the fun.

I canned 20 quarts of peaches this morning and sprinkled down my clothes so I can iron today.  It is cool and nice here today.  We do enjoy it so much.

We are so glad Aunt Florence and Uncle Abe came to see you.  We feel real proud to have a brother so important as you, for not many aunts or uncles would go so far to spend a few days with their nephew as they did.  We think it was swell of them and grand for you too.  We know all of you enjoyed being together for that short while.  They really got you a nice bag for you.  We are all glad for you. 

Say, your picture was good, but not as nice looking as you really are.  “No, I don’t want a quarter this time,” but really we do think you are good looking anyway.  Mother is really proud of your picture.  She carries it in her purse all the time.  Sometime you should get a good one taken so Mother could have it – have it taken in full uniform.  We’d like to see how nice you look.  Virgil went swimming this morning and goes to work at 1:00 pm.  He worked yesterday from 1:00 pm until 12 midnight.

Hope you are well and that you don’t get sea sick.  Love and best wishes for a safe journey, “The Tuckers”

 

August 11, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Really I don’t know where to begin, at what I told you last time or what the girls have written, so I’ll tell you like I did Wilma.  She wanted a story, so here’s what I told her.  She helped me out where I forgot.  Once upon a time a little girl – or boy – and another little girl got up real early and went to Sunday School with their mamma.  Oh yes, their names were Wilma Marie, Walter and Beth.  Wilma was a good girl.  She sat side Grandma during church.  [Walter?] and Beth were naughty so their mother kept them out in the bus during church.  Oh yes, Junior’s mamma had to take him out too.  After church they went home on the bus.  Then at home they drank milk and changed clothes.  Then Uncle John came and took them to Aunt Minnie.  Wilma wasn’t going to go with him at first because he teases her.  At Aunt Minnie’s, Uncle John got Grandpa and Grandma, Aunt Minnie and went to Aunt Edna’s.  Fred and Roy came later.  All of Wilma and Violet’s were there.  We ate picnic dinner.  Aunt Minnie took pictures of kids.  John poked or tried to give castor oil to all little ones.  Had lots of fun.  Then we all sang songs before Fred and Minnie took Dad and Mother home. 

While they were gone all the rest went to the Park and rode on the merry-go-round, not once but a dozen times.  Wilma, Edna, Violet and all the little ones and big ones rode too.  Junior got sick when Juanita was holding him on

 

 

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one of the horses.  He threw up all over her and the guy that run the machine.  He took baby off and gave him to Violet.  Well we saw the buffalo and deer and finally went home to bed.  Next morning was Monday – I got the kids up early, walked down to Minnie’s and waited till Mother came, then we went to town.  I bought lining for kid’s coat.  Mother got material for two good dresses, one a blue [design?] and another silk brown with white dots, both are real nice.

I went to the dentist, had my teeth treated and a filling put back in.  Then we came back to Minnie’s, ate dinner and then she took me home and Mother to doctor again as he told her to come back.

Clarence is now working for Cessna, 65 cents an hour, 8 hours 7 days a week.  He works from 4 in the afternoon till 12 at night.

John finished Wilma’s drain to the sink and bath tub so now she won’t have to carry all the water out doors now. 

It is cloudy and cold today, seems like the middle of October, not like August.

I just called Minnie to find out what your address was and she said Mrs. Russell [Fier’s] mother – you remember the girl that worked for me last summer -- well her mother is seriously ill and in the hospital.  They were hunting some one this morning to give her a blood transfusion.  She has a fibrous tumor and they want to get her ready for an operation.  I sure hope she gets along OK.  Fred went to see John to find out what type he was and he said one of the general type.  They hadn’t as yet found out what type she was. 

Well I guess I’d better get busy and get some of this house work done, as I’ve been lazy this morning.  Got up just in time to get Roy off to work.  I didn’t hear the alarm.  Did you know they had a luxury tax on alarm clocks?  Heck I don’t know what they mean by it.

Well I hope you get this and you are well.  Sure was a swell picture of you.  It would probably look even more like you with your hat off – it looks like you were getting ready to say something – what was it?  Anyway mother sure wouldn’t part with it.  She let us all see it but was sure she had it after we all looked at it.  Well take care of yourself, tell me get to see you. Love, Roy, Irene and kids

August 11, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your card and letter.  I am so glad you got to visit with Aunt Florence and Uncle Abe.  I was afraid you would miss them some way.  You don’t know how glad we all were to see your picture.  If you had known how pleased we were to get it, I’ll bet you would have sent us one sooner.  It was good of you to send it to us.  I don’t believe they have a better looking boy in the army than mine.  I can’t believe I am selfish either. 

It was just a blood test that Tom had taken.  He hasn’t been called for his real examination yet.  John don’t know when he will be called yet.  He finished the drain at Wilma’s and now is starting to make her some fly traps.  Clarence bought her a two gallon ice cream freezer, because she wouldn’t take any pay for Vincent keeping Clarence’s cows and horses awhile when they first moved from Missouri.  Fred done some work for Wilma.  She paid him $5.00 the other day.  So Minnie bought her an Aladdin lamp with it.  Just the plain lamp was a little over five dollars now.  They don’t take old lamps in on them now.  I know she will be so glad for she wished for one.  We sure enjoy our lamp as much as ever.  I don’t know how we would do without it. 

We were all at Edna’s Sunday, except Schuyler’s.  We had a good time together.  They all copied your new address so maybe you’ll get some letters some day.  Well we hope to hear from you any time you can write.  I was to Dr.’s yesterday.  My blood pressure is OK so he is giving me medicine for arthritis now.  It’s sure nice to feel better.  Dad’s pretty good, lots better than last summer.  Fred just came to get John.  He wanted to get him for a blood transfusion for Mrs. Russell (they live near Irene).  Fred has so much work he was afraid to try it.  Ivan I hope to hear from you, if only a line, today.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mom & Pop

Your sleeping bag came OK.  We hope you are well and OK.  May God keep you free from harm and danger and safe in His loving care.  Love, Mom

 

 

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August 11, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

[Tuesday]

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you and where are you?  Have they moved you to San Francisco?  What happened to that computing job?  Couldn’t you tell the difference between red and green there?  Ha! 

Got your letter last week.  Felt honored, know you made a mistake as I got two letters.  I don’t care how many mistakes you make that way.

It is nine o’clock.  I am waiting for Fred to come in to dinner, I mean breakfast.  It will be dinner if he doesn’t come on.

I took Mother to town yesterday morning.  She got material for two Sunday dresses.  One was brown with white dots, other one was blue with white design in it.  I am sure she will like them both and get lots of good out of them.

I took Mother to the doctor.  She is getting along fine with her blood pressure.  He gave her medicine for her arthritis this time.  Before she had some that helped her to sleep better, quiet her nerves.  He left that out this time, so she is doing better.  We went to town in the morning, shopped for her dresses, etc.  Then I took her to the doctor in the afternoon.  She had to wait about three hours and she stood it all pretty good.  She was tired but able to go yet.  Dad had the milking done when we got there so she missed that.  Dad sure gets tired milking though.  He sweats so, shirt was just wet last night.  Wish if they stay on the farm they’d let calves run on the cows. 

Wilma paid us $5.00 on work that Fred had done for her.  I went to town yesterday and got her an Aladdin lamp.  It cost $5.50 tax and all.  We stopped last night, took Violet and girls and junior with us, and went to Wilma’s.  It was 9:30 when we left here.  We got there after all were in bed but weren’t asleep.  Fred got Howard to get him some kerosene and he  put the lamp together out in the shanty.  Wilma said they just had the one lamp.  One of the girls had broken the chimney of their other one.  We sat there and talked in the dining room.  Pretty soon Howard came in and blew out the lamp.  Wilma asked him what he was doing.  Girls then noticed lamp in kitchen that was lit.  Wilma got up went to the kitchen and she wanted to know what was going on.  About all she could say was “my gosh.”  She sure was tickled.  Tried to tell us we shouldn’t do it but we were glad we could.  For anyone else it would have cost about ten dollars for work Fred had done but he wouldn’t charge Wilma since she has her hands full anyway.

Say little boy, I must hunt up the letter where you wrote and said you didn’t want to marry Beulah May’s mother or sister.  No B.M. didn’t let me read any of her letters and I don’t think she ever will.  She told us girls Odeta takes Tommy’s letters over for her to read and waits on her reading it.  She says she’d much rather not.  She says Odeta asks her how often she hears from you, but she won’t tell her much, as when people want to know her business is when she shuts up like a clam.  She thinks Odeta is kinda silly letting others know so much about her love affairs at least what she thought was her love affair.

Violet and Clarence bought Wilma a new ice cream freezer, a two gallon one.  Kids took ice, milk, etc., to Wilma’s last Saturday.  Wilma was sure tickled.  Violet’s got it for her for Vincent taking care of the cows when they first came back from Missouri.

Clarence likes his job just fine so far.  He says it isn’t hard.

Lee and Luella were here last night.  Lee weighs 204 lbs.  Sure looks like he has settled down.  Fred sure laughed at him. 

Delores and Evelyn are just arguing as to which are the oldest, Fred or I.  I’m supposed to be the boss now as I am older than he, now since my birthday. 

I picked about two gallons of medium sized tomatoes off my vines.  We have been using them for several weeks.  There aren’t many more on the vines, hope they set on more pretty soon.

John got tile and fixed Wilma’s sink drain.  She can now use sink and bath tub.  Wilma’s kids sure are tickled to get to use bath tub. 

Fred’s work has slacked up a lot now.  He is having a chance to rest more now.

I got my pen changed I think this one writes much better.  Feels like a pen should.

 

 

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Mrs. Russel is in hospital, Fern Russel’s mother.  She is pretty sick, it’s tumors that is causing her trouble.

Sunday we were all at Edna’s for dinner.  About six we went to the park.  John, Roy, Fred kept buying tickets and kids kept riding.  In fact it wasn’t just kids, John, Roy, Fred, Edna, Wilma, Violet, Irene and I all had rides too.  I rode twice.  Evelyn said she had ten rides.  Besides what tickets the boys bought the fellow who runs it gave Roy a bunch of them.  Kids and all of us had a good time.  They gave such a long ride for a nickel too, so kids had a big ride.  Junior threw up while on it.  Juanita then tried to get off.  The manager took Junior, then Juanita jumped off backwards.  She sure went rolling.  She will learn, maybe.

I’d better close and write to Tommy..  You don’t need to be afraid to write what you want to, to your GF, as I know from what she said others don’t get to see her letters.

Well bye, bye be good. Lots of love, Minnie

 

August 11, 1942: Mrs. Luper to Ivan

Burrton, Kansas

Perhaps you don’t remember me but Rev. Luper and I came to serve Pleasant Grove Church a while before you folk left the community.  We are still here and when our missionary society decided to list and write to all the boys we know in service, I drew your name and wish I knew just what would interest you most.

We have dozens of you boys on our prayer roll and it does us good and we hope you boys too.

Guess you knew they rebuilt the church two years ago – it’s all different, a class room where choir used to be between the other two on the south.  The main entrance is new and in the east and pulpit in west.  A new ceiling and oak floors and new basement with butane furnace so it’s a real joy to all. 

Would like to see your mother.  Is she near Hutch yet?  Would like her address.

Robert Baker and Marvin Dreibelbris were home on short furloughs the last two weekends, having finished their course and on a move.

We have had a very nice summer, lots of rain and a real corn crop.  But I suppose it’s always nice in Washington.  That’s the one state mister and I have always wanted to go.  Guess it’s the timber that attracts our attention but guess we have waited too long at our age.

We really hope it isn’t just to protect us older ones that you boys are giving your best but that you are laying the foundation for a civilization that your generation and the ones to follow will get to enjoy in peace.

The most exciting thing here just now is [that] three new busses for Haven High School will pick up all students in district see that goes to edge of Hutchinson. 

Then of course Haven is full of folk working on air base out in Yoder community.  We never pass the home over here on 96 without thinking of you folk.

Must close for this time.  Would like to know of your work and when your birthday is.

Your friend and prayer partner,  Mrs. W. S. Luper

 

August 12, 1942: Tom to Ivan

Dear Ivan,

I got your letter along with a card from Minnie.  I’m just fine and hope you are the same.  I’m glad that your girl is writing to you oftener now.  I got a card from Pearl.  She is in Colorado now, but I don’t know when she is going home.  Say I am not worrying about any girl anymore.  Let them worry about themselves.  We haven’t been getting much overtime this half so I won’t make very much.  I sent home $150 to be put in the bank the last half. 

Carl sold his car so Saxon’s father and mother couldn’t be able to drive it and wear it out.  I don’t know why he sold his washing machine or his ice box.  He told me he might have to move to Prescott.  He said it would cost too much to move them that far.  So he sold them.  Minnie told me that Mother’s blood pressure is where the Doc wants it now.  He is going to doctor her arthritis. 

They are sending a bunch of boys from Board No. 3 but my name wasn’t in the bunch.  Freddie Pitts was in the bunch,.  They leave the 18 of this month.  So it will be a couple of weeks longer before they send another bunch of them I think.  They have put on another switch engine so we don’t have to do so much work now. 

 

 

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I wish you could go home before you do cross the water but if you can’t you just can’t.  If you could and don’t have the money I will send you all you want if you didn’t want too much.  I am glad that you have a good girl.  I wish I had a girl friend as good as she is, but I will find one some day I hope.  They are sending more soldiers west now so I guess they are about ready to send them across some place. Well I hope you don’t get sea sick and feed the fishes.  Well I hope you luck and hope you like your boat ride. Your Brother, Love, Thomas F. Roberson

 

August 13, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter you wrote the evening of the 7th.  Somehow we were glad you were still at Fort Lewis.  Maybe you boys get tired of staying at one place and like a change.  Wilma always wished she were a boy, so she could travel and see the world.  I guess she had itchy feet.  Well anyway you and Tom are so good to write.  I don’t suppose we will ever hear from John when he gets away.  Aunt Florence was the one that kept him writing as much as he did. 

John worked at Wilma’s last week.  She sure is proud of her drain to her sink and bathtub.  Vincent had bought a used tub, so it’s in the bathroom now.  John got material and made her two fly traps and took them to her Tuesday evening.  He hasn’t been back since, planned on visiting at Castleton some, and going camping on the Ninescau (I don’t know how to spell it) river.  It’s raining now here, so it wouldn’t be so nice to be camping out. 

John is very nervous, I wish he wasn’t so much.  The other evening he was planning on staying with us all night.  While I was out fastening up the chickens, Dad had the radio on.  It made John nervous and he came out and told me he was going to Wilma’s to get away from the noise of the radio.  I was sorry but couldn’t help it then.  Don’t say a thing about it as I wouldn’t want John or Dad to feel bad.  Dad didn’t know it was bothering John and I’ve not told him. 

Thanks a lot of the pictures, I look at them so often.  I showed one to Blanche Mattell.  They used to live in the U.B. community, they had a large family.  She said you were a fine looking boy.  Her husband is in California in the army. 

Wilma Marie is stubborn like her Grandma Roberson.  You know it’s hard for me to give up, if I think I am right.  Please excuse all the extra ink I have on this, my pen does that way sometimes.  I am lots better, blood pressure is where it should be, so I am taking arthritis medicine.  It’s nice to feel better.  Dad’s poison is lots better since it’s cooler too.  Dad thinks the vitamin tablets makes him feel better.  Tom is in 1-A and he said he would be home in a couple of weeks, he supposes. 

Well Ivan we got up too late for me to write much.  I’ll try and do better next time.  Just forget about that $11.00.  You’ve sent us more than that lots of times.  Be a good boy and don’t learn to smoke or drink while in the army.  Dad’s asleep in his chair and it’s still raining.  Ivan if you don’t have time to read in the Bible, just memorize one verse a day.  You’ll be glad you did when you are older.  Good-bye with lots of love,  Mom & Pop

 

August 14, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter you wrote the 10th.  I expect we might of gotten it sooner if we lived in town.  We were so glad you were still in California.  It would be nice if you didn’t have to go so far away.  But we are so glad you are so good to write to us.  We sure do appreciate it too.  I expected that was the reason you never got a furlough.  Of course we would be so glad to see you, but Wilma says the going away again is worse than the first time. 

Schuyler and Ruth were here last night awhile.  Ruth took your address, she plans to write to you.  Schuyler said he didn’t know how to write.  But he is very anxious to read your letters.  John came home after they had left.  He was just fine, bought Dad another bottle of tablets and me some sandals.  He is trying to get something for me to wear on my feet.  These are fine but a little too much room.  He also brought Dad a half sack of shoes he didn’t want.  When a shoe went to hurting his feet any, he bought another pair. 

 

 

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The girls and children were planning on going swimming this P.M.  But it’s cloudy and misty now.  John has left for Fred’s to see about going.  He was at the Park Sunday night with all the girls and children, and all rode on the merry-go-round.  John said he bought 80 tickets.  He said they all had a good time.  He stayed one night on the river and was rained out. He is going to wait till it clears up now.  He took supper at Charlie Hornbaker’s and went to Zimmerman’s too.  I’ll tell Alice your new address. 

Schuyler said your pictures aren’t as good as you are.  We are proud of them anyway, and thanks a lot for them.  I wish Tommy could have seen you before you sailed.  I sure hope you land your job, if it’s what you want.  I’ll bet you get tired of reading when I don’t have anything to say.  So maybe I’d better say good-bye with lots of love, Mom & Pop

Ivan, may God bless and keep you in His loving care, free from harm and danger.  Mom.

 

August 14, 1942: Schuyler to Ivan

PO Box 363, Salina, Kansas

Dearest Ivan,

I expect you will be surprised to hear from us, but we do think of you often, and we always enjoy reading your letters to Mother and Dad when we go home.  We went home yesterday, did not have time to see all the folks, just saw Mom and Dad.  They were both feeling fine.

Ivan those pictures you sent the folks in uniform are sure good.  We’d sure be proud to have a picture of you, if you could send us one.

It rained here yesterday. That is the reason we got to go home.  John was in Castleton or someplace.  We did not get to see him this time, but we saw him Sunday before last, when we were home. 

We think we will be here about three weeks.  We do not know where they will send us next. 

Ivan if you can find the time we’d love to get a letter from you.  But if you are too busy, we’ll excuse you for not writing, as we get to read your letters when we go home. 

Will stop for now.  With lots of love, Your bud and Sis, Schuyler and Ruth

PS:  Say it is sure a job to address an envelope to you.  I’m not sure if I got it on there in the way I should have, but it is all on there so maybe it will reach you.

 

August 15, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Saturday morning

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all well here. 

We went swimming yesterday I mean the gang did.  I took care of 9 little ones in the “baby pool.”  Even Junior went in.  Wilma’s, Irene’s, Violet’s, and Edna’s and we here went.  John went too, also Canon kids.  Junior was out in pond about five or six feet all at once he went over backwards and was just floating.  I stepped in after him, shoes, stockings, and all.  My dress even got wet a long ways up on skirt.  Guess I splashed too much.  I said I wasn’t supposed to go in, but I got almost as wet as anyone.  After Junior sat on blankets awhile he climbed back in pool as I guess he was scared out. 

Delores wants pencil so I’ll use my pen.  I can’t scribble quite as fast with it as I can pencil.

Emily was sure a duck.  She just swam and swam and swam, I mean played in the water.

I am canning tomatoes, ironing, etc., today.  Seems as though Saturday is always a busy day. 

Say, why can’t you get a furlough before you sail?  We’d all love to see you.  Have you tried to get one?  What happened to that computer’s job?  Are you in San Francisco now?  Have you seen Uncle Abe?  That is since you arrived in San Francisco, you are there.

We asked John about what you’d written home.  He hadn’t paid much attention and couldn’t tell us.  I’ll see Mom and Dad tomorrow though.

Wilma is having Charles and Clyde’s tonsils out Tuesday morning. 

I am going to get some tomatoes to can for Mother.  They won’t have any to can.  They have them to use.  The wind and beating rains we had in July about ruined plants that Irene and I put out.

John was home last night.  You ought to see John’s washing.  He’s used hankies for grease rags.  He put ties, dirty clothes and

 

 

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everything into sacks and sent them home.  They are at Edna’s.  She will sure have a washing.

Rev. Sparks hasn’t used car for several weeks.  He has three flat tires.  Don’t know what luck he will have getting them fixed.

Kenneth Chitwoods have a boy born yesterday.  I’ll bet they are glad.  Now they have a boy and a girl.

I borrowed Fred’s mother’s pressure cooker last night.  I want to get some corn to can pretty soon now.

Morris Tucker’s cousin Wesley Tucker has moved north of us on Hoffhine’s place.  It is Guy Morton’s place now. 

I took some pictures yesterday of the kids swimming.  I hope they are good.

I’d better mail this so you will get it.  Delores is sure writing you a nice letter.  She’s asking how to spell watermelon and tomato. She just showed me her letter and wanted to know if that was right for watermelon.  Write when you can. Lots of love, Minnie

 

August 18, 1942: Florence to Ivan

Oakland, California

Dear Ivan,

Received your letter today and glad you had a good trip down here.  We would like it if you could come and see us, but if that isn’t possible we can come and see you if you could let us know when and where you would be.  Uncle Abe gets home by 4 in the afternoon and we could be up to camp by the time you was through your dinner if you didn’t have K.P. and spend a couple of hours with you.  Let us hear from you anyway.  Had a nice letter from Edna and a card from your mother and they are OK.  Your mother was so glad to get your picture.  I knew she would be.  Said John was helping a little at Wilma’s.  Let us hear from you soon and we do hope we will be seeing you.

With love, Aunt Florence

 

August 18, 1942: Kay Siron to Ivan

Escondido, California

Dear Ivan,

I am hoping you have arrived at your destination by now or at least know where you are going, that is if you want to go there.  I would like to go to Alaska if I didn’t have to stay too long.  I am subject to cold feet, so don’t enjoy cold weather, however, I guess you would be warmly clothed and they say you can get used to anything.

What did you find around Escondido to guard?  The only thing we guard is the motor park and the two gates into camp.

The California gals don’t bother me much, or any girls for that matter.  I guess I never got around enough when I was a kid.  I was always broke.

I went down to Eliot today to learn to compute.  “B” battery fired some shrapnel 155 shells today, we fire (“A” and “C”) Thursday, so we will get some more experience.

You be sure and write to me when you get to Alaska or wherever you are going.  I know several officers and men that are up there now. Best of luck, Your Cousin, Kay

 

August 18, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter yesterday and to know that you were OK.  It was too bad you didn’t get to visit Tuba’s with your friend.  I saw in the paper the other day that Mrs. Tuba was getting along nicely after a major operation.  So we are glad.  Is your friend leaving Fort Lewis with you?  We are still having nice cool weather and we sure like it a lot. 

John was here yesterday but today he has gone to town.  Clyde and Charles are to have their tonsils removed this a.m.  Minnie and Edna are going to be with Wilma, and John was to take Minnie into town, so I suppose he will be with them too.  He is getting anxious to be doing something, so if he isn’t called soon he talks of getting a job.  Minnie heard from Tommy yesterday.  He was OK.  Well I was hoping you would get to visit at Uncle Abe’s but I am glad they got to go visit you.  Fred’s came home with us from church Sunday.  Clarence’s and Roy’s were here awhile in the afternoon.  John was at Castleton Sunday afternoon and evening.  I gave Alice your new address Sunday. 

We just had Sunday School at our church, then most of us went to the fair grounds for preaching.  The Nazarenes were having a camp meeting in the 4-H building there.  Dad and I rode with Alice and her mother there and

 

 

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came back with Minnie and Fred.  We left our car at the church.  Well Ivan if you can’t write letters to us, we can just say anything to you and you can’t say anything about it, ha, ha.  I feel sorry for you.  But I know you’ll write whenever you can to us.  Be a good boy and take good care of Ivan.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mom & Pop

 

August 19, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

We are here at Minnie’s are going after the canning sugar today and the kids some shoes. By “we” I mean Mother, Dad, Violet and her kids, and with all this commotion I can hardly write.

Seeing as how I can’t hardly say anything I’ll put in Tommy’s letter and let you read it.

Wilma’s two – Clyde and Charles – had their tonsils out yesterday and they are getting along OK now.

We went to Early Hanes’ at Castleton Sunday, it was his birthday.

I took care of Froese’s chickens, dog, and milk while they went to Nebraska over weekend. When they got back Connie was back from Arizona. Doctor said she need a change.

Oh well there is a nurse out there that takes care of the Indians and I guess she can raise Hell and she made it pretty unpleasant for Connie, got on her nerves.

I just rescued Beth from the tomatoes. She was eating a big one getting her dress all dirty so she couldn’t go to town.

Mother is curling Delores’ hair. Say boy you will have to guess at all this as I can’t even think good with so many around.

Dad come in and is ready to go to town and won’t even eat any dinner. Mother is going with Minnie pretty soon.

Say Ivan, Delores says that picture does not look like her.

Juanita says she will write some so I’ll sign off till tomorrow and write when I know what I’m saying.  Love, Irene

 

August 19, 1942: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Uncle Ivan,

We read in the paper that the boys in the army will be the ones to get the best food and everything so we have just about decided to join the army and be with you. Wouldn’t that be nice.

Our car wouldn’t start Sunday. Us girls walked over here to Aunt Minnie’s. They didn’t come here after church like they most generally do. We stayed till about two o’clock then Dad and Mom came after us they got the car started. Then we went to Grandma Roberson’s then to Grandma Emery.

We couldn’t get the car started Monday. It wouldn’t start any time so Uncle John fixed [it] yesterday. Well I must close. Write to me.

With lots of love, Your niece, Juanita

 

August 19, 1942: Violet to Ivan

Dear Brother,

I’ve kept thinking I’d write for some time but moving takes time and settling takes longer.  I’ve got garden over the other place and some here where we’ve moved to.  I had to plant it at once after moving so it would have time to make and there isn’t much time.  We need to go to the other place to get things from the garden.  We have cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, roasting ears, etc.

The girls, Lottie Grace and Clarice, sold their flowers to Mr. Madison that were in the garden at the other place.  We were working in the garden and he came along.  He stopped and wanted to know if we’d sell the flowers.  They were in bloom.  He planned to try to transplant them.  He offered the girls 50 cents for them and L.G. took him up on the offer.  Mr. Madison is a negro neighbor of ours at the other place. 

This morning the family of us came over to Minnie’s, and Mother, Dad, Irene, Beth and Wilma and Walter were all there.  They plan to go apply for canning sugar.  Irene was writing to you and I said I wanted to write too and so that’s what I’m doing.

We washed yesterday at our place and today I intended to iron and here we are at Minnie’s.

Clarence is here ready for me to go home.  He works from 4pm till 12.  He got up to do chores and now it’s most twelve and he wants to get home and sleep, perhaps.  I suppose someone wrote you Clarence works at Cessna’s.  He likes it pretty well.  They intend to have a

 

 

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picnic for employees and families on Sunday.

Hope you enjoy the pictures.  Some look quite fishy but they’re home folks anyway.

We plan to all join the army to be with you soon.  From what they say we’ll soon be without eats, if we don’t can or raise it.  The army comes first!  My you’re important ------ Don’t you feel stuck up!  We’re trying to do our part canning, etc., but if we don’t make out or raise enough to can, just move over we’re coming to be with you.  Do you suppose they’d have us???

We plan to can corn this week and tomatoes, etc.  I’ve made 8 quarts kraut from cabbage I’ve raised besides giving away a lot and using a lot.  My pepper and egg plants are doing fine.  I moved them from the other place.

Minnie, John, and Edna were with Wilma yesterday while Charles and Clyde had their tonsils out.  We had Minnie’s girls.  John stayed all night with Wilma’s.  They took the boys home around 3:30.  They felt pretty bad at first.

John fixed our car for us yesterday.  It didn’t’ run and it needed a new coil.  I went after C.D. at midnight to keep him from walking home.  It’s only a bit over a mile so it’s not so long a walk only he got a bit more rest, maybe. 

Write to some of us and I’ll try to do better after this, writing to you.  Hope you don’t sail but if you do, God speed.  Take care of yourself and our prayers go with you. 

Well, write again soon.  All are well here. Love, Emery’s (CD)

 

August 21, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you making it now?  We are fine here only Delores developed tonsillitis.  She has yellow spots on them and in the roof of her mouth, fever 100.5  I must swab her throat soon which I know she won’t like. 

Wilma’s best milk cow quit giving milk, wouldn’t eat.  Had Dr. McClure out several times for her finally they decided to sell her before she died.  John went to McArthur’s, had man come out and see her.  John told him she had gone dry.  They wanted to buy one that they could milk now.  He got $63 for her.  Pretty good for cow about ready to kick the bucket.  She hadn’t eaten for six days I think it was.

I am going to mother’s pretty soon and get some corn to can.  I’ve got pressure cooker of Fred’s Mama’s here.  I’ll can some for mother too.

Tommy thinks he will come home sometime soon.  Maybe start home today.  He said he could help get up winter’s wood if he did.  He expects to be called in September.

We haven’t gone on vacation yet.  Want Mother and Dad to go with us when we go.  Don’t know how it will work out.  Aren’t you going to get to come see us?  Sure wish you could before you leave.  Don’t forget to send pictures you planned to before you go as we want some good ones of you. 

What work did you do in the kitchen?  Do you help with main part of cooking?  Bet it is good.  I have an ironing to do, some more tomatoes to can.  Plenty to keep me going.

I am sending pictures we took last Friday a week ago when we were all swimming.  I got the whole bunch in but Charles and he was back of Marjorie in one of them.  Clarence snapped one of my back.  Could have looked worse, ha!  I’m sure he planned to get some of others in their bathing suits but didn’t focus it right.

I’d better go.  Write when you can.  Sure like to read Mother’s letters too.

Lots of love, Minnie

 

August 24, 1942:  Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you now? I hope you are OK. We are all fine. Beth was some sick last night but better now.

Say maybe my kids take after their uncle. Thinks so, ha! Mother says when they are naughty they take after her but they get some of it from their Mother and Dad I think.

The biggest news is that Thomas is home now. He got in on the 2:30 train yesterday afternoon. When he got in he called Edna then Minnie and Fred brought him to Mother’s. Mother sure was surprised. Tommy worked two days at Ash Fork and he will get his job back after the war. He wasn’t called yet he just took a notion to come home so he came.

I’ve canned 27 quarts of tomatoes

 

 

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already and want to can more. Minnie has canned corn already and is going to can some for Mother. I want to help her with it.

I read your letter at Mother’s and bet it was some job to cook for all those men. How many men did it take to prepare the meal? I’ll bet it was quite a few.

It is almost time for school to start and I’m glad my girl doesn’t go till next year. Juanita will go to Buhler on bus again. Lottie will go to Obeeville.

Boy I sure was mad Saturday evening and Sunday. Here’s how it was. On Friday I canned tomatoes and Minnie came, was going to get corn at Mother’s so I went along. I still had the tomatoes to do. When I got home Juanita was here. I had washed the day before and had my clothes to put away yet. Everything was a mess and she wanted me to help her sew. To make a long story short, we canned about a bushel (?) of tomatoes on Friday afternoon. Next day it rained.  Oh how I hate rain on Saturday with so darned much to do. Anyway I fixed her dress in the morning so she’d be ready to go home when her Dad came. Then in afternoon I canned the rest of the tomatoes. Clarence came after her while I was putting kids to sleep but it put me so far behind I didn’t get caught up on time to get the kids to Sunday school. So never again.

I sure want to go next Sunday because if Teeter don’t get enough to ride they can’t take the bus. They have sold the little bus and have only the big one left and if they don’t get enough to ride in it they can’t take it at all. Tires the reason I suppose.

I suppose they told you John had fixed the drain to Wilma’s sink and bathtub. She says she can give two a bath at once. Sure is swell.  She has an Aladdin lamp Minnie and Fred got her and she says she doesn’t need electricity now. Said it was like Christmas. When the kids had their tonsils out Clyde wouldn’t eat anything but ice cream. I guess John took him out all he could eat. Charles could eat more than Clyde.

Cessna had a picnic for all the employees. They furnished pop, etc. Anyway Clarice drank and ate so much stuff that she played lose your supper and was pretty sick last night. Look like she would know better after a while.

We sure have been having cool weather lately more like it is in October. Sure is swell for sleeping though. I can hardly wake up in the mornings.

Delores has been having trouble with her tonsils, spots on them. But after Minnie watched Clyde and Charles have theirs out she doesn’t know about having hers out so soon she says she will see how she does this winter.

Well I’d better sign off as you probably are tired of trying to make all this out anyway.

Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

August 25, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Guess you’ve heard Tommy came home Sunday.  Fred and I went to Edna’s, he was there so we took him home. Mother said we could bring another one of her boys home, if we wanted to.  She’d sure be glad if we could, so would we.

I am canning tomatoes this morning.  I have 61 quarts up this year that is of tomatoes.  I have a few other things canned.

Violet has gone after some corn at Mother’s.  I’m afraid she will get a good bath as it sure has been raining.

Fred would like to leave next week for Colorado.  Don’t know if he will or not.  Is there still any chance at all of you having a furlough?  If there is, we won’t go until we know for sure.  What ever happened with that computer job you tried for?  Did you take any more tests for air core?  Tommy wants to enlist as mechanic in air core.  Hope he can make it as he likes mechanical work.

Evelyn stayed at Edna’s Sunday night.  She and Gayle are sure having a good time together.

I have canned 14 quarts of corn.  I am to give Mother half so she has seven quarts up.  We counted what fruit, etc., Mother has in cellar.  She had 249 quarts left.  She doesn’t need so much canned only that a lot of what she has is plums.  She needs a variety.  I think about 50 quarts is plums so still she has a lot canned for them.  She had 30 quarts of beans left from last year.  Hardly any of us got to can beans this year.  It was too wet, they rusted.

Pearl N. told me Sunday night that she

 

 

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wanted to talk to Tommy.  Robert and Tommy left church and went to show.  Do you suppose Mother has found out?  And what kind of lecture do you suppose he got?  Ha! 

Did you get to see Uncle Abe and Aunt Florence?  How far are you from their place?

It is cool here this morning.  I must fix some coats of some kind for girls and hem my spring coat.  Got it late last spring and never did fix hem or sew on buttons.

If you can’t read this just “step” over and I’ll translate it for you.

If we go to Colorado we want Mother and Dad to go.  Irene said she’d stay and watch things in day and cook for the boys who are there so I hope Mother decides to.  I think seeing something different would do her some good.  She does feel better, a lot better than when we took her to doctor first. 

Dad Evans was just here.  He is trying to get him a gas stove.  If he does we may get his kerosene stove.  It is newer than ours.  Our chimneys have rotted.  We need new chimneys and flame spreaders.

Lorene, her sister out west and Warren went to Ohio I think it is to see her folks.  They got back Sunday.

I’d better mail this and get to work.  Write when you can and best of luck to you.

Lots of love, Minnie

 

In September 1942 Ivan’s Division arrived in Hawaii, and was assigned to defend the north side of Oahu. 

 

September 7, 1942: Kay Siron to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Escondido, California

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  Write and tell me if you receive this and how you are doing.  Have you got acquainted with any Eskimo girls?  So long, write, a cousin, Kay

 

September 15, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

== V-MAIL ==

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to know that you had arrived safely at your destination.  We were glad to read your letter of August the 20th.  That is the last letter we have received from you.  We are all looking forward for a letter from you.  Tom and John are here waiting for to be called.  Everyone is fairly well.  Delores has asthma, so they found out yesterday.  They took her to a doctor at Newton.  Dad is starting to Dr. with a Dr. at Wichita.  He will take shots once a week for his skin trouble.  Fred’s took him to Wichita.  Write and tell me if you get this, my first V-mail letter.  We hope you are well and doing your work the best you can.  We are praying every day that “the right may be strengthened and the wrong be weakened.”  I am sorry you didn’t get some more pictures before you left.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop, Tom and John

 

September 25, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

It is a rainy day and the last day of the fair so I don’t suppose many will be there.  We went Monday.  I and Wilma Marie with Minnie and her two girls.  Edna went, Wilma and her kids and Juanita and Lottie Grace so we had a big time.  When Wilma went home Minnie sent Delores and Evelyn with her so after Fred came at nine.  He had Max Russel, our neighbor’s little boy, with him.  He is in second grade and not much taller than Wilma Marie.  He took him rides and then finally we started home.  We had to collect kids take kids home till I was asleep.  I sure had a good time but was tired next day.  The next night Minnie and Fred took Violet and then Wednesday night Mother and Dad and they were going to stay home last night.  I’ll bet they were glad to get to. 

I’ve been canning corn, pears and blue plums this week.

We got our stove up yesterday and it sure feels good to be warm.  It has turned cold so much earlier this year it seems. 

Roy has bought a saw rig and is going to fix it up to saw wood with this winter.  We won’t have to worry about Dad cutting the stuff.  I imagine Fred will help too and John if he is here by then. 

When you come home you should teach Tommy how to drive nails.  He spent $5 at the Fair trying to drive five inch nails in some wood so he would win a prize.  He said it sure looked easy but one would bend.  He said he guessed he

 

 

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was just a sucker.  I reckon he will learn.

Roy is still working for the county on the road.  They let him off for the fair yesterday. He went in the afternoon.  I didn’t look at the clock to see what time he came home in the evening.  He said they wasn’t much there that he could see.  There was one exhibit that was worthwhile.  It showed about 30,000 butterflies, beetles, stick insects and other insects.  Some of the prettiest butterflies I’ve ever seen and they were collected all over the world.  They showed us the silk worm, the cocoon, and moth.  In another tent they had some of the wild life, timber wolf, porcupine, prairie dog, foxes and all kinds.  We needed clothes pins in there though because I think they had a skunk or two in there also.

Beth wants a drink so I’d better close and get it for her.  She won’t let the other kids get it for her.

I still have some more corn to can so I’d better get busy.  We are canning it on share for mother.  We girls have done most of her canning so far for her, as she has enough to do. 

Well take care of yourself and I’ll write oftener next time.

Lots of love, Roy, Irene and kids

PS:  Some of your letters look like my kids have taken scissors to them, some of it is missing.  I’ll try to be careful what I write too so none will be missing. 

PPS:  The thing is if they don’t want you to tell it, they just cut it out and put their seal on it that the rest is OK.  One girl received letter from censor saying your boy friend still loves you, but he talks too much….signed the Censor.  They were real nice about it.

 

September 25, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Sure glad to read your letters at Mother’s but am ashamed that I haven’t written to you before now.  How did you like your trip on the ocean?  Did you feed any fish at all?  I felt like doing so the other evening at the Fair.  I got on the boomerang. Remember it was the tubs they whirled you around in, then gave you a hard push down an enclosed place. Anyway I was going in circles when I got off.  I decided no more for me. 

I am canning corn today.  Yesterday Violet stayed here and canned while I went to town with some ladies to buy equipment for the kitchen at school.  They are starting hot lunches right away I guess.  There was just one new perfection oil stove in town.  It was one you had to pipe to a barrel of kerosene so we didn’t want it.  We bought a good used one, ought to be.  It was 5 burner and cost $89.50. 

I have 36 quarts of corn canned or will have when the batch in cooker comes off.  I have some more here to can.  I want to can some more.  I’ll have to within next week or it will be too hard.

Delores is over her spell of asthma.  I hope she has no more but no wishing will bring that about I guess.  She is to take shots every week.  I must take her to doctor and start them.

Fred went to try to get in at Cessna the other day.  There isn’t too much at shop now.  They didn’t need welders then.  Took his application.

The other day Delores came to dinner with a smudge of powder on her face.  Fred asked her what she’d been in to.  She said powder.  After dinner Fred went to the bedroom and called me in.  You could see where she’d spilled it down front of dresser.  Right in front of dresser was a doll blanket spread out like a rug.  I raised it up and there was my powder.  I left it lay there and called to Delores.  I told her to come to the bedroom.  She didn’t want to.  I insisted, she asked me if I was going to spank her.  I asked her what for.  Finally she came in.  I told her to pick up her doll blanket.  She said she didn’t want to.  After couple of spats on her anatomy I got her to pick it up.  Then I acted surprised.  She promised she’d stay out of powder.  Took a lot of persuasion to get her to pick up blanket.  She knew why she’d put it there. 

It is rainy here today.  It has been so cold of evenings the carnival at the Fair hasn’t been worth much.  We thought we’d go tonight but don’t think we will if it is so damp and cold.  One thing at fair this year was a tropical exhibit of butterflies, beetles, moths, spiders, stick insects, etc.  Sure was an interesting sight.  He had 30,000 specimens mounted.  Some of the most beautiful colorings on butterflies.  Then the beetles, etc., were so large, watch out and don’t

 

 

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let one of them sleep with you.  Didn’t have any idea there were such things.

Mother and Dad are both feeling pretty good now.  So are all the rest of family.

Tommy joined navy in the cabinet makers division.  He passed his exams and got to Edna’s this morning. 

Delores just wanted me to let her write and she wanted me to put down “Dear Uncle Ivan.”  She wants me to write sweet potato now.  I don’t know what she is trying to tell you.

It hasn’t frosted here yet but I sure look for it too when it clears off.  I must pick my green tomatoes. We have some, I suppose there will be a bushel or more when I get them picked.

Tommy is to report for duty tomorrow.  Edna said she’d take him to Mother’s today.  He thought he’d be at Yoder all the time but they wouldn’t give him any assurance of where he’d be, only for a week or two. 

They got parsonage moved up here but it is raining, the roof is off and it is liable to get wet.  Sparks’ car is on the blink again.  Some bearings need replacing.  He sure has a lot of luck.

We sure had a nice trip to Colorado.  So glad Dad and Mother went with us.  They got along just swell too.  They both enjoyed it.  Dad says if there was some way of making a living there he’d like to live there. 

Lottie is taking third grade again this year.  I’m sure it is best thing for her.  Evelyn likes her new teacher, Miss Farthing.  Of course she isn’t new to school, just to new pupils in her room. 

Luella is up and around now after her appendicitis operation.  Their son Gary goes to school this year.  I’ll bet they are lonesome. 

This is Friday, I sure have plenty to do before Saturday night.  Wish week was longer sometime. 

John is helping Wilma put up hay.  Am afraid they will have to stop now.

Tommy and Virgil took Grace and Fairy Stiggins to the fair one night.  Grace is 16 now, Guess it is OK.

We just had one flat on the way to Colorado.  A cold patch Fred had put on tube long time ago got hot and came off.  We were ready to go back but nothing was damaged, casing OK, a small vulcanized patch fixed the tube.  That was all the bad luck we had, only I lost one shoe.  I’d worn them for dress all summer, they were $3.50 shoes but I got them dollar day and paid $1.00 for them so I guess I got my money’s worth.  I hated to loose them though.  We must have kicked it out as we got out traveling as I’m sure we didn’t leave it at a cabin.

Dad is to go to Wichita on Monday to take another treatment for skin trouble.  He thinks he is improving.  I think Clarence will drive down for him.  Take the coupe, Dad can’t drive alone and I’m afraid to go in all that traffic. I’d better [fry?] more corn so I’ll have some more to go in right away.  Must hurry. Lots of love, Minnie, Fred and Girls

 

September 26, 1942: Florence to Lottie Jane and Will

Oakland, California

Florence, husband of Abe Haller (Lottie Jane’s brother) was born in 1891 and married Leonard Berrien in 1909.  In 1912 they had a son, Edwin (Ed), who would pass away in 1973, four years before Florence’s death in 1977.  Florence’s first marriage ended before 1920 when she married Abe Haller.  In this letter it’s pretty clear that Pat is Edwin’s wife, and Stephen is their baby.  When this letter was written, Florence was 51 years old and Edwin was 30. Her husband Abe was 60. 

My Dear Lottie and Will,

Received your letter the last of the week and should have answered it sooner and will explain my delay.  A week ago today Pat, Ed and the baby arrived.  Papa and I had gone to town to do our usual Saturday marketing and the Red Cross brought them from the boat in San Francisco right to our door.  They left Honolulu on Sunday the 13th at 4:00 pm and arrived in SF the following Friday morning so they made fast time.  But about 50 FBI men came aboard and they didn’t let the passengers off till the next day and then not all.  A good many aliens aboard and you know they have to be pretty strict now.  Pat said there was a number of stories going around and you couldn’t tell just who was aboard.  We were so happy to see them and they were so glad to be back too.  Stephen is some baby – 10 months old and 35 pounds.  Puts me a lot in mind of Tommy only he has red hair and Pat

 

 

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hasn’t let him get tanned and he is so fair.  Of course we think he is beautiful but a little too heavy to enjoy handling.  We took them down to Stockton the day they arrived and they have been staying with Pat’s folks this week.  We drove down Friday and brought them back with us and they stayed Friday night and yesterday and Ed got a car yesterday and drove back last evening.  They sold their car in Honolulu for it would cost around $200 to bring it over and then they couldn’t tell them how long they would be getting it so it was better to pick up another one here.

Ed was so excited the first time we saw him he forgot to tell us until Friday that he had heard from Ivan in Honolulu.  Said Ivan called him on the phone and said he couldn’t leave the post otherwise he would have gone to see Ed and Pat.  Ed said Ivan said they were going to an island about 100 miles north and west of Honolulu.  I am so glad he got a chance to call Edwin and we know where he is going.  That was the first part of September so possibly by now you have heard again from Ivan and he has told you where he is.  Ivan told us when he was here that he thought they might be going to Hawaii and I gave him Ed’s address and told him to look him up.  Haven’t had a letter from Ivan since we saw him last – hope he will write sometime.

Is John going to join up before he is called?  Thought he would be in before now.  Bet he is enjoying every minute with you all.  I don’t see how he got along living all alone like he did here, I’d get lonesome for company.  Tell John I gave Ted Love the flashlight he left for him.  I wonder if John gave him his address.  Tell John if he doesn’t write to me soon I’ll be mad at him.  Sorry to hear about Delores having asthma.  Ed says quite a good many little children in Honolulu get it and too the strong sunlight weakens their eyes.  Stephen takes a few steps and I hope when he gets to walking he will slim down a little.  I think he would be better and not as heavy for his little feet. 

Glad you had such a nice trip to Colorado.  What is Schuyler doing at Pueblo?  Bet they like it there.  There are just hundreds of defense workers here from all over.  Can’t find places to live and are in trailers and just anywhere.  Makes so much traffic but I guess when they ration gas some of us will do a little walking.  I know it would do my figure good if nothing else.  Well Lottie I must stop for now and hope to hear from you soon.  Give my love to all the family and will write Edna soon. 

Lots of love, Florence

At the top of the first page:  Rec’d Minnie’s card from Colorado – so glad to get it.  We think of you all so often.  Did you get a couple of Christian magazines I sent you? 

 

September 28, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

How are you this nice cool morning?  I have a fire in the cook stove to keep warm.  Dad is mowing feed, it frosted some the other night.  Tommy went to Kansas City Wednesday.  His eyes are 20-20 but he took color test several times, but passed.  They didn’t go on to Chicago for their uniforms, they are to be sent to them here.  They will live at the fair grounds soon. Tommy is going from home now.  Fred’s and Clarence’s were here yesterday.  Girls are still busy canning corn.  I saw Josephine Tuba at Sunday school yesterday.  She was glad Henry was good to write, you wasn’t ha, ha.  Would you like some V-Mail stationery?  Or do they come OK?  Josephine said she sent Henry some.  Have you heard from Aunt Florence?  Is Edwin still there?

Ivan I want to thank you for your thoughtfulness of us.  Children want Dad to quit the farm but he doesn’t want to yet.  He enjoys doing what he can.  Darlene Williams sent a V-Letter to her boy friend, it came back it was written too small.  Guess mine isn’t, ha.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mom and Pop

 

October 2, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

How are you getting along?  We hope just fine.  Carl was operated on last week in the Santa Fe hospital in Los Angeles.  It was for that colon trouble and he was getting along fine.  We sure hope he will feel better now.  The last we heard from you was the 14th of September.  A letter from Aunt Florence said Edwin and family

 

 

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had arrived in California.  She was so glad you had got to call them on the phone.  What direction are you from where Edwin lived?  You can’t tell towns or islands in your letter, but we don’t object if it’s a help anyway.  B. M. told Tom half a page of your letter was cut out.  Mine hasn’t been that bad.  Tom still goes from home to the fair grounds to train.  I expect every day to be the last he will get to come home.  John and Dad went to Merritt Emel’s sale yesterday.  Dad bought a hog that will find pigs 1st of next month for $40.00.  John bought some pigs.  I’ll make a farmer out of him yet, ha ha.  Wilma’s Ruth has summer flu, has to miss school.  Odeta sent her rings back through the mail.  Tom never went to see her after he came home.  Well Ivan be a good boy and write when you can.  Aunt Florence is anxious to hear from you.  I’ll write again soon.  Good-bye with lots of love,  Mom, Pop and Tom

 

October 5, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

After trying to print this [address] I feel like the letter is half done.  This is a nice day after a big rain yesterday evening.  Thomas is still here of a night, and I am sure glad.  His feet get real tired of marching, that’s about all they have done so far.  Did I tell you that Tom got him a Remington rifle and John bought a Winchester rifle?  I don’t think there are any tin cans on the place, but are full of holes.  John is here today, it’s too wet to put up feed.  Violet’s and Irene’s were home yesterday.  Clarence is doing well working at the Cessna plant.  Roy is fixing up a saw rig so he can saw wood for us and himself.  Tom took Josephine T. to a football game the other night.  She said she had heard from Henry the 20th of September.  Are you with him yet?  Your last letter was written the 14th of September.  Maybe I’ll get a letter from you today.  You must tell me how you like these letters, V-Mail I mean.  Dad is about the same, the Dr. said he was doing OK.  He takes an electric treatment and shot every two weeks besides his other treatment.  Wish you were here to eat friend chicken.  I’ve sold 47 for $37.55.  Well Ivan I hope you are well and enjoying seeing new country.  I’ll tell you again our allotment came, for which we truly thank you.  Good-bye with love,  Mom, Pop and Tom

 

October 6, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you making it?  Still eating bananas and coconuts?  We are all OK.  Mother and Dad are both better than they were two weeks ago. Dad has taken two x-ray treatments now.  Delores hasn’t had any more asthma attacks.  We went to Wilma’s for dinner Sunday.  I am still canning green tomatoes, apples, corn relish, etc.  They are serving hot lunches at school now.  Tommy sure thinks they give him a good workout in the navy.  Lots of walking.  Tommy says Warren and Lorene were married before they went to Indiana to see her folks this fall.  John is home now.  He has been helping Wilma.  Edna and I got Mother’s washing yesterday.  Edna did it this time.  Mother is anxious to hear from you, so write as often as possible.  We are watching mail too.  Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

October 6, 1942: Mrs. Luper to Ivan

Burrton, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

We did indeed [enjoy?] your letter very much and have passed the word along to many of your acquaintances.  We just thought we had a wet year here, ha ha!  Was interested in your information on cane sugar.  I mean sugar cane!  Have not yet had a chance to see the folk.  Mr. Luper is working a great deal of the time, as help is so scarce.  All the young people who are left are working in Hutchinson or Wichita.  Robert Baker has gone overseas – went on a plane from Eastern coast.  Haven H.S. is running three large busses to pick up all students because of the tire shortage.  Gas rationing begins in November.  So our activities will be very curtailed but our interest and prayers will proportionally increase.  I hope and think “a man’s true wealth is the good he does in the world.”  With my best wishes, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Luper

 

October 7, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

Well I am still looking for a letter from you.  We hope you are well and will soon be where you can write to us.  John has gone to Wilma’s to put up cane.  Thomas is still with us of a night, and we are glad.  Their uniforms haven’t come yet.  They take their dinner at the fair grounds.  The Navy has taken over the airport for their use too.  Hutchinson and vicinity is a busy place.  It’s almost impossible to get farm help now.  Carl is home in Phoenix after his operation in the Los Angeles hospital.  He was feeling good, but tired from his ride home when he wrote.  Schuyler has sent for his rifle.  I guess he plans on going hunting.  Dad has all the feed mowed down and most of the hay.  This is a beautiful day, just right to work.  Edna and Minnie were home Monday to bring laundry home and get more.  How am I going to convince them that I am able to do it?  I missed the carrier yesterday so I must put this in the box or I’ll miss him again.  Good-bye Ivan, with lots of love, “Mom, Pop, and Tom”

 

October 10, 1942: Lottie  Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to get a letter from you yesterday, but it was one that you wrote the 12th of September.  I had received one that you had wrote the 14th of September.  That’s the last we have heard from you, but we hope to hear soon anyway.  We imagine you have been traveling for some time.  We have a beautiful day here and it’s Wilma’s birthday too.  We might go see her tomorrow.  Ruth is still sick with sinus trouble and Emilie had temperature last night.  Tommy had to put a couple of new bearings in his car, so used John’s while he was fixing his car.  He is in the Navy training at the fair ground, and so far gets to come home of nights.  It makes me think of you, when you were home going to work in town.  Those were happy days and I like to think of them.  Well Ivan I am wondering what becomes of my letters.  Maybe you’ll tell me soon.  Dad is raking feed today.  He is good for him, and enjoys doing his work so much.  I wish you were closer I’d help with your laundry.  Well Ivan I am about to the place to stop.  We hope you are well and we are so proud of our soldier boy.  Good-bye and God bless you. Love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

October 14, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

This is the first letter this week.  I am sorry too.  Schuyler and Ruth were home.  Came Sunday and started home to Colorado yesterday.  They were fine except colds.  Schuyler bought a long-range rifle getting ready to hunt deer.  He has been reclassified for the army, but hasn’t heard what class he is in yet.  Carl was home from the hospital, thinking of working soon.  John had his first physical examination yesterday.  We don’t know how soon he will have to leave us.  He was all ready to go home with Schuyler, when his letter came.  He still thinks of going out there.  Mrs. Charlie Evans’ funeral is this afternoon at the Brethren Church.  Fred’s will take Dad and I.  Saturday was Wilma’s birthday.  The girls made ice cream and cake and surprised her Sunday evening.  Dad was tired and Schuyler sleepy (he had worked Saturday and drove all night) so we didn’t go.  It has been nice and warm here for some time.  It’s cloudy today.  Clarence’s and Roy’s were home Sunday for dinner, also the two Grandma Emerys.  Aunt Florence said she had got a letter from you, so she was going to make some cookies and send to you.  Better write her again, ha ha.  Well we are still looking for a letter from you.  I think you’ve had time to get to the Solomon Islands by now.  Am I a good guesser?  We hope you are well and OK.  And we pray that God will keep you in His loving care. Lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

October 15, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get two letters from you written Sept 22 and 27.  We were so glad to get them.  Yes, Tom joined the Navy Sept 23rd.  He still goes from home. He studied last night, they were to have a test in First Aid today.  His feet got awful tired at first, in fact he was tired all over.  He sure is ready for bed of a night.

 

 

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They took one swimming lesson this week.  Do your V-mail letters come quicker than Air Mail letters?  Are they in their original form when you get them?  You sure have red dirt where you are.  I got a war map last spring and have about wore it out looking at it where you might be.  Minnie and Violet read your letters yesterday.  We went to Mrs. Charlie Evans’ funeral together.  We saw lots of people we knew.  Today Gene Danford (the boy Morris knew so well and flew an airplane.)  His private plane went down Sunday afternoon in New York State and he and the girl he was to be married soon to were killed instantly.  It was a shock to all.  I can’t think straight.  Gene’s funeral is today.  Ivan the allotment from the government comes to us and so we haven’t signed any papers.  We are so thankful for such a thoughtful boy.  Everyone is well as usual.  We hope you are well and enjoying your climate.  It’s cooler here today as it’s rainy.  We’ve had more mosquitoes here this summer on account of so much rain.  Tommy said he’d try and write to you tonight.  Is any of my letter censored out?  Good-bye with lots of love, Mom, Dad and Tom

 

Sunday October 18, 1942: Fred Evans to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you now?  We are all well and hope this finds you the same.

We have been at home most all day.  It isn’t freezing as yet but has rained all day and most of the last two days.  The road north of us is in pretty bad shape on the north end.  They moved a house in up in there and tore the road up and now it is springy and washed out.  Started up to Theis’ and came back because one car was hung up in the middle of the road.

Did you get a card from us while we were in Colorado?  A bunch were mailed at Woodland Park and were not stamped.  If you didn’t get a card I suppose it is there waiting postage due.  Some way to mail cards if you ask me.

The school here has sent in a large amount of scrap iron including one township grader, large IHC truck rear ends from burned trucks of C.W. Kelly truck lines.

I am figuring upon trying to work at Cessna aircraft plant here and at same time run shop.  If I work 4 till 12 midnight I might do alright.  The papers are bragging about Art Syms working nights at Cessna and days as County Attorney.  If you ask me I think he is still the same guy as he was when he refused you to get your car title.  Clarence is still working. John was examined last week.  Left Thursday night for Leadville, Colorado.  Got to Pueblo Friday noon.  Found out they were paying 60 cents per hour so started back.  Got home this morning.

Minnie is writing so will let her tell, perhaps, the same as I have and maybe more.

I remain as ever, Yours respectfully, Fred Evans

 

Sunday October 18, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written at the top of the letter:  

Fred got me a fountain pen for my birthday.  I think it was for his too.  He sure uses it, ha!

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all well here.  Delores hasn’t had but one bad spell of asthma.  Maybe she won’t have any more. Hope so.

We are to go to Roy’s soon for supper.  He and Tommy killed four ducks this morning so it will be a duck supper and I won’t have to bring the duck.

John went to Colorado.  Left here at 11:00 pm Thursday night.  He got home this morning about time for Mother to get up.  Some quick trip.  He was notified he should be examined.  He got his first examination, then went out there to work until called.  He said it was snowing at Pardo(?) where he planned to go, weren’t paying but 60-some cents an hour and it was raining.  He was glad to get back home.

Beulah May phoned last night.  Said you wrote a letter the 12th she got it the 17th.  Must have been airmail.

Wilma and kids are all OK.  Roy was over there today.  Kids have had kinda flu I guess.

It is raining here today.  In fact it rained yesterday too.

Delores says I “begot” for “forgot” and “why come” for “how come.”  Kinda dutchy I think.  She started to call me Mother last week.  It sounded like “mu-oh.” Had to study to see what she meant at first.

 

 

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Tommy will soon stay at the fair grounds, I guess.  They will soon have his bunk for him.  He hasn’t his uniform yet.

Martha Evans died week ago today.  We went to funeral on Wednesday.  We took Mother and Dad.  Large crowd was there.  Thursday Gene Danford was buried.  He and girl friend crashed in his plane last Sunday.  Both killed instantly. 

Warren and Lorene are married now.  They are living on East 4th. 

I got an all day sucker Friday night for best masquerade at school.  Just three adults so I had lots of competition.  I wore Mr. Elliott’s overalls and shirt.  Had mask of old man with whiskers and glasses.  Must sign off.  Lots of love, Minnie and Girls.

 

October 19, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

[Monday]

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to read your letter of October 5th.  It came faster than some of your others.  Tommy is still going from home.  They haven’t got their uniforms yet.  Tom done well in his First Aid test.  He said he must write to you, but after supper he is so sleepy he goes to bed if he doesn’t have to study.  He promised me to go to church next Sunday night instead of going to a show.  He knows it isn’t right to go to shows on Sundays.  He and Roy got four ducks Sunday afternoon.  It rained all day nearly, good time for ducks.  John went to Pueblo, Colorado, got to Schuyler’s Friday noon.  He didn’t find any work that he wanted, and it rained on him most of the way and while he was there so he started home Saturday at around two o’clock, and got here Sunday morning around six o’clock.  He is still asleep this a.m.  It is clearing off, the sun is about to shine now.  If you think it necessary we will sign those papers.  We sent to Washington, DC, to get them and they are here now.  It’s nice if you can save some money so you’ll have it when you come home.  We want to help save some for you too.  How have you been feeling since you’ve been in the Islands?  Ralph Barnes is in Yakima, Washington.  His address is Fort Lewis, Washington, he is in the F.A.  Tommy hasn’t never gone to see Odeta since he come home.  He was with a Battershell girl last night.  They went to Buhler high school.  I saw Minnie’s and Violet’s at church yesterday.  Irene’s were here in the afternoon.  Wilma’s are well now and Edna’s too.  How far are you from where Edwin’s lived when they were in the Islands?  I sure enjoy your description of the islands.  End of the page, I’ll try and write a real letter soon.  Take good care of Ivan, and don’t forget to write.  Good bye with lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

October 19, 1942: Southwestern Bell to Ivan

Southwestern Bell Telephone Company

324 E. Eleventh Street

Kansas City, Missouri

Dear Mr. Roberson,

In view of the Government allotment on behalf of dependents, it has been necessary for us to adjust all Company payments made for that purpose.  While payments of this nature from the Government were retroactive to June 1, the dependents did not receive anything until the month of September.  Consequently, our adjustment on payments was made effective September 1.  In your case we are forwarding your father $10.00 per month which was the maximum we could pay under the Company Plan, and since the Government allowance for one parent amounts to $15.00, we could no longer make a payment on behalf of your father.  Checks, therefore, in his favor were discontinued effective September 1.

Yours very truly, H. N. O’Brien, Secretary, Employee’s Benefit Committee

 

October 22, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I had a birthday yesterday and don’t feel a bit older than I did. Am 26 now. Sounds awful old. Roy’s birthday is 31 and he will be 28. He, Thomas and John went hunting last night.

I was going to spend yesterday at Minnie’s but Wilma Marie was sick and was in bed all day so I stayed home.

The night before Mrs. Franklin had a party for the Sunday school children. There were quite a few there. I and kids went with Minnie. They had a good time. It is time I got the kids dressed. They have had their breakfast already.

 

 

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Did I tell you we had 2 black litter pigs and they sure are growing.

Beth is into the butter again, eating it by spoonfuls. Must be good, but I put a stop to it.

My head doesn’t work well this morning but Roy says that’s natural so I’ll close and write longer letter next time. Well take care of yourself. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

PS: You might tell Mom if you get the Servicemen’s News Herald I enclosed.

 

October 22, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

[Thursday]

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

Do you suppose I’ll ever learn to print?  I don’t believe I will.  We are all as usual.  Dad was to the doctor this week and he thinks he is improving.  He doesn’t itch like he did so that helps a lot.  Edna and Minnie were here Monday to get our washing.  They had both sent you an air mail letter.  Well I hear the carrier’s car start, so I’ve missed him.  Thomas was on guard duty Tuesday at the airport so he was home yesterday.  He and John hunted all day and got three ducks.  Tom is on guard duty today so won’t be home till morning.  John has gone hunting alone this a.m.  Dad had a truck to take some cattle to Wichita.  Thomas sent his three to market too.  Dad sold the black Holstein and two others.  Dad went to Wichita with them today.  It’s cold today and looks like snow.  Most of the trees still have their leaves.  We got a letter from Uncle Tom yesterday, he was well and works some every day.  Kay is still at Escondido, California.  Do you hear from him?  I got a letter from Carl today, he asked about you.  His address is 425 North 18th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona.  Carl is working again now.  Your last letter was wrote 5th of October.  Schuyler went deer hunting after he went home and shot at a deer but missed it.  Well Ivan I hope you are well and OK.  I wish I was with you to see the flowers.  I know they are pretty.  I have a geranium in bloom now.  I still have yours.  Your last letter arrived whole.  It’s cold and cloudy today.  I’ll stop and say good-bye with lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom.  October 23, 9am.  I take this to the box now so I won’t miss him.

Love, Mom

 

October 27, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

[Tuesday]

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get a letter from you yesterday.  It came fast as it was written the 18th.  It doesn’t seem like you are so far away when your letters come so quick.  Do you hear that plane over the calf pasture?  We hear so many of them now days.  Boys in training at the airport.  Tom is still on guard duty there, today is his 24 hours leave.  He and John and a Fields boy have gone hunting on Brady Lake today.  John has joined the Navy and will go to Kansas City Thursday.  He wants to be in the construction part of it if he can.  He doesn’t want to be a nurse in war times.  He said it was all right in peace times, but he wants to be in something where he can defend himself in a time like this.  We had our first hard freeze Sunday night.  Now lots of trees have lost their leaves.  It is nice today didn’t freeze last night at all.  I am afraid I forgot to tell you your money order was in your other letter and I’ll cash it soon.  How would you like to buy War Bonds with your money?  Don’t forget to tell me.  We will try and get those allotment papers signed this week.  I don’t know if we could today or not as it’s Navy Day in town today.  How far are you from where Edwin did live there in the Islands?  He is living in California now not too far from Aunt Florence.  Tom said B. M. didn’t like teaching at first and I don’t think he has talked with her for some time.  She talks to Minnie over the phone some.  Irene’s and Minnie’s were here Sunday evening.  Edna’s too.  Wilma was supposed to come but didn’t.  It was a cold day.  What’s Henry’s other name, is he the one that went with you to Uncle Abe’s?  Aunt Florence thought he was nice.  I’ll try and write you a real letter soon. I am about over the hives now.  Good bye Ivan, with lots of love, Mom Pop and Tom

 

November 1, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

[Sunday]

Hutchinson, Kansas

At the top of the letter:  Mother and Dad are

 

 

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feeling pretty good for them.  Everyone else is well.

Dear Ivan,

How are you making it?  Did you get the stain out of your bedding?  Do you eat that kind of fruit?  Do they raise pecans there?

We were at Mother and Dad’s for dinner today.  Irene and Roy came when we had dinner about ready.  Irene had kinda intestinal flu Saturday.  She didn’t look too well yet.

We went over to Wichita after dinner.  Mother and Dad went with us.  Wilma wasn’t home.  She’d been to Mother’s Saturday and had taken some feed for her pigs.  She’d asked if Fred and Dad could come Sunday p.m. and put planks down on her scale platform.  She wasn’t there when we got there so they will have to try it over again.

When we got home here, Delores said, “The moon didn’t get here, did it mama?”  One other night she talked about the moon following us.  It wasn’t time for the moon to come up yet tonight.

Ivan, are there things that you need that you can’t buy there?  For instance candy, sharing supplies, gum, tooth paste, hankies, etc.  If there are things you need, you can’t get there, just whistle and we will try and see that you are sent a few.

John is still at home.  He declared he’d eaten too much rabbit or it hadn’t agreed with him.  Anyway he didn’t feel so well.  Mother thinks he just ate more than he should when he did eat. 

Do you have time to read much and do you have reading material there?  I could send you some if you’d like for me to. 

Delores wants to write a letter to you.  Evelyn told her it would take too long for her to write it.  The other day I was doing dishes when Delores wanted to write to Uncle Carl.  She got a little note book of hers, did a lot of scratching.  I asked her when she had written.  She said, “I told him to send me a funny card like Uncle Ivan did.”  She wanted to send the card you’d sent to her, to Carl so he’d know what to get.  She sure has been proud of that card. 

Fred is over here telling Roy how Mother and I sat out in front of pool hall while he and Dad played three games of pool.  Mother said she wondered what the preacher would say if he walked by and saw us sitting there.

They told Clarence Friday night he wouldn’t need to come to work after Monday night.  Saturday night they told him to report for work in another division after Monday night.  Violet and he were sure tickled.  They are changing their line of production so aren’t needing so many men until new set up is made.

Virgil was out here yesterday.  He has got a nice peeled nose.  Guess he’s had a lot of them this fall from foot ball. 

We saw Tommy at gate to airport tonight.  He is supposed to start staying up there at fair grounds now.  Be good and write when you can.  Lots of love,  Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

November 5, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

[Thursday]

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I am sure slow in writing this week but will try and do better next time.  Monday John wanted me to go to town with him, as he wanted to cash a bond and was afraid I’d have to sign it.  I went but didn’t need to sign it and then we went to Wilma’s and Dad and John worked on the scales platform.  The next morning John took us to vote.  We have a Republican governor again.  Lots of states went Republican this year.  Yesterday forenoon I was busy doing what I’d neglected to do while away.  I’ve canned some pears myself, don’t you think I am better?  John and Dad have just started to Wilma’s to finish her scales.  Dad had a headache yesterday so they never went to work over there.  He is OK today, he thought he smelled too much creosote.  Roy is still working for the county running a sand truck.  Delores had a spell of asthma Tuesday.  Tom said she was getting better.  Tom is guard today, won’t be home till morning.  He still comes home but he has a bed in the 4-H Building at the fair ground now.  I am so glad he likes to be home.  The Navy hasn’t heard from John’s draft board yet.  I got three letters from you Tuesday, one was written Sept. 30th, one October 11th, and one 8th of October.  These letters weren’t airmail.  No, Tom has never talked to Odeta since he came home.  He likes Tairy OK but she can’t go unless Grace goes along and he don’t like to be bothered.  He took

 

 

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Bobby Teeter along once for Grace.  Tom called B.M. on the phone the other night but she wasn’t home yet.  She was to see Minnie the other day, to see her so they wouldn’t send the same thing to you for Christmas.  Can you attend church services where you are now?  Tom had to guard last Sunday.  Ivan we hope you are well and that we will hear again soon from our soldier boy.  This is my first letter this month, let’s number them so we will know if we get them all.  Good bye, lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom

 

November 7, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Ivan,

We were so glad to read your v-mail letter.  You wrote it October 25 and we received it November 5th.  It sure did fly, didn’t it?  Tom never says how he likes his work.  He got part of this clothes yesterday.  He guards yet, but straight time four hours on and eight off every day.  John hasn’t heard from his draft board yet.  He plans to shuck corn for Wilma while he is waiting.  Delores is better, so Tom said.  Tom bought John’s car yesterday, so he is busy cleaning it up today.  He said he didn’t know what he would do with it if he couldn’t get gas.  We could read your letter fine.  How do you like to print?  Do you know I was pleasantly surprised to get a letter from my three boys the same day November 5th.  Carl is feeling lots better and busy working.  Schuyler had been duck hunting and shot eight ducks.  His job will last till the1st of the year.  He thinks I would like a picture of my soldier boy and a letter best of anything for Christmas.  What would you like to have?  You answer all my questions and I’ll do my best to answer yours.  I don’t think the boys have seen any pheasants this fall yet.  It would be a little cold to sleep out here.  Still it is fine for this time of the year.  It’s cloudy and misty today.  Dad is hauling feed for the cattle now.  John took Dad to the Dr. at Wichita yesterday.  Dr. said he was doing nicely.  Dad is better since it isn’t so hot and keeps busy all the time.  We got allotment check for October and sure thank you for it too.  It cheers Dad up a lot.  Do you hear from Mrs. Luper since you’ve been in the islands?  Do you get our church paper?  Irene was sure proud of her V-mail letter but I guess you will have to send one to your other sisters.  We hope you are well and enjoying life where you are.  We will try and write a real letter soon.  Morris says these V-mail letters will be sent ahead of air mail letters if they don’t have room for all.  Ask me some more questions so I’ll know what to tell you.  May God keep you in his loving care.  Good-bye with lots of love, Mom, Pop and Tom  How have you been feeling since you’ve been where you are?  Have any colds? Mom

 

November 8, 1942: Fred Evans to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all pretty well and hope you are the same.  Delores is just getting over her cold.  We received your ever welcome letter one day last week and sure glad to get it.  You address them to Minnie but if I get the mail at the box I always read it first.

Tom is in the navy for sure.  He got his uniform and today is the first time I have seen it on him.  Makes a real cute kewpie sailor.  He is on guard duty here at Hutchinson airport. 

John is trying to get a release from his west coast draft board so he can join up.  So far hasn’t received any word in regard to it.  Says he is going to wire them tomorrow.

John and I went hunting today.  Didn’t get any rabbits but taught a few the manly art of outrunning lead.  It has been foggy all day.  In fact too foggy to see the sights on a gun and do any good.

Your Dad, I believe, is quite a bit better with his skin poison.

Schuyler is still at Pueblo.  Warren Snyder and Lorene Roberts were married sometime back.  Didn’t tell it for quite a while.  They are living at 1103 East Fourth right across the street from Woodard’s camp ground. 

Calvert “Cowboy” Elliott was helping tear down the soda ash plant and a beam gave way under him.  He feel 30 feet in a pile of junk and scrap iron.  Dr. Hall says he will be laid up in the house for at least 8 months.  He threw his cutting torch one way so he didn’t get burned.  Broke his right wrist.  The bones pushed right out through the flesh at the heel of his hand.  They have this in a cast and had to put his other arm in one because his left elbow would not stay

 

 

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in place.  This happened November 3 and he seems to be getting along pretty well.  Cut an awful gash in his scalp but don’t think it hurt the skull.  I haven’t seen him as I think there is plenty of time to do that after the Drs. say so.

Work is holding up good in the shop.  We had a fine trip and I think your mother feels that she is more than paid for the time taken.  I know I do. 

Well, I had better turn this over to the censors.  I hope they don’t chop this up too much.  Write often, as ever, Fred, Minnie, and Girls

 

November 8, 1942: Minnie to  Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Am glad Fred took time to write a letter to you.  I am going to iron as soon as I get this in the mail.  I have three bushels of pears to can.  Maybe I’ll get through canning after awhile.  Tommy bought John’s car.  Paid him $75 for it.  John is going to Wilma’s to help her shuck corn I guess.  So far he has helped her with quite a few things.  He and Dad got her scales platform fixed.  It is getting windy and is quite cloudy today.  I expect we will have some more rainy weather.  It was a heavy fog last night and finally rained some.  Delores still has 99.5 fever.  Makes a week she’s been here on daybed, asthma and cold bothering her.  I’m giving her a penny for each glass of milk she drinks.  She is drinking it better.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

November 10, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

“Pear leaves” written at the top.  Three pear leaves were included with the letter.

Dear Ivan,

We got your letter and sure was glad to hear from you.  The V-Mail letter was perfectly plain and is easier to read than this will probably be. 

Saturday I went to town with Minnie.  We met Edna and Violet there and all went out after pears.  We picked them up off the ground under the trees at 75 cents a bushel, not bad but means more canning and I’ve got to get at it.

Schuyler is at Pueblo, Colorado.  He and Ruth have an apartment there.  He should be through the job there about Christmas then they will either be home or some place else working.  They go where ever the Company he works for takes them.

I was home Sunday and Dad and Mom seem pretty well.  Mother was sure sleepy as it was late in the afternoon and she hadn’t her nap yet. 

John and Fred went hunting in the afternoon but didn’t bring home anything.  Roy worked all morning and was home in afternoon Sunday.  I took kids to Sunday School and for once I got to stay in and listen to the preacher.  It was a good sermon.  Usually I sit out with Beth and Walter.  I can spank Beth and sometimes it does some good most generally it doesn’t. 

Thomas has most of his uniform now but he still has to get used to it yet. 

I’d have written much sooner but the kids have been sick and I was too, mostly flu they had.  They are better only they have a cold now.

It froze ice last night in the pig trough.  I guess we are in for some cold weather.  It blew and was cloudy and cold yesterday but the sun is shining today and it is warmer.  I hope it stays this way for a while.

I’ve a feeling the mail will come any minute now so I’d better close and mail this so you will be sure and get it.  Too bad about your bed and sheets.  You will have to move it (bed) or do you sleep under it so when you get hungry all you have to do is open your mouth.  Ha!

Well take care of yourself. Love, Irene, Roy and Kids

 

November 13, 1942: Ruth Roberson to Irene

223 North Albany Avenue

Pueblo, Colorado

Dear Irene, Roy and Children,

We were very glad to get your letter.  I hope you folks are all well now.  Schuyler has a cold and sore throat but he is taking medicine for it so I think he’ll soon be alright again.  We went duck hunting again last Sunday, brought home eight ducks so we’ve had roast duck, duck and noodles, and duck soup this week.  They have a three day season on pheasants out here beginning tomorrow so we hope to get three pheasants Sunday.  If we do we will put them in the ice house and have pheasant for Thanksgiving.  Have you heard from Ivan

 

 

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lately?  Where is he now, or can he tell that?  I guess not.  What did Tommie do with his car?  Who is Tommie going with now?  Did the army call John?  And is he going to get into the navy?  Irene, tell Edna’s Wilma’s, Violet’s, and all the folks hello for us, and tell us how they all are.  Write when you can.  With lots of love.  Wilma I wish you could come and stay a week or two with Auntie.  Schuyler and Ruth

 

November 14, 1942: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Written in a black space on a clipping from The Hutchinson News dated November 14, 1942:

I’m including some clippings maybe you’d like to read. I’d write you a long letter only we are to move in two days and I’m darn busy.  Roy got job on township to do road work and he needs a bigger place to park snow plow, maintenance and I don’t know what all.  We are moving to the Old Franklin place just across section from us.  It is a red house painted like barn, but was the only thing Roy could find in township.  Well I’m washing today so I won’t have to when I get there anyway not so soon.  I’m including Ruth’s letter, thought you might like to read it. Love,  Irene

 

November 16, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Was glad to read letter you sent to folks.  Morris got it from post office and took it home yesterday.  Folks were sure glad to hear from you.  Bet the country there is quite pretty.  Do you swim often?  Do you know how to swim well?

We kids were all home yesterday as 19th is Dad’s birthday.  Mother hadn’t looked for us so was quite surprised.  Wilma and kids came.  Wilma seemed to enjoy the day a lot.  Seems more like she used to.

We drew names for Christmas yesterday.  You got Evelyn’s name.  Morris got yours.  Mother will buy the present for Evelyn.  Morris will send yours as soon as possible.  We have all sent you something for Christmas.  I hope the package I mailed gets there on time.  I mailed it the 10th.  Edna got hers off by the 1st.  We were advised to send overseas packages Nov. 1st so they would reach boys on time.

Irene told me yesterday when she brought a big white enamel kettle home from town, Walter took it to the bedroom and says, “big pot.” 

The airplanes are sure flying over us now.  They start flying at 8:00 in the morning.  So far the air has been buzzing with them.  We understand they are going to enlarge airport.  Tracy heard they will take in his home, schoolhouse and all houses on that section.  I hope he is wrong. 

I washed Friday for Mama and me.  I must put my clothes away.  Don’t you think I’m fast.  I went to town Saturday morning to a rummage sale (Don’t laugh!). Sure I like to go to them yet.  Then I went to town Saturday evening with Fred to get a hair cut.  He just about didn’t get one.  Sure was late when we got home. 

The Eisminger boys that lived east of where folks used to live had a sale last Thursday.  One boy is in army.  Other one suppose to go.  That leaves Claude, the one that isn’t very strong so they just sold out. 

It is windy here today.  Not cold as yet.  Fred looks for it to turn cold.

Roy is trying to get maintenance job.  He has a good chance to get it as Gene Coleman is going to Detroit to work in shops.  Calvert Elliott is getting along pretty well for as serious as he was.  They still have day and night nurse with him.  They x-rayed more of him and found a crack in pelvic bone and a small chip off one corner.  They didn’t put him in a cast though as not bad enough for that. 

I told Delores to quit shaking the table, she says, “I may, will.”  What do you think she means? 

If that Christmas box arrives before Christmas, you use your own judgment about opening it.  There may be things in it you could start using and really need.  You open it when you want to, if it does arrive early.

I’d better go mail this as I don’t want to miss the carrier. Lots of love, Fred, Minnie, and Girls

Delores says she doesn’t know what she told you in her letter.  Do you?  Ha!

 

November 20, 1942: Mrs. Luper to Ivan

Burrton, Kansas

 

 

[Page 97 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

==V-Mail==

Mrs. Luper’s husband was pastor of the church the Robersons had attended at an earlier time. 

Dear Ivan,

We are ashame that we have not written again for it takes too long to wait for an answer.  Do hope you are well and I am sure you are busy.  The folks’ pastor Rev. Sparks was here today so of course we talked about the Robersons – all a good report.  So Tommy is in the service too.

Husking corn and we did have a good crop this year – and getting in the late feed is the order of the day for the men.  There aren’t many boys left.  One of the Pitts boys – Dale – is at St. Louis now, another in ground air base.  Had a V-Mail letter from Robert Baker last week.  Can you get V-Mail stationery there?  I think Bill Lyman is planning to enter soon, also Donna May’s husband.

The church is having a special prayer service for the entire community Wednesday before Thanksgiving in response to request from the President.  We believe He is the One to give leadership and bring victory.  Of course you boys will be personally remembered by many of us daily.  We need no special call for that, for that is our first concern.  Every car owner signed for gas rationing yesterday and today.  We hope it helps speed the end as we slow down.

We are having a wintry day after a nice fall.  It is freezing now at 5 p.m.  Mr. Luper says to tell you the sanders are now doing the floor of your old class room.  I teach that class now.  They will have charge of Bible Sunday services Dec 6th.  Hope you can be in services regularly. 

Best wishes to you and will hope to hear from you when there is time.  Your friend, Mrs. W. S. Luper

 

November 21, 1942: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-Mail==

My Dear Son Ivan,

How are you this cold misty day?  I sent you the news that was in Sunday papers the other day, wonder if this will catch up with it.  Tom has gone to work, he put on his raincoat before he started.  I think he has all of his Navy clothes, all a dark blue color and black shoes.  John is at Wilma’s shucking corn till he is called.  We got a letter from Schuyler and Ruth yesterday.  Schuyler had been hunting and shot three pheasants.  He has been reclassified and put in class 1.  Dad is feeding the hogs and calves now, the little pigs are just fine.  Merritt Emel and wife were here last night. He wanted Dad to snap his corn and I guess he will when the weather gets fit.  He has enough here to keep him busy only he likes to help out, when he can.  Merritt is feeling a lot better, and is working in a dairy in town bottling milk.  The oldest girl is working in a candy factory, so they go to town together.  Mrs. Emel was working in the candy factory too, but quit because she couldn’t get her own work done.  They have rented the Eismininger farm.  Phillips quit the milk route and went to work at Yoder.  Dad went to Buhler after feed yesterday, he said Mr. Regier asked him when we had heard from you.  Mr. Sivem had a farm sale Thursday.  He is very low in Newton Hospital, he is real old.  Well Ivan, I hope I will hear again soon from you, our last letter you had written November 8th, and it came real fast too.  Do our V-Mail letters come to you in their original form?  Yours are photographed when we get them.  Dad’s skin trouble is lots better, I hope it don’t break out again.  Wilma and children were here the other day on their way to Buhler after feed.  All were fine, only John has a cold.  I hope you are well and OK and that we will hear soon from you.  Good bye, lots of love, Pop, Mom and Tom

 

November 22, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-Mail ==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  You haven’t written and said if you had access to reading material, etc.  Remember all my questions or did you get it?  Write and tell us if you do need anything that we could send you.  Delores has had a spell of asthma today.  She is better this evening.  Violet and Clarence got us a piano for taking care of their girls a year ago.  We sure are proud of it.  We have it along north wall up in west corner.  Fred told Roy he was going to sleep on it as he wouldn’t have any room with it in here.  Evelyn can take lessons now.  Fred started working at Cessna Wednesday.  I think he will like it.  He is welding, that is learning their way to weld.  Mother and Dad went to S.S. [Sunday School] in wagon this morning and it was snowing some too.  Their car wouldn’t start.  I took Mother home so she wouldn’t freeze.  It is spitting some snow tonight.  Must sign off. Lots of love, Minnie

 

November 24, 1942: Tom to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

This letter has no envelope and is only dated November 24. Since Lottie Jane mentioned in a letter to Ivan dated November 21, 1942, that Merritt Emel had asked if Tommy and his Dad could help them snap corn, it’s pretty clear that this letter was written a few days later.

Dear Ivan,

I’m on fire watch at the old Post Office building now. I fire the boiler to keep the building warm. I’m on for 12 hours and off for 12 hours, then on for 12 hours, then off for 24 hours. Not bad. I went to work at 8:00 p.m. and I will get off at 8:00 a.m. I called up B.M. tonight and told her I might come and visit her school tomorrow.

Your heifer and your colt is looking good. Today I helped Dad in the morning snap corn on Emel’s place. You know Betty Ford she is about to have a baby. Joe said it should have been here about two weeks ago. I haven’t seen him in a couple of days so don’t know if she has had it or not.

The officer of the day came down and I was asleep. He said he might put me on report then I will have to do extra duty. I was sent to the officer of the day and stayed there over an hour and the officer [who] caught me told me to go home to get some sleep so I don’t know what they are going to do about it now. Well I will let you know. Your Brother, Thomas Roberson, Seaman 2/C

 

November 27, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

[Friday]

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-Mail==

Dear Ivan,

I can’t keep my dates straight, I guess.  This is day after Thanksgiving.  We were at Mother’s yesterday.  She had helped outside quite a bit last week getting chickens to sell and was out of her medicine so we got her to promise she’d get Tommy to get her some.  I think some rest and medicine will stop her aches.  She was up and doing her work but looked like she needed some rest.  Edna went with I mean to Tucker’s for dinner but came over in afternoon.  It was pretty day, kids played outside all day.  Fred worked until four and Clarence went to work at four.  Fred is about to get on production line.  You’re lucky you can buy whatever you need there as some boys are located where they can’t get things they want.  Evelyn has started taking music lessons.  I played over her lesson, guess I’ll take them with her. I’d sure like to play church music.  Calvert Elliott is getting along pretty well now.  He’s beginning to eat.  Enjoyed your letters at Mom’s yesterday.   Lot of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

November 29, 1942: Ivan to his Parents, Tom and John

Dear Dad, Mom, Tom and John,

How are you all?  I am just fine.  I am getting my Xmas early this year but then I am sure to get it that way.  Violet and Clarence and Edna and Morris’ presents came tonight, all OK but it really smelled sweet.  The talc powder was over a lot of it, about 1/8 of can got loose and it was through most everything.  It didn’t hurt the candy though.  I wrote in the diary today too.  I can write things in that I can’t write home about.  I also got an Xmas package from Naomi Pollock.  She sent me stationery I am writing on now and also some candy and gum.  She usually sends me clippings from the papers that are interesting.  Packages to most of boys are coming in pretty fast now.  All our packages should be here pretty soon. 

Maybe I had better answer a few of Edna’s questions and Irene’s in this letter because I have answered your last one.  Tell Edna to buy you and Pop anything that she thinks you would like real well.  And send the ticket to me.  About the Xmas present for me, I can buy about all my stuff I need here. I am far from being out of civilization.  You don’t need to bother about hunting knife because I can get one here.  I am glad Virgil is getting along OK with his school work and in airplanes and all.  I sure would like to see him.  I reckon I missed it by a hair’s breadth getting in Air Corps.  The stationery Naomi sent is too heavy to put lines

 

 

[Page 99 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

underneath so they sure slant across the page. 

Say Edna, why don’t you call up BM [Beulah May] one of these days and talk to her or do you know her very well? If you don’t now, after this business is over you will know her a lot better later.  If I can keep the ants out of my candy I ought to have enough to last for a long time.  How is Merritt Imel getting along?  Did Betty ever get married? If she did she was a shade young.  How many comes to Church now?  Well I’ll close.  Hope all are well and happy.  I am busy just now and I’ll try and write more in middle of week. Love, Ivan

 

December 4, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How is the world treating you?  We are OK here.

I am taking care of Karen today.  You ought to hear the girls! 

Did I tell you, Delores told me Daddy wasn’t Santa Claus because Santa Claus was there in her color book?  You tell me!  They say not to tell them things that aren’t true so I always told her Daddy was Santa Claus.  She doesn’t believe it.  I showed her a Santa Claus mask in at Kresses and told her all I’d have to do was put that face on and I’d be Santa Claus.  She didn’t know what to say.

It is cold and cloudy today.  I expect it is just freezing is about all.  I wouldn’t care if it warmed up.

I have a chicken I want killed.  I think he knows it.  He is in the coop when Fred goes to work and there usually when he gets home.  It is hard to get him out of the coop.

I must fix my fire pretty soon.  Seems like I miss Fred coming in every once in a while during the day, fixing my fire, etc. 

They took Mrs. Walter O’Leary to Larned last week.  She got so they couldn’t leave her alone.  She’d run off, etc.  Just didn’t know what she was doing.  Mr. O’Leary and Bill are staying at Mercer Hotel.  They get a room for $6 a week.  Jeff Mendenhall is running that hotel.

Mother and Dad went to town Wednesday so I went with them.  Delores got her shot for asthma.  Our car had carburetor off of it so I drove the coupe for Dad.  It is kinda crowded with us having our winter coats on.

Mother saw Emma Taylor.  She had her to sign those allotment papers for someone that knew her.  Emma is Sadie Vogt’s half sister.  She is living here now.

Ben Vogt is to leave Saturday for Fort Leavenworth.  Sammie is to be called soon.  He is in 1A classification.

I’d better mail this so I won’t miss carrier.  Write when you can to Mother as I love to read your letters.  She thinks you’ve been pretty good with your writing.  Only hope John writes as well when he leaves.  So far Navy hasn’t called for him.

Tommy is at Edna’s now on account of gasoline rationing. By, By, Lots of love, Minnie

 

December 4, 1942: Tom to Ivan

[Letter typed on stationery]

NAVY DEPARTMENT

U. S. Naval Reserve Aviation Base

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dearest Ivan,

I’m at the old post office building keeping the building warm.  It is about two o’clock in the morning and the officer of the day hasn’t come around yet.  I went out to see your girl’s school the other day.  She has a good school, but she doesn’t make them mind very good I don’t think.  I’m staying at Tucker’s now since gas ration started December 1. 

As you may know by now that I bought John’s car from him so Dad could have one at home too.  Everything at home is coming along all right.

John is at Wilma’s place now shucking corn.  He gets about 20 bushels a day.  How are you and the girls there getting along by now?  Say I have been going out with different girls when I go out at nights.  I went out with a girl the first night she sure loved me up, then I went with her two other nights and she about pushed the door out on her side.  She said that she was trying me out the first night.  I ask her what was the matter if I was a Bad boy or what, she said that she thought that I was a bad boy, so I ain’t going back there again. 

How do you like my typing? It is sure a good looking page isn’t it?  I hope you can read it if you haven’t forgot how to read my letters by now.  Say I’m changing over to being a fireman

 

 

[Page 100 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

that is the kind of work I am doing now.  I work 12 hrs. and off 24 hrs.  Not bad, now I don’t have to stand watch out in the cold now.  Well be good and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.   LOTS OF LOVE, Your brother, Thomas F. Roberson.

Handwritten at the bottom: It sure is a neat letter but I hope you get what I mean anyhow. 

 

December 6, 1942: Kay Siron to Ivan

Pasadena, California

Dear Ivan,

I am finally getting your letter of the 30 September answered.  Please excuse me for being so slow.  I am going to clerk’s school here in Pasadena, taking typing and shorthand.

What kind of work are you doing there or are you allowed to tell in your letters back to the “States”?  There are lots of girls here but I don’t have time to go out with them.

Tell me more about Hawaii.  Is it hot there, or damp and chilly?  It is a little chilly here, but not bad for December, about 50 degrees F.

So long, Your Cousin, Kay

 

December 9, 1942:

Ivan to his Parents and Tom

[No  envelope or return address]

Dear Dad, Mom, and Tom,

How are you all by now?  I am just fine as usual.  I got a V-letter from Edna yesterday rote on the 24th.  I am glad that my letters are coming through OK.  I reckon most of the letters Morris cased were Xmas cards.  I sent a lot of them out one Sunday. I had a boy on pass to get me some Xmas cards in town.  He brought them home or to camp with him and I laid them around awhile and they all stuck together.  I had a time getting them apart.  It is the way everything does on the island; stamps can be stuck on envelopes without licking them.  Their isn’t much news from here just now so I’ll ask questions.  I haven’t seen any more moon bows lately.  I don’t think that they can be seen so very often.  How is Delores and her asthma? Is she getting shots for it?  What kind of treatments did Dad get for his skin trouble at Wichita?  Is he still getting them?  Say Mom you had better let Edna and Minnie do your washing.  I believe that you will feel a lot better if you don’t do so much work.  Is Edna getting my allotment yet?  She should and she can buy some Xmas presents with it.  Well Mom I didn’t have a lot to rite about so I’ll close.  I reckon I’ll free this letter.  Well hope you are all well. Love,  Ivan

 

December 13, 1942: Ivan to his Parents and Tom

[No return address]

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom:

How are you today?  Is it getting cold at Home now?  I’ll bet warm clothes feel good there now.  I got a v-mail from you and Edna, yours was rote the 28 and Edna’s was rote the 2 of December.  I also got a Xmas card from Minnie and she rote me a letter in it too rote the 28 too.  Mom you will have to have Tom fix up the car so it will run better so you won’t have to take wagon to church.  I seem to be busy on Sundays most of time.  I know that it will seem strange going to church again when I get back but I’ll go OK.  I am glad John made the Navy OK because I know he ought to like it alright.  I am glad that most everyone could come home Thanksgiving.  They were probably planting rice with the water buffalo, but he was plowing when I saw him. 

Me and Henry are still in the same battery and the same section.  Henry still hears from Josie pretty darn regular I reckon he thinks a lot of her too.  I still get the church papers OK but hardly have time to read much.  I try to save as many of them as I can thinking to read them some day.  B.M. [Beulah May] rote me that Lucy had gone to see Ralph up in Washington.  It will be nice that Ralph can see his wife for a while.

Edna you don’t need to bother about any present for me.  It looks like you have sent me enough already.  It is good that John is able to help Wilma out because I imagine that help is very hard to get.  I’ll bet that gas rationing sure keeps people home now, everything here is still going the same old way.

So Tommy is going out with the girls again.  I thought he wasn’t going with them very steady.  When did Virgil start out? I suppose he has gone out with them plenty of times before though.  I hope they get along OK though Virgil seems to know how to get along.  I am glad

 

 

[Page 101 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

Delores is over her asthma.  How is she getting along otherwise?

Say Tommy call up Beulah May and ask her if she sent me any boots.  If she hasn’t, get me a pair that laces at top and has traction on the bottom if you can and if she hasn’t sent me some.  Find out what she paid for them and what it cost to send them and pay her for them and either Edna can pay you or I’ll send the money for them.  My size is 8.5E. 

Did you go visit school on your day off, Tom?  Well Mom and all, I hope you are well and happy and I hope you have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Love, Ivan

 

December 15, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I’m kinda late writing this.  Try to write at least one a week.  This is about 8 or 9 days since I wrote last.  How are you?  We are all pretty good here.  Howard Roland had flu last week but is up again.  Rest of them didn’t get it for a wonder.  Wilma and all kids were in town Saturday.  They were at Edna’s a little while.  Took John as he wanted to help Edna fix supports under porch roof.

We were home Sunday.  Fred worked so we went home around four to be here when he got home.  They just worked 7.5 hours Sunday.  In fact that is all they are working this week.  He gets home in time to work at shop some.  He is working on Roy’s saw rig.  Roy is about ready “to clean his plow” for not having it done. 

I am going to wash today.  Water will soon be hot.  Also am going to Helen Stiggins’ funeral.  She was girl of Tom Stiggins that had epilepsy.  She lived to be 15.

I have quite a bit of shopping for Christmas yet to do.  Think I’ll go to town tomorrow though and spend the day.  I have to take Delores in for her shot and I just as well go early and make one trip do.

Delores is learning a piece to say at church.  It is “Do you know why we celebrate this lovely Christmas Day?  It’s cause a little child was born and in a manger lay.  I’ll bet you don’t know who it was that such a birthday had.  Of course it was the Savior dear.  That’s why we all are glad.”  She knows the first verse pretty well.  We will have the program some night next week at church.

I’ve been washing ceiling and sides in here and bedroom.  Several more hours will finish up both rooms.  Sure have got a lot of dirt out of here.  Didn’t know ceiling was so black until I got started.

Snow is about gone but it is going on two weeks since it got here.  Am sending you a picture of it that was in the paper. 

We had a practice blackout last night.  I was just ready to go to bed, in fact was in bed when whistles blew so it didn’t bother us any.  Lasted from 10:00 to 10:20. 

I’d better mail this and get to work.  Lots of love, Minnie

Irene says Walter wants a little pot for his doll for Christmas.  Some ideas!

 

December 20, 1942: Ivan to his Parents and Tom

Written on stationery with IGR embossed in gold at the top.

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom,

How are you all by now?  I am a little slow in writing you I didn’t get a chance to rite the middle of week.  How do you like my stationery?  It is some B. M. [Beulah May] sent to me.  I got a present from B. M. and Josephine T. last Monday they both sent me a lot of candy and stuff and B.M. sent me some stationery. 

Monday night I got back in camp and didn’t feel well so I stay in the Medics tent I goes over and picks up the thermometer and I find I have some fever so I tells him about it and he takes it himself then I go to the battery aid station and then to the hospital.  Well the next morning I was practical over my cold but had the starting of a boil on my arm so they use hot packs and draw it to a head and it is now on the road to recovery.  I should be able to go back to my battery any day now.  Here in the hospital we sleep between nice white linen clean pajamas to wear.  Electric lites and all the fruit juices one can drink.  The nurses are nice to us too at nite they give our backs alcohol rubs.  Taking it all in all we’re getting a good rest. 

Got your letter with the newspaper and your v-mail letter.  Plain letter rote on 2 and V on 4 about last Thursday also one from Minnie rote on the 4.  Say Mom you can rite to Carl and tell him I can receive as many letters as people

 

 

[Page 102 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

rite to me.  Who did you hear was engaged or have you forgot it by now?  It is too bad about your cold weather at home but in most countries it is either cold or rain so it is toss up which is worse.  Tom is a little slow in getting his shots isn’t he when I first hit the army I felt like a pin cushion.  This pen rites a little funny it is another pen when our medic brought my writing along he didn’t find my pen and left me his so I am writing with a different one.  Too bad about Mrs. O’Leary being sick.  How do you like the Navy by now Tom and did B.M. send me any boots and how much did it cost?  Tell me so I can pay you so I won’t spend money for something else.  Well we have a nice breeze from the sea blowing in from our window today and everything is nice.  I’ll rite in the middle of the week next time.  Hope all are well.  About half of the envelopes are sealed together B.M. sent me.  I had time getting one apart to send letter. Love, Ivan

 

December 27, 1942: Mrs. J.H. Moore to Ivan

Haven, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I suppose you begin to think I never intend to write but I misplaced your last letter, and it was so long before I found it that I was sure you had moved and had a different address.  So the other day when we were in Hutchinson, we came home past your folks, and got your present address.  We were somewhat surprised when your mother told us where you were.

I imagine it’s awfully nice there.  Talk about things being nice, we have been having a real Kansas blizzard today, only it wasn’t so very cold, only about 20 above.  We are sure lucky that it wasn’t about zero.  We’ve been having fairly warm weather of late.  Yesterday morning it was about 40, and it thundered, lightening, and poured down rain and sleeted all the same time.  Just a regular summer rain storm.

It stayed cloudy and misty all day, then began to turn cooler by evening, then the wind began to come up.  Then it began to snow about 4 o’clock this morning and sure has whooped things up about all day.  It finally quit snowing this evening, and the wind isn’t blowing so hard, but we sure have some dandy drifts.  Had a dandy snow the first of December, 12 inches, and it was on the level, very unusual for us.  Sure was pretty to look at but we couldn’t enjoy it as we weren’t ready for it.  Don’t have our corn quite all out, also have some feed yet to get in, but I guess we wouldn’t be ready if it didn’t snow all winter. 

Steve Van Buren is taking flying lessons.  He is flying upside down and doing all kinds of stunts.

Miss Hunter the first grade teacher died December 9th, wasn’t sick but a short time, in fact she taught the Friday before. 

Richard’s little John Richard goes to school this year, and now he really thinks he is somebody worthwhile. 

Miss Hunter had taught here at Haven for 19 years.  In fact this was her first teaching.  She had stayed at Stagg’s the last 17 years.

Did you know Anna’s brother John Merryfield?  He is overseas someplace.  I can’t remember if you met him before you moved away or not.

I really don’t know of anything to write to about, as I suppose your folks keep you posted on all the news of any importance.  Arnold Geffert married Betty Fishburn in November.  I think you knew them and Robert Haines married Helen Brauer.  Also Lawrence Chain and Dorothy Astle are married just lately.  I think you know all these folks.  I must close now.  Write again.  I’ll try not to lose your address.  With very best wishes, Your friend, Mrs. J. H. Moore

 

December 28, 1942: Evelyn Evans to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Evelyn was nine years old when she wrote this.

Dear Uncle Ivan,

How are you?  I am just fine.  I got a doll for Christmas and a ink pen for[?] to Grandma’s.  Did you no you got my name?  Mother got the ink pen.  I told her I was going to tell you thank you.  Mother put it in a great big box.  It was wrapped up in some paper.  I said there is nothing in it at first.  But I shook it and there was a noise in it.  I opened the box and the paper fell out.  I unwrapped the ink pen and I was so surprised that I didn’t know what to do.  That is all I have to say.  Your niece, Evelyn Evans

 

 

[Page 103 – Transcriptions, 1942]

 

 

December 28, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all pretty good.  Delores has some cold, that is all.  I think her shots are helping the asthma a lot.  Wouldn’t care if she never had another attack of asthma.

I’m using Evelyn’s pen.  Mother gave me the money and told me to get Evelyn something for you.  Is she ever proud of it.  I tried to make her think she would have to use a straight pen at school.  She also thought she could tell by the feel of package what was in it.  I just put it in a large box.  She sure had no idea what it was.

Fred Smith down by the church is to be buried today.  He had a heart attack.  Guess I’ll stay at home as it is too cold for Delores to be out.  Fred isn’t here.  Used to be I could leave Delores and Evelyn but I won’t without Fred at the shop.

Mother was feeling pretty good when we were home Christmas.  She was kinda tired, otherwise she was pretty good.  Mother and Dad didn’t get to church yesterday I guess.  We had an old fashioned blizzard.  Bus was stuck once.  Sparks’ car is still in show just east of Chet Teter’s.  Evelyn was with him.  He was trying to find bus but got in too deep himself.  Johnny Franklin got to church, he said mother and dad weren’t there.  They finally ended up having Sunday School at Sparks’ home. 

It is clear, that is, no snow today only what has fallen.  Looks like it wouldn’t take much for it to snow some more.

Grandma Emery, Clarence’s grandma, fell and broke her hip week ago Sunday.  Irene saw her yesterday.  She thinks she is getting along pretty well.  She said she was in good spirits yesterday, and wasn’t suffering much.

Roy and Fred have been telling Beulah May they were coming to see her.  She told them to come on, she was home most every night.  Guess Irene and I will have to keep a close check on them.  Sounds bad.

We are without electricity now.  Were all day yesterday.  Lots of fun to use kerosene lights.  I wanted to finish ironing I didn’t get done last week but guess I won’t today.  Someone reported some wires of telephone and electric line got tangled and several miles of poles were tore down close to Burton.  Don’t know how true it is.

It is almost twelve, I’d better get some dinner for my girls, then I want to make curtains for in here.  I got the material a year ago and still they aren’t made.  Don’t you think you want me to make something for you?  I have a lot of material on hand, if I could get it all made between now and garden time, I’d sure be happy.

Saturday evening it was raining here, then Sunday it was cold, snowing and blowing, quite a change.  I had to put pans in bedroom to catch the “drip” Saturday evening then Sunday morning I was sweeping up snow that blew in that north opening that isn’t fixed so well.

I’ll tell you a good one.  Christmas night we were in at Fred’s folks, had our gift exchange there.  Lee’s were there.  The kids wanted to come home with us.  Gary slept in little bed.  Donald, Marcelline and Evelyn slept crosswise of the big bed and Delores slept with us.  I covered those kids on big bed twice.  Finally Donald came in and said Aunt Minnie, the “pot” is leaking.  I got up, about eleven o’clock by that time  Sure enough our plumbing had gone haywire and sprung a leak.  It was at north end of room.  I started there and went under the bed mopping.  First though I had to go prime the pump to get water.  Was I ever disgusted.  That couldn’t have happened when just two had used it.  Had to wait until five had.  That pot was what Tuckers gave us for wedding present.  Can’t complain any, it has been 7.5 years in use but then….  I told Luella what trouble I’d had with our plumbing.  Stores were closed Saturday so I couldn’t get a new one then.  I just put rag in hole.  Works pretty good.

We don’t have any school until the 4th of January.  Kids have longer vacation than usual.

Evelyn has written her letter all by herself with her pen.  She’s sure proud of it. Must close, Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

Ester Smith told me she’d mailed you a Xmas card but it came back.  She said you had such a long address, when it came back she found she’d put everything on it but city and state.  Pretty good!

 

 

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1943

Friday, January 8, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Tom

APO San Francisco

Dear Dad, Mom, and Tom:

How are you?  This is in answer to your letter of the 15 last year.  You seem to have trouble in my mail reaching you but mail service should get better now after the holidays.  Your mail is also slow in reaching here too.

Say Mom, is Edna getting the $20 allotment I am sending to her?  It is a good deal that Tom can loan Morris the money to help pay on his house.  If you want to you can loan him the money order I sent home if you don’t need it.  It might help some if they can use it.  I am glad your allotment is coming through OK and I am also glad to help you out all I can.

I am glad you are feeling better Dad and I hope you don’t discontinue your treatments.

Today is a very nice one. The sun is shining and it is nice and warm.  It is the sort of weather the natives can brag about.  The sunsets have been really pretty of late. Last night it was raining out in the ocean and cloudy in the northwest half while in the southwest the sky was shot full of golden color.  It was quite a contrast.  The night before last the earth or ocean had a girdle of low clouds all around it and the colors came up from there.  The sunsets do not at all times have a lot of color in them but lately they have been pretty. 

Well I am getting along fine and I hope you are all the same.  I also got a v-mail from Irene with your last letter. Love, Ivan

I got your letter today mailed on 30th.  I’ll try and answer tomorrow.

 

January 11, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

Dear Mom, Dad and rest of Family:

How are you?  I have here a v-mail mailed on the 29th and air mail on 30.  I got them both the last part of the week.

Say about the rubber boots you don’t need to send them but if you already have it is OK.  About Josie and Henry, I was mistaken about them as you already know but as far as the nurse being engaged I wasn’t a bit sorry because I have my girl. The only reason I wrote to her is that I thought she might of known the Rundels that I used to go to church with. She was their cousin.  Maybe Edna will receive her allotment pretty soon.  Did Edna buy you and Dad anything for Xmas?  If she did she probably hasn’t got any money from me for it yet. I was depending on the allotment for it.  It was really nice of Mr. Carr to bring out the letter I wrote to him for you to read.  He is one of the nicest men at the office or anywhere for that matter.  Too bad about Grandma Emery getting her hip broke.  I hope she gets well as soon as possible.

Mom I believe I get all your letters OK.  I would like to be somewhere where it snows and frosts because I always liked winter time quite a bit.  I’ll bet it was pretty on the 28th with all the frost on the ground and trees.  We are getting along OK here and the weather is fine and sun shining.  It couldn’t be any better. 

Do you remember the morning glories in the garden at Darlow?  They were pretty I thought and here along the irrigation ditch I saw a lot of them.  They were blue and great big ones.  I thought they were really pretty and in January too.  The flowers or bushes with all of the different colored flowers on are lantanas.  They are acre after acre of them here.  From the comments on my letters reaching you from the hospital whole, they must not censor them so good there. 

BM knows where I am at now too.  Well I’ll close and hope you are well and happy. Lots of love, Ivan

 

January 13, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Guess I’m kinda slow about writing but I’ll try to do better. 

I don’t believe all your letters come through as I called Beulah May about your boots.  She said you never did ask her for a pair of boots.  I went to the ration board but wasn’t able to get much satisfaction out of them.  I made out an application for them.

I should be sweeping my floor.  Mrs. Elliott would come in when I haven’t swept.  I should worry.  I spent part of yesterday loafing as I had such a cold.  I washed too, but don’t

 

 

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suppose that helped any.

An army, no a navy training plane crashed out here south of Ward’s in Bob Frank’s field.  The fellows were hurt but don’t know how badly.  They had their ambulance to take them in.  It happened at noon hour so school kids had a lot of excitement.  Teacher let a bunch go over to plane, which is a dangerous thing to do.  The plane landed upside down as its wheels had caught on a high wire and flipped it over I guess.

John is working, staying at Edna’s.  They have great times as John doesn’t want radio played of an evening and you know how Gayle likes to play it.  Edna about has her hands full with both of them. 

Ivan, since you can get most anything there, we have decided we wouldn’t fix up a box for your birthday.  After 15th they don’t want packages mailed across unless it is something the boys need and their commanding officer signs that they need it.  I’ll do what I can though to get boots before deadline of mailing packages.

We are having pretty weather.  My clothes dried nicely yesterday.  I got Mother’s washing when I was home Sunday but she had washed a lot out by hand.  Just got the bigger pieces, sheet, Dad’s 3 pair overalls, several shirts and the like. 

Delores saw a plane going real high in the sky.  She asked me if it was going up where Jesus is.  She has just asked me if she could send a card to Jesus.  She has some ideas, I must say.  She says “they are just dummy guys cause Jesus can’t get no mail.” 

Fred is taking some welding at night so he can be an A welder.  Now he is classified as a B welder.  Billy Lyman is assistant supervisor here at Cessna.  Sure climbed up there in a hurry.  He started out by taking welding course in Wichita. 

We were at Wilma’s Monday night.  She is getting along pretty good with her work and family.  Wish I had her ambition.  She really steps on it.  Guess I was born tired or something.

I am sending you several pictures taken on our trip.  A lot of them were just scenery pictures.  Guess Fred that I wouldn’t spoil them.

I’d better mail this and get busy. Lots of love, Minnie

 

January 15, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

In this letter Lottie Jane makes reference to Ivan’s upcoming birthday on February 4; her birthday was the same day. 

==V-Mail==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter of January 5th yesterday.  Your money order was in it too, and I’ll cash it today if I don’t miss the carrier.  This will make over $300 in the Buhler Bank for you so far.  We hope to pay you some more on what we owe you as soon as we can.  We paid your insurance last month, so it’s paid till June now.  We’ve had nice weather this week so far, of course not as warm as it is where you are at.  Ivan I had a little book here I intended to send you for your Birthday but I can’t find it anyplace and this is the last day we are supposed to mail presents to the soldier boys.  I haven’t been to town since before Christmas so had nothing else to send.  I sure hope they could get the rubber boots for you.  We thought the boots could be for your birthday.  Too bad you bought two presents for me, it put you to lots of trouble.  I hope your pictures you took were good, we are all so anxious to see you.  Mr. Phillips took us to church last night, they are having meetings at the church for two weeks.  Rev. and Mrs. Luper were there.  It was nice to see them again.  She asked about you, said she hadn’t heard for a while from you.  They both looked well.  I haven’t seen any of the children this week so I guess all are OK.  The planes are busy in the air this A.M. They sure make lots of noise.  This is my 5th letter for January.  Wish you’d number your letters, then I’d know if I got them all.  I haven’t heard from Carl since Christmas.  Dad got roofing to put on the hen house and we hope to get it on today.  They are to pay all bills but Dad does the work.  Our chickens will be glad I know.  Well Ivan, I hope you have a Happy Birthday and many more to come.  We hope you are feeling fine again.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pope, Tom and Mom

 

January 16, 1943: Florence to Ivan

On a birthday card; Ivan would turn 24 on February 4th.

Oakland, California

Dear Ivan,

 

 

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Been thinking of you a lot and hope you are all over your cold.  Received your nice letter and sure was glad to hear from you.  Had a letter from your mother and Edna about Christmas time – oh yes it was about New Year’s time and they were all OK.  I think John is a little undecided just what to do – if he hadn’t signed up I am sure he could easily get a good job here and better pay than anything he could get back home.  Was pleased to get Henry v-letter.  First one I ever saw.  Mama and papa and I spent Xmas at Edwin’s and Uncle Abe had to work but I brought him back a nice dinner but it was too bad he couldn’t get the day off.  He is working every day long hours but not quite as many hours as a couple of months ago.  It was a little too much for him and he showed it in his face.

Well Ivan I’m glad you got the cookies and candy but it wasn’t much only I wanted you to now we were thinking of you.  We’re always so glad to hear from you drop us a line when you find time.  Is there anything you especially would like me to send you?  Let me hear soon. 

With lots of love, Aunt Florence and Uncle Abe

 

January 16, 1943: Ivan to Parents and Tom

[Postmarked January 19, 1943]

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom:

How are you all?  I am fine and I hope in a couple of days I’ll be able to send some beat up old pictures of myself.  I got them back and sent them to be censored so I should be able to send them pretty soon.  I haven’t rote you in middle of week but will try and rite more often even though I don’t have anything to say.

This afternoon I took a bath in a little stream running down a draw with another soldier and I also washed my head.  We didn’t have a towel but dried out in the wind and sunshine.  I’ll bet you wouldn’t want to do it at home now.  Is the weather still bad at home?

This letter is supposed to be in answer to your letter of January 2.  Your v-letter.  Well hope John gets called pretty soon if he is so anxious to get called.  Do you get to see Tom very often since he is staying in town? 

How are the cattle?  Did you get my bull back yet?  Dad ought to watch him because even though he is gentle he is not too safe.  How does my horse work and Tom’s together?  They ought to make a good team.

Tonight it is trying to rain and shower and yet it is trying to be a pretty one it is having quite a time of it. 

Did Tom go out to BM’s penny carnival?  I just wondered if he did.  He calls her up once in a while to tell her his girl troubles he must have a time with the girls.

You know Hawaii is really a pretty place.  I believe it has some of the most beautiful rainbows and flowers and everything and the most mosquitoes.  The other morning it was raining in the ocean and a rainbow came right out of the water.  It wasn’t big enough to make a bow but it was really pretty.  Well I hope you are all well and happy. Lots of love, Ivan

 

January 18, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

With a birthday card for Ivan. 

Dear Ivan,

This will probably be a belated birthday greeting but anyhow we do hope you have a happy one.  We planned to send a box, but didn’t know what to send as you do have most everything there and of course now there is a ban on packages.  We hope that you won’t be disappointed and will try to write to you to make up for it.  I’m thinking I’ll have to do better than I’ve done lately for I’ve been sorta neglectful about writing.  Somehow with our family larger I don’t get much done it seems.

John is working at the Navy Base and with us.  Thomas has been transferred to guard duty at the fair grounds so we don’t see him so often now.  He was here last night, but we don’t expect him home tonight as we were having a blizzard and he’s having trouble getting his car started.  It has been from two to six below zero all day today.  It has snowed quite a lot and the wind has been strong.

John didn’t work today, but went hunting, but got really cold and the rabbits stayed away from him.  He went home for Sunday.  The folks are all pretty good.  Irene and family, Violet and family and Minnie and family were home too.

We went to church and Sunday school and stayed home the rest of the day as it stormed all day.  Morris didn’t work yesterday, the first

 

 

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Sunday off for about two months.  It really seemed nice for him to be home.  Gayle doesn’t have school tomorrow as it’s so bad outside.

Hope you are well.  Will close and go to bed. Love and best wishes, “The Tuckers”

 

Monday, January 18, 1943:  Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are OK.  How would you like trading some of your nice warm weather for this?  It is blowing and snowing, around zero yesterday.  Clarence said he heard it was ten below last night.  I couldn’t say.  First time this year we’ve had ice all over our windows on the inside.

We went to Mother’s yesterday from church.  She rode home with us.  They came in the wagon.  Don’t know what kept them from freezing as wind was so strong.  Fred and I were late as Fred had to go start evangelist’s car also go to church to turn on heat more before he got ready.  About nine o’clock Sparks came and got him out of bed to go with him.

I’m sending card the ration board sent to me.  I hope you can get necessary paper signed if you still need the boots. 

I’m ready to go to school to visit this morning.  Wonder how they are stocking up over there.  This is way to find out. 

Delores just knocked under table and told me someone was knocking at the door.

Friday night the navy showed some pictures of things leading up to this war.  Showed quite a few bombings.  Delores has been wondering all about it.  She wants to know why that baby was killed in the picture.  I told her it was the Japanese that did it and we were going to kill the Japanese for it.  She says, “I’m glad of it, then we can get Uncle Ivan.”  I think she remembers you OK.  They say youngsters of three can’t remember but I don’t think they know.  She was talking about a white police dog we had seen while in Colorado.  I’d almost forgotten it but she hadn’t.

John, Irene and Violets were home Sunday.  Mother says she can get by the week pretty well if only some of us come home on Sunday.  I think Mother is feeling better.  Just so she doesn’t take cold.  Their battery wouldn’t turn car over but Sunday lots of cars wouldn’t start.  That evangelist’s car was 1940 Reo I think.  It wouldn’t start.

I’d better sign off and mail this. Lots of love, Minnie, Fred and Girls

I have a “lone rooster” in here in a box.  Afraid he’d freeze stiff outside.

 

January 18, 1943: Violet to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Note at the top of the letter:  “I think Beulah May is a lot nicer.  Juanita.”

Dear Brother Ivan,

How are you by now?  We are all pretty well.  Some colds, but that is all.

Clarence has gone to take Lottie Grace and Bobby Teter to school.  Charles Wagoner, Pearline Wagoner’s boy, is sick so there’s only two to go from this corner.

This week was Chester Teter’s week to haul the youngsters.  We take turns.  Every third week is ours to haul.  Their car wouldn’t start so Clarence hauled for them.  Meda came over to tell us, she said it was 10 degrees below last night.  Don’t you miss the winter weather there?

I was up at Jess Teter’s a while back.  I guess you know Norma and Mutt live with them.  Norma asked about you.  I told her where you were at.  She told me she had gone with you.  That was the first I’d known about it.  Of course there’s very few of the girls you boys went with that I knew.

Juanita said I’m sure glad Uncle Ivan didn’t marry her – I don’t think she’s very pretty.  I told her I thought she was.  Just a difference in opinion is all.  She is really a worker.  She does most everything, helping with the work on the farm.  Meda (Chet Teter’s wife) says she has settled down and makes Mutt a splendid wife.  Richard is a bit over 2 now I guess they’re expecting the stork in May from what I hear.

We’re having a shower soon for Sybil Wagoner that is Pearline Wagoner’s.  He has a dairy.  They have one boy – he started to school this fall – They’re expecting this May.

Well, I started this Monday and here it is Saturday.  There’s so much to do and with Juanita and Lottie Grace taking music lessons I have less help at night.  I have to help Lottie Grace and so I get nothing done while she practices.  She is getting so it’s easier for her.

 

 

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Evelyn has had violin lessons so her music is some easier for her as she knows the notes.

Thursday and Friday were lovely days. The youngsters could play without their wraps outside.  A person wanted to make garden it was so nice.  Today it is cloudy and looks like it will be stormy again.

We are to stay here where Betty and Leland lived till next October.  She doesn’t know whether she will keep her stock after that or not.

Clarence is working 8 hours now and has for some time.  He got a 5 cent an hour raise last night.

The youngsters are still asleep.  Clarence has the milking done (one cow) Wilma has the other two cows.  She’s kept wanting more cows.  She has two of ours and two of Dad’s now.  That is the way she makes their living so it takes a lot of cows to milk.  Sure a lot of work for them only they don’t separate the milk now so that helps that much.

We have five calves one sow with six pigs and two gilts also 30 chickens.  So we don’t have many chores of our own to do.  Part of the time her stock is running out so it takes less care and other times it has made up for it.  However it’s not so bad.  We always have the chores of an evening because of Clarence’s hours.

Aeroplanes are thick around this morning.  While that storm last week was on, they almost quit flying.  Last night they were practicing and you could hardly tell which were stars and which were aeroplanes when they were far enough away and the red lights didn’t show.

It won’t be so long till you have a birthday.  I hope it will be a happy one.

The youngsters are waking up and so I’ll have to start dressing them.  Clarice helps dress herself sometimes but Junior isn’t old enough. 

Clarence is going after coal today it acts like it’s going to get colder.  We were over to the folks Sunday.  This Sunday will end revival meetings they say.  Well, take care of yourself

Love, write soon.  Clarence, Violet and family

 

Wednesday January 20, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Tom

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom:

How are you all?  I am getting along fine and I got the pictures back from the censors so I’ll send you some of them.  They are not bad pictures and you can tell what your little boy Ivan looks like anyway.  I got your letter of 22 and a v-letter of the 8 of January.  The v-mail really came fast but the 22nd one must of got the B train.  I am glad you were all feeling well in your letter of 22nd and about the boots forget them.  The reason I asked BM to get them is that I thought she could get them without going so far but then maybe they cut it out of my letter anyway. 

The weather here has been nice.  Pretty moons and lots of sunshine.  It was especially pretty last night. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the moon really shone its best.  It was cool too but not bad.  I got a long long letter from Roy Carr and $1 for Christmas from him.  I got some stationery from BM for Xmas and some candy.  I could use most of my presents and the candy was good.

Mom you wondered or BM why she hasn’t heard from me for a while she probably knows by now.  She seems to be too busy with her work or other things to rite and it’s a sure thing I don’t have time to rite when I don’t receive letters.  These pictures I am sending you were taken Xmas day so you can date them if you want to and the island.  Well hope all are well. Love, Ivan

Some of the pictures are lite but are OK.  I am sending you some of Henry Simpson too.  You had better save some pictures of myself because I am sending them all to you.  I might want someone else to have one.

 

January 23, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  It’s been quite a while since I’ve written but I’ve been thinking of you just the same.  We’ve been having plenty cold weather here.  First of week it was below zero, it has warmed up till it was almost like summer yesterday.

We have us a cow now a Jersey, about 3 years old.  She gives a good pint of milk night and morning, but if Roy keeps feeding her good I think she will give more.  The fences aren’t so good here and she gotten out several times.  I chase her all over the country.  The last time

 

 

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finally Roy went and got her when he got home.

I saw Dad and Mom the other evening over at Minnie’s and they are feeling pretty good, though Dad had some kind of flu the first of week but was better then.  We are going over there tomorrow and Roy will saw wood for Dad and us.  We are about out.  I guess they are too it took so much the cold days. 

Wilma and her kids are all OK the last I heard Violet’s kids have colds but it is good weather for colds anyway.  I hope it doesn’t get very cold again but it probably will.  I want to go to Sunday School in morning and if I do go I’ll have to wash out some clothes for kids and finish drying what I washed yesterday.  I hope the kids are good but if not Mom said they have the band room fixed so I’ll take them to it.

Well maybe I’d better close and get to work and I’ll write sooner next week to make up for what I forgot this time.  Well take care of yourself, Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

PS:  Roy plowed snow first of week and Rev. Sparks came over to help change grader blade to snow plow and he was here for dinner.  I got them fed.  It was too cold for them to eat out.  Then the next day he helped Roy again, as I told Minnie, Roy is in good company when the preacher is with him.  Roy remembers not to curse and use other not so nice words as he would otherwise.  So I’m a little glad when the preacher can help him.

PSS:  That day for dinner I didn’t know what we’d do about the blessing so I thought I’d leave it up to Roy.  Roy was a good boy he asked the preacher to ask blessing so everything was OK.

 

Sunday January 24, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Tom

[postmarked January 27]

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom:

How are you?  I am feeling fine and hope you are all the same.  I got your letter of Jan. 5 with the rates or scale of pay for the navy and also the digest of the news.  I am glad Dad is better and I hope he continues his treatment so that in the summer time he will feel better then.  I am glad you got my Xmas present and know pretty near where I am at.  I am glad Tom got by OK when he went to sleep on the job.  It is nice that Uncle Tom is enjoying good health.  Naomi’s husband is in the army and in Texas.  How did John Green’s boy get caught by the Wops?  Well I sent you some pictures last or middle of week to you and I hope you like them.  If I have time I’ll try and get some more one of these days.  How do you like my stationery?  Of course it isn’t exactly as pretty as the picture but at times it is nearly as pretty.  I got it at the P.X. and I thought it would be nice to send to you.

Mom you have a birthday coming up pretty shortly.  I don’t suppose I’ll be able to send you anything for a while but I sure hope it is a happy birthday.  The weather here is nice, a few clouds floating around and a nice breeze.  The doves are calling each [other] and the pheasants rise out of the brush and whir to another place occasionally, but then that is about the only activity in the immediate vicinity. 

How is Tom getting along with the girls?  It looks like he could find plenty of girls around or does he have quite a bit of competition from the other boys in the navy? 

Well I am about to run out of things to say so I’ll close.  I hope you are all well and happy.  Love, Ivan

 

Wednesday, January 27, 1943: Ivan to Edna

Dear Edna, Morris and Boys:

I hope this letter finds you feeling fine.  I am OK.  I haven’t a lot to say but Mom’s birthday is pretty soon and I wonder if you girls would get Mom something for me.  It will probably be late but better late than never.  You might also buy Dad a present, beings how I never got him anything for Xmas or his birthday.  You can spend $10 apiece on them, you can take the money out of my allotment to you or I’ll send you some.

Do you run a column for the lovelorn or whatever you call it, Edna?  Well I did have a problem which I don’t believe I have anymore.  I used to rite a pretty little girl about twice a week although I didn’t say much I did the best I could.  Well the little girl would rite sometimes as often but seldom and it was more often every 7 or 8 days or later.  In three weeks I got two letters so I didn’t rite in that time. So when I did rite I told her if she didn’t think enough of me to rite at least once a week not to rite anymore so I reckon she didn’t think much of me because she hasn’t ritten.  What do you think of the situation

 

 

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anyway, do you blame me?  Anyway it is as good as time as any to find what she thinks of me. Well I hope you are all well and happy. Love, Ivan

 

January 27, 1943: Ivan to Parents and Tom

I got a letter from Mrs. John Moore today too.

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom:

How are you all by now?  I am just fine.  I got your letter or v-letter of the 15th today and thought I had better answer and too it is the middle of the week and I try and rite to you then to let you know I am alright.  I am glad you got my money order OK. 

Say Mom and Dad maybe I have told you this before but sometimes you might forget it.  The money I send home, if you need it above the allotment, I want you to use it.  I may not be doing a whole lot of good for anybody but I sure don’t want you two to do without the things you need as long as I can help out.  You both have always treated me swell when I was little and older too, and it is about all I can do now is to help you out now.

I am glad Mr. and Mrs. Luper are OK.  I haven’t rote to them or anybody for that matter for sometime now.  Maybe the tropics are making me lazy.  Mom, about numbering the letters, it is like this. I’ll send yours home pretty soon and you can check on them then, and I try and rite twice a week anyway and if I don’t tell you different you can check that away.  I’ll send my old letters home pretty soon now anyway.  Well Mom I haven’t got to town yet to send you a birthday present but I’ll try and get around to doing it right away or send you the money to buy one or something.  Anyway I hope you have a Happy Birthday. Love, Ivan

 

January 30, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all find out this way.  That is everyone only Ruth R.  She has been sick with cold and some fever.  Wilma said her fever was 99 yesterday so she is almost well.

Frost is on everything this morning.  Looks like sun is going to shine today, though.  It was cloudy a lot yesterday, day before it spit snow ever so often.  In fact did some yesterday morning.  It’s all gone now though.

Carl Evans weighs 245 pounds.  I’ll bet it takes a uniform to fit him.  He is going to Louisiana, guess that is how you spell it.  After some more drilling I look for him to leave the states. 

Warren Snyder goes to Leavenworth the 4th.  They are having family dinner for him Sunday.  Charles is in 1A.  Mrs. Cannon said Phyllis Smith was kinda broke up over it but Charles wanted to go.

Tonight we are going in to Edna’s and have supper.  Tommy is to go to base at Yoder either Sunday of Monday.  He can’t leave there for two weeks so we thought we’d give him a good send-off.  Ha!  Don’t know how all his girls will get along with him out there.  His birthday was yesterday.  He went to Wanda Sweet’s for supper.  B. M. was there too.  They played Chinese checkers after supper.

He asked Margaret Lewis for date last Saturday evening.  She said she couldn’t go.  She wasn’t ready.  She told she had her hair done up on curlers, also she hadn’t had her Saturday bath.  Her mother must have heard her because she sure kidded her about it.

Other day Delores was sleeping away here on daybed.  All at once she kinda stirred and said, “dopey.”  You know now what she calls us when she is disgusted with us.

Mrs. Charlie Rowland fell on steps and broke her right arm just below shoulder about a week ago.  She was in St. Elizabeth’s for a while.  Don’t know if she still is or not.

Fred works Sunday.  He hasn’t worked for three weeks on Sunday so it won’t seem right to go to church tomorrow without him.

I’m going into town right away to get Evelyn’s glasses we ordered last week and to get Delores’ shot.  She thinks she gets bigger all the time.  Last time she sat on table while Mrs. Nicholas shot her.  She didn’t fuss or anything.  Always before I’d held her.

Mrs. Aidburg is having a birthday party for Mother in her home the 4th.  She wanted to know when her birthday was, I told her, so she has invited about 15 ladies to come.  Mother doesn’t know about it.  If I could get her to go without telling her for sure what was up we’d make it a surprise.  Don’t know how it will work out.  Mrs. Aidburg thinks it would be nice to take up a collection and get her a present.  She

 

 

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said she’d put in $1.00.  Guess I will too so maybe they can get something nice.

I’d better sign off and get to work.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

Sunday January 31, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Tom

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom:

Being how I got a letter from you today rote on the 12th and one from Minnie rote on the 13th and today is the day I usually rite I thought I had better rite to you.

How are you getting along?  I am just fine and still kicking.  Mom about the rubber boots forget them I don’t need them now.  I expect that BM got my letter asking her to get the rubber boots but the part asking for the boots was probably censored out while the letters asking you to get them weren’t cut out or the part that I asked for the boots wasn’t cut out.

I got the pictures Minnie sent me of your trip to Colorado.  They were fine, but Mom do you wear your false teeth all of the time?  We got a dog in our tent just now and he was scratching the fleas off on Aikman’s clothes just now I’ll bet he scratches tomorrow.

Mom I had a pass last Saturday and went into town and got a haircut by a Chinese woman barber.  I got a dinner in town and went around and looked over the stuff in the stores.  I was with another fellow and we had a bunch of ice cream too.  I also got you a salt and pepper shaker set carved out of native wood.  It wasn’t much but I wanted you to have something from the islands.  Edna is supposed to get you something for your birthday too. 

I sure would like to see Wilma’s children.  I’ll bet they are really growing.  What do you mean Charles and Clyde are getting fat?  I thought they were already fat.  Mom I had already got your card with pictures of Dad, Minnie, Fred, Evelyn and Delores sucking her thumb.

It is nice that Billy Lyman has did so good working for Cessna.  Is Fred getting on to welding for aircraft better? 

Well everything has been fine here Mom and I hope things are fine at home.  Hope you a Happy Birthday and Tommy too.  I sorta forgot Tom’s birthday on the 29th.  Well I must close, Love, Ivan

Monday, February 1, 1943:

Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son,

I am sure glad I don’t have to print all of the letter, I am so fast about it.  I am sorry I didn’t get this written the last of the week.  I guess I am getting too slow.  This is a nice sunshiny day and we are glad it isn’t very cold.  We didn’t hear from you last week but we hope you are well and OK.  We went to Edna’s Saturday night with Fred’s. Roy’s were there too.  Edna gave a supper for Tom for his birthday as he was leaving them to live at the Navy Base at Yoder this week.  He is firing a boiler there now.  Ruth R. had a cold so Wilma couldn’t come and Violet’s didn’t get to come either.  Roy’s were supposed to go by and take them, but he didn’t.  Violet was in bed with a cold yesterday so it was a good thing she didn’t go.  Morris had a spell with his stomach, but was better yesterday.  Tommy and his girl was here a few minutes before church last night.  John is still boarding at Edna’s but has a room near, so he can be quiet when he wants to be.  I guess he is getting old and childish.  We were all alone yesterday so we went to see Violet in the afternoon, then went to Wilma’s, but they weren’t at home.  Your cow and mine has a nice calf, arrived yesterday.  This is your calf as I had the first one and she didn’t have one last year.  This makes two calves so far.  Edna’s cow has a nice heifer calf too.  Tommy’s girl told me last night that she heard that v-mail letters were all we were allowed to send to you soldier boys now.  I hope it’s a mistake.  Well Ivan I hope you are well and getting all my letters.  I sent 8 last month.  This is the first for February.  I sure hope I get a letter today from you.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

February 1, 1943: Tom to Ivan

==V-MAIL==

Dearest Ivan,

How are you and your girl friends getting along by now?  I’m over to B. May’s house with Wanda Sweet.  B. May is in bed with a cold, but she is better now I think.  On my birthday Wanda had a birthday supper for me, and B. May and her mother came over too.  The

 

 

[Page 112 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

Navy has taken over the air base today, so I will have to move out tomorrow.  I’m helping fire the boilers out there with Moss, the boy you went to school with.  They don’t have the building finished yet.  They have six boilers to fire but only two are ready. They don’t have a ceiling on the place yet.  I went out to Mother’s Sunday and took Wanda and her little sister too.  Mother and Dad are getting along just fine.  Dad has one new calf from white face heifers.  I was on seaman guard for seven days and got transferred to public works.  I just work eight hours.  They fire with coal and it isn’t very good coal either. Yours truly, Thomas F. R.

 

Wednesday, February 3, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Tom

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom:

How are you all by now?  I got another of your v-letters yesterday mailed on 23rd and also an air mail letter from Minnie mailed on 18th.  I am getting along fine in the army or OK I should say.  I feel fine and hope you all are the same.

Tom hasn’t written for quite a while now.  I wish he would rite once in a while.  What is Roy doing now working on the township?  I hope he likes his work OK.  How long has Phillips been on Nye’s place?  Has their kids grown any?  What do they look like?  Are they getting along better?  Me and Henry gets along OK the nurse trouble was no trouble either way.  How is Morris?

This part is in answer to a few of Minnie’s questions and comments.  Your letter of the 18th said it was cold at home. Well I would like to trade a little of your weather for this but I believe it would be hard to do.  Minnie, about the boots forget about them, I don’t need them now. And also I asked for a hunting knife.  I don’t need that either.  I have one now.  Well I am glad Delores still remembers me.  Maybe she takes it after Mom.  Maybe the reason she remembers me is that I used to tease her so much.  Ruth remembered me when I was working at Wilma’s remembered me when Charles and Marjorie. [?]

Well how is Juanita getting along?  Is her studies at school OK?  She seems to like school in her letters. 

Last night the USO had a show for the boys.  They had dancing or Hula dance songs and group singing and the sponsor also asked questions and passed out packages of cigarettes for us.  We all had a good time and it was a good show.

We are having a little Kansas weather lately it has been blowing.  The weather otherwise is fine.  It is a help in a way, it blows away the mosquitoes.  We were swimming this afternoon in the ocean.  I don’t swim much but like the water.  I also brought back a couple of coconuts to eat from there.  Well hope all are well and happy. Lots of love, Ivan

 

February 6, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are feeling better, been having colds and felt too rotten to write, but that is a poor excuse. 

The most important thing around our house is that we have another cow and a radio.  He brought the radio in last night and the kids sure like it.  Eating supper,  Beth would come in, get a bite, then run back to listen to it.  She done it quite a few times.

This last cow he got from Dot and it gives a lot more milk than the other one so we have all the milk we need. 

It is clear out and pretty today, the prettiest day was your birthday.  Clear and rather warm.

Mrs. Cediburg [?] had a birthday party for Mother at her house.  Our colds were so bad we stayed home.  Minnie stopped by for us but the car was already filled.  I guess she could have squeezed us in someplace.

Last Saturday night Edna had the gang in to her house for supper.  Tom left for the base at Yoder next morning.  When he got there he had to stay two weeks before he could get leave.  No dates!  He has had one almost every night.  We told him he had had a vacation long enough, lots longer than you had.  He felt better when we were all there.  He had got a regulation hair cut, 2 inches all over.  Took off most of his wave.  Too bad!  But there are lot worse things.  He was wondering how he’d wash clothes at the base. He is supposed to wash them himself.  Good practice.  Maybe he will be able to help his wife someday if he gets one.  From what I

 

 

[Page 113 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

hear he had a date with a different girl each night then he’d start over again. 

Well it is getting late and the mail comes early so I’d better mail this before I miss him.  Well take care of yourself.  Write when you can. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

February 6, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all well here.  Hope you had a nice birthday.  I surprised Mother some on hers.  Mrs. Ceidburg (?) wanted to have a party for Mother.  She asked when her birthday was, so it worked out fine.  We had the party at Ceidburgs.  I told Mother I was coming over and take her places Thursday.  I took Mrs. Barnes and Mrs. Griffith with me so when I got Mother she almost knew it was something about her class.  She didn’t know what though until we got there.  She got quite a few nice gifts.  All had a nice time.  About 15, no 16 were there and seven little ones.  Tommy is supposed to be out at the base.  He’s marked most of his clothes but he hasn’t decided to move out yet.  Hazel Barnes married Fred somebody.  The fellow who was married to Virginia Spain, that crippled girl.  Virginia has two children.  Last one born after he got divorce.  Don’t think Hazel did so well.  Dorothy married a man from New Mexico.  She plans to sell things here.  Her husband makes good money.  Fred has ordered new generator.  Out of space so, Lots of love, Minnie

 

February 7, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Tom

Dear Mom, Pop and Tom:

How are you all?  I am getting along fine.  We are having March weather here and things really move around.  Well I had a nice birthday.  I got some stationery from BM and candy, tooth brush and shaving soap, and also a little booklet from Naomi.  I sure hope you had a happy birthday too, Mom, but I suppose that you are celebrating it today [Sunday] if brothers and sisters could come home.  I haven’t received that letter from you this weekend, but I suppose it is on its way.  Say Mom, how do people manage to get along on three gallons of gas back home?  I’ll bet that it seems like no gas at all when people are so used to getting so much of it and so cheap too.

You know Mom, I must be getting old.  I went and played touch football on the 3rd of February and on the 4th I was stiff as a board.  So you see I sure can tell I am getting old.  We were swimming in the ocean and then before we left we had a short game of touch football and that about did me up.  Well that is about all the news so will close.  Hope you all are well. Love, Ivan

 

February 11, 1943: Ivan to Edna

==POST CARD==

Dear Edna and Morris and boys:

I got your two letters yesterday mailed the 14 and 27, and a v-letter Feb 1st two days before that.  Thanks a lot for birthday card and letters.  I am mailing you this so that you won’t think I forgot you.  I am glad Virgil is getting along so good.  Too bad Tom had to move. He ought to be thankful he is as close as he is to home. Love, Ivan

 

Thursday, February 11, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents

Dear Dad and Mom:

How are you?  I am fine and I got 18 letters yesterday, two from you, one on the 21 and 27.  I also got a v-mail letter mailed the first of February Tuesday.  The mail service is pretty slow in spots lately.  It sure was cold in your letter of the 21st.  Your letters hardly make me cold when I go around with just a shirt on and sometimes without.  I am glad Edna is getting my allotment OK and putting the money in the co-op is as good a place as any.  How is Schuyler and Ruth getting along now?  I would like to get the hunting knife of Schuyler’s but then I have a cheap one and I might loose good one.  I may try and get it and if I don’t tell Schuyler thanks anyway. 

In the letters yesterday I got one from each of my sisters and I sure hope they are well.  I would try and rite to them but I tell you all the news and it looks silly to repeat.  I’ll try and rite to them one of these days.  Roy Carr also rote to me and sent me a $1 for my birthday or something.  I just like to hear from him and he could keep his money.  Edna also sent me a v-letter the first of February.  Maybe v-letters is

 

 

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the only ones that come air mail now because you can still send the others I hope.  Say, how much does it cost to send v-letters?  3 cents or 6 cents the same as all letters?  Well Mom I hope you got my pictures by now and when you get them I wish you would send Naomi Pollock one of them and some to Beulah May. I didn’t send either any of them and I am sure they will like to know what I look like.  Maybe you can get some made off the pictures.  I still have the negatives but don’t know when I’ll be able to send them to you.  Too bad about Mrs. Rowland breaking her arm.

Yesterday I went on Pass of ten hours.  I first went into town and there I started looking over the stores to try and find some stuff I needed.  I finally bought a suntan cap, belt and a bathing suit.  I went with another soldier and we ate a steak for dinner.  We then went to another town about 7 miles away where we did practically the same thing again only I didn’t buy anything to wear but I did eat again.  We then started back to battery and got back about 6:30 in evening when I got all the mail.  Well it sure was nice to come back to all the mail and it took me about an hour to read it all.  Well Mom and Dad I hope you are all well and happy.  I am getting along OK. Love, Ivan

 

Sunday night, February 14, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

APO San Francisco

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

I might as well include everyone because I darn near answer everyone’s letters in the families in your letters.  I hope this finds you all well.  I am fine and trying to rite a line or two. I don’t know a whole lot to rite about but the main idea is to let you know I am OK and not forgotten you.  I just got through riting to BM and answered her v-letter.  I got last nite rote Feb 1st. 

Say Mom, how much does it cost at home for postage for the v-letters?  3 cents if ordinary mail and 6 cents if by air?  I am curious.  You will have to pardon the scribbling because I am flat on a cot riting to you and it doesn’t help it out any.

Today we worked of a morning and in the afternoon went swimming.  I took and broke in my new bathing suit.  I tried to swim a while and rode in a few waves.  I had a lot of fun but got sand all over me and in my head.  Some of the boys took these mattress covers and filled them with air and rode the waves in on them.  They went faster and farther and stayed on top of the waves with the covers.

How is the weather at home now, still cold?  I’ll bet it is and it probably is a good thing I am not back there or I probably would be one big icicle.  I may send for Schuyler’s hunting knife after a while but don’t know for sure yet.  BM got Tom to rite a letter to me I think while he was with his girl seeing her.

Did you get my pictures?  If so I wish you could send part of them to BM and Naomi.  Naomi rote and told me an operator I worked with at nite wanted a Hawaiian handkerchief and I said I’d get her one but it would cost her a big dinner.  Say Mom, if I was home I’d set outside in the hen house and when that old hen cackled I’d be right there and get one of those good old fresh eggs.  Well hope you are all well and happy. Love, Ivan

 

February 15, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you making it?  We are all OK here.  Fred is out to shop.  Ivan, don’t you think BM likes you anymore?  I kinda think she does.  I took one each of those Kodak pictures of you to South Hutch with me to show Edna.  We stopped at Fred’s folks so never went to Edna’s.  I called BM and told her I bet I had something she’d like to see.  After I told her she wanted to know if we’d come home by her place, if not she’d come over there.  I told her we’d come by.  We had to go to McVay’s and get gas so when we got to Youngs’ they said she’d already gone to hunt us up.  We waited a few minutes. Here she came.  She was sure glad to see them.  I let her take the one of you and Simpson sitting down.  She took Walter (Irene’s were with us) up to the porch and told her mother that was little Ivan.  By the way, BM hinted to Tommy that she wasn’t the only girl you were writing to.  I don’t know who she means but I think she wants to be the only one you write to.  I don’t know, hope it is ironed out.  Sun is shining but storm is on its way.  Write soon.  Tommy has 4

 

 

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girlfriends now.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

February 19, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

APO San Francisco

==V-MAIL==

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

How are you all?  I received your V-letter of the 6 on the 15th, it was pretty fast.  I also got one from Tom and BM and Minnie the same day.  I am glad you got my pictures OK and that you had a nice time at your birthday party.  Are you still having cold weather at home now?  We are having Kansas weather [wind?] but it has been clear and nice otherwise.  Say Mom about the boots forget them I don’t need them now.  Yesterday I saw my first cotton plant up close and picked a bowl of cotton off it.  The fiber was full of seeds and I can see now why it took so much labor to separate the seed from the cotton in the old days before the cotton gin.  I don’t think Henry’s mother or father are living.  He is one of the youngest children in the family.  Well it looks like I will have to close and rite again next time or more.  Well hope all are well. Love, Ivan

 

February 20, 1943:  Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

This is a nice warm Saturday morning, it didn’t even freeze last night but we don’t think it will last long this time of the year.  I’ll be making garden soon if it does.  Dad started to clean out the corral yesterday.  Tom was over all day Wednesday.  Roy came in the evening and Dad helped them to put the halter on your animal and they put a ring in his nose too.  He sure grew a lot and looks nice.  Your cow and calf are doing fine.  She is so nice and tame.  I went to town with Minnie Thursday.  I had my eyes tested and will get new glasses next week.  Did you ever get the letter telling you that Schuyler has a hunting knife here that he would be glad to give to you if you wanted it?  He gave $8.00 for it and he said it was a good one.  Wilma’s children are getting over the flu and back in school again.  Violet’s boy was real sick with a cold and sore throat so they took him to the hospital Thursday afternoon.  He must be better as I haven’t heard from them since.  Minnie was keeping Clarice.  Grandma Emery looks good and is cheerful. She is in the hospital too.  Her daughter Mary Fountain is in the hospital too, but she isn’t expected to last very long.  Well Ivan, it’s mail time and if I hurry I might beat him to the box.  We sure hope you are well and OK.  Thane, Josie’s boy, Kay’s cousin, goes the 25th of this month.  He is in the air corps.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

Saturday, February 20, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you liking summer weather now?  We’ve had some last two days.  Sure is pretty.  Dad has got 4 heifer calves out of five.  He says he is starting a new herd of cows.  Clarice is here with Delores today.  They have nice times part of time.  Both have ideas of their own.  Other night Tommy took Beulah May along with his girl Wanda and Wanda’s sister to Newton to skate.  Wanda and BM are good friends.  Carrier just went by I must scratch this off in a hurry.  Fred works tomorrow.  Mother got her eyes tested.  She was needing her glasses.  Am glad she got them tested.  Karen is over here now, we’ll have a grand time with all three girls.  Come over and help me run this kindergarten, ha!  I’d better close. Lots of love, Minnie

 

February 20, 1943: Tom to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

I’m still helping fire the boilers out at the base.  We are on 12 hours and off 24 hours, not bad I think.  Say, maybe you think I’m taking over your girlfriend but I’m not.  I just call her up just to have someone to talk to.  She still likes you very much.  Me and my girlfriend and her sister and brother and B May went to Newton roller skating this week.  We had 280 boys shipped in from Dallas, Texas, last week.  Some are pretty good boys but they were about 25 of them that had been in the brig, they are 2 or 3 in the brig now.  I went home this week and Roy E. and I put a ring in the bull’s nose and a

 

 

[Page 116 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

change in the ring.  We also put the halter on him too. It sure is a nice day today the sun is shining and it is warm.  You know Ralph Moss, he is on my shift.  Mother had her eyes tested for new glasses and she is going to get them Tuesday so when she gets them she will be able to see better.  Well I will write oftener.  Your brother, Thomas F. Roberson

 

February 22, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

[Hawaii]

==V=MAIL==

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

How are you?  I am fine as usual and getting along fine.  Got your letter of 10th last Friday.  It really made a quick trip, don’t you think?  I am glad that brothers and sisters can get to come out and see you once in a while in spite of the gas rationing.  Tom is really good to help too.  Edna said she was going to buy a present for you and Dad for me.  I hope she could get something nice.  I also got letter v-mail from Edna the same day rote the same day.  What is the postage on this v-mail cost anyway?  Is Carl expecting to be called in the draft again?  I advise all that could get in the navy to get there because I really believe it is a lot better than the army in ever way.  Ash Fork must be a dry town if they have to haul a million gallons of water a day to it.  I got a new pair of shoes today from supply sgt.  I got 3 pair of good shoes now.  For a long time I had only one pair.  I am glad you liked the pictures of me and I’ll try and get some more made here.  Did you send BM some of them?  How did she like them?  I’ll see what I can do about getting hunting knife of Schuyler and if I can’t get it I want to thank him a lot anyway.  Well end of page.  Hope all are well. Love, Ivan

 

Tuesday February 23, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written.  I’m sorry but we’ve been rather busy.  We killed one of our hogs and it took quite a while for me to get the meat worked up with everything else there is to do.

It’s cold today, might snow.  They’re having a shower at the preacher’s house for two of the ladies at the church, someone I didn’t know so well.  So I don’t think I’ll go.  Darn if I can remember their names.  Mother will go with Minnie.

We went to church on the bus Sunday.  Fred worked so Minnie was on bus too.  It sure was a pretty day.  The kids played out in their shirt sleeves, I mean without coats. I and the kids spent the day at Minnie’s, fed Roy soup for dinner.  I can’t get away with that at home but Minnie did and he ate it.  She made gingerbread.  The raisins all went to the bottom but was good anyway.

Wilma’s kids have been having flu or something anyway.  One kid would get well and another would get sick.  Marjie was sick last I heard, but they aren’t sick so long.

We have two cows now, so we have our own milk and butter.  We couldn’t buy the stuff at 52 cents a pound so I guess it’s a good thing we have the cows.

Your girl just about kidnapped my son when we saw her last. Minnie probably told you anyway. She thinks he looks like you anyway. 

I reckon Violet and Clarence have their boy home from the hospital now.  I just heard about it Sunday.  He had pneumonia.  Anyway he was there three or four days but he’s better now I guess.  Minnie took care of Clarice while Violet was at the hospital with him.

When you want all the news you should have Minnie write and tell you.  I seldom find out much till I see her.  I didn’t know the big boomer plane had crashed in Clarence’s pasture till I read it in the paper and it happened on Friday.  There were 9 that were killed.  They thought they were over Salina and there is a difference in altitude in Hutch and Salina.  It was foggy here, and they thought they had more space than they had.  Sure was a shame to be so near an airport and miss it.  Sunday after the Army had removed what was left of it hundreds of people were out there seeing what they could.  I’d rather not go.

Well I’d better mail this.  Take care of yourself. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

Thursday February 25, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

[Hawaii]

==V-MAIL==

 

 

[Page 117 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

Got your letter of the 15th last Tuesday it really came fast don’t you think?  It is OK you only rote one letter last week but I sure like to hear from you though.  Got two v-letters from Edna and Minnie today rote 15 and 16 too.  Did you get the salt and pepper shakers yet Mom?  You mentioned them in your letter but didn’t say.  I am glad you liked my pictures.  What kind of milk cow did my heifer make?  Is she pretty good size?  How is Schuyler and Ruth getting along now?  Schuyler must really like his work to stay with it as long as he has.  What is the matter with Ruth that she has so many colds?  She ought to take cod liver oil it looks like.  Well how do you like my questions?  Tell Tom I’ll challenge him to a horse shoe game when I get home.  I played the first games after supper since I have been on the island.  I played until I couldn’t see the pegs anymore and I put on two ringers, believe it or not.  Mom in the ocean at nite the waves make lite from phosphorous in the water it sorta of looks funny, water making lite.  Well must close. Love, Ivan

 

Sunday February 28, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

APO San Francisco [Hawaii]

==V-MAIL==

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

How are you by now?  By the time this reaches you the windy month has made its bow.  I hope it’s a good month for all of us and that things don’t blow away at home.  Mom I am about to get this printing business on V-mail about down pat, it sure is still a slow process though.  I was on pass last Friday and had a good time.  I bought some pretty handkerchiefs, one for BM and one for a telephone operator on the night shift, the one that is real fat, she seems to be making a collection of them and wanted one real bad.  I then had a good dinner and then went to a show in the afternoon.  I then came back to battery.

Today was a busy day.  We worked in the morning.  In the afternoon we went swimming and played horseshoe.  In one game to 11 I pitched twice and won the game but that was just luck.  I am learning to swim a bit too, both in fresh and salt water.  Tonight we had a show which I just came from at our battery.  Our battery also has a phonograph besides a radio now and a lot of books to read. Not bad eh?  I sorta like the V-Mail because I about get it filled with what I have to say.  Well, hope all of you are well. Lots of love, Ivan

 

March 4, 1943: Ivan to his Parents and Family

==V-MAIL==

Dear Dad, Mom and Family,

How are you?  I am fine.  I got five letters so far this week.  I got your V-letter and Minnie’s mailed the 20 yesterday.  The day before I got some ordinary mail, one from Beulah May, Irene and Naomi mailed the 9th, 6th, and 9th.  They were plenty slow in reaching here don’t you think?  Mom I am glad you got some new glasses because if you can see good maybe it will help you to feel better.  I believe Dad ought to get some too.  I am sure he can use some to read with.  Mom how come Dad to put the halter on the bull?  I’ll bet he is still a little mean and I hope he is careful with him.  Say Minnie I would like to see Delores and Claris play together.  I’ll bet though that they fight as much as they play.  I am glad that Tom takes Beulah May along with his girl friend but I would be a darn sight happier if I could go along with her myself.  Hope Junior is out of hospital by now.  Well there is not much to report from here.  Everything is nice here.  I usually try and swim about 3 or 4 times a week.  I’ll try and get a permit for the hunting knife to come through and I would like to have you go get me a cheap watch too if I get the permit.  Well reckon I’ll have to close for now.  Hope all are well.  Lots of love, Ivan

 

March 6, 1943:  Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you making it?  Must be fine according to the card “Lunch Time” you sent us.  Some life you must be having, ha!  Did you send BM a card like that?  You should have part of our snow.  Looks like from drifts around here that some of roads will be blocked.  I washed Thursday afternoon at six.  The sun was shining pretty.  Friday morning it was snowing and blowing.  Don’t know what time it started. 

 

 

[Page 118 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

Warren S. is located in California.  Don’t know name of camp.  Charles leaves the 11th.  He wants to go, he says Phyllis S. has different ideas, though.  Kinda serious at their house.  Loreen phoned Warren at California shortly after he arrived. She talked 12 minutes and it cost her $10.00.  Kinda expensive conversation.  Warren is an expecting father to be.  Mrs. Snyder said she knew it would be that way.  She wanted them to wait until he came home to be married.  Boys at Strawboard told him that was the way, to have her wait for him.  Haven’t seen Mother and Dad since Sunday.  Mother sure likes her glasses.  She says a cloudy day looks as good through her glasses as a sunshiny day did without them.  She should have had them before.  Sun is shining now.  Kinda cold out but I think it will warm up.  Your card got here quick enough, got here March 3rd.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

March 7, 1943: Ivan to Parents and Family

[Hawaii]

==V-MAIL==

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

I got 2 letters the last of this week.  They were regular air mail letters 17 and 4th of February the 17th one got here first and also a V-letter from Tom.  I also got Tom’s pictures you sent me.  They were good of him but from the looks of him the Navy must feed good.  I haven’t had any more pictures of myself taken since Xmas.  Tell Tom that I don’t think he is trying to take BM away from me and I don’t care if he takes her along with him and his GF.  I’ll try and write to him.  Too bad about Robert Baker getting wounded.  I am glad Edna got the presents for you and Dad and am glad you like them.  I would like to see my cow and calf they ought to be pretty.  I went on pass today and had a nice time.  I got a hair cut and went to two shows and fed my face the rest of day.  I got back and showed and washed my head and put olive oil on it I bought today.  Everything here is fine and hope it is same at home.  Lots of love, Ivan

 

March 11, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to get so many letters from you lately.  One yesterday was written Feb. 28.  I am glad they come so fast.  February was your windy month, it looks like March is our winter month, we’ve had three snows and one sleet so far.  Everything looked so beautiful when the sun came out yesterday.  A heavy coat of ice covered everything and the sun made the trees look like they were made of crystal.  This morning, the ground is covered with snow and it is still cloudy.  Some of your nephews and nieces were glad they got a Valentine from Uncle Ivan, and some were wishing they had got one.  Isn’t it hard to take care of such a big family?  I got your card too.  Dad brought the mail from the box, and says here is a card from Ivan.  I was almost afraid to look at it, I was afraid it was one that says, “I arrived safely at my destination.”  I was sure glad to get it.  I intended to write earlier in the week, but have had the flu, not bad but couldn’t write good.  I feel fine this a.m. but a little weak yet, and the pen has almost forgot the way to go.  Maybe you can guess at it.  Sure wish you were here to eat fresh eggs with us.  We’ve been getting over six dozen a day lately.  Your cow and calf are just fine.  The cow is as tall or taller than our old cows.  Dad says she is real gentle, the calf looks like her.  Clarence and Tom were home Sunday.  Minnie’s were here a few minutes last night.  I’ll write more soon, as Dad is leaving for a load of hay and I’ll get him to put this in the box before he goes.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

March 12, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

[Hawaii]

==V-MAIL==

Dear Dad and Mom and Rest:

How are you?  I am OK, getting along the same as usual.  Got your v-letter rote the 27th.  I also received a letter from Irene.  It doesn’t sound as though rationing has bothered you a great deal and I am glad it hasn’t.  Say I sure would like to have my cow here. I believe I could drink all the milk she gives for a couple of days.  That is one product that is not over abundant over here.  Where is Schuyler and Ruth live at now?  I don’t believe I can get permission to get the hunting knife so will have to do without.  Tom is sure having a good deal

 

 

[Page 119 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

in that he can stay at Edna’s for so long.  Mom please tell me whether you get a money order from Charles Hart in the next 30 days or not.  It is for $40 and Charles is collecting it for me, I hope.  I just got through riting to BM and answered her letter.  We are getting along fine, I hope.  Well I am a little bit late answering your letter, but better late than never.  Well reckon I’ll have to close.  Hoping all are well. Love, Ivan

 

March 13, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all OK, thanks goodness! 

Last week we had snow and bad weather.  We have had some snow this week but yesterday it cleared off some and today it is nice and clear sun shining, and I think I can really get something done.

I don’t know why but it is rather hard even to write or work on dark days and when it was cold I was busy keeping the fire going.

We didn’t go to Sunday School last Sunday but plan to be there tomorrow.  It was rather cold for kids to wade through the snow last Sunday. 

I went to town with Minnie Monday to get Wilma Marie some shoes.  Roy had already picked them out and paid for them but forgot stamp 17 [?] so he couldn’t get them.  They fit awfully nice.  We got Walter a pair of overalls like his daddy’s, cost us a $1.  From what they tell us they aren’t making overalls for little boys now.  Can get them for ages 10 & 12 on up.  They are using the denim for soldiers and sailors so these little guys will have to wear other material.  Won’t hurt them a bit.  Only what made Minnie a little regusted [?] was they still make ladies’ girdles using rubber and she wanted to buy Fred some shorts, knit kind, and all the elastic in the tops were three or four inches.  She figured the ladies don’t need so much elastic to hold them together.

I didn’t get to see Mother last week but I hope to tomorrow.  If Roy doesn’t work on roads we will probably go home and he and Dad will saw wood.

Our two cows are giving more milk now. Minnie and Fred get two quarts a day now since some of Dot Elliot cows are dry and we still have all we need too.

If it keeps on being this nice I’ll want to plant garden.  Soon be time. I’ve 4 lbs of onion set already.  I had the plants last years and they didn’t do as good. I hope these are better.

I washed yesterday but the clothes are still damp yet so I’ll have to hang them back out.

You remember how they used to say I’d call for Daddy when Mother would spank me?  Well whenever I get after Beth she says, “I’ll tell my daddy” or “I want my Daddy to come home.”  The other kids didn’t do it that I remember of.

Wilma Marie talks of going to school all the time, wonders how many more days it will be.  She starts in September.  I don’t think I’ll like it because I’ll have to get up then whether I want to or not. 

The mail goes early these days so I’d better address your envelope so I won’t miss him. 

I hear a mocking bird outside the window.  I’ll bet there are lots of birds here in the summer as there are so many trees.  It’s hard telling if we will be here because Roy gets the urge to move sometimes.  He wants some place where he can have a telephone and we can’t here.  We don’t have lights either, only kerosene ones.  I don’t mind.  But I reckon with his work he might need a phone. 

Well I’d better close.  Take care of yourself. Love, Roy, Irene and kids

PS:  We got a letter from Roy’s mother and Howard.  Roy’s youngest brother is in Africa.  He says people don’t wear many clothes where he is and they go barefooted and don’t wash often.  We were glad to know where he was.  Well I’ll write again soon. Love, Irene

PPS:  I just thought of something else.  It was a story the Sunday School teacher was telling her kids.  She said, “And God caused Nebuchadnezzar to go out and eat grass like a cow,” and a little girl piped up and asked, “Did he give milk?”

PPPS:  I think that is enuf.

 

March 14, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

[Hawaii]

==V-MAIL==

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

 

 

[Page 120 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

How are you all?  I received your letter of the 24th yesterday and beings how this is my day to answer letters, I decided I would do just that.  I am glad Steve Van Buren got his wings.  He ought to make a very good pilot.  Do you remember when his brother-in-law would come and lite his plane on their alfalfa field and take the boys riding?  I believe Steve wanted to be a pilot because he was a mechanic in the air core before he got his wings.  I sure hope he has a lot of good luck whenever he leaves.  Naomi’s address is 411 East 4th Street.  It is right on your way into town.  About the hunting knife, I don’t believe I’ll be able to get a permit for you to send it to me.  I got Tom’s pictures OK.  I am sure glad you like your glasses and can see better.  It ought to make you feel better too.  How does Schuyler and Ruth like it at Lindsborg?  I got a v-letter from Aunt Florence yesterday too.  It is nice here today.  The sun is nice and warm, the birds are singing, and it is a beautiful morning.  Hope the weather is getting nice at home and that all are well. Love, Ivan

 

Friday March 19, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you now?  We are all fine here but Wilma’s kids, Howard and Charles, have been “fluing.”  In fact all have “flued” but Wilma.  I saw Josephine T. the other night.  She said you got tired climbing mountains.  Do you have to climb many?  Charles Snyder and Phyllis Smith got married Tuesday night.  They chinarried [?] them Wednesday, showered them last night and he leaves for the army this, I mean today.  He was just 18 and Phyllis 17.  They had a nice shower for them last night.  It has been blowing some more and a few skiffs of snow.  It is cold today.  Will be glad when we can plow the garden.  Don’t think it would do much good now to have anything in the ground.  Mother sure likes her glasses.  Tuesday, she and Dad came by and I drove the coupe to Edna’s.  Edna then took Tommy’s car and we went to Will Hayes’ funeral.  He and Maggie had lived together over 50 years, no quarrels the family said too.  Good record, don’t you think?  I’m getting me 50 Rhode Island Red Chickens Monday.  I hope they live.  Fred is still at Cessna’s.  Don’t know when he will open shop for all day.  As soon as weather is better, I suppose.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

Saturday March 20, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

`We were glad to get your card yesterday, the picture of the sugar cane growing.  I’ll bet it is pretty growing.  Does it bloom?  It is real cold this a.m., all the snow hasn’t melted yet but I guess it will be warm someday.  I guess I’ll go to town with Dad today.  They want some more papers signed about your allotment.  We will go to the Red Cross and see what we have to do this time.  Tom and John were here a little while yesterday.  Tom was getting some old tires for Morris’ car, till he can get new ones.  Tom is working of a night this week.  Charles Snyder left for camp yesterday.  Tuesday he and Phyllis Smith were married.  He was 18 and she 17.  She is still in school.  The animal is fine with his halter on and a ring in his nose and a chain in the ring.  Dad wasn’t afraid of him, but the kids was afraid he might hurt someone.  Tom read your card yesterday but he hasn’t learned to write letters.  He is always anxious to read your letters and so are all the rest.  I have a geranium in bloom, I think it is yours.  Did you ever get Tom’s two pictures?  I sure hope they weren’t lost.  Well Ivan I better get ready to go to town with Dad or he’ll go without me.  We hope you are well and OK and we are so glad you are so good to write to us.  Well here I am finishing this letter for […?] she is getting to go to town with me.  We are glad of that you are well and enjoying good health which is the best blessing we can enjoy in this life as I can see it. We are having some winter out here in Kansas this spring.  But it could be a lot worse.  Well good-bye with love and the best of luck.  Dad and Mom

 

March 21, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

[Hawaii]

==V-MAIL==

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

I hope this letter finds you well and all over your colds and also that warmer weather

 

 

[Page 121 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

has come to stay.  This morning about 6:10 I was up getting ready to go about my duties when I looked into the east and there was another moon bow.  It was the second one that I have seen.  The bow was nearly perfect because the conditions were just right.  The moon was full and in the west and showers in the east.  This morning we worked and in the afternoon went swimming.  Yesterday I was on pass and got my hair cut to ½ inch.  It was the first G.I. haircut I have had and it sure does make me look like a peeled onion.  I then went to a show and saw a double feature.  It was a good show.  I then had some vegetable soup and went on back to battery and played horse shoes until dark.  I then saw another show at the battery.  It was a Charlie McCarthy show and it sure was a good show and full of laughs.  Say Mom I was going to have my pictures taken but how can I with my pride and joy cut off to ½ inch?  How would you like my picture with my hat or bald headed?  I’ll try and get it taken but it will take quite a while for me to get them.  The weather here is OK and I am getting along fine.  Hope you can read this.  Well about out of space, so hoping you are all well and happy.  Lots of love, Ivan

 

March 23, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I just wrote you a V-mail, but decided I’d better send this Easter Greeting for it will be past Easter now before you get it.  It’s hard to remember how long it takes mail to go to where you are.

I just finished the chores and will do up my housework and sew today.  I cut out two house dresses yesterday, one for Mother Roberson and one for myself and I want to finish both of them today.  I made Mother 3 aprons for her birthday and hope to get some more sewing done for her.  It’s hard for Mother to sew as she has so much to do.  Mother and Dad seem to be OK for them.

Violet and Clarice are feeling much better.  Violet says she still gets tired easily and can’t do very much .  John is at Wilma’s this week to help her.  He planned to get a steady job, but so many jobs the men are forzen (sic) to them, so he thinks he doesn’t want that so I don’t know really what he wants.

Minnie is feeling OK for her, but expects to go to the hospital around April 1.  Delores is going to stay with us.  We will enjoy her a lot I know.  She doesn’t grow much, but is really a sweet girl.  She still has her curls.

Frank Hart the manager of Hart Grocery here in South Hutchinson is in the service now.  Henry Lewis who is a senior and lives out here is in too.  There are a lot of the boys going.  Roy Emery is just waiting for his number to come up.  I hope that it won’t be long until this terrible conflict is over, but it seems to me it will last quite awhile yet. 

Everyone here is fine.  Virgil’s blood pressure is a little low so he has to have more rest, and leave out strenuous gym work for awhile.  He has been overdoing, but nothing serious.  Hope you are well and happy.

Don’t forget that wherever you go, and whatever you do, that we are thinking of you and praying that God will give you courage to meet each new day, and that he will keep you from harm and danger.  May God bless you and keep you is our prayer. Lots of love, “The Tuckers”

 

March 27, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all OK.  It’s Saturday again and I have to get the kids’ things ready for Sunday School, and of course clean house.  Roy says we may move soon. I don’t know where yet he has two places in view.  I wish he’d make up his mind so we could get a garden started. It’s time a lot of it was in already.

Quite a bit has happened since I wrote last.  Around the 16th of March Charles Snyder and Phyllis Smith were married.  He was 18 and she 17.  Quite young.  They had three days together before he went to army.  Mrs. Snyder didn’t want him to but I guess he’d have eloped if she hadn’t given her consent.  His argument was if he was old enough to fight for his country, he was old enough to be married.  They had a “Shiner-see” (anyway that’s what it sounded like) on Wednesday and the next night a shower at school house.  The next night he left for camp at 10 next evening.  I don’t know but with him so young I almost think it would be

 

 

[Page 122 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

better if he’d waited.

Last Sunday the boys sawed wood for Wilma.  The gang made ice cream while we were there.  The gang was all there but Morris, I reckon he was working, and Violet and Clarence and their family.  They were plowing gardens.  Chet Tetters and Clarence were plowing together so they didn’t come over. 

At Sunday School they sing in the primary room a song, “Joy, Joy Down in my Heart,” and another one, “Down in the Dumps I’ll Never Go.”  All morning Wilma Marie has been singing, “Joy, Joy, Joy Down in the Dumps.”  Must be a little mixed up.

The sun shone yesterday.  I washed but it is cloudy today and I still have some to dry yet.  I reckon they will.

We went over to see Mrs. Rowland when we were at Wilma’s.  Her arm that she broke isn’t a bit good.  Her fingers are swelled so it is hard for her to bend her elbow and she hasn’t done anything with it for so long.  She said it was awful when she went to hospital.  She was well but when she got out she was sick.  She had to lay flat with her arm stretched out.  Bill and Mary were there and their 4 month old baby girl sure is the sweetest thing.  Black hair and dark eyes.  She looks a lot like the older girl Evelyn.  They call her Mary Jo. 

Well I reckon I’d better close and mail this.  Oh yes, I was going to tell you I saw a picture of you and Henry that Josephine Tuba had.  The one where you wished you were back in Kansas where the ground was flat.  It was good pictures but you look like you needed to rest a little. Well take care of yourself. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

March 30, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

I missed writing last week.  Maybe if I try and write two letters this week you will forgive me.  We are all just fine out here.  Mother is pretty good.  Violet’s, Irene’s, Wilma’s and us were home Sunday.  John, Tommy, and Virgil were there too.  First Wilma’s had been there for quite a while as her kids had had sore throat, flu, etc.  John got his notice yesterday to appear in Kansas City tomorrow morning.  He is quite thrilled.  He about gave up them calling him.  We are all going to Edna’s for supper.  Maybe he will think we all like him.  I asked him this morning what his lady friend would do.  He said she could jump in the lake for all of him.  We are sure having wind now.  I must go out and plant some more onions and peas.  I don’t want to in this wind but they must be in.  I have 49 chickens a week old.  Lost one but rest are fine.  Rationing of foods hasn’t bothered us any, don’t think it will either.  Gas rationing has made us think before we start the car.  It’s a good thing I guess.  We took it all for granted so much and ran the car too much.  Elliot’s are back from California.  Odeta and Lucy were at church Sunday.  Odeta didn’t go in her class as Tommy was there.  Am out of space so bye, bye. Lots of love, Minnie

 

March 31, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written on a “Easter Prayer for a Soldier” card:

Dear Ivan,

March came in like a lion, it is going out the same way. Last two days we’ve had dust storms from the south. Now it has turned to north and is blowing plenty good. We all had supper at Edna’s last night and went to train to see John off. I’ll bet no other bachelor had as many kisses in one evening as he did. Even to Charles kissed him 5 or 6 times. Train took on a lot of baggage so he had a long wait after it arrived. Wilma went by Glen Ely’s last night and told them she’d teach the primary room there, at Prosperity. The school board came and asked her last Saturday if she would take it at $120 a month. Mrs. Bruce May, used to be Miss Weymeire (sp?), at Haven has twin girls born Sunday. She already had one youngster. Welty’s are quitting Broadacres in August I think it is. Am afraid I wouldn’t have stayed so long as they did. Morris is off work this week. His vacation week I guess. Lots of Love, Minnie

 

Saturday April 3, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan, old pal, old scout, old thing,

How are you (and yours)?  Beg pardon I forgot I had all the kids and you didn’t – anyway bet your first will be twins when you do get

 

 

[Page 123 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

them or at least triplets.  Our family increases by rates and bounds.  We have a drake and three ducks now and before summer is over I’ll bet we have some ducklings unless the kids squeeze them to death.  (I shouldn’t count my ducks before they are hatched or as I should say, before the duck eggs are laid yet.) 

Well anyway it is good garden weather and Mom and all the girls have some in but me.  We have a sack of seed potatoes on kitchen floor not even cut yet.  The thing is we are going to move next week in the big square house across from Kent School.  Then I’ll really work in the garden to make up for lost time.  We won’t be so crowded there.  The house has 8 rooms and a pump inside.  As I tell Minnie I won’t have to put boxes under the bed there.  I can put them upstairs and I won’t have to worry about school for Wilma Marie either with it just across the road.

We have been eating a few fish this week.  Gerald Macklin has been doing some fishing in Brandy Lake.  Roy has been bringing home some catfish, hardly no bones.  Roy and kids sure like them.

I didn’t get to see John off for the navy.  He went to West Virginia.  Kids had a cold and I was tired out.  We had had some real Kansas wind that day around 60 per and sand and dirt with it and it just wears me out.  And Roy had already made his plans.  We were all home Sunday but Edna’s so I got to see him then, and as Walter coughed most of the evening maybe it was just as well I stayed home. 

Sunday school again tomorrow and I’ll be taking the kids again.  I haven’t told the preacher yet but I draw pictures all the time he preaches.  It is the only way I have of keeping Beth still.  Walter is pretty good.  Wilma Marie has taken a fancy to Pearl N. so she sits by her most of the time. 

Well it’s most mail time so I’d better sign off.  Well take good care of yourself soldier boy – we’re boosting for you! Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

Post marked April 6, 1942: Minnie to Ivan

==POST CARD==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all pretty well here but mother has a bad cold.  Clarice is broken out with measles and Junior has fever.  I guess he will be next.  Evelyn has three more weeks of school.  It is sprinkling here.  Irene and I made mother’s garden Friday afternoon as she was at Wilma’s.  I’ll write a letter soon and tell you about Vincent’s sickness.  Doctor got report he had cancer. Love, Minnie

 

Wednesday Afternoon, April 7, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

[Hawaii]

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

How are you all doing this fine April afternoon?  I am getting along fine and keeping busy.  I haven’t your two letters I have got but will try and finish this tonight.  I have just rote to BM and ran out of ink and so the pencil.  I got a v-letter from Tom yesterday and air mail from BM, and one from Irene.  Tom tells me Mom and Pop that you are working pretty hard and thinks you are overdoing it.  Now I’ll put in my 2 cents worth.  I don’t want you working so hard and take life easier.  You know you will both feel better.  This summer if they are too many cows to milk, let the calves run on them and if you don’t have enough calves, why use the money I have in the bank to buy some if you think they are not too high priced to come out OK on them.  I imagine that Tom might be able to help a bit planting the crops if he can but he probably will be busy.

This morning I saw some little pheasants.  They were about the size of doves. I am pretty sure they were pheasants because they flew and lit with a pheasant hen.  I have seen little quail before but no little pheasants.  Tom’s v-letter I could hardly hardly read it because it was so faint.  He ought to rite with black ink because it shows up on photo better.  I’ll rite more this evening when I get your letters.

I thought I had more letters of yours to answer but I either answered them Saturday nite or misplaced them but I do have a v-letter mailed the 27 to answer.  I must of answered your other letters because all I can find have “answered” on them. 

So Mom you and Dad are planting garden just like you did 40 years ago.  I’ll bet it makes you feel good to be planting the garden again.  Mom do you remember when we visited Edna and Morris at Topeka and one of the

 

 

[Page 124 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

officers’ wives said you looked like Edna’s sister?

I am glad that rationing doesn’t bother you and don’t think I am being slighted because there isn’t much milk to drink.  We get plenty to eat and I am still plenty fat as you probably can see by my pictures.  We don’t have as many song birds as you do back home and as pretty ones.  We do have owls though and I see them pretty often.  Henry’s still in our battery and getting along fine.  He is a TSgt now in radio.  I am not in his section anymore but in instrument section of the battery.  I like the work a lot better and it is far more interesting to me than wire.

It is a good deal that Schuyler and Ruth are getting along better.  Tell them hello for me.

About the wrist watch, if you can find one or one around home that has a good case you can send it to me.  I would like a second hand on it though.  The Elgin of Schuyler’s might serve the purpose if it had a good case.  I don’t believe it was so hot.  Now if that can’t be arranged buy a cheap service man’s watch with second hand on it and send it to me.  If you can get a case for Elgin just as cheap I would like to have it. 

Well I am about out of words so will close.  Hope all are well and that Irene likes her new place to live. Love, Ivan

PS: Tom I don’t believe you are trying to steal my Girl and if you have room and going places you would like for her to go and she with you and GF, I hope you take her along.  She is going to Denver when school is out.

 

April 9, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

Don’t you think I’m learning to print?  Takes longer to fix the address than it does to write.  How are you?  We are fine only some cold that Delores has.  Just a head cold.  It is damp here now for a change, had some rain yesterday.  It is cloudy yet.  Made garden look so pretty the rain washed all the dirt off the little plants and made them stand out so nice.  Today is school meeting.  Guess I’ll go and see what happens.  Irene and Roy are moving to across the road from Kent School.  They will have 8 rooms there.  Guess I’ll go over with some of my junk and store it.  Wouldn’t she like that.  Morris is thrilled.  He is on regular at the post office now.  He gets Saturday afternoon and Sunday off now.  He’s put in a long time getting up at three or four in the morning and working until late at night.  Ray Cannon’s mother, Mrs. Webb, is getting married Tuesday.  We went to a shower on her at Cannons last night.  She is marrying a man she dated when she was 15 and he was 18.  She is now 60 years old.  Quite a romance, ha!  Both lost their mates so now they are going to try it together.  My 49 chickens are still alive.  They are sure growing.  Edna has ordered her a 100 chicks, for last of month.  I know she’ll enjoy raising them.  Must close. Lots of love, Minnie

 

April 21, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are fine here only Mother got sliver under her fingernail last night.  Fred tried to get it out but didn’t so we took her into Grace Hospital. Miss Fritzman got it out.  We are going to take her to Dr. Hempsted this p.m. to see if it all came out and get tetanus shot.  It had begun to get easier when we got home.  She got it in out of barn door.  Fred is working at his shop full time now.  Clarence E. had 6 teeth pulled last Saturday.  He plans to get them all out.  C. B. Hargadine’s baby got burned real bad.  Maybe mother sent clipping.  It was week ago Sunday it was burned.  Miss Fritzman said last night it sure was pitiful case.  Burns around face so bad, burns crusted so baby refuses to take bottle.  She says it will be something if baby can fight off infection.  C. B.’s hands were all bandaged, he burned them getting baby out of crib.  Short in electric pad caused fire and burned babies clothing and bedding when they found her.  Baby was 6 months old.  Other day I put salts in some jars.  Delores wanted to know if it was good.  I didn’t say.  She took a pinch of it, put it in her mouth.  She sure spit.  She says you can’t suck her thumb.  She sure likes to yet. Lots of love, Minnie

 

Thursday (about April 21, 1943):

Violet to Ivan

Dear Ivan,

 

 

[Page 125 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

I’m sorry I’ve not written sooner only something is always happening.  If it isn’t sick youngsters it’s something else to keep a person busy. 

Tuesday we had a cow to freshen(?).  The calf was small and terribly weak.  C.D. didn’t think it would live.  He gave it to me.  I’ve been taking care of it and it’s sure been taking time.  However it’s lots better and can almost eat without help. However last night it was the mother that was wobbly on her feet and I called Dr. McClure and he said it was milk fever.  I’ve been up all night seeing she didn’t get too bad before morning.  They put a pinch of medicine in the juggler (sp) vein for milk fever and Dr was afraid it might be hard to see to do it at night but if she got too bad he said they’d need to risk it.  However she’s got through the night and I’m ready to go to the neighbors to call him, to see how soon he can come out.  Of course it’s not quite light yet but it won’t be so long now.  She’s pretty sick. 

C.D. had 6 teeth pulled last Saturday and sure doesn’t feel well.  He needed his sleep so when he came from work I got him to go to bed.

Clarence and Chet Teters have their potatoes out together and they harrowed them yesterday so C.D. was extra tired last night.

Norma and Mutt have another baby boy.  She came from the hospital last Saturday night.

It’s 6:30 now so think I’ll look at my cow again and then go call the doctor.  He ought to be up hadn’t he?  I’ve stayed at the barn most of the night to save walking back and forth.

Meda Teters and I planted some cauliflower and celery seed last evening.  We want to see them grow.  Our gardens look fine.

Write to us and don’t work too hard, Love, Violet

 

April 27, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written you.  But I’ve been thinking of you just the same.  We’ve moved again and it’s such a job getting things straightened again so you can go on living.  We’ve a big house this time, 8 rooms, upstairs, down and a basement.  We have lights, a bathtub, pump and sink.  There is quite a bit of ground here too.

I’ve been a little slow planting my garden as it hasn’t rained for a while and the ground is[n’t] very moist.  I hate to carry water but I guess I can…

Wilma Marie was sick Sunday so we missed the Easter services.  The whole gang was home to Mother and Dad’s and we about missed that too.  Wilma Marie felt better in the afternoon so we went over then, got there in time for dinner and ice cream.

Dad was just here to get the saw we had borrowed.  He was going over to Wilma’s to help build a brooder house.  Seems every one is raising chickens this year.  It is surprising the old hen can lay enough eggs to supply them all.  Edna is going to raise some.  They plan to build a brooder house and hen house too.

Clarence had 6 teeth out over a week ago and has been living on soup almost ever since.  I reckon he will have to have them all pulled but then he may feel a lot better. 

Our white rabbit has 4 or 5 baby rabbits awful tiny and red, hardly any fuzz on them.  Our ducks have been laying eggs so we may have some little ducklings someday.

Tommy has been coming out lately to Gerald Macklin’s to fish in Brandy Lake.  Last night he had only got a quarter of a mile from our place and he broke an axle so he and Roy spent the rest of the evening getting the car fixed.  He has caught quite a few fish since he started fishing anyway.  Edna says she doesn’t mind cleaning them if they have their heads off or are dead first but to have cut their heads off while they kick their tails around is too much. 

The lilacs were sure pretty at Mother’s this year but they soon will be gone.  I wish they lasted longer than they do.

It will soon be dinner time so I’d better close and start something cooking.  I want to plant garden this afternoon if the wind doesn’t blow all the seed away.  Well take care of yourself.  Write when you can.  We will always read Mother’s letters anyway. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

PS: John is a Seabee at Camp Peary, Williamsburg, Virginia.  He has to walk a mile and a half to chow and Edna thinks he may slim down a bit.

 

 

 

[Page 126 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

April 30, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son,

We were so glad to get your v-letter written the 15th of April.  I got it the 28th.  No, your $40.00 hasn’t come yet.  I’ll let you know soon as it gets here.  Dad went to Wilma’s this a.m.  He is helping to build a brooder house for Wilma.  They expect to finish today.  It is cold today so they will have to work fast to keep warm.  Now don’t you worry about us working too much, we are thankful we feel like working, it’s lots of fun.  Dad let Wilma take Old Roanie to milk then he expects to sell her in the fall.  We are milking ten cows now and we have 15 little calves.  The calves do some of the milking for us.  I feel lots better than I did last spring and so does Dad.  He isn’t troubled but a little with his skin trouble now.  I want him to take some more treatments before hot weather.  I have some tomato plants to set out, but will wait till it’s warmer.  Our April showers have been scarce but there is plenty of moisture below the dust.  Carl’s are raising some little chicks, so they can have fried chicken this summer.  The yellow roses are starting to bloom.  I wish you could see them.  Our potatoes are up good.  Well Ivan I hope you don’t have to work too hard and that you are well and OK.  We sure appreciate your good letters and are so glad to get them.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

May 1, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL-==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all well here now.  Irene’s two, Walter and Wilma, have had stomach flu few days but they are OK now.  It is 9:10 and my girls are still in bed.  Guess I’ll have to pull them out so I can get some dishes washed.  Evelyn is a good dish washer when she wants to be.  Delores says she doesn’t want to suck her thumb, but her tongue wants to suck it.  She sure sucks if we don’t put hot stuff on it.  Fred is busy in shop.  Has had a lot of work to do.  Evelyn’s school was out a week ago.  Wilma’s school was out yesterday.  Why is BM going to Colorado?  How long will she be there?  I haven’t seen her for quite a while.  Guess I’ll go see her one of these days.  Dad has been helping Wilma on a brooder house.  Sure going to be a nice big one.  We have been using radishes and onions from our garden.  Gardens are slow this year.  It has been too cool for them.  I put out 75 tomato plants Wednesday night.  They look fine.  Hope they don’t get frosted.  It seems cold out today. Bye, bye, Lots of love, Minnie

 

May 5, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I received your v-letter of 19th Monday.  We were so glad to get it too.  Monday Howard R. and Mr. King came by with the truck and took Dad to the Navy base to get a load of scrap lumber.  As you had written some to Wilma in your letter I sent it home with Howard for Wilma to read.  I intended to mail your news yesterday but we got up too late.  Minnie and girls came over to get my washing and eggs just as we finished milking.  Then Clarence came to help Dad put down a well in the pasture we rented for the 12 yearlings, it’s two miles north, part of Epps pasture.  Phillips rented it last year and this year he didn’t need it.  Dad got the 40 acres for $25.00.  We will look after it and keep water pumped.  Nyborg raised on his rent $9.00 a season for the yearlings.  The wind is blowing hard, so maybe we will get rain soon.  Everything is fine, only dry.  I would love to see your flowers and I wish you could hear our birds singing this a.m.  I don’t suppose it ever gets dry where you are at.  Do you ever fish any?  Schuyler fishes ever chance he gets.  Got a letter from them yesterday, they were OK.  Your $40.00 hasn’t come yet.  Tom was home Sunday, so was Irene’s and Wilma’s and Evelyn.  He said “he must write to Ivan.”  Everyone is OK and we hope you are too.  I’ll try and write a little oftener.  It must take quite a while for air mail to get to you.  We have radishes and onions out of our garden, the peas are starting to bloom, the green bugs aren’t in ours yet.  Hens are still laying well.  Have you been to church anymore?  I hope you can get to go some.  We had a good crowd at church Sunday.  I’ll bet I’ve written more lines than you can on this, ha ha! Does it make it too small to read good?  We are looking

 

 

[Page 127 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

for those pictures.  Lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

May 5, 1943: Violet  to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Brother,

It is trying to rain this morning.  Don’t know if it will make it or not as it’s tried to for some time.

Clarence and the youngsters have gone to Wilma’s to help her on the brooder house.  The youngsters will play while he works.  They have it almost finished.  We have lettuce, radishes and onions to use out of our garden now.  I sent Wilma a mess of lettuce this morning.  I stayed home to get dinner, fix C.D.’s lunch, tend to our baby chickens, etc.  We bought 100 baby chicks almost two weeks ago.

Lottie Grace took her music lesson last night.  Joyce Cannon, Evelyn and L.G. all take theirs the same evening.  We are going to take turns hauling them.  It is my turn to haul next time.

Clarence plans to put me down a well here by the house to save us carrying water from the barn.  C.D. helped Dad put Dad’s well down yesterday on the pasture Dad had rented.  With lots of love, Clarence, Violet and family.

 

May 6, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are fine here only Dad has pleurisy.  He was milking late Tuesday morning when I was there.  Mother said he hadn’t got to sleep until late in morning so had slept little later.  He didn’t eat any breakfast.  Ivan, we girls think you’d better be real nice and suggest to Dad and Mother that they farm on smaller scale after this year.  Dad says when you come back you’ll have a farm there to farm if they stick it out.  They talk like you want to farm, is that right?  He said you had your cow, calf, etc., I don’t know what.  They are both working too hard.  Mother told Irene she’d have to keep going because if she couldn’t get things done we’d girls insist on them selling off. We don’t want them to leave a farm entirely but you know they are working too hard milking ten cows, feeding those calves and everything.  Use your influence best you can.  This fall would be a good time to sell a lot of it, I think.  Delores walked outside barefooted.  She stepped so easy.  I asked her if her feet hurt, she says “no, the rocks hurt.”  She was disgusted with me.  I must close, Lots of love, Minnie

 

May 10, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to get your v-letter the 8th you wrote 23rd of April.  And I want to thank you for your beautiful Mother’s Day card.  You couldn’t have found one that I liked better.  I believe we think a lot alike in many things, too bad for you, isn’t it?  All the kids liked the card so much.  It was so nice of you to take time to think of sending cards.  It was raining right down when we are ready to start to Sunday school yesterday.  Car was too wet to go, so we came back into the house.  In a few minutes Tom came to see what was wrong.  Dad was out of the notion of going, but I was glad to go if late.  There were 4 mothers at church that had sons in Service.  Preacher had us to come to the front to receive a small picture in honor of our boys.  A new woman was among us and when the preacher asked where her son was, she said, “missing.”  We all felt so sorry for her.  Tom is working of nights this week.  They are getting your wrist watch fixed but it will be a month before it will be done.  Tom is getting a new case for it too.  Everyone is slow getting their work done, watch work.  All the girls were home at some time yesterday.  Every one is just fine and are glad to read your letters.  We’ve had a nice rain, it’s cold and cloudy today so I’ll stay close to the stove, it feels good.  Ivan I hope you are well and OK.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom.  We pray that God will hasten the day that all our boys may come home again.

 

May 11, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How be’s you?  We are all well here only Dad.  He has shingles and not the kind you put on the roof.  He went to Dr. Hempsted’s last

 

 

[Page 128 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

Saturday so he was feeling better Sunday.  He was just here on his way to town.  He brought our old mattress.  We are getting it renovated so we can use it.  Sure is a beautiful day today.  As soon as I finish this I’m going outside to work.  Too pretty to stay in here.  Mother put out 50 tomato plants yesterday.  She has a box and a half yet to put out.  Some she raised in the house.  I have 70 tomato plants that are doing fine in the garden.  Three of them have blooms on them.  I haven’t fixed my flower beds but plan to do that today.  We got Grandma’s little bed last night.  Evelyn and Delores will sleep on it this summer.  I want to get some cleaning and sewing done so I must get busy and do something.  We saw “Cabin in the Sky” Saturday night.  Pretty fair show.  Do you get to attend any shows there?  What kind are they, talkies?  Fred has plenty work to do in shop.  Mother and all of us are glad to hear from you. Lots of love, Minnie

 

May 15, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan:

How are you making it?  Just read your five page letter you wrote to mother.  She got it yesterday.  Sure was interesting.

Sun is trying to shine today.  We’ve had four days of rain and cold weather.  Was afraid it would frost.  It was down to 40 degrees one night.  We went to Mother’s yesterday to see what John had written.  He wrote and told me he was in naval hospital.  That they were asking about his skull fracture and Forrest sickness.  I expect he’s about got a nervous breakdown.  He doesn’t say, only that he is all right but “they don’t think so.”  He said officers [said] that he’d be of more use on farm.  He doesn’t think he’ll be in there very long.  He was kinda disappointed but I’m sure Seabees life would be more “nerve wracking” than just working at the navy base as he did at Yoder and he got awfully nervous there at Edna’s.  Maybe if he is released he can go back to California as he did like his job there and the climate so much more than here.

Delores still sucks that thumb, but I’ve got her fixed right now so she can’t.  I’ve used gauze bandage, wrapped it around all her fingers and thumb and tied it to wrist then poured turpentine on it.  It really works pretty well.  She doesn’t like turpentine.  I was using hot stuff.  It didn’t stay hot too long and then last time I put it on, it had evaporated enough that she fussed a while.  It left her fingers red like she’d steamed them a little.  I sure hope this new idea of mine will break her of habit.  Seems like she was getting worse instead of better.  She’d eat some at table and call time out for a suck on her thumb.  I asked her if she liked salts.  She says “no, I hate it.” 

Tommy and Fred are taking motor out of Wilma’s truck this morning.  They are getting a rebuilt job from Rayl’s.  Just like Roy put in his, I think.

My lettuce is big enough to use now.  Green bugs are taking my peas and working on onions, too.  My cucumbers are up but are growing so slow.  I suppose if it warms up they will do better.  Phyllis Smith Snyder went to Texas to see Charles last weekend.  Wilma Jean went with her.  Wilma Jean is a little “slipper” [?] I think.  She doesn’t care what she says at times according to Mrs. Cannon.

I see the carrier so I’ll sign off and write more next time. Lots of love, Minnie

 

May 11, 1943: Evelyn to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

[Included with letter from Minnie to Ivan dated May 15, 1943]

Dear Uncle Ivan,

How are you?  I am just fine.  Delores and I are going to make a garden in front of the playhouse.  We are going to plant flowers and radishes.  Delores does not want to write to you.  School was out the 23 of April.  Mother is writing a letter to Uncle John and you.  When you take a picture send one of them to me.  I have nothing to say only write when you can. Your niece, Evelyn Evans

 

May 18, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I want to answer your long letter but I can’t do it justice on this so I’ll let sisters all help me.  I ought to have the paper today, but this will go faster.  I hope and I wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed your good letter and

 

 

[Page 129 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

that yesterday your pillow case came.  It was so nice and I sure thank you for it.  It is so nice to have something that come so far away and see how things look where our soldier boy lives.  Minnie’s and Violet’s came home with us from church Sunday so I had someone to get dinner for me.  Wilma’s were here a few minutes in the evening, they were all OK.  It’s cold and cloudy today, rained some early this morning.  Dad sure is anxious to get into the field to list.  He sowed the calf pasture with soudan Saturday.  Oh, my finger got well in a hurry and my eyes feel better all the time.  I didn’t think new glasses would help so much.  Well I’ve missed carrier but if Dad goes to town today I’ll send this with him.  Minnie and girls were here yesterday a little while.  Came after eggs.  Delores says she will quit sucking her thumb before Uncle Ivan comes home.  She is trying to quit.  Well Ivan we hope you are well and OK and I’ll write again soon.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom.  May 19 – I missed the carrier.

 

May 24, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

Well this is Monday morning. It’s a little cool and cloudy but everything looks fine.  The birds are singing so loud and the hens are cackling away.  We were all at Violet’s yesterday for dinner.  We all had a nice time and of course we were good as the preacher and family were there too.  I forgot Roy wasn’t there.  Clarence had his car stolen from the sale last week, but found it yesterday, so they were happy.  Tom will come home tomorrow to stay a week.  Dad is ready to list corn today, lots of the early corn has to be listed over.  Herbert Emery got his arm caught in a belt and it was broken in three places.  He is in the Grace hospital.  Your $40.00 hasn’t come here yet.  I want to thank you again for your beautiful pillow cover.  It’s so nice to get things so far away from home.  Ester Smith thought the pin I was wearing was so pretty.  Yesterday I told her Ivan sent it to me, then she had to look at it some more.  I am so proud of it.  Dad is feeling better, is about over the shingles.  Now Ivan don’t worry a bit about us, for it’s better to wear out than to rust out, so Dad says.  But Tom will help a lot, then Dad will take it easier and watch things grow.  We hope you are well and OK and that the day will soon come so all our boys can come home . Lots of love, Pop and Mom

 

May 25, 1943: Violet to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

We’re sure glad to read the letters you send the folks and know that you are well and OK.

Did anyone write you that we had our car stolen last Thursday?  Clarence works at the horse sale and when he quit there to go to work at Cessna the car was gone.  It had the cream can, coal oil can and his dinner in his dinner bucket, also some of the ration books.  We have extra good tires on our car.  Fred said he’d rather have those tires than a set of brand new ones now.  Anyway the car was gone till Sunday.

Medas(?) Teters came over Sunday a.m. and said CD’s mother had called and said Herb was in the hospital with his arm broken in several places and no telling what other injuries.  Clarence caught a ride with Wagoners and went to the hospital. 

We were expecting the folks here for dinner.  Anyway the youngsters and I went to Church on the bus.  Phyllis Smith or rather Snyder said “you got your car back didn’t you?”  I said, “not that I know of.”  She said, “it said in the morning paper they’d found it.”  I could hardly believe it.  We lacked $10 of having it paid for.  Anyway the car was OK and nothing bothered.  It had been driven 450 miles was all. 

We had 37 here for dinner Sunday besides Wilma’s Edna’s, Irene’s, Minnie’s, the Folks, Tommy, etc.  we had Chet Teters and Rev. Sparks here too.  Well must close. With love, Clarence Violet and Family

 

May 27, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan:

I am late writing.  Maybe you will overlook it this time.  Seems like I’m so slow I can’t get caught up.  I plan to work on children’s day program, can some lambs quarter and clean up my house besides make flowers, work in garden and patch.  Do you suppose I’ll keep

 

 

[Page 130 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

busy?  Tommy is home this week.  They got the Fordson [tractor] started yesterday.  Tommy disced [?] some with it.  Lucille Webb married Fred Ott a couple of weeks ago.  She’d gone with him 15 years, Elaine said.  He is in the army.  Guess Lucille was waiting for her mother to get married.  Lucy Barnes is expecting, big bird in August she said.  Odeta is marrying somebody right away.  Don’t know his name.  She has her wedding dress bought.  Elsie is working at the strawboard.  Joyce takes care of Earl and Karen if you want to call it that.  Wilma and children are all fine.  We are getting a marker for Doris’ grave for Decoration.  Wilma and us are getting some later for Vernon and Forrest.  I’ll write later and explain.  Don’t tell mother.  Be good, and write often. Lots of love, Minnie

 

June 1, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan:

I’ve got it in for you!  Remember us girls wanted you to tell Mother that they should cut down on their work?  She brought your letter over here to me and she says we girls shouldn’t worry you.  There you said you’d heard from Edna, Minnie and Irene, so Mother knew about where you got your information.  Fact is you almost quoted what I said.  You should have more tact!  Ha!  We girls never did tell Mama just which of us wrote and told you about them working so much.  We told her one of the three must be guilty.  Oh…about those markers.  Wilma said she owed Dad $33 on the hogs he raised for her and she paid Tommy, I guess just Fred, $10 for work on truck.  She gave money to Fred.  Tommy helped him.  Anyway, they are putting the $10 and what Wilma owes Dad and getting the two markers.  We haven’t said anything to Mother.  She will be surprised.  Fred just took two mattresses in to get one good one made out of them.  I will have to be the blacksmith now while he is gone.  Tommy has gone back to work.  We are practicing on Children’s Days’ program this afternoon.  My garden and chickens are doing fine.  Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

 

June 2, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

Your air mail letter written May 23rd arrived here 29th.  Wasn’t that fast?  I got a v-one of May 18th May 31st, that wasn’t bad, was it?  Tom went back to Edna’s Monday evening.  It was sure nice to have him home.  He helped Dad a lot, I think he feels better too.  Sunday was Decoration Day, we went home with Fred’s after church, then after dinner Dad and I went with them to Darlow.  Tom went to Edna’s and slept.  He brought us home from Edna’s and Fred’s took Edna’s to Arlington.  Morris had had a flat going to Darlow and had put a gunny sack in his tire for a boot.  So Fred was afraid for him to go so far with his tire that way.  Decoration Day was a nice day and the cemetery looked nice.  We had a big rain about 8 o’clock that night, we was glad to get it.  Mr. Unruh has the job you had at the telephone company.  He said he spoke of Ivan while there and they asked if he knew Ivan.  He told them yes.  They said, “Ivan is a fine boy.”  The watch is fixed and I told Edna to send it to you as soon as she could and the knife too.  I sure hope it will be OK.  If you can go to Sunday school you can get lots of good out of it if you can study your lesson.  It’s almost 10 o’clock so I must hurry.  You don’t know how glad we are to get your letters, just keep them coming.  Good-bye with lots of love and may God bless you and keep you in his loving care.  Do you get the church papers? Pop, Tom and Mom

 

June 9, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I just received your pillow case you sent me.  Sure is a pretty one!  Thanks an awful lot.  Violet and Minnie got theirs too.

How have you been lately?  We been OK here, kinda slow on writing though.  You know on Kate Smith’s Hour she always signs off with “if you don’t write, you’re wrong.”  So I guess I’ve been wrong for a while…

Last week Roy brought some chickens home, over 100 and as the weather was damp I had to keep them in the house.  Didn’t do them a bit of good, about 20 of them died.  Then we

 

 

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finally got them out in coop Roy fixed with a small brooder with lite bulb in it.  Then we turned them out for first time and darned if the pup we had didn’t kill 17 chickens and 2 little ducks.  Well Roy took the pup for a ride and he says he won’t kill any more chickens.  Well anyway I’m about sick of chickens. 

Our rabbits are growing fine.  We had seven but one died.  The rest look all right. 

You rather got promoted, didn’t you?  Are they just finding out what a good guy you are?  But I guess if it weren’t for the private, they wouldn’t have much of a army. 

I saw Mom in Sunday School last Sunday but had to go home before church.  Mrs. Macklin took us and she had to go home so we went too.

We had rain last night and night before and pretty soon we will wish for it not to rain anymore.  It is hard on those who want to get their hay in.  Swell for the ducks, though.

Minnie picked strawberries yesterday for half, the rest 20 cents a quart.  Violet picked too, but I guess Violet has picked more than Minnie did.  It is rather back-breaking work and she about got sun burned. 

We are having Children’s Day Sunday and all the little ones are going to speak piece.  Walter and Wilma haven’t spoke any before so it hard telling what they will do.

Saw Pearl N. at Minnie’s last night and she says Walter still looks a lot like you.  They were having 4H at school house so she came over for a little while before it started.  Minnie said Mother has 200 baby chickens now. If the weather stays nice they won’t be so much bother. 

Well I reckon I’d better sign off and get to work.  I’ve worked in the garden last two days and I need to work some in the house now. 

Well I won’t wait so long before I send you another letter.  So take good care of yourself. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

June 9, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

First I want to thank you for Dad’s Father’s Day card, which came yesterday.  He was glad that you remembered him.  He liked the flowers on it, and said, ask Ivan if there are any wild roses where he is at?  Dad brought me a bouquet of wild roses Sunday that he had picked by the side of the road.  Violet’s and Minnie’s were home Sunday and they read your letters.  They had your package (watch and knife) ready to mail but Tom had forgot to take your letter asking for them, so they couldn’t mail them then.  Minnie took your letter so I think they sure will get started this week.  Now Ivan, if there is anything else you’d like to have, just let us know and we’ll try and get it for you before the mailing orders are changed again.  I was so glad to get your air mail letter Monday.  Dad said he thought like you, that most of the calves could take the milk now.  We have a new calf, he will run with his mother.  Dad don’t want any more cows to milk.  I’ll tell Tom what you said about his horse.  He sure doesn’t have any manners to kick so much.  Dad is feeling lots better than he did a month ago.  Now Ivan don’t you worry about us working too hard.  We are doing fine for us.  Odeta Slaughter is to be married the 13th to a Burrton boy.  We hope you are well and OK and will still keep the letters coming.  You are the best boy I have to write to us.  Lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

Saturday June 12, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

I wish someone that knew how to print would print those addresses.  Sure is a job.  How are you making it?  We are fine here, only busy.  I must pick peas.  My beets are about ready to can.  My beans will be ready to can next week.  Ivan, why doesn’t B.M. teach next year?  Doesn’t she like it?  Odeta is getting married Sunday to some guy.  Tommy has been going pretty steady with a girl called Mary Berry.  I don’t know how it will all turn out.  Fred bought a 34 Studebaker for $75.  Sure is a nice car on the inside.  It was Walter Pierce’s car.  He wanted to cut it down for a truck.  Now since he drove it a little he has about decided to use it for a family car.  It doesn’t make but about 14 miles per gallon, that isn’t so good with gas rationing.  I picked strawberries two days this week.  I have 31 quarts of berries and a good sunburn on my arms.  My girls are still in bed.  Dad was here

 

 

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yesterday.  His arm isn’t very good yet.  We went home Wednesday and made ice cream.  It was folks’ wedding anniversary.  Must get to work.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

Saturday June 26, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter written June 10th, the 23rd.  I hadn’t heard for over a week from you, so Minnie’s drove over around ten o’clock Wednesday in the evening to see if we had heard from Ivan.  See how important your letters are to us all?  We are all OK and hoping it will rain soon, here in the sand not on people that are harvesting their wheat.  Don’t worry about having tact telling Dad and I about work.  We are doing OK now.  John is still with us, but will soon be gone to a job somewhere.  We have a nice breeze blowing and it’s still cool in the house this morning.  The little chicks are growing fine, just one has died with disease so far.  I sure wish you can be home to eat friend chicken this fall with us.  Don’t you think I can make the best wishes?  Yes, they have a U.S.O. in Hutchinson now.  I’ll have to see that Tom writes to you more often, I’m afraid Edna doesn’t get after him enough about writing to you.  I think the knife is mailed to you now.  Now Ivan, if there is anything you would like to have us send you, just tell us and we would be glad to do it for you.  It was a good thing you asked so much about watch and knife, so if some letters were lost, they could find another.  I paid your insurance at Wichita this month.  They said, your policy was OK if it had been in force five years before you went into the army.  Well it was 5 years in the spring and you went in in October.  Was it OK to pay it?  You hadn’t said anything about it for a long time to me.  I must mail this right away or miss carrier.  Your geranium is in bloom now, wish you could see it.  I feel better than last week.  We hope you are well and OK.  We sure appreciate all the letters you send us.  Good-bye, with lots of love, Pop, Tom, John and Mom

 

July 9, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

We are having nice summer weather here now.  We could use a rain as it is rather dry. 

Thomas is out at the base most of the time now as he is on K.P.  He says it is OK but his hours are much longer and he doesn’t come in town so often.  He says he is more tired doing this work.

I have ironed today and went to town this afternoon.

Gayle went swimming today.  He is taking lessons in swimming from the Red Cross.  He really does like it.  Virgil swims a lot.  He has a season ticket at the pool and uses it often.

We read your letter of Mother’s with the pretty flower in it.  That really was nice.  I expect there are many lovely flowers there where it is so warm.  All the folks here are OK.  Schuyler is moving back to Hutchinson soon.  His work is finished at Russell so will work here. Hope you are well and happy. Love, The Tuckers

 

July 9, 1943: Tom to Ivan

Seligman, Arizona

Dear Ivan,

I’m glad to get your letter and I feel OK too.  I have eaten my dinner and ready for bed.  I worked three hours 45 minutes overtime this morning.  Amounts to $11.02 for the day not bad.  The other day I was called 7:15pm and made $17.76, how is that?  Last month I made $210.68. I lost eight days going home.  The last pay I sent home $68.00 to put in the bank. I hope to send home about $100 if I get that much after I pay all my bills up.  I have already got $55.00 in the Buhler Bank.  The end of the month I will have my watch paid for.  Pay day is not very far off, it is July 21.

Say, if you want a girl friend I will give you Odeta with my regards, ha, ha!  I got a card yesterday and today but nothing much in them.  I got a letter from Minnie and a card from Mother yesterday too.  Say, about Pearl N.  I got a letter from her July 6 and she said that she was sorry for not writing sooner.  She said that she would do better next time if I would forgive this time and I did of course.  I like Pearl all right I always did like her but she didn’t seem to care much for me and I didn’t go around her on that account.  The last night I was home I went to see Odeta and left about 10:00pm that night and

 

 

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called up Pearl to go home to eat ice cream but she wasn’t home.  She told Minnie that she wish that she would have been home.  How does that sound?  She told me she got the Devil for going with me but she would do it again if she had the chance.  I told Odeta that I went with Pearl and she said she quit boys for less than that but she hasn’t quit me yet.  I hope she does.  Say you can write to Pearl if you want to she will write to you I bet, but don’t try to beat my time, ha ha!  It is hot here too and dry it has rained a good rain since I have been here. 

Say, about me joining some other branch of the service.  I would loose a lot of money by doing it.  They think I will be called the last of August or later my number is way down the list.

Say, which girl are you going to write to anyway?  Some back home or where you have been?  I bought Pearl a coin purse in Albuquerque and she said that she wanted one and really liked it very much.  I should get a letter from her Monday I hope.  She writes letters like I would have girl to write.  I write to Odeta and ask her questions about someone at Church and she wouldn’t tell me, feed me a lot of mushy stuff and let it go at that.  Pearl told Minnie that she didn’t think I liked Odeta very good.  She sure is a good mind reader.  I liked her all right till I came out here.  She told Fred that she wanted a ring to put in my nose to lead me around with, she did a good job but it didn’t go far enough. I told her about it, but I haven’t got an answer yet.  The girls are funny people don’t you know it.  Pearl might be writing just to have someone to write to.  I don’t know if she likes me very good or not. 

Well I got to go to sleep so I won’t sleep on the job.  I don’t get mad as you would call it.  I just don’t like his attitude sometimes that is all.  He is all right those like him pretty good now. 

Well write when you have time.  And tell me what you think I should go wait or join up now.  I would like to make all the money I can and if I didn’t get back the folks could have it and if I got back I would have a little to go on.  Well be good and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. 

I haven’t written to Carl or he hasn’t came up to see me yet. I had better write someday I think.  When I was home the first night my car wasn’t working very good and I didn’t ask Carl but he knew I would like to of used his car and he didn’t offer to let me use it. He would of but Saxon wouldn’t.  If I ever get a good car he or she won’t get to drive it any place.  He let me take it to Church; I think Saxon didn’t like that very good.  When I was staying with them one afternoon I went to the show. I had to take the bus and I walked home about two miles.  Carl said to call him up but I didn’t want to bother him.  Saxon let her father take it anyplace and he brings it back with no gas in it.  That is the reason I haven’t written.  When we were going home we got in Kansas Carl asked Saxon if I could drive and she said that she would drive I would have rather come back on the bus than with them they were smoking all the time.  When we were going home they smoked a carton and a half of cigarettes.  Carl told Minnie that he was out about $100.00 on me getting me a job.  He gave me one dollar and took me to Winslow that is 260 miles and I stayed there six days.  They bought me $5.00 worth of clothes and done my washing. 

I will write a little more this morning.  They sent four train loads of soldiers through here last night.  One was going east and the rest were going west.  There is a cavalry train over here now. They are taking their morning exercise now, they went down the highway.  Write when you can.  I didn’t get only five minutes overtime this morning.  I hear them cavalry men coming back now.  I hear them counting.  Well be good. Your brother, Thomas F. Roberson

 

Wednesday Evening, July 21, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Family

[Hawaii]

Dear Dad, Mom, and Family:

How are you doing?  I am doing alright.  Last night I received 4 V-letters, one from you Mom 12, one from Juanita the 7, one from Minnie the 11th, and one from Edna mailed the 9th.  I also got a letter from you air mail, mailed the 26th.  Well maybe you can tell by now that I have made a little move.  The move was uneventful except it was a bit of inconvenience. 

In your letter of the 26th sounded OK.  I wish I could be home to eat fried chicken.  I suppose Hutch is as military as any other town.

 

 

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I am also glad that my life insurance is still in effect.  I am glad it is taken care of because I want to keep it in effect.  That must be really a good one to bloom so often.  I didn’t send you a letter the middle of last week because I couldn’t send it out and figured it wouldn’t make much difference. 

Well I received knife finally and was I surprised that it was so nice.  Schuyler sure showed good taste when he bought it.  I don’t believe I could of got a knife I like better.  Thanks a lot for it.  The watch is still running good too.

I am glad you got the flowers in the letter OK.  I thought they were really pretty too.  Tom must be really busy now days with his duties.  Is Schuyler still working for the same outfit?  Well sure hope John likes it better when he moves. 

Juanita I’ll bet you are really doing OK on your job.  I don’t know Uncle Tom’s address or I would send him a birthday card.  I don’t have much chance to get them anymore.  I got some Kodak pictures Edna sent but don’t know which ones you are referring to. 

Well I sorta of like it here.  We have a new C.O. and he seems to be a fine man.  When we get a pass we can at least go some place that has a few more signs of civilization than other place.

We still see the ocean ever day and I like to look at it even though it is between the ones I love.  Well I reckon I’ll sign off.  Hope all are well and happy. Lots of love, Ivan

 

July 25, 1943:  Ivan to Parents and Family

Saturday night

Dear Dad, Mom and Family: 

How are you by now.  I'll bet you probably think that your little boy Ivan has forgot to write to you.  Well he hasn't.  I couldn't write for a while and when I did write I wrote a V letter and when the censor got through with it there wasn't much left of it but Hello and Goodbye so I tore it up.  I wish Edwin had not moved so that I could see him.  I would have some place to go on pass.

I received a letter from Irene telling about her kids riding on neighbor's pony.  I'll bet they had a grand time of it too.

I am on a 36 hour pass now.  It is the first one I have had since I have come to the islands.  There isn't much to do on it either.  I went to a small town around here and am going to sleep in a bed at the USO tonight.  They haven't mosquito nets but then I can cover up my head with a sheet on the bed.

The room of the USO I am writing this to you in is furnished up to suit a sailor more than a soldier.  It has several models of ships on stands, sailor knots, a big wheel to steer the ships, a big compass-like affair, also a weather barometer.  Anyway it is a nicely furnished room.  Looking around I believe the Boy Scouts furnished the room.  This afternoon they had a program here.  It consisted of an orchestra of about 25 accordions and the players were all children of about 8 to 14 I would judge.  They had Hula dances, tap dance, also a girl that sung some of the songs that were played.  After that I went to the show here.  The show could have been better but was OK.  I then took a walk with a Sergeant from the air corps, then back to USO to scratch out a few lines.  I am now about to go to bed and call it a day.  I have to be in camp about 7 tomorrow night so will send out letter then and write more in it if I can find anything to write.  This is Sunday night.  The rest of pass has passed and I am back at battery safe and sound.  So hope all are well and happy.  Love, Ivan.

 

August 13, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are still able to eat, which is what Roy’s mother says when she means she is well.  The kids are all OK here.  It is hot and sultry today, cloudy like it is going to rain.  I spent Wednesday with Ruth, Schuyler’s wife, and done some shopping for school.  The kids enjoyed being with her too.  Schuyler and Ruth have a nice home in town.  She bought some curtains for the house.  They still have quite a bit of furniture to buy yet.  Ruth says Schuyler gets out in the yard in the evening and mows the yard, hoes around the flowers and waters things.  I guess he really likes to do it too.  They have a basement and coal furnace, a good sized yard.  It’s a neat looking place.  Well I have a couple of weeks left to sew for Wilma

 

 

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Marie so I’m going to have to work fast.  Ruth cut my hair for me nice and short, sure is cool.  When you go to the barber they cost 40 or 50 cents.  I can get a lot of things for that much money.  Well take care of yourself and I’ll try to write more often. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

August 14, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

Thomas was home yesterday.  He is still on KP.  He is off every fourth day.  He goes home then.  Mother and Dad are really glad to see him.  He is fine.  Everyone here seems to be OK.  Wilma may have had the mumps.  She wasn’t very sick, didn’t go to bed.  She will know for sure about it if the others take it.

I wrote a letter to Aunt Florence and John this morning.  Minnie just called and they are OK.  We have an epidemic of infantile paralysis here in Hutchinson now.  We have had two deaths from it.  One a boy 18 and 9.  The swimming pool is closed and also shows.  All children are to be kept at home as close as possible.  Virgil and Morris are at work.  Gayle is getting his own breakfast.  He did most of his chores before breakfast this morning. 

I canned 18 quarts of tomato juice yesterday.  I’m canning some prunes this A.M.  Harold Tucker left for the army Thursday night.  He is going into the air corps.  He weights 120 lbs and is 18 but seems much younger than that.  Hope you are well and happy.  We are all just fine. Love, “The Tuckers”

 

Monday August 16, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letters, the latest was August 4 (Minnie’s birthday).  You don’t know how glad we were to get them.  I’m so glad too that we know about where you are.  We didn’t have church or Sunday school on account of infantile paralysis.  There has been several deaths last week of it, so everyone is keeping their children home.  Irene and children were here all day.  Fred’s and Morris’ were here in afternoon.  Edna got corn to can while here.  Isn’t it funny that you and I think alike about Christmas presents.  Wouldn’t it be so nice for you to be home by Christmas.  Minnie wonders if they would give you a furlough so you could come home.  Tom talked to B.M. last week.  She said she’d keep your pictures a while longer and that she would write to you.  Tom says he believes she likes you pretty good.  You know letters can sound different from what we really intended them to be.  It depends lots on how we feel too sometimes.  Of course you didn’t know B.M. too well before you left, did you?  Pearl Nyborg told Tom she had her engagement ring nearly a week before she decided to wear it.  Well it’s ten o’clock and I’ve missed carrier for today but I’ll promise to write another letter this week to make up for being so slow.  Dad has gone to pump water at pasture.  It is so nice and cool this a.m.  We hope you are well and OK and that you don’t have to work too hard.  Wish you had one of my cats to get your mice.  Good bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

August 24, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

Have you heard from B.M.?  I heard she was going to write to you.  Schuyler left yesterday morning for his examination.  He’ll be back tonight I guess.  Edna and I went in yesterday afternoon and washed woodwork and windows and put up new curtains in the dining room, front bedroom and front room for Ruth.  She doesn’t feel like doing anything, I guess.  Delores told me the other day she’d be glad when she got married.  I asked her why and she said then she would be boss to herself.  She must not like the “bossing” she gets.  About the next day she said something else about being married so I asked her who she’d marry.  She thought a minute then asked me why I married that guy.  I asked her who, she said Fred.  She said she’d marry him and go to Colorado, then Daddy wouldn’t have to work in the shop anymore.  She and her Daddy have lots of fun kidding me about Colorado.  Delores says I won’t let them go to Colorado.  Fred wanted to go pick peaches but I told him we couldn’t afford such a trip this year, our tires are getting thin too.  Joe Smith and his brother went to pick peaches.  They aren’t back that I know of.  Elsie heard from

 

 

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Lela though, she said it had rained a lot so hadn’t got to pick many as yet.  I’ll close this note and get to my washing. Lots of love, Minnie and all

 

August 28, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were glad to get your letter Monday, written the 11th.  I also got one from Carl that day too.  Carl had got something in his eye and had laid off a week but was better and going back to work.  Schuyler passed his physical examination and will leave in three weeks for Louisiana, is that the way to spell it?  Maybe I’d better said La.  It is so nice and cool this a.m.  We’ve had a week of warm weather and sure enjoy a cool day.  I am glad you know how to swim, it might help a lot sometime.  I have a service flag with 3 stars on it.  I thought I wouldn’t need it anymore after John came home, but Schuyler told me yesterday, “Mom, you can put your flag with three stars on it back in the window.”  He would like to stay home till after October, but I guess he can’t.  Dad is weaning some calves, and I wish you could hear them bawl.  Carl Hysom is still out of the army.  He is a farmer, see.  Is there any way you could find Ralph Barnes?  Schuyler was over yesterday, he said at the Fort they fed 4,000 soldiers, so I guess they are busy getting all the soldiers they can.  John has written once since he left, he doesn’t like to write anyway.  Are you near where Edwin did live?  The planes are busy this a.m.  Tom was home a little while Monday evening to read your letter.  Well Ivan I hope you are well and OK and that we will hear from you again soon.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

August 28, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

I just came home from Irene’s so I’ll have to hurry to get this mailed.  I hadn’t seen her for almost two weeks so I just left my work and went over.  She and youngsters are pretty good.  Irene’s sides have been hurting some otherwise she is OK.  Schuyler was here yesterday for a little bit.  He isn’t working any his days before he goes.  He is to report for duty the 15th of September.  Evelyn and Delores have gone after milk at Lock’s.  Leland Robinson has rented Dressler’s farm for $100 a month.  Don’t see how he can make that off it.  Jay is moving into town.  Don’t know what Claude is doing, heard he and wife were separating.  Juanita went to Ruth’s Thursday morning to help her wax floors.  We were in town last night so took her home with us.  I man we took her to her home as we came home.  Edna and I pickled a bushel of grapes apiece at Albert Sidebottom’s yesterday morning.  Was nice picking as it had sprinkled.  Was cloudy most of time we picked.  Carl is seeing about engine tender in Seabees as he’s afraid he can’t be deferred much longer.  Be good! Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

August 29, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

(Tomorrow we will be married 20 years)

Dear Ivan ,

We received your V-Mail Friday 27, and was glad to get it.  It really came in a hurry.  Glad you got your money OK and hope you can enjoy yourself in spending it.  After all it is yours and I certainly don’t blame you for using it, as we know that probably sometimes it helps to make life a little happier to use it for some sort of a good time.  As to B. M., I was hoping for the best, for both of you, but maybe things are as you say.

Everyone here is OK.  Schuyler went to Leavenworth Monday and came back Thursday.  He will be home three weeks, and then to Louisiana for six weeks of training in the engineers division of the army.  Carl is reclassified and if he doesn’t get a deferment will be called soon.  He wants in the Sea Bees as water tender and will be here six weeks if he gets that and then shipped out.

I canned a bushel of peaches Saturday morning, 5.29 a bushel.  I’m canning a bushel of grapes tomorrow and washing.  Mother T. spent the weekend with us.  Harold Tucker was drafted and is in the air corps.  Hope you are well.  We are all fine. Lots of love, “The Tuckers”

 

 

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September 17, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Tommy said Mother heard from you yesterday.  I’m glad she can so often, now I’ll have a letter to read when I get home.  How are you?  We are all pretty good here.  I’m doing pretty well for me.  Not loosing too many meals, can’t with food rationed.  Ha!  Tommy Knappenberger has infantile paralysis.  They’ve postponed school one more week.  Won’t start until 27th.  Do they have any infantile paralysis on the islands?  We saw Schuyler off on train Wednesday morning.  Glen Olson left too.  He is married, has two months old baby.  Sure was hard on her.  Virgil has bought a 1934 Chevie and Howard got Lorene Snyder’s car.  Wonder how they will get along with their “new buggies.”  Charles Snyder doesn’t have to wear glasses now.  They say he eats lots of carrots and potatoes with peelings on.  Do you get your potatoes that way?  Charles Lemen doesn’t wear his glasses either.  Buhler High School has started.  Rumors are that Wallace Tracy and wife are planning to separate.  I thought they were a congenial pair.  I got me a bushel of peaches to can yesterday.  They are pretty green to can yet though.  I’d better start my washing. Lots of love, Minnie

 

Saturday September 18, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter of September 2nd first of week, Tuesday to be exact.  I’ve intended to answer it ever since, but I am slow you see.  Schuyler left the 15th. He was feeling fine and looked good.   Glenn Olson left on the same train with him.  He leaves a wife and baby. Dad has been pretty good this summer, his skin trouble bothered some, but then he would begin to take his medicine, then he would feel better.  I don’t know what Dad plans on doing but if you have any suggestions tell us and maybe they would suit Dad.  I don’t believe he will ever leave the farm till he isn’t able to work.  Now would be a poor time to sell as the ceiling is not so good on cattle.  Maybe it will be changed as cattle men are making so much fuss about it.  Your friend Mr. Hart sent $20.00 for you this week, and hopes to get the rest next pay day.  He sent a fine letter too about what a fine boy you were.  Would you like to read it?  I’ve missed the carrier again and it’s twenty till ten.  I should have written last night.  We got a card from Schuyler today.  He is still at Fort Leavenworth.  He has his clothes and taken his shots and would like to hear from us.  We got a V- from you today too, of 7th.  I am glad you could tell us how far you were from where Edwin lived.  I’ll get you Ralph’s address.  Yes we got the pictures, yours was just fine and the little Jap girl was cute.  We sure thank you for them.  We hope you are well and OK.  We are having nice cool weather.  Good bye with lots of love and good wishes, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

September 20, 1943: Florence to Ivan

2900 Seminary Avenue

Oakland, California

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Haven’t heard from you for so long thought I would let you know that Uncle Abe and I are thinking about you and also your friend Henry.  Sent you a couple of pictures of me and Edwin’s baby last spring but didn’t hear if you received them.  John is back here and has a good job in San Leandro but he doesn’t like batching much.  Was here last evening and had supper with us.  We are back on Seminary and are glad to be to ourselves again.  My folks are about the same as usual.  Uncle Abe has a long day – he leaves home about 6:15 and doesn’t get back until 6:30.  He’s had all his teeth pulled and looks more like grandma than ever.  Won’t be long till he’ll have his new ones.  Edwin and family are living in San Francisco now.  Just bought a home there a couple of weeks ago.  Their little boy is so sweet – of course all grandmas think that.  His red hair is what attracts me, and he is so affectionate.  I hear through your folks that you are OK, but would like to get a few lines from you direct.  Tell Henry hello, and best wishes.  Just know that Uncle Abe and I are always thinking of you and we are putting all we can in bonds.  With much love, Aunt Florence

 

September 22, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

 

 

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My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to get your v-letter of September 11th yesterday, and to know you were OK.  I’ll try and send you a letter this time just for a change.  Mine have been v-‘s so long, are they hard to read?  Yours is just fine and easy to read.  I wrote to Charles Hart this week and told him I had received your money OK and thanked him for it.  He said, “maybe you’d get the rest next pay day.”  I wrote to you Saturday but the carrier beat me to the box as usual, so I sent it first of week, but it will seem like it’s been on the road a long time by its date. 

Dad is busy working in the hay.  I washed yesterday, don’t you think I am doing fine?  Wilma and children were home Sunday.  They are all OK.  Marjorie said to tell Uncle Ivan, “she wanted a picture of him.”  And for you to be sure and send her one.  They were all here a few minutes last night to bring Snowball’s calf home.  He is a pretty roan calf and Dad has put him on Red, so he don’t have her to milk.  This is Fair week but I don’t expect there will be many children there. 

It is cloudy tonight and the wind is blowing from the north.  It’s ten o’clock, I am sitting here by the table, in your place, in the kitchen writing and Dad’s in the front room listening to the war news before he goes to bed.  No, Schuyler didn’t get the tractor together, but Tom and Dad put it together Monday, but he didn’t get it to start.  He said he would let Fred see if he got it all together OK.  It would be nice if you could see Ralph Barnes.  Alice thinks he is in the Islands somewhere.  I’ve not heard any more from Schuyler, hope he writes pretty soon.  I feel like I know where you are now, but how will I know when you move?  I’ll tell Tom what you want him to tell B. M., when he comes over again. 

Dad and I went to church Sunday, maybe we will have Sunday school next Sunday.  The preacher has hay fever so he can’t hardly talk.  Dad has a little touch of it, first since he has had his skin trouble.  The Dr. said they didn’t have hay fever hardly ever, when they had the skin trouble bad.  Guess Dad’s better of it. 

Well Ivan we are real late this a.m. (September 23rd).  It was raining at 7 o’clock.  Dad looked for the cows for some time and they beat him to the barn.  He changed his wet clothes and it sure made us late with our chores, but if he goes to town anywhere I’ll mail this.  We hope you are well and OK and will keep letters coming, for you don’t know how well I love to hear from you.  Good bye with lots of love, Dad, Mom and Tom

 

September 26, 1943:

Ivan to Parents and Family

Sunday afternoon

Dear Dad, Mom and Family,

How are you this nice sunny day?  I suppose by now that the weather is getting cooler back there and soon the trees will put on their fall colors.  I sure would like to be there to see them, and I'll bet you too would like to see all the vegetation here.  I just got through writing a letter to Ralph.  He seems to be getting along fine anyway. 

I got two letters one an air mail letter from Edna wrote the 16th.  I also have v-letter from Minnie wrote the 17th.  I hope the infantile paralysis is over by now.  We haven't had much of it here only a few cases. 

Say how does Virgil like his car?  I'll bet he hauls plenty of girls around in it.  Did Howard Rowland get a car?  Say Minnie, does Delores still remember me?

Edna, that was a nice card you sent me and the poem was a good one.  How does the porch look?  You ought to screen it in.  How is Tom and girl getting along?

Yesterday I fixed the pocket knife Fred sent me.  It had a big blade out of it.  I put another pin and blade back in it.  The blade had been out for about 7 months.  I think I'll send some pictures of myself to you in this letter.  One of the pictures of myself sure has a lot of frowns on it.  I must have been facing the sun when it was took.  The other pictures show a bit of scenery of other island. 

Well  think I'll sign off.  I'll have to think of something to write about, but I let you know I am alright when I write.  Well, hope all are well and happy.  Lots of love, Ivan.  PS:  Did you get the $20 money order from Charles Hart?  Ivan.

 

October 1, 1943: Juanita to Ivan

This letter has no envelope and no date at all. However, Juanita mentions Clarice getting sick

 

 

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on Wednesday, September 29th, which means it was written around October 1, 1943.

Dear Uncle Ivan,

I thought I would write and let you know I still think of you even if I haven’t written for a long time. I am taking in school:

 

Public Speaking 1st Period

Biology 2nd Period

Study Hall 3rd Period

Eat Dinner

Study Hall 5th Period

English Literature 6th Period

Typing 7th Period

 

I will have missed 9 days all together from school. I have some sort of stuff on my face missed 3 days went to Doctor he said I was allergic to cold cream or face powder gave me medicine and it is about well.

Missed one day because of gland trouble and now a week to see if I get the scarlet fever.

Well I had better close so Grandma can get this letter off today. Clarice took sick last Wednesday night (Sept. 29). We didn’t know what the matter was till Friday.

Well will close but I want to tell you those pictures certainly look like my Uncle specially those with your cap off. With Lots of Love, Your Niece, Juanita.  Excuse the writing as I want to get this off.

 

Sunday October 3, 1943:

Ivan to his Parents and Tom

Hawaii

Dear Dad, Mom and Tom,

How are you doing?  The radio just got through playing part of “Rock-a-bye-Baby,” the first time I have heard it for some time.  It is playing Hawaiian music just now. We hear quite a bit of it over here of course.

I visited Honolulu last Friday.  I went and saw the Royal Hawaiian Hotel also beach in front of it known as Waikiki.  It is a pretty place and the Hotel is really beautiful.  I have some picture post cards I’ll try and send you of the place.  We stayed at the YMCA overnight.  I was with Dee Hatch while on the pass.  About all I did on pass was to look over the town and stores. 

I got some shots or a shot for typhoid this morning and don’t feel so hot.  You might ask Schuyler how he likes them. It makes one feel like a pin cushion after a while.

I received your air mail letter of September 22 with the picture of our church and Rev. Sparks.  From your letter it sounds as though it is getting cold or winter is just around the corner.  I’d like to see Snowball’s calf; you did fine by putting him on Red.  I don’t know what I’ll do about pictures.  I suppose I’ll have to get some made.  I reckon now that one person won’t want pictures of me.  I think she probably is getting along a lot better without me bothering her.  Well it is as good a time as any to find out about it.

Minnie and Edna got ready to write a v-letter to me about the same time September 22.  I hope Velma Couch’s trouble won’t be so bad as it seems.  It was nice Tom got to attend the Fair.  Did you get to see Charles when he was home?

Well I don’t have a lot to say lately.  This place is surely dead.  The boys were out boxing a little this evening but I don’t believe I could fight my way out of a paper bag. 

Well hope all are getting along OK. Lots of love, Ivan.  Say Mom I can read your v-letters fine but I still like your air mail letters too.

 

October 8, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your v-letter of September 25th and to know that you were OK then.  I’ve not written as I should, but I’ll always promise to do better.  I hope I do. 

Friday evening Juanita, Lottie Grace and Junior came to stay a week with us, to see if they would take the scarlet fever.  Clarice has it, but is better now.  Violet takes care of her and Clarence stays at his mother’s.  I don’t believe these kids will take it now.  All have had colds and Junior had the croup, but was OK last night.  Minnie has been over most every day to see how we were.  She hasn’t been feeling too good this week. 

I was so glad to get a letter and three pictures in it today from you.  Thanks so much for the pictures.  They sure look good to me.  Looks just like the little boy that left us, nearly two years ago.  As you see, I didn’t get this

 

 

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finished before the carrier left me another letter and your pictures. 

Well the day is over and my children are all in bed and so is Dad, so maybe I can think straight.  I am used to writing when I am all alone, and it’s hard to think when so many are around.  I see I am getting old and set in my ways, took me a long time to find out what you all knew, didn’t it? 

The children can go to school next week if they aren’t sick.  So they will go to Minnie’s then to go to school.  I am so glad you got you a new watch.  We had just decided to buy you a new one, when you said you liked a wrist watch the best.  Your other watch was washed too many times I guess.  Tom left it in his pocket when he took it to Edna’s to be fixed, and she run it through the washing machine, so they had to get every bit of rust off it, besides fixing it. 

Do the mosquitoes stay with you through the winter months?  How could Ralph B. tell you where he was at?  Are you far from him?  I saw Josie Tuba at church Sunday, she was leaving the next day for her home in Washington.  She said, “you owed her two letters.”  Maybe you can get Henry to answer them for you.  How do you like to iron?  Morris used to iron some for Edna when she couldn’t.  Wonder if he learned how in World War No. 1?  Knowing how might come in handy sometime. 

Tom said to me not long ago, “guess I’ll get married, Mom.”  I didn’t know what to say for a minute, then I said, “the war isn’t over yet, you promised to wait till it was over.”  He said, “I could break my promise couldn’t I?”  I said, “yes, but I don’t believe you ever have.”  That was all that was said.  But I hope he does wait.  Maybe I am selfish to think as I do.  But Tom don’t know how long he will be here at this Naval Base. 

Charles Snyder is in California now, so they told me Sunday, Cora Nye and baby is at her mother’s now, so is Oliver’s wife and baby.   Tom was home Sunday afternoon, he and Dad went fishing, caught five fish, two real nice ones, then he was here Monday afternoon and helped Dad in the hay a little while. 

Do you still get the church papers?  Do you take time to read them?  God will seem nearer to us if we will read his word and talk to Him each day and we will have a quiet peace within our souls, that we never knew before.  Mrs. Sparks, the preacher’s wife, is sick in the hospital.  She has yellow jaundice anemia and low blood pressure.  She has suffered a lot to be so young.  Kay Siron’s cousin Thane Johnson wants to be a flyer.  You saw him at Uncle Tom’s, the time you hurt your foot.  He was a little boy then. 

Well Ivan, I’ll be you are tired of reading this rambling letter so I’d better stop and go to bed.  You surely didn’t get my letter written the second week of September, telling you that Charles Hart sent $20.00 and we put it in the bank for you.  He wrote a nice letter too, telling what a fine son I had.  I was glad to hear from someone that had seen you since I had.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

October 13, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to hear from you Monday, air mail written Oct. 3rd.  It sure didn’t loose any time on the road or air rather.  It’s nice and cool, almost cold today.  Dad is starting to mow the feed today before frost gets it.  I sent your letter to Minnie yesterday to read, so I may forget your questions if you had any.  Clarice is doing nicely and the girls are in school this week, staying with Minnie.  Junior is at Edna’s.  The house here is real quiet. 

We are having meetings at church this week. Rev. Finch, the district superintendent, is in charge.  We went last night. Dad says he is the best talker we ever had here. 

Tom was home and read your letter you wrote to him.  He said he’d do what you said.  Don’t worry about the girls, “there is just as good fish in the sea as was ever caught out.”  Some of the girls that are married and have babies are running around while their husbands are away.  Oliver Nyes’ wife would leave her baby for her Dad to take care of, while she was out most of night.  He told her he wouldn’t take care of the baby while she was doing what she hadn’t ought to do, so she came back to live at Mr. Nye’s. 

Irene and children were home Sunday.  Minnie, Fred and Clarence came in the evening after the children.  Tom was home all day and took us to church and Sunday school.  He came

 

 

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home Saturday night.  He is staying a lot of his off time at Edna’s.  I heard from Carl’s, he has been reclassified but not called yet.  Saxon is taking care of two boys, one 8 months old and the other 1 and a half years old.  She says she is so busy she doesn’t know whether she is coming or going.  Schuyler has been sent to North Carolina, but I’ve not heard from him since he moved.  He is good to write to Ruth, though, so I got his address yesterday and will write to him this week.  I am so glad Aunt Florence wrote to you. 

The wind is blowing hard from the west but the sun is shining, it was cloudy part of yesterday.  I have about a bushel of tomatoes to can.  I don’t need them, but Irene does.  Tomatoes have been high this year, but we didn’t raise any to sell.  The chickens are still in the hen house, so I’d better let them out, they have feed and water in there so are OK. 

We were so glad of your pictures and all the rest want one of you.  Well Ivan, I hope you are feeling better over your shots now.  And I’d better stop and I’ll try and write again this week.  Seemed like I couldn’t get started to write while the kids were here.  We are always so glad to get your letters, and I don’t believe any one has a better boy to write to them than I do.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

October 19, 1943: Ivan to his Parents and Family

Hawaii, Tuesday night

Dear Dad, Mom and Family:

How are you doing these days?  I’ll bet you think I am plenty slow in writing?  Well I am sorry but it couldn’t be helped.  A bit of training came up and I couldn’t write.  I was hoping that you wouldn’t think I wasn’t writing because I hadn’t got your letters. 

I have a v-letter of 29 and an air mail of Oct. 8.  I am glad Tom can help Dad with the hay.  I am glad you got the old letters from me from Stoneman.  Some I’ll probably want returned in time.  I finally received word about $20.  I must of not got your letter telling me of it first time.  I’d like to of been with you and help Tom on the fried chicken.  

Mom, did your family increase?  I’ll bet you were glad for the company.  Maybe you are not so lonesome.  Maybe you will get over your set ways as you say but I don’t believe you will ever get set in your ways.  I am glad you like the pictures.  One had plenty of frowns I’ll bet.  The mosquitoes in Hawaii consider it a paradise because they thrive the year around.  The only difference is that in the winter time they have more water to breed in.

Mom, Ralph B. can tell me all about his outfit and island because it is inter-island mail and one can write most anything.  Mom you knew where I was at and you ought to know where I am now so get a map of islands somewhere and you can tell for yourself.  Have someone to get you a map.  I’ll have to have Henry to answer Josie’s letters for me, I guess I don’t know how very well.

I don’t know Tom’s girl but if he would want to get married and girl is OK I sorta believe it should be up to them.  I don’t want no sides on subject however.

I don’t like to iron so good.  I reckon I don’t do such a good job.  Mom I am afraid I don’t read church newspapers.  I don’t read at all much.

If you see Mrs. Sparks tell her hello for me.  I sure hope she gets well quickly.

What relation to me is Thane Johnson?  You tell me he was a little boy at Uncle Tom’s but then I wasn’t so big either.  These little boys really grow up fast.  I am glad Juanita is getting along OK and I was glad to hear from her.

I also have two v-letters from Minnie here, one Sept 29 and the other no date.  Say Minnie, can’t you afford a calendar?

I reckon Delores and Emilie know how to get by?  How does Charles S. like the army by now?  Is Phyllis going to California?  Say Minnie, if Phyllis is home phone her up and ask her what her cousin’s name was by the name of Yeager from Norwich?  What’s her first name and address is that came to visit her.  I might as well write to someone if she is still around.

Well I got to wash out some socks and shorts this evening so I’d better close.  I’ll write again soon. Hope this finds you all well and happy. Love, Ivan

 

October 19, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear little Soldier boy,

We were so glad to get your letter

 

 

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written 8th of October.  I think it came the 15th, I know it came fast.  And we were wondering if you were still on the island you were?  I expect you have been told the news, Ruth has a baby girl born October 16th.  I’ve not seen her yet, have had a sore throat since Saturday.  But I did go to Sunday school, I didn’t feel like teaching my class so got Mr. Reeser to teach it. 

Irene and children were here when we got home, so she got dinner for us.  The children are growing like weeds.  I am lots better today and intend to work some.  Maybe Dad will be glad.  Tom was here last night. If you got as many letters from him as times he has promised to write to you, you’d get a lot.  He is always glad to read your letters, asks if I’ve heard from Ivan? about the second thing he says to me. 

Minnie and Delores were here yesterday morning, she was some better than last week.  Clintons are having a sale tomorrow, they could not get help on the farm so are selling their cattle. 

Wilma had her new windmill put up Sunday.  Fred, Clarence and Tom and a windmill man put it up.  Dad didn’t go as they asked him to come Sunday morning, and I told them Dad couldn’t go in the morning as he had to go to Sunday school.  Dad didn’t want to miss Sunday school either. 

I don’t believe John enjoys batching, he should have got married a long time ago I believe.  Schuyler likes it better in North Carolina than he did in Louisiana.  How far are you now from where Edwin did live?  Do you hear from Ralph Barnes?  I hear the doctors were mistaken, so the stork will not visit Ralph and Lucy this fall. 

What does FDC stand for?  I am always asking questions, but you know what you can answer.  It’s about mail time Ivan so I’ll try and send this and hope to send another this week.  I am sorry you’ve missed my v-notes, but I always aim to do better, if I don’t.  I hope you are well and feeling OK.  So good-bye for this time, with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

October 20, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

I expect you have heard about Schuyler’s and Ruth’s new Baby Girl.  She was born October 16 and weighed a little over 8 lbs and her name is Delores Ann.  She looks like Schuyler and really is sweet.  She is very fair, has a round face, pug nose and is bald-headed.  What hair she has is so light it looks like fuzz.  Ruth and Baby are fine.  Ruth is so proud of the Baby.  She says it is too good to be true.  We are all happy for them.  Claryce is getting along fine.  We still have Junior and Minnie has the other girls.  Wilma and family are OK.  She is kept plenty busy with her family.

We had a rain last night and plenty of wind.  Hope you are well and happy.  Thomas was here for a few minutes last night.  He is OK.  It’s almost mail time so had better quit.  Did you get the money? Love, “The Tuckers”

 

October 23, 1943: Lottie Grace to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Uncle Ivan,

How are you?  I am fine.  Delores has the scarlet fever.  Evelyn and J.E. and me is at grandma’s.  Daddy has to stay at grandma Emery.  Aunt Ruth has a baby girl, its name is Delores Ann.  They say it has a pug nose and bald headed.  We play on your old car.  Uncle Tom is going to get married at 8 o’clock tonight.  J.E. said he would be a married women and she changed to her mine.  I will have to quit to get my letter off. Love, Lottie Grace

PS: Clarice will soon well I we will get to go home.  Write soon, looking for a letter and your picture. Love, Lottie Grace

 

October 23, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

How are you this nice rainy morning?  We are all pretty good, I have a family again now.  Delores isn’t very sick, but she has Scarlet fever and I have Fred, Evelyn, Juanita and Lottie Grace for a week.  Clarice is well now and so Violet is out of quarantine, but the girls can’t even leave here for a week, but I don’t think they will take it.  Dad’s milking, the rest are up and eat their breakfast and Fred’s started to the shop. 

Well Ivan tonight Tom and Mary Berry will be married at 8 o’clock at the parsonage of the Church of God.  Tom wants Dad and I to be

 

 

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there, so we will try to go.  I hope it’s all for the best, but time will tell.  Guess you are all the boy I’ve left now.  How soon will some girl be getting you?  Not too soon I hope. I am getting selfish I guess. 

I haven’t seen Ruth’s baby yet, but I won’t go see her now till my family is out of quarantine.  Edna says baby’s cute, round face, pug nose, and bald headed and looks like Schuyler. 

I’ve missed getting a letter from you this week.  Maybe the carrier will be good to me and bring me one today.  I know you will miss Minnie’s letters, for she writes such good letters, the rest of us ought to write enough so to make up in numbers, but I couldn’t write as interesting letter as hers are. 

Ivan is there anything you need that we could send you?  Just tell me if there is.  Have you filled your Diary yet?  Want another?  Charles has to keep his foot off the floor another week.  It was a bone tumor he had and his toe was taken off at the first joint.  He hasn’t been able to start to school yet.  It’s past mail time as he comes 9:30 o’clock now days, maybe the rain has made travel slower today.  If I miss him I’ll take it to town tonight.  We hope you are well and OK.  Good-bye with oceans of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

November 2, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Ivan,

I’m sorry I missed last week in writing to you, but I’ll try to make up for last time.  Ruth and her Baby spent most of the week with us and we had Junior Emery too so it seemed I didn’t get everything done.

Ruth and Baby are fine.  Surely wish Schuyler could see the Baby as she really is sweet.  She looks like her Daddy, has a pug nose and is bald-headed, weighed a little over 8 lbs.  Emery’s are out of quarantine and all feeling fine.  You knew Delores had it too. Well she wasn’t very sick at all and they will be out in 11 days.

Thomas has been married a week last Saturday.  We hope they get along fine.  They decided to get married Wednesday and Saturday they were married.  That really is quick, isn’t it?  They both looked so nice. 

We had a heavy frost last night and it is really cool today. All here are OK.  Hope you are well and happy. Love, The Tuckers

 

November 2, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your welcome letters, one last week and one Monday, the one written October 22nd.  I was real busy last week, as my family left Wednesday morning and went to live with Violet.  Delores is scaling off a lot and feels fine. She said yesterday, we stopped a minute as we came from town, they had just 9 more days to stay in quarantine.  Then Minnie can write to you. 

Mr. Hunt was found dead in bed Wednesday night.  They thought he had been since Tuesday night.  He lived alone in his home and Sammy saw him every day, so about ten Wednesday night he said, as his Dad hadn’t been over that day, he would go over and see him.  He was in bed and the covers weren’t disturbed.  His funeral was Saturday morning and they took him to Linn County and was buried in the cemetery Mother was buried in.  His wife and oldest son is buried there too.  Ben and Sadie came from Denver.  Ben got a 15 day furlough.  Emma Hunt Taylor lives in Hutchinson.  Dad and I, Edna and Violet went to the funeral. 

We went to see the new baby Saturday.  She is one of the prettiest babies I ever saw.  Edna said I’d want to take her home with me, as she looked like my babies did.  Her head is covered with white down, it looks like.  Betty Martin says she needs a wig.  Her name is Delores Ann, and she can suck her thumb too, if she happens to get it in her mouth. 

Clarence’s, Fred and Evelyn, Irene and children, Tommy and wife were here Sunday.  Dad slipped and fell on a log and hurt about three ribs Saturday.  Makes him go a little slow, but we get along OK.  I was sorry about Mrs. Hollinger too.  I think she couldn’t have been nicer. 

What do I want for Christmas?  Nothing pleases me more than a letter from my boy, if he only has time to say he is OK.  I don’t mind if they are short or long, just so they are from my little boy.  Dad says, if you’d like that watch, it’s

 

 

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a pocket seven jewel, he will send it to you.  It is fixed now.

The sun is shining nicely this a.m. but it must of froze ice last night as it was so cold.  We hope you are well and OK and don’t have to work too hard.  What are you studying now?  Military secret?  Well Ivan I’ll tell you good bye with lots of love,  Dad and Mom

Do you attend the Chaplain’s services now?  I hope your work is so you can. Love, Mamma

 

November 6, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were glad to get your letter of October 24th this week, and to know that you were OK.  We also got the one you wrote October 22nd on Tuesday.  We got up too late to write to you this a.m. before mail time.  Dad said he would go somewhere to mail a letter if I got it written.  Well I forgot about writing till a while ago. 

Tom came this afternoon and he and Dad went hunting a little while.  They didn’t get anything but Tom saw three ducks.  Tom and Dad are getting the potatoes out of the hay mongh[?] and going to put them in the cellar.  It has been cool and cloudy today and we are looking for cold weather.  Dad feels some better than when I wrote last.  Dr. said one rib was cracked and several bruised.  He has gone real slow this week, but he did help the Clinton boys saw wood yesterday.  Help is so hard to get, he didn’t like to refuse them when they asked him.  We have 15 bushels of potatoes now. 

Well Ivan we all think alike, we still think of you a lot and a lot of you too.  How much you’ll never know.  We are glad when you do ask questions so we will know what to write about.  I haven’t heard any more from your friend Hart yet.  Tom was off today but Mary worked, he will mail this as he goes home.  Hope he doesn’t forget it.  Delores is fine and her and Minnie expect to be out of quarantine the 11th.  It’s Edna’s birthday too.  I saw Violet, Clarice and Junior at Missionary meeting Thursday.  Mrs. Phillips came by and took me.  It was at Clarence Willison’s and they live 1 mile north and one mile east and ¾ north of Carter Spurr.  It was a long ride anyway.  I told Mrs. Sparks you said hello.  She was pleased that you thought of her.  She said she had a brother that would soon sail they thought.  He had sent for his hunting knife.  How does yours do by now? 

Dad said he would try and begin to write letters next week, so I’ll tell him to write one to you first one.  We hope you are well and OK.  Thane Johnson is the same relation to you that Kay Siron is.  Josie Carlile Johnson is your cousin so he is your second cousin. 

This is Saturday night 6 o’clock.  Dad is bringing in the cows now.  Don’t you hear him, and Watch barking?  Cows don’t give much now, so milking is a short job.  Well Ivan don’t work too hard and don’t forget we love to hear from you.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom.  Tom said tell you he would try and write to you someday.

 

November 10, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter of October 28, the 8th.  It came pretty fast.  I washed today and Dad went to town, he is in bed asleep now, and I’ve been waiting for Minnie and Fred to come and stay all night with us, as they intended to fumigate the house tonight.  But it’s so late I expect they are staying at Violet’s. 

We’ve had cool weather since Saturday, some snow Sunday morning, but it soon melted.  Today has been nice and warm.  Dad is feeling a little better, and I am sure glad.  Irene’s were home all day Sunday and Wilma’s came in the afternoon.  Charles’ toe is almost well, the rest of the children are well.  Wilma is sure glad she has a windmill to pump water for them.  Howard is growing tall and wears 11 and a half  shoes, so he has a good understanding.  He doesn’t like High School. I guess he is a real farmer boy, for he has been good to work and help Wilma. 

Did you like the FDC work?  Or do you like what you are in better?  Is Ralph Barnes still on the Islands?  You told me once to get map and look up where you were.  I’ve had a map or maps for a long time, I’ve about worn one out, seeing where you live.  I know where you walked the two miles to the show.  Censor didn’t cut it out and I was so glad. 

Tomorrow is Edna’s birthday and Dad is

 

 

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November 19th.  Archie Clinton was over the other evening.  He asked about you.  I must have said it wrong, they didn’t sell the farm, all the cattle was sold.  Tommy was here yesterday a little while, they are OK.  I want to go see Ruth and the baby again soon.  Delores Ann is one of the prettiest babies I ever saw.  I too think it would be nice if she had red hair.  The girls are talking of taking pictures and sending to you, it’s been hard to get films.  Well I’ll stop for tonight and maybe I’ll think of something else I want to tell you in the morning. 

Dear Ivan, this is Armistice day and I am afraid the mail doesn’t go, but I’ll put this in the box anyway.  We are both pretty good today, I slept a little late so I am slow as usual.  We hope you are well and getting along OK.  Is there anything you would like for us to get you and send to you? If there is be sure and tell me.  Minnie mailed your Christmas box before she was quarantined.  We hope you will like it, as we didn’t know what to get for you.  Minnie’s didn’t get here last night, I know you will be glad she can write letters again.  Well Ivan, it’s hunting season, Dad saw two rooster pheasants south of us the other day, he didn’t have a gun.  Good-bye (do you know what Good-bye means?  It means “God be with you till we meet again”) with lots of love, Pop and Mom

 

November 12, 1943: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

==V-MAIL==

Dear Uncle Ivan,

Aunt Minnie and family is at our house.  They lit candles to fumigate but they weren’t any good so Uncle Fred went and got another one.  They got out Wed. night.  We have four beds up.  Dad and Mom, Jr. sleep on one, Lottie, Evelyn and Delores sleep in another, Uncle Fred and Aunt Minnie in another, Clarice and I sleep together.  Quite arrangement don’t you think?  Uncle Morris  was getting his car fixed but it got so late Aunt Edna and him ate supper at our place of course.  Aunt Minnie and Uncle Fred was there besides us all together there was 11 so you see we just about a family reunion.

As you can see I am trying to type this letter and it is going to be easier to put your address on don’t have to print it.  THANK GOODNESS.  Maybe you will be able to read this better if I don’t write and don’t make too many mistakes.  They went over to see Grandma yesterday while they were waiting on the car they took Uncle Fred’s car.  The three sisters went of course.  They plan to put their husbands to work getting up wood Sun. so Grandpa won’t have to.

I have had a lot of work to make up because I missed 14 days so you know I have been pretty busy.  Write when you can.  I must close before I make any more mistakes.  I haven’t seen Aunt Mary yet so I don’t what she looks like.  Well I will close. Your niece, With lots of love, Juanita

 

November 12, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

I was so glad to hear from you today, one written November 4th.  I might have gotten it yesterday but it was a holiday for the carrier, and so a letter I had written to you didn’t start till today either.  Edna, Violet and Minnie were here a while yesterday.  It was Edna’s birthday too, she was 40 years old.  I can’t hardly believe it. 

Yes Tom is married.  Dad, Fred and I went to the wedding.  Edna and Morris were there too.  Mary’s sister that raised her was the only one of her relations there.  There were half dozen or more of her friends to see her married.  Now Ivan, don’t think I want you to stay single because Tom got married.  I’d sure be awful selfish if I did. 

Charles’ toe is almost well, he is going to school now.  It was a tumor on the bone, the Dr. thought it was a wart growing on the end of his toe at first.  The children are all anxious to have a picture of you for their own.  They look at mine about every time they are here, they think you are about the most wonderful uncle they have.  Marjorie wrote a letter to you in her class at school, but of course didn’t send it.  Edna said she thought Ruth’s baby was going to have red hair, they both are feeling good now. 

I’ve been out with Dad this afternoon, he was fixing the young chicken’s house a little better.  He made me a chicken house near the barn early in the fall out of scraps of lumber and old tin for the young chickens to roost in, as they were so crowded in the coops.  I’ve sold 82 roosters and have some left.  I want to keep all

 

 

[Page 146 – Transcriptions, 1943]

 

 

the pullets if I can.  Eggs are 40 cents per dozen now.  I don’t think the young ones will commence to lay till first of the year. 

Well Ivan, this is a nice day and Saturday too.  Breakfast is over and Dad has gone to milk.  Our milking is a short job now, so many of the cows are dry.  Your cow still gives half as much milk as she did.  Her name is Bess.  That was shorter than saying Holstein, or Ivan’s cow. 

Dad didn’t get started to writing letters this week as he planned, so he said for me to stay and finish my letter, and he would milk alone.  He feels lots better than he did.  He has been getting up wood this week and Roy will saw it Sunday afternoon.  Tom is planning on helping too.  Roy works through the week, so Sunday is the only time he has to saw. 

Ivan we hope you are well and getting along OK.  I am sending a clipping about the Roll of Honor at the court house.  I sent yours and Tom’s name to them long time ago.  Well Ivan I’ll say good-bye with lots of love, Dad and Mom

 

Monday November 15, 1943:

Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter today, written Nov. 7, and to know that you were well and OK and went to Chapel.  We went to Sunday school and church Sunday.  Violet’s and Minnie’s came home with us.  The children surprised Dad, it being near his birthday.  Edna’s and Tommy and Mary came.  Tom went after Irene and children, so they were here too.  Ruth was sick with a cold so Wilma’s couldn’t come.  Ruth was afraid to bring her baby out so didn’t come either.  We all had a nice time.  Morris, Fred, Dad and Tom went hunting.  All they got was a crow.  Roy didn’t come to saw wood when we had plenty of help, maybe he will come next Sunday when no one is here.  Dad is feeling better than he did, he went to Buhler after feed this afternoon and I made the little chicken house a little warmer.  Tom came while we were eating supper, he left Mary to visit with her sister.  He had borrowed one of our ration books, so brought it back.  He read your letter and eat a little with us, before he went back. 

Ivan we will send you your money in the morning if I can meet the carrier.  Now thanks a whole lot for your Christmas present, but we will let the money stay in the bank for you.  You have in the Bank $404.00 now, and we hope to add to it whenever we can.  I am glad you liked the show.  We’ve had nice weather for several days now, and I am glad so I can play out of doors. 

Alice took all our pictures at church Sunday, so maybe the soldier boys can see how we look.  I think that was what she wanted with them.  We are going to have an Honor Roll at church of the boys and girls in the community that are in the service.  I’ll have some boys on it. 

Well Dad has gone to bed, he says “the moon is coming up over the cow shed.”  Well I’ll bet you think I’d just as well go to bed too, as I don’t know of a bit of news to write.  Ivan you will have to ask me questions so I’ll know what to write about. 

Well this is Nov. 16th, little Delores Ann is one month old today.  Ruth intended to have her picture taken when she was one month old to send to Schuyler.  Breakfast is over and Dad has gone to milk.  Milking is a short job here now, just milk 3 cows and two of the three will soon be dry.  We are thankful for nice fall weather, and also for a good little boy that writes to so regularly.  We hope this finds you well and getting along fine.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop and Mom

 

Monday November 29, 1943: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Uncle Ivan,

We drew names over at Grandma’s Thursday.  I got your name.  I wanted to send a family group picture, but it would be too big and they said you would just have to send it back.  So we went to town Saturday and had these taken but please don’t think Junior always looks like that.  He didn’t want mother to leave him.  You can see that we have grown.  Junior is quite a boy or at least he thinks so.  He talks and says about everything and doesn’t like it if we do not understand him (poor us then Ha!)  They still say they can’t understand Clarice but I think she is talking a little bit plainer.  Look at Lottie’s face real close and you can see her freckles.  You can tell I spread out instead of going up, poor me. 

Aunt Mary (Tom’s wife) is really swell.  The first time the bunch was at Grandma’s she brought something and is just one of us and acts like she has a swell time.  She isn’t afraid of eating.  Thursday there was some elery [celery?] left and Aunt Mary and I just sat around eating it.  You can count on me being where there is any eating being done.  Her picture doesn’t do her justice.  She is a lot better looking than her picture shows her.  She (Aunt Mary) said that her sister said she was fussy about her eating.  We don’t see it.  She’s as nice as can be.  She dresses nice but doesn’t act stuck up.  They were at church Sunday and she is for having Uncle Tommy go to church. They usually go in town. 

Phillip’s (the one with so many children) boy was operated on for appendicitis about a week ago.  He is getting along fine.  Well I had better close.  I am in debate and we debate tomorrow and Friday and Saturday.  The question is resolved, that the U.S. should join in a reconstitution of the League of Nations.  I am on the affirmative.  Better close this newspaper and say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. With lots of love, Your niece, Juanita

 

Saturday December 4, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We are still having lovely fall weather.  It doesn’t seem much like winter yet.

Virgil is getting ready to milk as he works at the Co-op today.  He’s been working after school there since foot-ball is over.

Gayle is doing his chores as he plans to put cards out here in So. Hutchinson for a nursery man.  I think he will be kept plenty busy for one day. 

Minnie told me how good those pictures were you sent home.  I’m anxious to see them, but haven’t yet.  Thanks so much for the Xmas card, we got it last week.

Business at the P.O. is picking up as it is nearing Xmas.  Morris will do some clerical work this Xmas too, as they are short of help.  Morris is going to work at the coop this p.m. as one of the men there is sick.  I read a verse in the Gist that I like so will pass it on.

“Have faith and strength, and courage, And do not ever fear; For wherever your journey leads you, The Lord is always near.”  Love, “The Tuckers”

 

Monday December 6, 1943:

Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I will start a letter to you tonight so maybe I’ll get it finished by the last of the week.  I’ve been so slow lately.  We are all pretty good, Dad is feeling good again.  We went to church and Sunday school yesterday, we had 102 at Sunday school, quite a few visitors, but quite a few absent that generally come.  Delores had a cold so Minnie and Fred didn’t come.  Clarence’s came home with us.  It was cloudy all day and went to raining in the evening, but it didn’t get freezing cold, and today the sun was shining. 

Dad put cement over the holes in the tin roof of the young chicken’s house.  I got my first pullet egg Saturday.  I’ll be glad when they begin to lay good.  Tommy was over a little while Saturday.  He read your letter and said, “he would write to you soon.”  Lucy, Ralph Barnes’ wife, was at Sunday school.  She asked about you.  Dad is in bed asleep, I guess, and old Watch is barking so loud, guess he hears coyotes. 

When Dad was on the chicken house an airplane flew over pretty low.  Dad said if he brushed him off he was liable to tell him something if he was able.  They have a landing field just across the road from the Irvin houses, just a little east. 

I got a card from Carl today, they were all right and still had the boys with them.  We drew names for Christmas and I got Schuyler’s name, you got Virgil’s name, so I’ll get him something for you.  Dad got Wilma Marie’s name.  Dad thinks he will get along OK about feed. He has quite a bit and he bought six tons of hay from Mr. Fields at $10.00 per ton, then he is going to buy some feed from Mr. Rowland.  He is pasturing on the land south of us yet and that helps a lot. 

Dec. 7.    I’ll celebrate Uncle Abe’s birthday by finishing this letter.  Uncle Abe is 60 years old today.  It froze ice last night and everything is covered with a heavy frost.  The chores are all done and as Dad is going to town I’ll go along.  I hope we will have time to go see Ruth and the baby.  I’ve never seen her but once and am anxious to see her again.  I am so sorry we didn’t get you something for Christmas that you needed, but can’t help it now.  If there is anything you’d like to have sent to you, tell us, and they (at the Post Office) will let us mail it to you.  We hope you are well and not working too hard.  I’ll stop and mail this and get ready to go to town.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop Tom and Mom. 

Do you get to go to Sunday school anymore?  I hope you do, and may we all try to live closer to God than we ever have before.  Mom.

 

December 6, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all pretty good.  Delores had bad cold and asthma Saturday.  We gave her sulfa drug so she feels pretty good today.  Has plenty cold as yet, though.  She asked me to ask you why you didn’t just write a letter to her.  I told her you wrote to Grandma which was to all of us.  That satisfied her.  Thanks for the Christmas card.  We got it last day of November.  Fred is putting some asphalt treated cellnotex [?] on the northeast corner of our house.  Will make it turn wind a lot better.  Those shingles there were rotten.  Bennie Evans has been deferred another six months.  Clark Miller and Martin Coberly told Fred Dad Evans had asked them to use their influence on draft board.  Kinda didn’t set well with Fred.  He wondered why they couldn’t find enough in their territory instead of coming to two of his best customers.  Bennie has used his portable welder at both of their places.  I have a calendar.  Don’t know why I forgot date that time.  Maybe I was sleepy.  Delores Ann sure is a sweet baby but she has been a cranky one.  Don’t think she gets right eats.  Ruth is so nervous all the time.  Must write Schuyler. Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

December 10, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We are having our first real winter here, that is we had our first snow yesterday and it snowed all day and was really slick.  It is cloudy out today but not snowing now.  We were glad for the snow as we did need the moisture and it wasn’t cold, about 25 degrees.

Grace and Fairy Stiggins are planning a double wedding for December 24.  Fairy is almost 16 and Grace is 17.  They don’t seem very old, do they?  The boys are both 17 so they are all children.  Grace and Fairy and one of the boys are Seniors this year.  They plan to finish school if they don’t change their minds.  It’s hard to tell what they’ll do.

Schuyler thinks he might get to come home before too long.  I know Delores Ann will be pleased, don’t you?

We went to Oklahoma last week end with Arthur and Clara to Grandma Henshaw’s funeral, a mother-in-law of Uncle George Tucker’s.  Florence, George, and Mother T. went too.  We had a nice visit, but bad roads coming home.

Virgil is singing in the Glee Club today at H.S. Chapel and also in a duet too.  Wish I could hear him.  He enjoys singing so much.  He sings in H.S. quartet.  Hope you are well.  All here are fine. Love, The Tuckers

 

Saturday, December 11, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Just wrote you a v-mail yesterday, but thought I’d better send you the money as Minnie thought you still wanted it.  I am planning to go to town today so thought I’d better mail it to you as you might be needing it.

It isn’t so very cold here this morning, but it is clear and pretty out.  Snow melted most of the day yesterday, but we still have quite a bit left.  We needed the moisture quite badly too so we were glad for the snow.

Virgil just now got up and has to be at work at 8:15 so I’d better stop and get him some breakfast.

Back again… Trains were late yesterday and walking bad so carriers made only one delivery yesterday.  Mail is beginning to get rather heavy now.  Morris is supposed to be off this p.m. but he said they might make another deliver this p.m.

As far as we know everyone here seems to be OK.  Dad is feeling pretty good again.  Thomas and wife must be busy as we hardly see them anymore, seems rather queer for he was sticking around for quite a while here.

I expect I’d better get Gayle up and get around to go to town. It is almost 8:00 a.m. and still real dark, but I guess it is morning anyway.  Hope you are well and happy. Love, The Tuckers

 

December 13, 1943: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

[typed letter]

Dear Uncle Ivan,

Here I go again trying to see how many mistakes I will make.  I typed 25 words a minute a while back on a 1 minute test and on a 5 minute test I made 22, the highest I have ever made.  The girl who types the best was not here then and I made on my test 22 which was the highest in the room I was highest by about 5 I think.  In the 1 minute there was one or two ahead of me.  They had about 29 and I 25.  We didn’t go to Grandma’s Sunday as Dad had to work and we went home so he could sleep.  I typed a reading for mother, THE OTHER WISE MAN and I typed one for myself as we have to learn one in Public Speaking. 

Say why don’t you tell us what to write I can’t think, when I just sit down and try to type so I suppose I should write it out before I come to the type writer.

I expect you knew I was helping out down in the basement since we are serving meals. The principle asked me to help out. I did but I quit because I wanted to type and I couldn’t if I worked. 

School starts 15 minutes later. I don’t see if they are going to type later they couldn’t make it interesting it not worth changing the alarm for that much.  We had a great big snow the other day the first we have had this year.  We are going to Grandma Emery’s for dinner then to Grandma Roberson for Christmas.  Must close, Write soon, With lots of love, Your Loving Niece, Juanita

 

 

December 13, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We got your Christmas card, thanks.  You really did have a nice Thanksgiving Day dinner.  No wonder you weren’t hungry late yet that night!  Delores went to visit school this afternoon.  She hadn’t got to yet and she was quite thrilled.  I’m going to town now as soon as I can write this and get ready. Want to get some Christmas shopping done.  We were home yesterday.  Wilma’s and Irene’s were there too.  Kids sure had fun with sled on the hills there at home.  Just enough ice on top of snow that they really had good time sliding.  Emilie came in crying and said her feet were about frozen.  Merrit Imel and wife were at church together yesterday.  About month ago he sued her for divorce.  We’re glad they patched things up.  We bought a new linoleum for our floor in here.  Hope we can get it down soon.  This one on kitchen part is entirely worn out.  Mother and Dad both seemed to feel good Sunday.  I’d like to know how they got such a picture of you as one of those are you sent Mom.  The other two looked as good as could be.  We’re all anxious to get one. Lots of love, Minnie and family

 

December 13, 1943: Schuyler to his Parents

Dear Mother and Dad,

I received your letter last week and sure was glad to get it.  I sure have been busy we have been on the rifle range for two weeks and we left camp before it got daylight and sometimes we came in after dark.  So you see we didn’t have much time to write letters and we had candles for lights. So maybe you can forgive me I will try and write sooner.

We marched out to the rifle range and marched back.  It is twenty miles from camp but it wasn’t so bad.  I received the Xmas presents today and I am using the stationery now.  It is sure is thin paper. 

How is Dad? I sure hope he hasn’t broken any more bones and tell him to be more careful course he isn’t any spring chicken anymore. I qualified on the rifle range the first day but I didn’t do as good as I expected I would do. These rifle sights are different than the ones we used in civilian life that made some different and we didn’t have much practice either.  Anyway this isn’t a combat outfit it is a Equijstment Co. any way they tell us so.  I made a score of 155 out of a possible 210 we fired at a tin in target and if you hit they center you made five then four then three then two then a 0.  I had better close for there isn’t very much news here.  And say good night. And lots of love, Schuyler

 

Thursday December 16, 1943:

Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I was so glad to get your letters this week, one day two, and day before yesterday one, the last was written December 5th.  I sure enjoyed reading them.  Now I’ll send them to Minnie and she can tell the rest of the children.  We’ve had some cold weather this week.  It’s warmer this morning, around 20, but is cloudy, looks like more snow and the other isn’t all melted. 

Yesterday morning when Dad went to eat breakfast, his teeth were frozen in a cup of water on the wash stand.  He didn’t think he could eat without them, but he did.  We had pancakes, eggs and oats, all pretty soft.  He is feeling fine now.

The children are so glad you are going to send pictures home for them.  Wilma and Irene saw the three you sent me, Sunday.  They thought they were so good.  The one that you had taken on the other island they thought looked more like Carl than it did like you.  Tom got your pictures from B.M. before he was married, and they are still at Edna’s.  She kept one that she had taken herself of you.  Uncle Abe’s address is 2900 Seminary Avenue, Oakland, Calif.  I sent your insurance money off this week to Wichita.  I thought I’d better do it before I forgot it. 

Schuyler is anxious to come home for Christmas, but I don’t know if he will get to come yet or not.  Baby’s cold was better last I heard.  Ruth has a hard time keeping her house warm when it’s real cold, I don’t know how she will make out. 

I hear the planes this a.m., they sure keep busy in the air.  I haven’t seen Tom since Saturday.  He has applied for a three day leave, then he will haul feed for Dad from Mr. Rowland’s.  Carl hasn’t said anything about the army for some time, he is still working for the Rail Road last I heard. 

The Draft Board in town is taking lots of fathers now days, guess they are running out of single men.  Well the sun is trying to shine, so maybe we will have a nice day after all.  As I don’t know of a single thing to say I had better stop and take this to the box.  We hope you are well and getting along all right.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, Tom and Mom

 

Thursday December 16, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written inside a Christmas card.

Dear Ivan:

I’m kinda slow with this but I guess better late than never.  Seems like I never get around with everything like I want to.  Maybe when I feel better next spring I’ll do better.  Will have more to do, though.  So I don’t know. Evelyn said the other day she’d be glad when 1st of April got here.  I told her I would too.  She doesn’t know what kind of a joke I’ll play on her.  She and her Daddy will have lots of fun keeping house alone.

Ruth has been staying at Edna’s last few days.  Her furnace has crack in bowl so she plans to get her a coal stove which is hard to find unless you pay a lot for it.  It was 3 below zero last night.  Much warmer here tonight.  I’ll be glad when all this cold wave goes by as I don’t like it very well.

We will have our Christmas program at school next Wednesday night and at church on Thursday night.  Don’t know if I can stay up two nights in succession or not.  I’m getting old I guess.

Haven’t seen Tommy or Mary for several days.  Guess they are froze up or in one.  Wilma’s and Irene’s were home Sunday.  I took care of Beth and Walter Tuesday.  They sure are different without Wilma Marie.  She was at school.  Irene went to town to do some shopping for Christmas.

The girls decorated their tree last night.  Our lights don’t burn but tree is pretty without them.  Delores had lots of fun decorating it.  Delores thought she ought to boss Walter and Beth when they were here.  She feels like she is bigger but Walter is taller than she.  I’d better fix some more cards.  Lots of love and wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

December 18, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written on a Happy New Year card.

Dear Ivan,

How are you today?  We are all fine here and are enjoying nice weather again after some cold winter days.  Virgil didn’t go to H.S. Wednesday and Thursday because it was quite cold and gas pressure was low so gas was saved for the homes.  It was 6 degrees below zero one night so it was cold.

Virgil just went to work.  He works at “Coop” meat department after school and on Saturdays.  His car wouldn’t start so he rode the bicycle, rather chilly ride maybe.

Virgil was chosen guard on the Kansas all-state football team from Hutchinson.  There were boys from all over the state on the team.  His picture was in last Sunday’s Topeka Daily Capitol.  That was quite nice.  He was the smallest boy in the lineup.  He was crowned Allagaroo King last night after the basket-ball game.  That is an honor as the H.S. chooses the most prominent boy (Senior).  The football Queen kissed him.  I guess that was a thrill.

John came home yesterday from California.  I guess he was homesick.  He made good money there, but didn’t like his living conditions.  Something must have agreed with him as he really gained weight.  He says he doesn’t like California now.

Wilma and family are fine and so are all the rest.  There is a lot of flu here, but we have been lucky so far.  Quite a number are sick at the P.O., so Morris is quite busy.  Hope you are well and getting along fine. 

Thomas was here a while last evening.  They are OK.  Ruth and Baby have been here since Tuesday night as it was too cold in her house.  They are OK.  Schuyler won’t get to come home for a while. Love and Best Wishes, Morris, Edna and All

 

December 21, 1943: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all OK only the kids have slight colds.  Oh yes, Merry Christmas this is the kind of Christmas card I’m sending this year.  I’m rather slow about getting them sent.  Our Jersey cow had her calf on Carl’s birthday.  She a good milker now, plenty of rich cream with the milk. 

Well Saturday is Christmas and will I be glad when it is over.  I’ve been trying to make a few things, saves buying them.  I made a doll bed and table for the girls, a small wagon for Walter.  I got Wilma a new doll and that I’d make a new dress for Beth’s doll but, last Saturday night Roy bought Beth a doll.  I’ll bet it is the first doll he has bought.  He got the kids a Black Board too only he doesn’t know I know.  He brought his things home last night and told me to leave them alone.  Well I’ve too much to do to go upstairs looking at them. I’ll see them soon enough and I don’t want to spoil his fun.  The toys are most all made of wood and paste board this year.  All the metal is needed for the war.  Shucks, the kids will be just as happy with what they get this year as the have before.

I reckon you have already heard John is home again.  He got rather home sick for the kids and the place where he lived the roof had blown off and he thought it might start raining any time there so he came home.  Got there Friday.  He plans to help get some wood up for Dad then find another job someplace he doesn’t know where yet.  We were home Sunday and he sure had fun with the kids.  Beth made up with him.  He likes to tease so they get used to it.  They played out on the haystack that Dad has up close to the barn.  They sure had fun.  We got our tree put up here last Saturday and fixed one for Mother Sunday.  It’s a small one but she likes small ones better.

Roy cut and sawed some wood Sunday – mulberry wood, it sure burns good.  We sure used a lot during the cold spell.  It’s clear and warmer today.  Radio said it was going to get colder but as far as I’m concerned they can put it off a while. 

Wilma Marie is in program at school Thursday night but if more of the kids keep getting sick they may not have it.  The church is going to have their program and treat tonight.  I don’t think I’ll take the kids.  Wilma was up late last night and she has school the next day and they sure need the sleep. 

Well I think I’ll wash today while the weather is nice. You don’t find many nice wash days in the winter time. 

Most of the gang plans to be home Christmas.  Tom and Mary may go to her folks and I reckon Violet and Clarence’s will go in to his mother for dinner.  The rest plan to be home at Mom’s. 

Mom says Schuyler may get a furlough last of January. It will be nice for him at least I reckon he is anxious to see the baby and Ruth too. I’m anxious to see Schuyler with his baby after the fuss he made about mine.  I wonder what he will think of his but as mother says, every crow thinks her own are the blackest.  Delores Ann is the very picture of Schuyler.  She sure doesn’t have much hair yet.  Ruth and the baby were at Edna’s during the cold spell.  She’s probably home by now.

Beth and Walter are fussing so maybe I’d better cut this short and take care of them.  Our pullets have been laying and we get from 2 to 6 eggs a day now.  We have quite a few roosters we should eat or sell.  All they do is eat and crow.  I reckon my wash water is hot so I’ll close for now. Love, Roy, Irene, and Kids. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! PS: Take care of yourself.

 

December 22, 1943: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Ruth and Baby went home last Saturday.  The Baby has a cold, but Ruth doesn’t know much about babies so really is having quite a time learning how it is all done but we hope they do make it OK.  John came back from California last weekend.  I guess he was homesick as he had a good job, but not such good living conditions.  He is at home now and is helping Dad with the wood.  Hope he can help them for it will make it easier for them.  Ruth Rowland has a bad cold, but is better.  Everyone else here are well, and have escaped the flu which is bad here.  Virgil was crowned Allagaroo king last Friday night.  He will be awarded an Allagaroo free and also has a nice key chain and tie clasp with chain of Sterling silver which was given to him.  He was kissed by the football queen – was that a thrill??  Saw Thomas’ yesterday.  They are fine.  Morris is busy, went to work at 4 yesterday morning and 5:45 this a.m.  Hope you are fine. Lots of love, “The Tuckers”

 

December 23, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written on a Christmas card signed “John”

My Dear Son Ivan,

Will a letter on this card make it too heavy?  John is home, came 17th left a good job and is feeling fine.  He plans to get a job here soon. He is helping Dad get wood to saw now.  Then he plans to help Wilma get some wood.  He is sending all his sisters and brothers a Christmas card, and as he wanted me to address them.  I am just finding out how many he has, ha ha.  John had some blisters on his hand the first day he chopped wood, made me think how you used to blister your hands helping Dad.  Snow is still on the ground in some places, it’s cloudy now, looks like we might have a white Christmas.  Wilma’s Ruth is sick with a cold, but is better, all the rest are well.  Ruth’s baby still has a cold but is better than she was.  I’ll write a letter soon.  Good bye with lots of love, Dad and Mom.  Hope to trade this to the carrier for a letter from you.  He will get cheated though.

 

December 24, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your letter of the 10th yesterday, I hope your pictures get here today. When there is so much mail it can’t come so fast.  We’ve had some winter weather this week, it was 6 above the other morning, all our snow isn’t melted yet.  John has been busy getting wood.  Dad helps too.  He has the porch nearly full of wood, just a space left for Watch to sleep on.  I told him I couldn’t wash till we used the wood, couldn’t get to the machine.  Anyway it’s in the dry. 

Mary and Tommy were here last night, they will go to her sister’s (the one she made her home with) for Christmas. Maybe they will be out in the evening.  They brought their presents out and are here under our little tree.  Irene fixed our Christmas tree Sunday when she was home.  It doesn’t show up so much with so many green plants around it.  Tommy and Mary will try and get a Kodak picture and send to you, of themselves.  Their wedding pictures are just like what was in the paper, only plainer.  Mary got a dressed turkey for Christmas, from the creamery Co.  The Co. gave all the employees one.  She doesn’t like turkey as well as she does chicken, so I traded two chickens for it.  Now I won’t have to pick a chicken today. 

Ruth Rowland was sick with a cold first of the week, I sure hope she is better, for Wilma planned to come here for Christmas.  Dad is out doing chores and John is getting his own breakfast while I try to write.  We won’t have any mail tomorrow, it will be like two Sundays coming together. 

I am thankful that you like to write to us and we sure appreciate all you do and have done for us.  I do not think anyone has any better children than we have.  We all think your last pictures couldn’t look more like you, it seems like you could speak to us.  I got your graduation picture and one in uniform that was at Edna’s, that B.M. had.  I would be afraid for B.M. to see your last pictures, for she would find out what a fine looking soldier boy you were.  It’s cloudy today, looks like snow.  I am glad you have a radio you can listen to. 

We hope and pray that next Christmas may find all you boys home again, and we will have lasting peace.  If everyone that celebrates Christmas really understood what the day means, this world would be a better place to live in.  I don’t see why anyone can help being a Christian. 

Well Ivan it’s ten o’clock and I am afraid the carrier will beat me to the box.  Dad is feeling good now, and I hear him singing out by the milk house.  Ivan we hope you are well and getting along OK.  We will be thinking of you and hope we hear from you soon again.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop and Mom. Maybe I’d better say Tom for I don’t believe he has written to you lately.

 

December 27, 1943: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

How are you since Christmas is over?  OK, I hope.  Irene’s and Edna’s were all that were here for dinner.  Delores had too bad of a cold to be taken out and Ruth Rowland still had a little cold.  Violet’s and Tommy and Mary were here in the evening.  It was rather quiet around here, for Irene’s children had colds and the men folks went to sleep before dinner. 

Dad and I went to Sunday School and church yesterday and John, Roy and Dad sawed wood in the afternoon.  It was misty all day and a few snow flakes scattered along, now this morning it is still the same, only wind is in the west and it’s some cooler. 

John has gone to the dentist this a.m.  Dad is listening on the radio.  He hasn’t turned it on since John came home, because you don’t know when he doesn’t want to hear it.  He even bought himself a radio in Calif., gave it to Aunt Florence when he came back.  But lots of times it makes him nervous to hear it. 

Mary and Tom gave their wedding pictures to the married ones that are here, for Christmas they run out, so many I guess.  Santa was too good to us, things like they are.  Your pictures haven’t come yet, but we hope they will.  Your last letter was written the 13 of December if I remember right.  I let Fred take it home for Minnie to read Christmas day.  So if you’ve asked anything I don’t tell you, maybe Minnie will answer it. 

I saw Mrs. Drebeilbliss in town last week.  They used to come to the U.B. Church.  She said Marvin was someplace on the Pacific ocean in a submarine.  They live in Hutchinson and Mr. Drebeilbliss works at a filling station. 

Well Ivan I don’t know of a thing to write about.  Dad is feeling good, and I am so glad too.  He sees so much he wants to do, he doesn’t know what to do first.  John keeps all the wood carried in so I lost my job.  The porch is piled full now. 

Well Ivan you will know we are OK and thinking of you, even if I don’t know what to write.  We hope you are well and getting along OK.  So you are getting restless to move somewhere.  Maybe I couldn’t find out where you were if you moved and I don’t want to loose my boy, I hope you can all move home soon, wouldn’t that be nice?  Well good-bye with lots of love, Pop and Mom and John.

Virgil said B.M. worked in a store in South Hutchinson before Christmas to get enough money to go see her Cadet that was in Tennessee now. 

December 28, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan:

How are you?  We’d be OK if we got over our colds.  Haven’t been having fever but I don’t know when I’ve had any worse head cold and sore throat.  Girls are both better.  I’m kinda slow getting over mine.  My sinuses sure have given me fits.  We were home Christmas Day on account of Delores then that night Fred had fever.  He went out to shop first today.  I’m better but it seems like I’m so slow.  Am sorry I missed writing but it seems like I just couldn’t get done what I needed to for Christmas and all.

We sure had a pretty snow last night.  It must be close to a foot deep on the level.  Maybe not quite but it sure looks like it, looking from inside out. 

While in bed room this evening I heard Evelyn telling Delores how to play “winkem.”  After so much discussion, I heard Delores ask Evelyn who was going to be her husband.  Evelyn couldn’t understand her so she says, “who are you going to marry?”  Evelyn said she might find someone better looking than the boys over here at school.  To my notion they are talking way ahead of their years.

Fairy and Grace Stiggins were married Friday.  Fairy was 15 and her husband 17, Grace was almost 17 and her husband was 17.  Sure just kids taking on a lot of responsibility I think.

Tommy just had some lunch.  Fred has just brought him here with his car.  The soft plug came out of motor.  He’s off tomorrow.  I guess he plans to work on it.  John was with him.  John had planned to stay in town all night but I guess he won’t now.

Tommy just said Mother had started like she was getting flu so I’ve just sent boys over with what was left of Fred’s sulfa drug and AC Troehea’s [?] for throat and aspirin also angelisic [?].  If she uses all that she will feel better a lot quicker than trying to fight it without medicine.  That sulfa drug brought Fred right out of it.  It sure helps Delores too.  Have you ever taken it?  I haven’t myself as I don’t have fever.  I hate to take too much stuff, too as sometimes it isn’t best when I feel like I do.

Esther Smith has a baby girl that didn’t weigh quite five pounds.  Sure a little one.  Esther wasn’t a bit well before either.  She had uremic poisoning before she went to hospital.  She is getting along now though.

I just called Evelyn and Delores down.  I told them if I had to spank I could.  Delores says, “Why, how bad is your throat?”  Guess she thinks cause I can’t talk very well, she is in luck.  She is pretty good with her remarks at times.  She says she’s going to quit sucking her thumb so you will write her a letter.  I don’t know when that will be.  She had a bad head cold here sometime back, nose ran a lot.  She said her “nose was sure awful juicy.”  Some way to express it.  I hope the flu germs all flew away by the time this reaches you, ha!  I’ll write soon.  Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

December 30, 1943: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan:

Is it hard to get you to bed?  Sure is to get our girls to bed and asleep.  They lay there, talk, giggle and play.  Tonight I told them I was paddling if they didn’t get to sleep right away.  They’d been in there a little while and here came Delores.  She said she had to ‘pit.  She had to work hard to get any phlegm up to spit from sounds of her.

My pen sure is keen.  Works too good tonight.  Too much ink coming out at once.

We are all getting over the flu.  Boys said Mother was up when they took that medicine over there.  Maybe if she takes her medicine she won’t get down. 

Edna was out to Wilma’s yesterday.  Ruth is still in bed.  Just 99 degrees fever though so she’s getting along.

Not much news as I haven’t been anyplace.  Tommy worked on his car yesterday.  It isn’t done.  Mary came out with him.  I laid around and visited with her.  Never felt like doing much.  I’ve washed dishes, swept, etc., today so you know I’m doing better.

Carl Evans thinks he’ll be sailing soon.  First thought he wouldn’t have to on account of his feet and weight. 

Fred’s case was reopened at draft board.  We are wondering how he will be classified.  He should be deferred since Bennie was.  Can’t never tell though.  They act on his case the 6th of January so we’ll soon know.

What did you do Christmas Day?  Did you have as good a feed as you had for Thanksgiving?  We finished up the chicken I cooked Saturday today noon.  This outfit never cared if they ate too much.

It has warmed up a lot today.  Some snow melted yesterday morning. Everything was covered with sleet.  Sure was pretty.

Evelyn made better grades in arithmetic and social studies this month.  I sure don’t think her teacher is much interested in the kids.  If half of problem is wrong the thing is all wrong.  I told her what I thought of it but that doesn’t change her mind.  When there are two distinct parts (a) and (b) to a problem and problem counts ten I think they ought to have five if the (a) is correct.  I asked her if she ever gave them anything for trying.  She said they either had it right or wrong.  My hair almost turned red too!  Ha!  I always tried to give kids all they deserved so they’d not get discouraged and try harder.

What do you do for buzzing ears?  Mine have felt like a whole raft of telephone wires were tangled up inside and buzzing for all they’re worth.  I guess it’s the cold that I have that’s doing it.  Ervin Hyson’s name is in 1 grading [?] I just wonder how it will turn out for him.

My geranium is pretty.  Delores has put red nail polish on some of its leaves.  Can’t tell what she’ll do next.  Guess I’ll grease up good and go to bed.  Good night and lots of love, Fred, Minnie, Delores and Evelyn

 

1944

 

Saturday January 1, 1944:

Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I’d better begin this by saying Happy New Year to you.  This is the first letter this year to anyone. I’ve started it before breakfast, while the kitchen is getting warm.  I am not sure that the carrier will go today.  I forget from one year to another, but I know he didn’t go Christmas, I remember that far back, ha ha!  We had a big snow Monday night and we didn’t get any mail till Thursday, then he came from the pavement and turned around and went back that way.  We got your card, the picture of a hotel.  It was sure a large building, we thank you for the picture of it and some place you had been makes it nicer for us. 

Your pictures and box of letters came this week too and we will keep them until you come home.  Then when you get lonesome you can read that package of old letters.  It will be good reading.  Josie Carlile once read my old letters.  Took her quite a while, but she got the job done.  Your uncle Tom Carlile is feeling very good considering his age.  We heard from [him] not long ago and he was alright.  But we don’t hear from your uncle John L. Roberson of San Bernardino.  I don’t know why he won’t write anymore.  I guess he is getting too old, I am that way.

We have been bothered with bad colds and the flu, nearly the whole family, but we are getting better now.  We hope that this will be the last spell for this winter.  We have not had such a bad winter, nice fall, the farmers had good wheat pasture until the snow covered it up.  The wheat is good in this county but not so good in the west part of the state on account of not enough moisture in the fall.  Our cattle is doing pretty good on the feed they are getting.  We will have to buy some feed to get through on, feed is high here, hay is $10.00 a ton, that is prairie hay.  Other feed are high if you can buy them.  Some feeds you cannot get such as cottonseed meal, soy bean meal, they are hard to get here.

Well, Dad did write some, while I finished breakfast, first writing for him this year.  Now he is ready to do chores.  Wilma sent over a calf this week, so we get very little milk for ourselves just now.  John went to the dentist yesterday and had 10 fillings put in his teeth, he is still asleep. 

Ivan we sure thank you for your pictures, they are so good and we are so glad to see how our boy looks.  We don’t think there is any better looking boy in the service.  Tom was here Tuesday, got stuck in snow and walked in.  He said he told B.M. when he got your pictures that he wanted your old letters too. She said she didn’t want hers and she intended to keep yours.  He hasn’t seen her since. 

Well Ivan we hope you are well and OK and that we will get another letter from you soon.  Everyone is better of their colds.  Ruth Rowland is better too.  Her ear broke and run, and has kept her out of school some.  Ruth is happy to think that Schuyler will get to come home on a furlough soon.  I’ll try to get this started to you before the first of week.  I should have written yesterday but I didn’t think the carrier would come.  I forgot what day this was.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop and Mom. Don’t get too cool reading about the snow. Mom

 

January 3, 1944: Doris Yeager to Ivan

Norwich, Kansas

In his letter to his family of October 19, 1943, Ivan asked Minnie to ask Phyllis for the first name and address of her cousin by the name of Yeager in Norwich.  It appears that this information was supplied and that Ivan then wrote to Doris Yeager in Norwich.  This is her response.

Dear Ivan,

I was very glad to get your card and really enjoyed.  I really don’t remember you but the folks tried to tell me I must have gone to school with you sometime.

Christmas is over and it is time to go to school again it sounds rather dull to you, I imagine, but it is a little dull.  But I just have 4 months and 2 weeks left and then I hope I don’t have to go back.

I really don’t know what to say only I wish I could remember who you are.  Do your folks live close around here?

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and wish you a prosperous New Year. A friend, Doris Yeager

 

January 4, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

I guess I was lazy or something as I missed last week entirely and didn’t write to anyone so I’ll have to make up for lost time.  John is home with the folks and as yet seems to be helping.  I guess he was homesick.  He is feeling fine.  Mother is better as she had a cold.  All of Fred’s had flu I guess, but all are OK except Minnie and she is better.  Some of Clarence’s have colds too.  We don’t have school here in So. Hutchinson today or tomorrow on account of flu, so Gayle is taking it easy getting over his cold.  I’d better change the subject as you will be having something.  Schuyler is a Corp. now.  He is in school and is supposed to come home the last of Jan. or first of Feb.  Harold T. comes home this week from Oregon.  He is P.F.C. now.  It has been cold here lately.  It is cloudy and damp here today and is just freezing.  We still have some snow that is on from last week.  Hope you are well and happy.  Say your pictures were really good.  We saw them at Mom’s.  Tom and Mary are OK. Love, “The Tuckers”

 

January 5, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you? We are all better now.  We are about to get over the flu.  Have got some colds but are able to get things half way done now.  Last week Tommy and Mary came out one whole day and Tommy worked on his car.  First time Mary had been in my house and I’d been in bed off and on most of week.  House needed sweeping.  I sure did appreciate it all but then I lived through it.  I fed them wienie sandwiches for dinner and chili for supper so cooking wasn’t much. 

My pen and tablet don’t work so hot together.  Guess I’ll have to try and find better grade of tablet.  My pen puts out too much ink and my tablet is about like a school scratch tablet.

The sun is shining today.  First for a few days.  Am I glad.  I did almost a three weeks wash yesterday evening.  Was afraid I’d have to dry it all in the house.  Am happy I don’t have to.

John and Dad were here Monday on their way to town.  They said that Mother was feeling pretty good.  I want to go see them this evening if Fred will.  Been couple of weeks since I’ve been out of house I mean off the place.  Seems like a long time.

I’ve made some small tea towels the last few days.  Delores thinks they are OK.  So far she has helped dry dishes for Evelyn some.  Before she had thought that she was too little.  In fact I began to wonder if she wasn’t a tiny bit lazy.  Evelyn used to want to help before she got big enough to.  Delores has some but not like Evelyn did.  Now Evelyn doesn’t like the looks of dishes.  She can do them as good as I can though, when she wants to. 

Earl Cannon’s girl friend La June Tucker stopped Sunday afternoon and he rode to Arlington with them.  La June had been visiting her sister Pauline Tucker who lives just north of us.  We’ve sure had fun kidding Earl.  His face sure gets red.  La June went to school here all last winter.  They liked each other then.  Her folks have moved to Arlington.  Pauline and her husband were taking La June home.  Her dad is Wesley Tucker, a cousin of Morris’. 

Edna said Harold Tucker was going to come home this week sometime.  I’ll bet he’s missed all those “little Tuckers” around him.  Saw Clara in town before Christmas.  She was carrying the baby.  Must be about 8 months old now.

Okey Elliott says there are two things he wants to do when the war is over.  He wants a big front room clear acres front of his house and he wants to take a trunk and make a trip into Alaska across new road up there.  He says he’s sure tired of a front room that you have to stay humped shouldered so one next to you would have some room.  He tickles me.

Fred is emptying my wash water.  I want to write to Schuyler then I want to hang up some more clothes. 

Mr. Elliott brought over an apple for “Sorrel Top” [?] as he calls Delores this morning before she was dressed.  It was a delicious apple about as big as she is.  She is trying to get on the outside of it now.  Says she will save sister some of it.

I think it is going to be twins at our house.  I don’t think one can kick as much as this has.  Ha!  No fooling, it must be twins or a boy as Delores didn’t bother me anything like this one has.  Think I’ll ask Hempsted if it isn’t twins.  I haven’t told the girls yet but I think I will pretty soon.  I’d better say good-bye and good luck.  Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

January 7, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Here it is the seventh day of January.  This is Schuyler’s birthday and the weather here today is similar to what it was when he arrived in Kansas.  It is snowing and a hard north wind and is really cold.  It is supposed to go to zero or below tonight.  How cold does it get where you are?  Perhaps you would enjoy some cold weather and some snow for a change.  The folks are OK.  Minnie is better too.  Ruth Rowland has some gland trouble and carries some temperature.  She isn’t sick much, but has to stay in bed.  Everyone else here are fine I guess.  I expect I’d better do my chores pretty soon.  We have a cow, calf, 4 pups, 1 cat and some chickens.  Some farm, don’t you think?  All of us help take care of them.  I’m going after chicken feed and some alfalfa today.  I expect to go before it gets too cold.  Hope you are well and happy.  We enjoyed your letter so much and will save the pictures for you.  When you need the money just let us know.  Love and best wishes, “The Tuckers”

 

January 9, 1944: Ivan to Parents and Family

Dear Dad, Mom and Family: 

How are you getting along?  I am doing OK and getting along fine.  I got your V-letter of 13 and air mail letter with Christmas card from John the 22nd here where I am now.  It is quite a surprise that John has come home.  Hope he likes to stay home OK.  Well Mom I hope you weren't worried about me because I didn't write for a while for I am OK.  I had a nice Christmas dinner on the Pacific Ocean this time.  We are in a big grove of coconut trees at present.  The trees are about 60 feet high and have a lot of nuts in them.  The climbers used spikes and climbed most of them so boys wouldn't get hurt by falling nuts.  I have got some Christmas cards and letters from Edna and Minnie to answer too.  I'll write and tell you more when they let us later on.  Hope you had a nice Christmas and Happy New Year.  Love, Ivan.

 

In January 1944 Ivan’s 40th Division left Hawaii for Guadalcanal. 

 

January 10, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all pretty good here.  I think Ruth Rowland is only one of family that isn’t up and going.  She has gland trouble.  Not very sick but has to stay in.  We were at Mother’s yesterday.  She and Dad are both just fine for having colds.  This morning I asked Delores if she’d help me with the dishes.  She said no, she was just lazy.  I told her I’d get a stick and take some of the laziness out of her.  She told me I couldn’t that she would just stay seated.  I told her that was what she thought.  Fred was just reclassified, is in 2A and that lasts for six months.  I told the girls Friday night that we planned to get a baby for them.  Evelyn wants to know how I know we will get one.  Also how I know when it will be.  Delores wants to know how we can tell whether it’s a boy or girl.  Wouldn’t you like to answer questions like that?  Mary saw B.M. the other night.  She said she wasn’t going with anyone now.  Mary asked if she’d heard from you.  She said no, you didn’t write anymore.  Maybe you’d better write, ha!  She told Mary she didn’t have a cadet anymore.  Don’t you feel sorry for her?  I’d better quit teasing and write to Schuyler.  Thanks a lot for pictures.  Lots of love, Minnie

 

January 12, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written on a birthday card. 

Dear Ivan,

Here it is almost time for another birthday for you and Mother.  Cecil Bush also has a birthday that day too.

Mary and Tommy were out last night a little while and she was telling us that she has a birthday February 5, so February must be a very important month.  We think so, don’t we?  Mary is working most of the time and Tom is still on barracks duty, cleaning up I guess.  He says the man power out there is being checked so more boys are being shipped out.  He really has been very fortunate so far, for a good many boys have gone before they have been here as long as Tom has. 

Mother and Dad are OK.  Mother has gotten over her cold pretty good now.  We are all fine here except Virgil and he’s had a real bad cold on his chest and has missed a couple of days of school.  We hope he can go back tomorrow if he is well enough.  He is much better today.

Harold Tucker came home on his first furlough last Saturday from Camp Adair, Oregon.  He looks good and has grown taller so will be a man someday if he keeps on.  He will go back this Saturday.  Junior Rite, a neighbor boy in the Navy, came home on a leave Sunday.  He was married yesterday p.m.  He is nineteen years old and does convoy duty.

Ruth and Baby are OK.  Schuyler hopes to come home before long, but doesn’t know when.

We are to have a Fellowship Supper at our church tonight and afterwards a shower for Fairy and Grace Stiggins.  They came to church here for quite a while and were members here.  The girls and their husbands have apartments over town and the girls are going to school and also Fairy’s husband.  He also works a shift at Barton’s so all of them seem quite happy – we just hope it lasts.  Grace’s husband has a job at the News office. 

Mother thinks [you] are probably moving to some other place.  Well if you do, we are hoping you have the best of luck in every way.  We are all thinking of you and praying that God will keep you in his care, no matter where you are or what you may be doing.  We’re hoping to hear from you again before long, and hope you are well.  With lots of love and best wishes, Morris, Edna and Boys

PS:  Minnie’s, Wilma’s and Violet’s are OK.

 

January 12, 1944: Ivan to Parents and Family

Dear Dad, Mom and Family: 

How are you?  I got two air mail letters from you mailed 16th and 24th yesterday.  It looks as though all my mail will come in bunches.  The weather must be pretty cold there now.  Tell Tom when he exchanges letters with BM to burn the ones of mine.  They ought to help keep the house warm.  Ask Tom if he is shot off at the elbows and can't write, and answer a few questions I have asked from time to time.  Schuyler must be having a pretty rugged time.  He must not get much time off.  Mom you got a turkey pretty easy which was a good deal.  How is John?  I am glad that Dad feels better now.  I sure hope he continues the same. 

Today wasn't laundry day but I washed out my clothing that had got dirty or I should say towels, socks, handkerchiefs and underwear that had got dirty on the trip and here.  I had quite a bit to wash and I believe that after I got through it had quite a bit of tattle tale gray in it.  They have fish here that live in trees and breathe air.  They walk and everything.  They don't exactly swim but stay on top of water when swimming most of the time.  Well it looks like end of page light is getting dim so I'll close.  Hope all are well and happy.  Lots of love, Ivan.

 

January 13, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Uncle Ivan,

Well here I am again.  I thought I would type this but I am going to stop and go somewhere I don’t know where as Alice is the one who is going.  She says we will type tomorrow night.  I will probably type tomorrow in school so I will not have so much interference as everyone is trying to read this.  And I can’t type with so many looking on.  Hope she reads this, don’t you?  Well here I am again.  With some good news in typing I got the highest grade in the class.  We had 100 points and he took off two for each one you missed I missed two so my grade was 98.  We have a basketball game tonight Buhler and Nickerson.  We have lost two games one to Moundridge and one to Haven.  Haven only won by one point.  Moundridge was about five ahead.  But not bad I don’t think.  I am going to tell you what I got for Xmas a twenty-five dollar war bond, a five year diary with a lock and key, a scarf, dress material and pattern, ribbons, soap, games, bath set, stationery, brush and comb, a bandana for my hair.  Well I think that is all, and I hope you can read this as I am making a lot of mistakes as you can see and maybe I had better close as I think I am about out of room.  Mom said for me to tell you hello.  Say did you ever get those pictures.  Was over to Grandma’s Sunday and saw the pictures you had sent home.  Are they nice.  I will try and write sooner next time but I have been pretty busy.  Must close. WITH LOTS OF LOVE, YOUR NIECE, Juanita

 

 

 

January 15, 1944: Fred Evans to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all well and hope you are the same.  Excuse me for not writing more than I do but when the urge to do so dominates I will take my pen in hand to write you a line and let you know I am fine.  I once heard of a fellow that when he wrote this much he signed his name and quit but I will try to give you more headache than that.

Your pictures were good.  We picked one with an ocean wave smile.  Boy this is not a slam.  It is sure natural.

So far I have plenty of work.  One thing and then another.  If the weather permits I am going over and get your dad’s 10-20 tomorrow and if not before Sunday. I am going to get it started.  He will need it soon and it sure needs cleaning up.  When they put in new Sleeves a lot of scale got into the rest of the motor and if I get it over here can blow it out with air.  I have Everett Hoskinson’s new Model D John Deere on rubber on shop floor tonight and he said we could go get it in the afternoon.  I would rather give him $2 as to lay down on the ground and take cold trying to set rod bearing and put the oil pan back up.

Roy Emery takes his first physical tomorrow.  Board has reclassified me.  I am now in 2A until July 1, 1944.  It was down to about zero this morning.  It thawed a little on the ground this afternoon.  It is clear tonight and moon is shining.  I think it will get pretty cold tonight.  It is eleven o’clock and I should be in bed.

Your Dad and John were here today.  He sold 5 head of hogs.  They were nice ones too.

Believe it or not I still have a little pre-war rifle ammunition.  I don’t know whether you know it or not but just before the freeze on guns I bought a new Springfield bolt action automatic and haven’t shot a carton of shells in it yet and it is over two years old.

Tommy and his wife are quite a case.  She seems to be a real nice companion for him.  I only hope they continue as they are starting out.  I see no reason why they won’t.  Well good night and write when you can. I remain, Fred Evans

 

January 15, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written on a birthday card

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all fine only have some colds.  Guess Wilma has Charles and Ruth in bed with some colds, little fever.  Hard to get over them it seems like.  Mother and Dad are both pretty good.  John and Dad were here on their way to town yesterday.  They took some hogs to town first part of week.  We haven’t been home since Sunday but hear from them.  Fred went over with Everett Hoskinson yesterday.  Took Everett’s new John Deere and pulled Dad’s tractor over here.  Fred wanted to work on it here in shop so it wouldn’t get blown full of dirt while they were getting it fixed.  Fred says it is sure full of dirt already, that is, sand.  Delores wants to know how I can tell Jesus I don’t want the baby if I decide I don’t want it.  I told her if she didn’t quit sucking her thumb I guessed I wouldn’t get a baby.  Hard to answer some of her questions.  She wants to know how I can tell if it’s a boy or girl baby.  How would you tell her?  Ha!  Happy Birthday, Minnie

 

January 15, 1944: Evelyn to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Uncle Ivan,

How are you?  I am just fine. I hope you have a happy birthday went it comes. I got a new dress for Xmas.  I got a coat, hat and a pair of little socks for my doll. I got a ball and bat for Xmas.  Mother and Daddy gave it to me.  Mother got me a story book. The name is The Back of the North Wind.  I like to go to school.  We had a reading test.  I was the only one that made an OK in it.  Well I had better close. Your niece, Evelyn

 

January 15, 1944: Delores to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Uncle Ivan,

We are going to have a baby.  I still suck my thumb.  I have a new dress.  Mama has to make me a blouse.  I love you!  We got our house cleaned up last night.  Mama made two baby blankets.  I got a doll blanket for Christmas.  Mama is going to take me a picture, with sister, with our good dresses on.  I got some paper dolls for Christmas.  I went over to Elsie’s yesterday morning.  I put most of a puzzle together.  Good bye, lots of love, Delores.  In  Minnie’s handwriting:  Delores dictated this to me.

 

January 15, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

How are youse?  We are better here.  I am writing this and Delores’ letter to you.  She is dictating to her secretary.  Fred has gone to town to get a reliner for a tire I ruined about three months ago.  So far he’s kept it on the road but it went down again last night.  I ran the tire flat and didn’t know it.  I mean it was low.  When it went flat I stopped but it was kinda late.  Evelyn is making better daily grades in school now.  I hope it shows up on her report card.  Miss Farthey sure is a low grader.  I’ve quit taking treatments for my sinuses.  I think they helped some but awful slow.  I didn’t feel like going for several weeks.  I think now I’ll just use a nose spray until after “big event in spring.”  Maybe after I feel different treatments would help more.  Roy is in 1A classification.  Irene will have to learn how to drive the car if he leaves.  Which it looks like he will.  Fred was put in 2A until first of July.  I’d better get some work done.  Girls want me to hem some dresses their grandma Evans gave them for Christmas. Lots of love, Minnie

 

Postmarked Sunday January 17, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written on a birthday card:

Dear Uncle Ivan,

I thought I would write a few lines to let you know we are all OK.  I stayed at Aunt Ruth’s over Saturday and Sunday.  She wants me to come and stay with her next week so she can get her hair fixed.

You will probably get this letter before the other birthday cards but they are on the way.  We are all wishing you a happy birthday and are thinking of you and hoping you will be with us before your next birthday.  This horseshoe [on the birthday card] means luck.  The kids are getting ready for bed and we butchered a while back and mother has been caning part of it.  Happy Birthday from your loving niece, Juanita.  When you get time why don’t you write.  Like to hear.

 

January 17, 1944: Tom to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

The time you receive this letter you will have already moved.  I sure write to you a lot, but I will try and do better sometime soon.

They have had the Manpower Labor Board out at the base checking up on how many sailors they need to run the base, so they say that they are going to ship out 33.3% of them someplace.  I haven’t heard any more about it, but I will soon.  I hope I don’t get shipped out to sea.

Well me and Mary went out home a week ago last Sunday and Mother and Dad was well.  We haven’t got the tractor fixed yet, but I hope it will be soon.  We went out to Mary’s sister Sunday and took pictures.  If they are good will send you one.  John is still out home with Mother and Dad.  I and him went hunting one Saturday and got 13 rabbits and took 7 of them over to Wilma.  Say about B. May she didn’t tell me why you and her broke up and she isn’t going with anyone now.  She did have a cadet but he left so she doesn’t have anyone now.  Mary says that Pearl N. isn’t neat.  She don’t know how I ever went with such a slouch. 

Well how do you like the army by now?  I’m still cleaning up the barracks.  Leo Ford came through on his way back to California to see his wife and Ralph T. got to see him five minutes.  He is going to bring his wife and baby back with him and stay a couple of days in Hutchinson before he go back to camp.  I guess Schuyler is coming home soon. 

Mary dropped a bar of soap down the toilet Saturday night and the land lady gave her thunder Sunday, but they got it fixed now.  But we are going to move soon.  I have applied for a “C” book.  I hope I get it so I can apply for some tires for my car.  I bought Morris a shirt and long handle drawers and left them on the bus so I had to drive out and get them.  I got them and when I was coming home I had a flat tire.  I left Mary out to Morris’ place while I went out there.  Well be good, I have to be. Your brother Tommy or Thomas or Tom

January 18, 1944: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Another new year!  Each year is about the same only we forget to put the right date on the letters.

Well I was home to see Mom Sunday.  It was the first time I and the kids have been away since Christmas.  The kids and I have had bad colds but are about well now.  John is still at home.  Mother says she doesn’t have any wood to carry since he has been there.  He keeps plenty in.

Well seems like a lot has happened here last few weeks.  We got a (new to us) day bed so the kids take naps in here where it is warm. We got a different stove too, one that will burn both wood and coal.  The other was about burned out. We have a dog now, a collie.  Roy has her tied in the barn.  Does she howl.  She would run off if we turned her out.  Her name is Dewy.  I reckon that is how you spell it. 

Our sow had pigs the coldest night we had, so since she picked such a cold night she has two left.  Lucky to have them even.

Roy sold the four little pigs we had and 13 of our roosters.  Well I may be a widow before long and I don’t think I’ll like it but as Mom says you can even get used to hanging if you hang long enough. Roy has been classed as 1-A.  He hasn’t had his physical exam yet so we don’t know whether he will have to go or not yet.  If he does go I reckon we will stay right here.  It’s close to school and it’s better for the kids to be in the country than in town.  I’ll have to learn to milk the cows though.

It’s cloudy today. We may be in for more bad weather.  I hope not, though. 

I forgot to tell you they sawed wood at home Sunday.  Then Roy sawed some for us too.  The snow isn’t all gone yet, we’ve had some snow on the ground for a long time it seems.

Christmas this year at Mom’s didn’t seem like it does usually.  Edna’s and my gang were there and it was so darned quiet.  You know how noisy it is with all the kids there.  I guess if I had banged a few pans together it would have seemed better.  Maybe all the gang can be home this year.  I reckon that is about the time one gets sick or something. 

Well it looks like it may be going to clear off.  I sure hope it does.

Well I’ll close now and get this out to the mail box and hope it reaches you soon. Well take good care of yourself. Love, Roy, Irene, and Kiddies

 

January 20, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all OK here now.  Up and hard at it once more.  Fred is sure being kept busy now.  Delores is over on day bed saying patty cake instead of getting dressed.  Dad brought over half of a hog Tuesday morning.  I was trimming the lard here and Delores was watching.  All at once she said, “well I thought we’d have to take off the feathers.”  I laughed, she said, “the hair then.  Well what is on top of it then, what you make heavy coats out of?”  I told her wool.  She said “yes, is that right?”  I sure have a lot of good laughs at her expense.  She doesn’t seem to mind so I guess it’s OK.  Edna, Violet, Irene and I went to Mother’s and spent the day.  We helped straighten her house some and visited.  Edna took her washing home.  Thought we were getting the ironing too, but when we got home here the basket wasn’t in the car.  Some way Mother out-smarted us.  Will have to try again I guess.  Ruth and baby were home yesterday for first time.  She had some car trouble.  Fred and John got it fixed for her.  Tomorrow night is school program.  Fred is on eats committee and hasn’t planned anything yet.  Must write to Schuyler. Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

January 21, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We received your V-mail yesterday, and were we glad to hear from you.  Minnie got hers and went to Mom’s and she had gotten one too so everyone was happy.  Mother was getting a little worried but is fine now.  I’d like to see your new haircut.  I expect you look like Clyde, anyhow it should be easy to take care of, not much to comb maybe.

Is it much warmer where you are now?  How do you like the weather and climate?  From your letters you must be in a coconut grove.  Does it rain much where you are?

Virgil is back in school this week after a week’s absence from school on account of a bad cold.  We are all fine here now.  We girls, Violet, Minnie, Irene and I went to Mother’s Tuesday.  We cleaned house and I brought home the laundry.  I still have the ironing to do, but hope to do it today.  We plan to go home one day next week to help as Mother has too much to do.  Gayle just got up and I pronounced his spelling to him.  Hope you are well and happy.  I’ll stop and do chores. Love, Tuckers

 

January 22, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Sure glad you are on land again.  We all knew you were going someplace.  I’ll bet you have to wear your hat all the time now with your hair so short.  I’d like to have a picture of it.  Syb Elliott told me last night she told Carol she and Elsie were having a stork shower for me Wednesday.  Carol told her Mama she hoped the stork would fly over Evans’ and stop at their place.  Mother was feeling better when I saw her Thursday.  She got her prescription for her medicine filled again and is taking it.  Did you get sea sick on this trip?  Why the short haircut though?  Do you have crawly things in it?  I’m curious.  Ha!  Tommy was here for breakfast this morning.  So far, he’s not got any notice of having to leave here.  Zogi gave a performance at the school house here last night.  It was interesting.  I have my water heating, plan to wash right away as it is going to be a pretty good drying day.  Not cold and sun is shining.  I believe most of snow is all gone now.  Ground looks good.  Sure were glad to get your letter. Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

January 24, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Uncle Ivan,

I am in typing class and supposed to be typing a lesson but I am done with it and so I am writing to you.  I was in at Aunt Ruth’s over the weekend.  There is the bell and I suppose there will be some people trying to read over my shoulder.  But I am going to finish this whether or no…. Mother said to tell you she will write some day.  I haven’t read your last letter as I haven’t been over to Grandma’s for a couple of weeks and I am so glad she heard as we were beginning to wonder what had happened to you.  Oh I started to tell you about going to Aunt Ruth’s well I went in a week ago too she got so lonesome for someone to talk to so I got to go in.  We went downtown and looked around Saturday and Sunday we messed around and she brought me home.  Then this week we went to a show as she was planning to have her hair fixed and decided not to at the last moment so we went to the show.  The name of it was the Fallen Sparrow.  I did not like the ending neither did Aunt Ruth.  The other was real funny it was about some guys in the Army and their troubles hope you never have so much trouble as they did it was really funny.  She wants me to come in some night this week and take care of the baby while she has her hair fixed.  Uncle John is supposed to be over to our place tonight he is going to help dad saw wood I hope he waits till I get home before he leaves as I only seen him about twice since he has been back.  Well I had better close.  WRITE SOON, WITH LOVE, YOUR NIECE, JUANITA

 

January 27, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Violet and I went home Tuesday and did some sewing for Mother.  We finished a brown silk dress for her.  She is feeling good and so is Dad.  John is still home, but will get a job before long.  I saw Mother and Violet yesterday at a Baby shower for Minnie at Elsie Cannon’s.  Minnie really got a lot of nice things that she can use.  I had to leave early as I’m giving some First Aid lessons to our Scouts over here as they’re working on First Aid badges.  We’ve had 3 lessons now, and hope to finish with 3 or 4 more lessons.  We have about 18 girls in our troop.  We had a good rain last night and we are supposed to have snow and more cold weather tonight.  We did enjoy the warm weather we had for about a week.  Harold got back to camp OK.  Schuyler is scheduled for a furlough February 17 if nothing happens.  Ruth and Baby are OK.  Wilma’s were home Sunday and are OK now.  Gayle just got up so I’d better get his breakfast.  Say, thanks so much for your pictures.  They really are grand. Love and best wishes, From Tuckers

 

­ January 27, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

How are you by now?  I think the milk from those coconuts have had their effect on you.  The idea of trying to make civilized people believe fish live in trees!  Please explain just what is the cause of such a brainstorm as we are worried about you.  Ha! Ha!  Tell me, how big are those fish and how can they walk?  Mrs. Cannon had a stork shower for me yesterday.  I sure got a lot of nice things, blankets, gowns, dresses, shoes, etc.  Sure will be a big help in getting things as now I won’t have quite so much to make or buy.  Different ones said it was too much of a luxury to have a baby now as their clothes are about three times as high as they used to be.  Fred went and got Mother so she got to go to the shower.  She was feeling pretty good.  Fred’s mother and Luella were surprised as I hadn’t told them until we sent them shower invitation and they hadn’t seen me for quite a while.  Karen is here with Delores.  Must close. Lots of love, Minnie

 

January 28, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Didn’t send this yesterday so will send today.

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I got home and found your letter.  Dad had got the mail and couldn’t wait to see what you had to say so he opened it.  Well this is later in fact after school and I started this the first period.  I have all my typing done for this week.  We lost another basketball game Tuesday night.  We had an assembly this morning and had a play.  It was given by the dramatic class.  It was really good.  The ending wasn’t so good.  Well I am going to have to hurry as the bus will be here in a little while.  Mother won’t be home when I get there as she will be working.  You will probably get two V-mails as I have one all ready to go and keep forgetting to mail it.  Mother says I have to go to church next Sunday instead of going to Aunt Ruth’s. Say you can write another letter and send it to me and I won’t care.  Not one teensieweensie bit.  I plan to take your letter over to Grandma’s next time I go.  Well I had better close.  Write soon and I’ll faint for sure so please write soon.  With lots of love, Juanita

 

January 30, 1944: Kay Siron to Ivan

Grenada, Mississippi

== V-MAIL ==

Hello Ivan,

I’ll bet you think I am a pretty poor correspondent as it is a long time since I got your letter, but I finally got a spell of letter-writing so am getting caught up with everybody.

I am in the Air Corps now, am a parachute rigger.  I like the work very much but am anxious to get the Hell out of here and help drop some paratroopers on Hitler’s domain.  There are lots of WAC’s here at the base.  I am trying to get off to a good start with them before they get all taken.  I just asked one of them for a date.  She said she had a date, but to call up later.  I am hoping for the best.  Write when you get time and tell me how you are making it.  You might be a Sgt. by now. Your Cousin, Kay

 

Wednesday February 2, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written on a Valentine’s Day card:

Dear Ivan,

Well this is Ground hog day.  I wonder what he will do today.  I just came back from taking Morris to work and the stars are shining bright so maybe he will see his shadow.  It is warm here this a.m. not even freezing.

This is the end of first semester at H.S. this week so they have tests.  Virgil won’t go to school until nine this morning.  He has been going at eight – I mean classes take up then.  He has been doing a little studying of late as the week of school he missed had to be made up.

Gayle plays on the So. Hutchinson Basket Ball team and they played a game last night with Willis, a school near Buhler.  I don’t know how they came out as we were in bed when he came home.

John was in yesterday and took home Mom’s laundry.  We sneaked it out Sunday, and Violet took some ironing.  Mother didn’t know we took it.  It was a pretty day Monday so I got both washings done and part of the ironings.  We are going to try to do Mother’s laundry for her as it is too much for her.  Mother and Dad are as well as usual.  All the others are fine now.  Chas. Rowland has had trench mouth and isn’t quite over it, but is improving and feels good.  Ruth Rowland feels good now and is getting fat.  We talked to Clara T. yesterday and she says Harold leaves Feb. 10 probably overseas.

We’ve been wondering where you are.  We thought it might be in the Marshall Islands or around close, are we getting warm with our guesses?

Feb. 9 is the annual coop meeting, and the Woman’s Society of our church are serving sandwiches and pie to 200 people.  We are going to town today to get some of our things.  It will keep us busy for a while, but we enjoy doing it.  I have a First Aid class at 4:00 p.m. and we are going to Trinity to a religious education class tonight.  This is the first of 6 lessons.  I’m going to take “Teaching Children” by Mrs. Rice from Wichita.  She is a grand teacher. 

How do you like your hair cut?  Say are you in or near the jungles?  Hope you are well and happy.  Love and Best Wishes, “The Tuckers”

 

February 2, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Here I am again for a wonder.  I have all my lessons done in typing and so I am typing this.  I even have two done for next week.  PRETTY GOOD FOR ME ISN’T IT?  Say don’t mind my typing as I can’t get my fingers and head to working.  I only got 23 and did I have to type to get that.  I am tired of typing when I get done because you have to go so fast.  You take off ten for every mistake you make I made two so it took off my score twenty points I would have got 27 words if I hadn’t of made them mistakes but that is me for you.

I am going to miss tomorrow and take care of the kids and earn me a dollar.  Hope I get all of my work made up so they won’t count me absent see if you know you are going to miss and have your teachers tell you what the lesson is and they sign a thing well you won’t be counted absent.  I have missed 17 days in all.  NOT TOO GOOD, DO YOU THINK?

We played basketball last night with Mound Ridge and lost both games it is the first one the second team has lost I think.  That makes about the fifth or sixth one for the first team.

The bell has rang so will probably finish this tomorrow and send it Friday.  I am going to try and finish it before the bus comes though.  We all was over to Grandma’s Sunday and celebrated Uncle Tommy, Aunt Mary, Grandma’s birthdays and I don’t know who all. 

Handwritten: All of us was there except Aunt Ruth.  Well as you can see I didn’t carry out my intention of finishing this yesterday.  I took care of the kids.  Mother and Dad went to work, left home about 8:30, took kids to school then went to work.  After work Mom went to Grandma R. to get Uncle John to help saw wood today.  Then he stayed at Aunt Minnie’s until time to go after Dad so I was with the kids until about 10:30 that night.  Pretty good, isn’t it?  Well I had better close.  Hoping to hear from you soon, with lots of love, Your niece, Juanita

 

February 3, 1944: Wilma to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I has been almost a year since I last wrote, and I’m ashamed.  I have no excuse except neglect.  We’ve been very busy.  Howard in High School makes quite a difference.  He studies every night at his grandma’s and the rest of the kids study at home.  Marjorie goes into town with Rhogene.  She is learning to play the violin; she gets the lessons free at school.  She gets home around six in the evening and leaves before eight.  Miss Zimmerman is her teacher and Mr. Billingsly is her principal.  She likes school fine. 

Ruth and Charles have missed nearly 2 months apiece and that means study at home to make up.  About all we can plan on is eat and sleep and school this year. 

Clyde and Emilie are well.  Clyde is getting fat and Charles is fat.  He gained when he was in bed with his toe.  He wasn’t sick but he had to stay off his foot.  He hopped when he went to the doctor to get it dressed.  He has a nice looking toe now.  It is the same length as his little toe.

We’re having nice weather now.  The wheat is still too wet to pasture so we turned on the stalks yesterday.  The cows are doing fair.  I had my chickens culled and blood tested last week and I’ll sell the larger eggs to the hatchery this week.  I’ll get 12 cents above market price.  I got me some wing banded roosters last summer.  They are from hens that laid over 200 eggs the year before.  I paid $1.00 apiece for them.  I think I’ll make a little more from my hens that way.  My pullets are just starting to lay and their eggs are small.  I want to get the chicks earlier this year.

We went to mama’s last Sunday to celebrate birthdays.  We even celebrated yours.  Mary’s is the 5th of February.  We were all there except Ruth and the baby and Virgil.  The baby had a cold.  I’ve seen the baby only once.  Isn’t that terrible?  Ruth was dumpy for so long and then Charles got the trench mouth.  All the going I did was to get the groceries.

This pencil is better but it is only an inch long.  I don’t know whether you can read this letter or not.

Mrs. Rowland has been in town helping take care of Uncle Billy, her brother.  He was heart trouble and has been quite sick.  He gets better and then worse again.  Mr. Rowland does up the work while she is gone.  Rhogene is staying at home, so she’s there night and morning.

We’ve been having chicken pox at school.  Barbara and Dorothy Sthole got them.  They are back in school now.  Others have been out, too.  They also have the itch.  Every morning they have inspection.  She looks over their arms and hands and then looks down their necks.  They have fumigated the last two Fridays.

We’ve surely been having fine weather the last few weeks.  The snow stayed on a long time and was slow going off.  It seems like spring now.  We had a frost this morning.

I have 4 little calves now.  Three are heifers, so I’ll have more cows in a couple of years.  I have three heifers to freshen this year.  I hope they make good milk cows.  I have several old cows I ought to sell.  One cow will be 16 yrs old this summer.

I expect you are tired of reading so I’ll ring off and write again soon. Love, Wilma and kids  PS: We got your picture and surely thank you for it.  It is a dandy picture. Thanks.

 

February 4, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

(On this day Ivan turned 25 and Lottie Jane 63.)

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I’ll just celebrate your Birthday by writing to you.  I was so glad to get your letter of the 19th of January.  I got it one day after I received the one you had written the 23rd of January.  Well it was too bad that you got the letter I should have.  But we are so glad of the ones that we do get, and I think you are a good boy to write to us.  I hope you’ve had a happy Birthday.  Wilma and family were over awhile tonight, they all seem to be fine, the children are growing like weeds.  Aunt Jennie of Linn County had sent us some pecans, and all the children eat some.  Wilma wanted John to shuck corn for her next week.  I guess we will saw wood tomorrow.  Clarence and Howard will help saw.  They will use Wilma’s saw.  It’s still warm here, but the wind has been blowing so I expect we will have some winter soon.  How would you fish for the kind you tell us about?  Run them down?  Dad won’t want to sell the animal till they are a better price.  He is nice and gentle, lots better than he used to be.  We have 6 new calves that are nice.  Yes, Tom got a 3-day leave and we had our deepest snow then, he got stuck in the snow getting here.  The field where the feed is, is still too wet to get feed out of it.  Tom is still at the same job, and I think his rating is the same.  I really don’t think he has wanted it to change. He would like to stay on where he is at.  Well Ivan this is the 5th, just getting daylight.  It’s cloudy and the wind is in the north but it isn’t cold yet.  We’ve sure enjoyed our nice weather the past two weeks.  Chickens are doing good, I got 80 eggs yesterday.  I like to take care of them and I need the exercise.  We got a letter from Aunt Florence yesterday, she said she was writing to you that day.  Well Ivan, do you like it where you are as well as where you left?  Is it warmer?  Do you know how to dig fox holes?  Well I must stop and take this to the box.  I’ll bet I put more lines on my v-notes than you do, ha ha!  Is Henry where you are now?  Tell us about your buddies.  Good-bye Ivan and we pray that God will lead you in the paths you should go and keep you in his loving care.  With lots of love, Pop, John and Mom.  We hope you are well and OK. Love, Mom

 

February 8, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

If I hurry maybe I can get this written before the carrier comes, then I hope he will give me a letter from you, for this one.  I forgot you call these “v-notes” but I will try and write a letter soon.  Dad and I went to Sunday school and church Sunday.  We saw Minnie’s and Violet and children there.  John slept most of the day as he had a cold.  John helped Clarence saw wood yesterday, then went on to town with a case of eggs.  He didn’t get home till nearly morning, so he is still asleep.  If he was younger I’d tell him what I thought about such hours.  I may anyway.  He expects to go to Wilma’s to shuck her corn this week.  It is still warm and cloudy today.  I have lots of wood and kindling in the dry, so I am ready for cold weather.  You remember Phillips, the man that used to haul milk?  They have had three boys operated on for appendicitis in the last three months.  They are all getting better.  I haven’t seen Irene for over a week.  I expected her home Sunday but she didn’t come.  Tom and Mary were out Saturday night.  They got and dressed two roosters, the ones for their turkey.  Mary was expecting 4 people for dinner.  Tom tried to tell her one was enough to cook at once, but she wanted plenty.  I’ll bet she eats chicken all week.  Tom said he would write to you Saturday night, but I’ll bet he puts it off.  He was glad to read you letters and all the rest of us are too.  Do you know how to dig fox holes?  Do you get these v-notes? I’ve been sending two a week for some time.  Dad is milking, his calves are looking nice, he has only one on skimmed milk but will put more on soon.  Ivan we hope you are well and OK.  How is the mustache coming?  Well I’ll try and do better next time, there isn’t any news that I know of.  Roy hasn’t been called yet.  Do you still have your testament?  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop, John and Mom

 

February 9, 1944: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I’m a bit late on the Happy Birthdays, but many more of them just the same. 

You say you are doing the same old thing.  Well in a way so am I.  I get up, build fire, get breakfast, get Roy’s dinner fixed, get the kids off to school, feed chickens and all the rest, then Wilma comes home for her dinner on nice days.  Then after a while she’s home again, then supper then putting them to bed…the next day, as you say, it’s the same old thing again.  I don’t mind it though. 

Wilma likes school fine.  She likes the teacher so well she is the last one to leave school in the evening.  Her grades gradually improve.  She get B+ C+ now you see she was the only girl in the class of 4 boys and she was a bit timid at first, she does better now.  They get a star when they get all their spelling words right and when their arithmetic is correct.  So when she gets 2 stars Roy gives her a nickel, or dime or penny so she can get some war stamps.  We just got their book this week and got them ten stamps so they have something to work for now. 

I reckon you have seen the new pennies.  Well I’ll tell you one on Beth.  She found an aluminum button and came and told me she found a penny.

Our chickens are laying a few eggs now, over a dozen a day.

Roy hasn’t heard any more from the draft board yet.  He’s still 1-A.  They may call him any time and they may wait quite a while.  Can’t tell.  Roy got some coal yesterday, the first we have bought since we’ve been housekeeping.  I reckon he thought it would be cold since the ground hog saw its shadow.  It’s been warm enough since but has been cloudy.

We were married the 10 of February and Walter’s birthday is the 11 day of February.  He will be five.  I reckon I’ll have to bake him a cake.

I was sure glad to get your V-Mail letter.  They didn’t film it as it was torn a bit.  Well, I’d better close.  Take care of yourself and don’t let the little crabs bite. Love, Roy, Irene, and Kids

February 12, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We received your v-mail Thursday and enjoyed it very much.  I’ve neglected my writing this week, but hope to catch up soon.  I will see about your money at the Telephone Company as soon as I can and let you know.  I put another 20 in the Coop last week for you.  How’s that “mustache” coming?  I just know it looks cute.  I’d like to see it.  It is cold here today about 5 above, and it was cold here yesterday too.  Wilma, John, Emily and Clyde were here for dinner yesterday.  They brought eggs to the hatchery.  They are all fine.  Mother is sick again with flu, but was better yesterday.  Burleson’s were here for supper Thursday evening.  They are leaving soon for Iola on a farm.  Vernice and Estelle have jobs here so are staying here.  Juanita is in California.  Her husband is in the service.  He is to go across soon so she will come home.  How hot does it get where you are?  Harold is moving to California, and we don’t know how long he will be there. Love and best wishes, “The Tuckers”

 

February 12, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get two letters from you this week, your air mail came today it was written January 28.  Your V-written 30th beat it several days.  Do you get your v-letters in their original form?  You don’t know how much good your letters do us all.  See how slow I am this is 14th and I will try and get this started today.  I didn’t feel so good last of the week with a cold.  Dad had a cold too but we both feel real good today.  Dad started out to milk singing this morning.  We had some snow yesterday, everything looks nice and the sun is shining so nice today.  Dad and I went to Sunday school and Irene’s were here yesterday.  John and Howard were here a few minutes too, they were hunting.  I saw Minnie’s and Violet’s at church.  We had 96 there.  Roy hasn’t been called yet. John and Howard brought over a load of feed from Mr. Rowland’s Saturday.  They had one and a half tons on the truck, it sure is nice to have it hauled.  We still have feed we raised in the field.  Do you like it on the island as well as the one you left?  Is Henry with you?  You write fine on a candy box.  Can you buy all the candy you want where you are?  We are glad you have shows to go to.  I imagine you are kept busy.  Old Watch says the carrier has gone, but I’ll take this out and see, maybe it was someone else.  Ivan we hope you are well and OK.  We are able to work again.  Thomas heard he would be shipped out first of April but he can’t never tell.  I’ll have him to write to you and I’ll do better than I have.  I’ll try anyway.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop and Mom

 

February 15, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Say you are rushing things.  Those “twins” aren’t to come until 1st of April.  I am going to ask Dr. Hempsted next time I see him if I shouldn’t have two outfits.  How are you doing?  We are kinda slow it seems like here.  I can’t get all the sewing done I want to.  Fred painted our car black last night.  Sure does look different.  Been so used to green, black and rust that we won’t know how to act riding in one the same color.  He used Calvert Elliott’s paint gun and a synthetic paint.  Delores went to school yesterday with Evelyn.  It was Valentine’s Day and they had a party along with their Valentine box.  I was over to Wilma’s about a week ago and Charles told me I was getting fat.  I told him he was too.  He says, “yeah, but you are getting as big as a barrel aren’t you?”  Now do you think that as nice?  Wilma hasn’t told her kids about us expecting at our house.  If she did Charles more than likely would have said that anyway.  Kinda funny.  I’d better finish up my dishes.  Have them all done but some pots that are soaking.  Sure glad to get your letter. Lots of love, Minnie

 

February 15, 1944: Tom to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Hello Ivan!  How are you getting along by now?  I’m still out at the base but don’t know how long.  I work in the mess hall now and have to go to work at 5:30 a.m. and get off work at 7:00 p.m.  I get home a little after 8:00 p.m. As soon as I get home I’m ready to go to bed.  I don’t work hard but being on your feet so long.  We get 2 hrs. off in the afternoon. That helps some, but I suppose you work harder than that.  Well I’m off today and out home with Mother and Dad.  I took Mary to work and then came on out home.  I forgot to tell you that we work 2 days and off 1.  Ralph is working in the Mess Hall too.  I got a “C” book for my car and I got one new tire and a used tire.  So now I have pretty good tires.  Say about B.M. she didn’t go to see that cadet down south.  Mary seen her one day and they got to talking and she doesn’t have a boy friend now.  They are talking about shipping out all the men out at the base before April so it won’t be long before I go.  They might send me to sea or to a land base, I hope to a land base.  Leo Ford went through to California and stopped on his way back for a day or so and went back to camp.  I will try and write oftener I hope. If I get shipped out I will sure write oftener because I will have more time to do so. Your brother Tom

 

February 18, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We received your V-mail last week and was really happy to get it.  I will go to the telephone office soon and find out about that money.  It is 8:00 a.m. and is beginning to get light.  It is clear and cool today, but no wind.  Schuyler is supposed to be here Saturday night or Sunday morning.  Ruth and Baby are fine.  Mother is feeling much better this week.  As far as I know everyone here are fine.  We went to a show, “Destination Tokyo,” Wednesday evening.  Admission was a $25 bond.  The show really was good.  They had two shows and both shows were full of people.  Tom is working in mess hall now and wears whites.  They are shipping men out pretty fast.  Harold T. is being moved, but don’t know where yet maybe overseas.  We are fine.  Virgil is at school and Gayle is just getting up. Love and Best Wishes, “The Tuckers”

 

February 18, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Well I am going to send this letter along when I send a old one that I typed about two weeks ago.  I didn’t get it out to the mailbox in time or something so if I find it I will send it too.

You probably know there is a pie supper at Obee tonight.  I am planning to go and take a friend of mine Alice Thomas.  There may be some kids out to get us but we aren’t for sure.  I wasn’t for going if Alice couldn’t come home with me and go too.  Well it is about time for the bell so I have to type fast.  Last Friday I got 35 words in a 5 minute speed test wonder how many I will get today.

I haven’t got to read your last letters as we haven’t been over to Grandma for a long while. We have to move we are going to buy five acres over by Union Valley.  The reason we have to move is that they are going to enlarge the airport so you won’t know it when you get back home.  Well we have had our speed test and I made four errors so I only got 29 as it takes off ten for every error now say for instance you have 827 strokes you divide by five and then subtract ten for each error and if it is a five minute speed test you divide again.  Last Sunday we went by Arthur’s and Clare Tucker’s and stopped in for a few minutes he is in 1-A.  Well I see my paper is running out so will close HOPING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON. WITH LOTS OF LOVE, Your Loving Niece, Juanita

 

February 18, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your two letters, one v-today written February 2nd, one air mail yesterday written February 6th.  One time an air mail beat a v-mail.  I don’t know if that would work if the letters were on the way to you. 

I am sure sorry you hurt your right thumb.  Tom said your knife must have been sharp.  Tom was home today and was glad to read your letters.  Have you ever got a letter from him lately?  He wrote a v-letter to you Tuesday while he was here and started it off free.  I mailed one the same day and sent it air mail, we wonder which you will get first.  

Dad and I have about forgot about our colds.  I scrubbed front room and kitchen today and I washed some yesterday.  John is still at Wilma’s, the weather hasn’t been too good for husking corn.  We had about two inches of snow yesterday morning, part of it is melted now.  Bess, your Holstein, has a new male calf this morning.  Dad says the calf looks like Bess. 

Dad went to a sale today, it was this side of Fred’s.  Dad bid on a buffet, and got it.  It is a large one, well made, lots of room, looks like walnut.  Tom helped him bring it home.  It’s sure worth more than the $5.50 he gave for it.  Minnie told Dad, Schuyler started home the 16th and maybe would get here tomorrow.  I’ll bet the train can’t come fast enough for him to get here to see Delores Ann.  I haven’t seen her since Ruth was out about a month ago.  I am anxious to see how much she has grown. 

I am glad you’ve found some one you knew in Hutchinson, I don’t remember him I guess, he was George G – what?  Do you have all the coconuts picked off the trees?  I hope one don’t drop on your head.  I’d have liked to help you eat cucumbers. 

Ralph Ford is working along with Tom in the galley.  Ralph thinks he is being worked pretty hard.  Tom says he doesn’t work too hard, I mean Tom, but he doesn’t like his hours so well.  Tom leaves for work at 4:30 a.m. and quits after 7 in the evening.  He has some time off during the day but he works two days and is off one day.  Mary went to work in a bus this morning, and Tom slept till around noon, before he come home, then he was hungry. 

We’d like to see your new mustache, is it red?  Dad’s used to be a reddish cast.  I can’t spell, I’d better stop and go to bed.  Did you hear from Aunt Florence?  She said she wrote to you.  Alice Barnes was pleased when you wrote to her, she told me at church. 

February 19th.  We have a nice sunshiny day and it isn’t very cold.  I know you would like our weather if you were here. Dad will write some day, it’s hard to get started his intentions are good though.  Dad’s ready to go milk, I’ll help when he weans some of the calves.  Do you live near any towns?  We hope you are well and OK.  Do you like to study?  I hope you do.  Do you read any in your church papers?  You are far away, but you are still in God’s care, so read a little of his word every day if only a verse and think of him often.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop and Mom. You’ve been a wonderful boy to write to us.  Mom.

 

February 21, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

What printing!  I want to be one of the first to tell you that Uncle Schuyler is home on furlough.  Got here Friday night.  He thinks the baby is really cute and he is just as […] spoiling it as Aunt Ruth is.  I got your letter Friday night and I just about fell over.  Do it again please!  We only have one more game and that is this Friday night.  Hope we win.  Our second team has only lost one game I think.  I don’t keep up with the first team , it looses too many.  I went to the show Saturday and Sunday nights.  Doing pretty good, don’t you think?  We didn’t go to the pie supper.  Alice and I we stayed home and talked.  The kids didn’t come, they came out Saturday afternoon and said they couldn’t get the car started.  Well I had better close for now.  Write soon. Your loving niece, Juanita

 

February 21, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan:

How are you?  We are all OK at this end of line.  Schuyler came home Friday evening so we were all home yesterday.  He sure looks good.  He says he weighs 200 but it is mostly muscle, I think.  He doesn’t look as heavy as when he left.  He’s sure proud of his girl.  He told Tommy he had something Tommy didn’t have.  The baby has made up with Schuyler so he can hold her.  At first she was afraid of men as Ruth has just stayed home with her.  Schuyler’s company is on the alert so he doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be here in the States.  Delores is still asleep and it is 9:30.  She had a big day of it yesterday.  They all played so hard.  Dad has 10 or 11 baby calves now.  Back to 50 head of cows and calves again.  Mother and Dad are both feeling pretty good.  John went back to Wilma’s to help her.  It is cloudy here today but not cold.  Sun shone pretty yesterday.  Kids played without their coats.  Warren Snyder is in England now.  Lorene’s folks are in Hutchinson again and she is with them.  I’d better say good-bye and get to work. Lots of Love, From the “Evans’”

 

February 23, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your v-letter of February 10th today.  We might have gotten it yesterday but the carrier didn’t go on Washington’s birthday.  Schuyler came home the 18th and he is as heavy as when he went away.  All the children were here Sunday for dinner to see Schuyler, Ruth and baby.  They all had a good time.  Minnie took Dad and I to see Schuyler’s yesterday afternoon.  He was busy making a cabinet for a small radio he had got in North Carolina.  He was varnishing it when we left.  The baby weighs over 15 lbs.  Minnie took us to see the place Violets’ bought.  They bought 5 acres west of where Gardener’s had their green house.  It has a two room cement house, barn, and chicken house on it.  I washed some today and Dad hauled a load of hay.  He is in bed asleep now.  Tommy and Mary were out this evening to borrow Wilma’s ice cream freezers.  They were fine, Tom has tomorrow off, so he and Schuyler are going hunting.  We have had the nicest week so far, didn’t even freeze ice when I forgot to drain the pump.  John is at Wilma’s yet.  Is your fire bug like we have here?  I used to catch them over fifty years ago.  Ivan are you supposed not to tell us how long ¬¬¬you were on the water?  I got a new war map, so I can try and find where you are at.  I about wore the old one out.  Warren Snyder is in England and Charles in Italy. 

Feb. 24.  Breakfast is over and Dad is starting to milk.  I’ll finish this and put it in the box before I go to help him.  He plans to wean 3 or 4 calves today.  He has weaned one so far.  I milk your cow Bess, her calf is nice.  It is nice and clear this a.m. so the sun will soon shine.  Schuyler wanted to know if you still had the hunting knife he sent you.  He said to tell you that he thought he liked the army as well as you do.  He gets along fine I guess as a soldier, which I am glad.  I am sorry I’ve been so slow in writing this week, but I always intend to do better.  We hope you are well and OK and that you will keep letters coming.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop and Mom. May God keep you in his loving care.  Mom

 

February 24, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Written on a “Prayer for you in the service” card.

Dear Ivan,

We went to see about your money in the Credit Union and you have some there $67.87.  Mrs. Yelton was the lady we talked to and she suggested making me a joint member with you and either you or I could draw the money out.  All you would need to do would be to sign this agreement and send it to her.  The interest at Bell telephone is 4% which is better than at Coop so it would make more for you.  Now if you still would rather for us to put it in the coop we will, but we thought maybe this would be better.  If you want to do that just sign this agreement and send it to Mrs. Lloyd Yelton, 213 East First, Hutchinson.  She asked us about you and said she had wondered about [you] but hadn’t heard anything.  She is very nice and we had a nice visit with her. 

Morris had 4 days vacation this week so went with me yesterday.  We had quite a time going here and there.  We paid some insurance, saw Mrs. Yelton, Mother Tucker, Burlesons (?) and visited four people in the hospital.  Today I guess we will stay at home part of the time as Schuyler and Ruth will be here for supper and I will do some cooking.  I guess I’ll make some rolls for supper.  Schuyler thinks his baby is just fine.  He says she is as cute as a bug’s ear.  She made up with [him] right away and smiles for him.  She really is sweet and Schuyler is a proud papa.  He has been working on a radio that he brought from camp.  He made a case for it and I think it’s about ready to go now.  Schuyler is due for a move soon after he gets back and he thinks maybe they won’t be here long in the States, as most of his training is finished.  We’ve all been wondering where you are.  I want to guess again, are you in the Solomon Islands?  Am I hot or cold or just right?  I’m just wondering.

We are having lovely weather here now.  It makes us think about making garden.  It won’t be long now.  All the folks here are fine as far as I know.  Harold T. is still on the coast in California.  Lucy B. is working in the Coop store.  She asks about you quite often.  Ralph is still in Hawaii yet.  Hope everything goes well with you. Lots of love and Best Wishes, The Tuckers

 

February 24, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

I got home last night and found there was a letter and so I decided I would answer it today.  Mother is planning to write if she ever finds time.  We were planning to have Clarice’s tonsils out tomorrow but I don’t think we will because they are planning to go to Aunt Edna’s and make ice cream.  Worse luck for me there is a basketball game and I want to see it as it is the last one for this year.  I don’t know which I will do.  If I go to Aunt Edna’s I will have to stay home because the bus will not come home until after the game.  I will let you know what I finally decide to do.  You said the boys must not know how to play very well, they do except the other boys are taller and they are shorter, that is they are generally.  They know how to play pretty good and they usually win if the other players are about the same size as our boys and besides the second team has won every game except one or two which is pretty good.

You asked if I liked to take care of Delores Ann you ought to know I do as I like to take care of any baby and since it is relation that makes it all the better.  The baby is really getting fat but you can’t tell what color her hair is going to be as she does not have any.  Aunt Edna thinks it will be red because of the color of her eyelashes.  Uncle Schuyler says he can see the hair coming.  I don’t see how as she is bald headed.

We are planning to go to Grandma’s Sunday and have a big dinner.  Then Uncle Schuyler will leave Monday or Tuesday.  I want to see him off.  I don’t know whether I can or not.  Tuesday night I got home from school and mother said that the horse was out so I had to go find him.  I rode the bicycle down to the neighbor’s which was about a mile.  He was there and I started back and as it was on the way over to the place where we are going to move I was planning to go over there and just as I was planning to turn who should come along but Aunt Minnie and Grandpa and Grandma.  They were planning to go over so I rode the bicycle down there, showed them around and stopped at a friend’s house and started for home.  Got home and ate supper, walked down after the horse and rode the thing back.  It was old Cornel (sp) so you know how it was coming home.  I rode the bicycle about 4 miles and walked about a mile and rode the horse about a mile so I am pretty stiff.  Do you wonder why?  We are having our six weeks tests now.  I have had two in speech and one in biology.  I do not think we will have one in typing and I do not know when we will have one in English.  Hope never.  I do not know whether I have told you or not but I have made 36 words in a five minute typing test.  Last week I was seventh in the class.  This week I am third.  Well I did not get this sent off as I was not here Friday and so I am going to get another ready and send it at the same time.  So I will close for now.  WRITE SOON like you have been doing. With lots of love, Your loving niece, Juanita

 

February 28, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I’ll just answer your v-letter of the 10th again and maybe I’ll get another tomorrow.  I didn’t get to write Saturday as I had intended.  Edna had ice cream for Schuyler Friday night.  All were there except Irene’s.  We went with Fred’s from their house.  We got home late, so didn’t get milking done in time to write the next morning.  Irene’s and Wilma’s were home Sunday for dinner.  All were just fine except Irene, she hasn’t felt good for a long time, isn’t real sick but gets tired too quick.  Schuyler was having some work done at Fred’s so they were there all afternoon then they all came over here around 8 o’clock and stayed a little while.  It began to rain in the evening and rained off and on all night, then it began to snow, everything was covered white with snow.  The flakes were big and moist and stayed where ever they fell.  By evening it was most all melted but it is still cloudy.  Dad went to Buhler after feed in the afternoon.  Schuyler wanted us to come and see him tomorrow, as he is leaving Wednesday for Camp February 29.  We have a nice frosty morning but it isn’t cloudy so the sun will shine and take the rest of our snow, I hope.  The chickens don’t like to be shut up all day long.  Dad has gone to milk.  He said he had to mix feed so I could stay in and finish your letter.  Today the people that the airport took their land will know what they will get out of it and how soon they will have to vacate.  Our parsonage is one of the houses.  John is still at Wilma’s, he was going to haul Dad’s feed from Rowland’s this week, but it may be too wet since the rain and snow.  He can get more corn to shuck but I don’t expect he wants the job.  He is done at Wilma’s.  Carl’s are OK, he is still on the passenger run.  He will know March 13th if he gets deferred again.  He is in class 1-A.  Do you have any big towns near you?  We dry eggs here in Hutchinson.  I get 7 dozen or more a day now.  I sure enjoy caring for the chickens and Dad likes the cattle.  Your cow reached a bucket that had a calf feeding, and drank it.  Dad had to come to the house for more milk.  Is Ralph Barnes still where he was?  Mr. Unruh still has your job at the telephone.  I hear the birds singing, I think Spring will soon be here.  How is the mustache coming?  I guess your hair is long enough to comb now.  Ivan we hope you are well and OK and will keep the letters coming.  We all are so glad to hear from you.  I’ll stop and mail this, then go see if Dad has milked all my cows.  We are milking 5 and a half cows now.  5 calves suck 3 cows.  Has Edna guessed where you are yet?  Be a good boy and take care of Ivan.  Good-bye with lots of love, Pop and Mom. May God bless you and keep you in his loving care is our prayer. Love, Mom

 

February 29, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Got your V-Letter, glad to get it.  Delores has me to read it to her whenever I get one.  It snowed yesterday but most of it melted.  It frosted good as ground was white from frost this morning.  I had my breakfast dishes done before 9:30 this morning.  Pretty good for me, don’t you think?  Clarice had her tonsils out yesterday.  She was getting along fine last night.  Violet plans to have hers out Friday, maybe.  Clarence’s insurance at Cessna pays the bills I think as he wants to have it done before the 10th.  They are laying off a bunch of men then for couple of months so he wants to get it done while his insurance is good.  Schuyler leaves tomorrow.  I guess we sure have enjoyed visiting when we could with him.  He thinks his Delores is only one there ever was.  Isn’t that funny?  Just one more month then I’ll let Evelyn take care of the house work.  I’ll be having a vacation, ha!  I have lots more sewing I [need to] get done.  Must close, Lots of love, Minnie

 

March 2, 1944: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all OK.  Roy hasn’t heard from his draft board yet.  It is one of those things you can’t tell about.  I’ll let you know when he does.

Schuyler got to come home and was he crazy about that kid of his.  He said he didn’t know babies were so nice.  He told Tommy he had something Tommy didn’t have and Tommy said to give him time.  We went in Tuesday evening to see him.  He had to leave about 1:00 that night.  Edna and Morris were there when we were there.  Mary and Tommy came.  I reckon the rest were going to come in later.  Wilma Marie had to go to school so we had to go home early.  Mary said Tommy may get shipped out last of week.  He may go to Minnesota, they didn’t know.  Anyway she was glad she wasn’t going to have a baby to take care of.  She’s sensible, Mary is, and really better natured than your sisters are at that.  She said when Tommy left she’d go back home to her sister’s.  Then wait and see how much time Tommy got off before she decided to go to him. 

Well I got a coat made for Walter and one for Beth.  Didn’t cost a cent either, used old material but looks like new.  They are rather expensive things to go buy and I’m a little Scotch.  It will soon be time to plant potatoes here and garden too. 

I was home Sunday and Wilma was there too.  The gang was coming home but Ruth and Schuyler decided they wanted one Sunday at home.  I guess all the gang were in at Edna’s for ice cream Friday night, that is all but us.  I had a head ache and Roy had to get some feed.  It had blown dirt all day and wasn’t a good day at all.  But here in Kansas you can expect anything.

John is still at Wilma’s.  Clarice had her tonsils out Monday and Violet plans to have hers out Friday.  I don’t know but I don’t believe I’d like having mine out.  I think mine are OK anyway.

We have some more little pigs only I haven’t gone down to see how many there are yet.  Well take good care of yourself and don’t let too many coconuts fall on your head. Love, Roy, Irene and kids

 

March 3, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

We were so glad to get your v-letter of the 23rd today.  It made good time.  It was a v-letter instead of a note, ha ha.  You sure did put a lot on it.  Well Schuyler left for Camp 1:30 o’clock Tuesday night and would [you] believe it, Minnie’s, Tom’s, Edna, John, Dad and I saw him leave.  I wouldn’t have believed Dad and I would have been up so late.  Tom got his orders to be ready to leave Saturday morning, so Edna had an ice cream supper for him last night.  But they took Tom’s name off the list so he will be here another week, maybe.  They are sending 300 sailors to Minneaplis, Minnesota.  I’ve forgot how to spell I think.  We’ve had nice weather, today it rained then the wind changed to the north and it’s cooler tonight.  Dad hauled a load of hay, then went to Buhler after feed.  Wilma sent us another calf, that makes 12 little ones in all now.  She is milking 3 of our cows.  I sure wish you had all the fresh eggs with the “hulls” on you wanted, we have plenty.  Wilma’s were at Edna’s last night they are all just fine.  Charles milked two cows last night.  He asked Wilma what did you do when your hands get tired?  Violet was going to have her tonsils taken out this a.m.  We feel like it’s about time to make garden.  Dad got some onion sets today.  I see Robert Nyborg is in class 1-A.  Virgil wishes he was old enough to go.  Couldn’t we send you some stationary?  We’d be glad to.  Morris says the v-mail letters aren’t ever lost.  I am glad you like the 23rd Psalm, let’s read a little as often as we can if only a verse, the more you read the more you will want to.  Well this is the 4th and Saturday too, it’s still windy but it didn’t snow.  We slept a little late but in the morning we will have to climb out to get chores done in time to get to Sunday school on time.  We are fine and hope you are well and OK.  We sure wish you were her with us.  Tom and Mary were here for supper Wednesday night.  She will go home to her sister’s if she doesn’t go with Tom, they will store their car at Schuyler’s if he doesn’t take it.  Ivan is there lots of snakes where you are at?  Are you playing that guessing game with Edna?  Is she hot or cold?  Did your thumb get well?  Dad’s gone to milk, he said for me to stay in the house and not come out but I don’t believe I’ll mind.  I’ll put this in the box first, so it can be on its way.  We’ve not had a bad winter like some we’ve seen.  Do you still have the hunting knife Schuyler gave you?  I am glad you can study, we always want to learn more.  We love your v-letters, you can send them oftener if you like, we’d be glad.  Good-bye Ivan, with lots of love, Pop and Mom

 

March 6, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Well I run out of V mail and so I have been playing off about writing as you can plainly see.  I do not remember if I told you I missed last Friday and Wednesday and Thursday.  I just about have all of my work made up.  Mother is supposed to come home today.  We went up to Grandma E. yesterday instead of going to church.  We went up to see mother and make ice cream.  Great grandma Emery was up there, she certainly is looking fine.  Part of the time she walks without her cane.  I got a new pair of shoes a week ago Saturday.  I put them on Friday and saw that the sole is coming off of one of them so I plan to go in after school some night and see if they will fix them or give me a new pair,  They costed over five dollars and they took a rationed stamp.  It’s not the stamp that I am worried about but it is the money as I do not get my allowance for a while to help pay for them.  I finally made my 40 words a minute and I made one mistake besides so if I had not made that mistake I would have had 42 not bad do you think?  I haven’t seen grandma since Thursday night and she was feeling pretty good then.  Uncle Tommy didn’t have to leave and was I tickled.  Friday night I was at home all by myself and Lottie wasn’t even there and I listed to Nero Wolfe (detective story) it was about a doll with two heads and there was some people killed.  Last night with just Lottie there I listened to a murder story.  Pretty good don’t you think?  Write soon!  With lots of love, Your loving niece, Juanita

 

March 7, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

My Dear Son Ivan,

I will answer your v- of the 17th, it was one day behind your v- of the 23rd.  It must have played along the way, ha, ha.  We were glad it got here anyway.  Glad you heard from Kay.  I’ve read some of his letters to Minnie and he doesn’t care what he says hardly.  Well Ivan I started this before breakfast so will try and finish it after supper.  The wind has blowed hard from the north today.  It was cloudy in the a.m. and snowed till the ground was white, then the sun shone and it melted.  John is with us, he went to town today to look for a job, it’s ten and he isn’t here yet.  I was so glad to get two v’s from you today one written the 20th and one the 26th of February.  We sure glad to hear from you, sorry you can’t write so often but send us a line whenever you can.  We are thankful for just a line or two if you don’t have time for more.  Solomon was the King that had so many wives.  An island is a piece of land surrounded by water.  What do you say it is?  You sure did swim a long ways, do you have any jungle on your island?  I got a letter from Schuyler, he got to North Carolina at his camp March 3rd.  Do you have lots of birds where you are at?  Do you like crabs?  Do you have any fish to eat?  Ivan I am ashamed of all the blots on this, but I’ll write another soon and hope I don’t do worse.  This is 8th of March and time to go milk, it’s cold but the wind stopped blowing and it’s clear.  Dad said for me to stay in and finish your letter.  I expect it was fun gathering shells, I’d like to help you.  Tom is still here at the Base.  Mary wants to go with him if he goes where she can.  I haven’t seen Ruth since Schuyler left.  Dad is cutting the old hedge around our yard, so it can sprout up new, the old was trimmed so high it sure looks bare now.  Dad burned off the garden and is getting ready to plow it, he got some onion sets to put in it.  We are teaching your new calf to drink, we feed 5 now and 7 are on the cows.  Come over and play checkers with Dad, he likes to play.  I wish we had a little of your hot sun here.  Do you like to guard?  And so you cut your mustache off, what color did it get to be?  Is your hair long enough to comb yet?  I’ll bet you are tired of questions so I’d better stop.  We hope you are well and OK and that letters won’t be too far apart.  So good-bye Ivan with lots of love, Pop and Mom. I’ll try and write better letter soon.  May God keep you in his loving care, free from harm and danger.

 

March 7, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all pretty good here.  I take things kinda slow but that is natural for me.  We were home yesterday, I mean Sunday.  Folks were both feeling pretty good, especially after being up two nights in one week.  We saw Schuyler off on train, got home about 3:00 a.m. and had ice cream for Tommy as he thought he had to leave Saturday.  He is still here though and don’t know for how long.  They are sending a lot of boys to other bases and he expects to leave soon.  Fred put a new linoleum down here on kitchen part.  The other one was worn clear out.  Sure looks nicer and lots easier to sweep.  Maybe Evelyn can keep house cleaner while I’m gone to hospital.  Fred has our baby basket about all painted.  It is cream with pink trim.  He has the pink to put on yet.  Getting about time.  I’m going to wash today.  Hope it dries.  Sun is shining some but lots of clouds hanging around.  Evelyn’s school is out the 21st of April so I guess they aren’t making up month that was missed at first of school.  Must say good-bye. Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

March 8, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We enjoyed your v-mail written February 20 and got it yesterday.  I think my next guess as to where you are is right as you may have the letter by now.  It is Solomon Is.  Of course your reference to the man who was a hog makes us think we might be right.  Minnie wondered how you would like to have so many wives?  Thomas is still here, but we don’t know how long it will be.  Harold T. is still on west coast but he expects a move before too long.  We have Junior Emery here for a while as Claryce had a bad hemorrhage Monday morning just a week after her operation and fainted.  She was really bad and Dr. came out and gave her a hypo to make her blood clot and now she is getting along OK.  She is quite weak and doesn’t have much color yet.  Violet is doing OK but her throat is quite sore.  John is at home now.  He wants to find a job.  Mother and Dad seem to be OK.  Hope you are well and wherever you are we are all praying for you. Love, “The Tuckers”

 

March 8, 1944: Wilma to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

We were sure glad to get your letter.  The children think your picture is fine.  They surely do remember you.  Marjorie is coming along fine with her violin lessons.  She has had a piece with two sharps and one with one flat.  Her teacher says she does well. Howard still doesn’t like school, but he goes.  He studies every evening over to his grandma’s.  Rhogene helps him.  I think he is getting along OK and likes it better than he says.  Marjorie surely likes school, but next year I think she will go here.  I’m nearly sure we will have a change of teachers.  They have been the “bunk” this year.  Ruth does OK and so does Charles.

We’ve been going to S.S. for several Sundays now.  The children surely like to go.  We leave the house in a horrid mess in order to get there on time, but I guess it is worth it.  Clyde is continually asking during the week when Sunday will be here.

We have five calves now and one more cow to freshen soon.  We get two cans of milk now, but the cows will do better when we get back on the wheat again.  It has been too wet for nearly two weeks and the cows have been on hay, dry feed and stalks.  They do not do so good as when they are on wheat.  I have a heifer fresh now.  She is barely two years old and only gives a little over half a gallon but I’m going to milk her anyway.  Mr. Rowland says she will make a better milk cow if I do.  We are milking nine cows now, but will turn one dry in a week now.  John bought me six little pigs last week at Tom Sloghton’s sale.  Tom is in the army now and his wife sold out.  The pigs wouldn’t eat much at first and were afraid of me but they are doing better now.  I’ve been afraid they will freeze but the weather is warmer now so I guess they will come out OK. 

It’s nearly potato planting time.  I’m going to get my seed potatoes Friday.  I don’t know how I’ll get the ground plowed but I guess I’ll get it done some way.  Mr. Rowland says it is easy to plow so I may try it.  Imagine!  I’m to get 300 little chicks the 20th of March.  I have yet to clean the brooder house and get ready.  I plan to use ground up corn cob for litter.  I’ve heard it is very good.

The children are surely growing this winter.  Emilie is taller than Delores now.  Clyde weights 50 lbs now and Emilie weights 40 lbs.  Charles nearly tips 100 and Marjorie weights 113 lbs.  Ruth weighs 67.  They are all plump and have not been very sick this winter except Ruth and she is better.  Howard weighs 140 lbs and seems to keep on gaining.  He has a lot of growing up to do to keep up with his hands and feet.

We stopped at Garnet’s last Sunday p.m.  They are doing pretty good.  He had an extra good hay crop last year.  He is still milking cows.

I go to town on Fridays now since I have to take the eggs to the hatchery on Fridays.  I have to cull out all the eggs with ridges, all around or too pointed and all brn [?] all eggs.  The extra 12 cents a dozen surely does help out on the egg checks.  The eggs I cull out I sell on the market or use.  I have gotten 83 eggs so far.  I never can do as well as mamma.  She is expert.  The chickens will do better if the weather straightens out. 

It takes quite a while for a letter to reach you, doesn’t it?  I guess they have quite a ways to go.  I read all your letters to mamma, I guess that is why I’m poor at writing.  I’ll try and do better. 

It is grand out today.  Yesterday the north wind blew, the sun shone and it snowed to cover the ground which melted in the afternoon.  It was a rocky day.  The temperature went to 16 degrees this morning, but it was calm.  We’ve had crazy weather the past week.

News is exhausted so I’ll ring off till next time.  Love, Wilma and kids

 

March 15, 1944: Doris Yeager to Ivan

Doris Yeager had written to Ivan on January 3, 1944, saying she didn’t remember who he was.  It seems Ivan responded and explained, and in her response here she does remember him. 

Norwich, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Well, it all comes back to me now.  I remember you and Hutchinson both.  I also remember us going to church and the notes you wrote not mentioning me.  I have been very anxious to know who you were.

I be things are really happening where you are.  I hope you are getting along OK. 

You ask about school.  Well I haven’t much to say about it.  There is a thing at school tonight but believe it or not, I didn’t go.  Our senior play is March 31.  Our Director told us we couldn’t go on our skip day the 16 if we didn’t know half the play by tomorrow.  We plan to go to Wichita and mess around.

I believe Phyllis’ last name is now Snyder, isn’t it?  Anyhow she is married, at least the last time I saw her she was.  Well, I am glad to have heard from you and hope you OK. Love, Doris Yeager

 

March 15, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

This is March 15, the day all income tax reports are to be in.  We sent ours in a couple of days ago.  Minnie was fixing theirs out last night.  Morris was off yesterday and it was raining most of the day so he thought they chose a good day for him to have a day’s vacation.  I was washing when he came home so after dinner we went to Fred’s so they could put some sealed beam lights on our car.  They were busy most of the p.m. and we ate supper with them and they still had some more to do so we got through about 9:15.  The boys fixed their own supper.  Minnie was OK and had made some garden just before it rained much.  It is raining today too, but not so cold.  John is here and is trying to find work.  It’s easy to find, but he doesn’t know what he wants.  Everyone here seems to be OK.  I just finished my outside chores so thought I’d better write a line before the carrier comes.  Hope you are well and not too busy. Lots of love, “The Tuckers”

 

March 15, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  We are all pretty good here except me.  I made garden yesterday and it is hard for me to navigate today.  A few sore muscles.  I guess I should have been taking exercises.  It sure did pour down here last night.  Has been cloudy and drizzling here all day.  I’d be glad to see the sun shine again now.  I did get my clothes dried Monday.  John is at Edna’s right now.  He’s supposed to find a job and room and board.  He can’t make up his mind what to do.  Edna and Morris were here last night for supper.  Fred put sealed beam lights on his car, fixed horn, etc.  We saw Ruth and Delores Sunday.  Baby looks like she has gained couple of pounds in last week.  Merrit Imel went to Fort Leavenworth today.  Just wonder what they will find out about him.  He was supposed to die long time ago but has been feeling pretty good I guess.  He’s been running a milk route for quite a while.  He told Fred he wasn’t telling the army doctors anything.  If they discovered his trouble OK and if they didn’t it would be all right too.  Wilma’s were home Sunday.  They were all OK.  Emilie is taller than Delores.  Clyde and Clarice are both a good half head taller if not more than she is.  Maybe if she’d quit sucking her thumb she’d grow taller.  She is growing but kinda slow.  Must say good-bye, Lots of love, Minnie

 

March 20, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Well I am in Public Speaking now.  If we can’t say our oration without help we will be kicked out of class until we can say it after school.  I just got done saying mine and I did get through it.  We haven’t been to church for about four weeks and yesterday the preacher and his wife was out just as we were ready to go to the other place.  We visited a couple of hours then they left and we went.  Dad took all of the wood over because we thought we would be moved (?) and we needed so we brought it back.  We went on over to Aunt Wilma’s.  When we got home there was a bunch of kids that drove in right after we got there.  We talked for a while and then they left and said they would be back in just a little while.  They were gone about five minutes then they were back so we went to town.  Well I am going to have to quit the bell has rung.  Well here I am. I am going to write sooner (planning to) and tell you about taking mother’s place at the sale.  Well I must close and go mail this.  With lotsa lots of love, write soon! Your loving niece, Juanita

 

March 22, 1944: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Well spring is here with rain and snow and do we have a big lake in our yard.

Well it’s a bit too wet to plant potatoes or garden yet, but I want to plant the garden earlier this year than last.

Well we stayed home last Sunday.  It was bad out and Wilma had a slight cold.  I didn’t want her to miss school.  She has missed 3 days this year not so bad for her.  I reckon School will be out the last of April. 

Well we have seven puppies now.  There were nine to start with.  It has been so wet this week that Roy hasn’t been able to do too much on the roads.

Last Wednesday Thomas and Mary came over and ate supper with us.  We have a new linoleum for our living room floor.  Gerald Macklin came over that evening too and Thomas, Gerald and Roy put the rug down.  It’s a lot easier to keep the floor clean now than it was.

I haven’t heard any news since I was home last.  Roy hasn’t heard any more from the draft board.

Well the sun looks like the sun might come out I sure hope it does.  Well take good care of yourself and I’ll try to write more next time. Lots, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

March 23, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

You asked what was the stork.  He is that big bird that hangs around and scares the daylights out of some people.  You never do see him to scare him away.  John Rhodes told me at Red Rock that he’d heard the flutter of the stork’s wings when we got Vernon at our house.  That is about the closest I’ve heard of people seeing the big bird.  Ha!  Doctor hasn’t even seen me yet since I was to see him about six months ago.  Nurse checks me, etc.  I’m supposed to go in today though and let me get my final checkup from him.  I’ll know before too long if it’s twins or not.  I know it won’t be, but I don’t see how one can cause so much disturbance.  Am sure it will take a lot of sheets in the basket if it continues kicking in this world like it has been in the habit.  Bennie Evans is supposed to go to Fort Leavenworth next Tuesday.  He’s not 26 yet and they are sure taking a lot of men now.  Fred has boiler and tubs filled up so I guess I’ll wash pretty soon.  Whoever got so many lines on a v-letter.  I think about 20 is your speed, isn’t it?  I get a few over twenty but never hit 30 yet.  Their paper must be a different size.  John is out to Wilma’s this week.  He is afraid to take a job, as he doesn’t want to be froze to it. Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

March 24, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Well as you have probably heard by now, Clarice and Mom got their tonsils out.  They still have to be careful as their throats aren’t healed yet.  In typing I have only got up to 40 I am trying to get ahead of that.  Say about Uncle Tommy he bashful I wouldn’t know but I’m not very so when you get back I’ll introduce you to all of them and you can take your pick.  How about it?  I showed a girl friend of mine your picture and she said she thought you were very cute and I told her I thought so too.  Say by the way if you would like I think she for writing to you. Her name is Leona Conner and she will be 18 before long and she is a senior in High School.  Now if she doesn’t seem OK another Alice […] Blonde will be 18 before school is out.  If you want me to I can send you a picture of both of them but of course I would have to have them back.  Let me know which you want.  Dad was laid off at Cessna and is working at elevator.  It is about to get him down.  Must close, write soon. With lots of love, Juanita

 

March 24, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Here I am again, just sent one v-mail off at noon and plan to send this off after school that is if I get this finished before school is out and if I go down town.  We don’t have any speed test today.  Well as I told you Sunday is Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary.  They have been married 17 years.  I went down town and bought them a present it was a box of chocolates I wasn’t at school yesterday as grandma E. couldn’t take care of the kids as her borders moved and she had to clean up the apartment.  So I made a dollar taking care of the kids.  I wasn’t at school Tuesday either as I did not feel good.  Mother was able to work yesterday.  Did I tell you we had to give our oration in speech without help or be thrown out of class.  I did get through mine.  Some of them were not so lucky and they can’t come back until they come in after class and give them perfect.  Say if you don’t hear for a while just think you will probably hear soon and get two or more at the same time.  As you know that is just me play off for a while and then make up for lost time.  Oh say never take me serious in what I say as I am just me.  But don’t say too much about that or else it will come back to you as mother says I have all of aunt Minnie’s bad habits and all of the rest of the others so I probably have some of yours.  Ha!  Dad is planning to go to Wichita Saturday to see Watson and Mary and we will go along of course.  Hope we get to, we have put off going so long plan to then not.  Dad is working at the elevator. It is about to get him down.  His eyes are terrible the dust gets into them mother says she thinks he will have to quit because of the work.  Say don’t think anything of the mistakes and the spelling as I can’t think now and that isn’t saying so much as I never could think much.  Oh say if those girls don’t sound ok just let me know there is some more I know that would like to write especially after they would see your picture.  I will try to describe them better those I gave you are some of my best friends but that is all the better I can describe them.  I don’t think I could even describe myself so why describe someone else.  But these girls are really nice.  Well I must close.  WRITE SOON WITH LOTS AND LOTS OF LOVE, Juanita

 

March 29, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Here I am again.  As you can plainly see.  I want to get this finished so I can mail this when I go down town.  I probably won’t get to write any more this week as I don’t think I will be here tomorrow because of taking care of the kids or working in mother’s place at the sale.  Hope I take mother’s place as I make three dollars.  At home it is only one dollar as I just take care of the kids.  It will be according to the kids as they haven’t been feeling too good and mother won’t leave them if they aren’t feeling very good.  I expect someone else has told you that part of the gang was at our place Sunday.  That is the kids were sick and we didn’t go to church and as it was mother and dad’s wedding anniversary. Dad went over and called Aunt Minnie and told her to ask grandma and grandpa to come over as well as herself. Aunt Irene went to church and so she came on over we really wanted the whole outfit but we couldn’t get word to all of them so were going to have just them.  Aunt Edna went to grandma and found no one home so came to our place but she didn’t come soon enough as dinner was over.  We made ice cream.  We were planning to go to Wichita but the kids didn’t feel like it so we put it off.  That is the reason we didn’t have time to get word to the rest of the bunch.  A second cousin of mine died, Charlie Church [?].  Dad was planning to go to the funeral but it was storming and he decided he’d better not.  Well I must close so I can eat my dinner.  With lots and lots of love, Write soon! Juanita

 

 

March 29, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

From mother’s letter sounds like you have been on a ship again!  Do you get sea sick at all?  Elsa Cannon saw a show yesterday and she about got sea sick she said, just watching the ship sail on the water.  I went to a wedding shower on Fern Russell yesterday.  Weren’t many there as it snowed and blowed until towards evening then the sun came out and set clear.  If it had continued like it had during the morning we would have had blocked roads by this morning.  It cleared off though and froze pretty good last night so there was ice on our windows in here this morning.  I’m sure my garden is appreciating this kind of weather.  Nothing has come up but my onion sets, am afraid the other seeds will be ruined as it was warm enough a few days for them to sprout.  Doctor told me last Thursday he thought I’d have a boy.  Heart beat of a girl baby is faster than a boy’s, but I won’t believe him until it gets here.  Doctor at Eureka guessed Delores right though.  I think Hemsted told Ruth hers would be a boy, so they don’t know.  Bye, lots of love, Minnie

 

March 29, 1944: Ivan to Parents and Family

Dear Dad, Mom and Family: 

How are you doing these days?  The birds should be coming back to Kansas by now at least most of the meadow larks.  I believe the meadowlark has one of the prettiest songs of all the birds.  Maybe the reason is that their coming is one of the first signs of spring.  It is not exactly April here at present but we are getting some of those showers.  I doubt though if it brings any May flowers.  Maybe a coconut or two.  There has not been much doing lately.  I have been going to shows about every night and reading books.  We have a library of poc­ket editions that are pretty nice but the number of selections are limited.  I received a letter from Emma Truesdell today.  She said that they had drawed names and she had gotten mine.  I'll answer it later.  I have been getting along fine lately.  Well hope all are OK at home.  Lots of love, Ivan.

 

March 30, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

It is 7:10 a.m. and getting day light.  Morris has gone to work and the boys are still sleeping.  We had a snow storm and lots of wind Tuesday and it was cold yesterday.  It looks very nice out today.  We hope it gets warm soon as we don’t have any garden planted yet.  So much of the time the ground has been frozen.  We went out home Sunday, but the folks were gone.  We took Mom’s laundry and stopped at Violet’s and they were there.  Irene and Minnie were there too, celebrating Violet and Clarence’s wedding anniversary – 17 years.  They were all OK except some of Violet’s had colds.  Our Women’s Society are serving dinner at the Grandma Glass’ home as her funeral is today, so I’m picking up food and will take it out there near Valley Pride School.  She was 89 years old.  Thomas is still here and Schuyler hasn’t been moved yet.  Hope you are well.  Wish you could have some of our cool weather.  Lots of love, “The Tuckers”

 

In April 1944 Ivan’s 40th Division transferred from Guadalcanal to New Britain (now part of Papua New Guinea)

 

April 4, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We enjoyed your letter written March 26 and got it yesterday.  I expect you will get much more good out of your hip boots than you would out of the beer.  You will probably have good use for the boots since it rains so much there.  Thomas is still here and some say the ones that are here will get to stay, but we don’t know.  It will be nice for him if he can, at least he is still around.  I talked to Minnie yesterday and she is still feeling OK.  She made a dress for Evelyn yesterday.  Schuyler’s wife Ruth and Baby were out for a little while yesterday.  They are fine and Delores is really growing.  Ruth is feeling good too.  Schuyler is expecting a move soon, but doesn’t know just where yet.  Violet and Family seem to be fine now.  Irene got a permanent yesterday.  I guess she is getting dolled up for Easter she really looks nice with one as her hair is so straight.  John is at Wilma’s and I think they are getting lots of work done.  They are fine.  It is warm here today.  We hope it stays that way as we would like to make garden soon.  I did our washing and Heflinger yesterday and had a First Aid class at 4:30 a bunch of Girl Scouts.  We will have review next week and then our test.  I have enjoyed it but I will be glad when we are finished.  Hope you are well and not too busy. Love and best wishes, “The Tuckers”

 

April 4, 1944: Florence to Ivan

2900 Seminary Avenue

Oakland California

Dear Ivan,

Had a nice letter this morning from your mother and she said you had written us but hadn’t heard from us.  The last letter we got from you was last September, written Sept. 29th.  Just found it in my writing desk when I was looking for your address.

Well we are all about the same as usual, only I think Uncle Abe looks and feels better since he had his teeth pulled and got new ones.  He is working awfully steady – mostly 7 days a week.  I almost said 8 days.  He leaves at 6:15 in the morning and doesn’t get home till 6:30 in the evening, so it is a long day…he works 10 and a half hours.

The folks sold their bungalow and a pair of flats and are out here with us for the present.  Don’t know just what they are going to do.  I think they will go up to my cousin’s near Tacoma, Washington, and stay a month or so this summer.  Her husband has to get into the service and she will be glad to have them with her for papa can do a lot of the gardening and outside work for her and he loves it up there.  I never thought they would ever leave Filbert Street but they are both getting old and mama doesn’t feel a bit well for her legs give out and she can’t get around good.

I was so glad to hear from your mother with all the news.  I haven’t heard from her for a long time.  I guess you keep her busy writing.  Uncle Abe and I think of you often and hope when you come back you can be here for a while so that we can have a good visit with you.  Tell Henry hello if he is still where you are.  Seems like you’ve been gone an awful long time. 

I go down to a Christian Fellowship Canteen almost every Sunday afternoon and meet a lot of the fellows who have just come back.  Some not far from where you are and they say it seems strange to be back in civilization.  One fellow had been down there 18 months.  His home was in Pennsylvania.  Is there anything you would like me to send you?  Just name it and I’ll get it on its way.  I know I sent you a card at Christmas and I think one letter since. Have you heard from us since the 1st of the year?

Your mother said that Myrtle McRae wrote her about the home place in Linn County – said some one wanted to buy it – it would be fine if it would sell for your folks or us would never want to bury ourselves there.

Well Ivan Uncle Abe and I want you to know we think of you often and hope it won’t be long until you’ll be back.  Know you’ve seen and gone through a lot and we all appreciate the job you’re doing. With much love, Aunt Florence

 

Tuesday April 4, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Typed Letter

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Here I am again.  We have started taking ten minute speed test and they are a lot harder to get ahead on.  Because your fingers play out on you and you start to make mistakes.  You really have to make the strokes if you want to get anywhere.  I have made 32 which is about the highest anyone in our class has made.

Well for a change we went to church last Sunday, that is Lottie Grace, Clarice and I.  Junior was sick.  So mother stayed home with him and dad wasn’t for going with our mom so he just took us kids and went to Aunt Minnie’s and stayed there until time to come after us.

We went to town Saturday and we planned to leave Clarice and Junior at Grandma’s but the kids didn’t want to stay so we took them down town with us.  Junior had a pretty bad cold anyway.  Well we went to look at dress material and I picked out what I wanted but mother did not want it at least she wanted me to look around some more.  We did I picked out a dress all ready made and she did not like it and was for having me try on some others and there was only one I liked and mother did not like it so at last she said to get the material that I had wanted in the first place.  So I got it and got a new hat dad doesn’t think it is much of a hat.  It is a round thing with a veil.  It is white and the veil is white there is some flowers on it with green stems that is the only other color on it.  Well I have outlined my Easter outfit for you.

When we got home Junior was worse so mother did not get to go to church.

The bus was broken down and did not go to church and we did not think it would go to school the next day.  But it did and I wished it hadn’t as I want to get to work on my dress.  At church there was a man who was a prisoner of the japs (not worth capitalizing) for a while and he showed some pictures and talked oh I forgot to tell you he is a missionary.  Mother went with Teters and the rest of us stayed at home dad wasn’t home from work as he was working over at the place.  The rest of the kids didn’t hurry around so they couldn’t go and I was going to take care of Junior.

Well it is about time for the bell so I may have to finish this later.  Grandma said she had heard from all of her little boys when I saw her Sunday, Uncle Carl, Uncle Schuyler and you so she was pretty happy.

Well as you can see I didn’t get to finish this yesterday and I got your letter last night when I got home so will write another one to answer questions.  Write soon with lots of love, Your loving niece, Juanita

 

April 5, 1944: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

How are you?  I’m ashamed of myself.  I’ve got 2 v-mail letters from you since I’ve written.  I’ll have to write several extra letters to make up for it.

Roy hasn’t heard any more from draft board yet.  So we don’t know any more than we did about that. 

Wilma Marie likes school fine.  She makes a little above average in some of her grades.  I think she could do better if she studied more.  She does all her work at school, but like all kids she likes to play too.  You should ask what Walter does not do for his health.  Yesterday first thing after dinner he went out wading in our lake we have in front yard every time it rains and got his shoes and socks both wet.  Beth got her shoes all muddy, so I put them both to bed.  They awakened a little before Wilma Marie came home from school. 

Roy took our calf to town to have him butchered and Beth and Walter keep saying they were going to eat bull meat.  They didn’t get that from me either.  They didn’t care a bit that the calf was going to be killed.  It was fair size. I think Roy plans to put the meat in cold storage. 

I got a permanent Monday and is my hair all frizzed up.  I haven’t got it combed yet this morning.  Mrs. Macklin took me to town.  Minnie took care of Walter and Beth.  Mother said Minnie got fooled as Minnie was expecting baby on April 1. 

I was home Sunday.  Mary and Thomas was there too.  The kids sure like their Aunt Mary.  Mother seemed to feel pretty good only she was sleepy but then I’m always sleepy.

I found out Mom was the one that was telling tales out of school about me.  As you say I must be getting old.  I feel about 100 sometimes.  I think a lot of it is nerves and a stomach condition but as Roy’s mother always says, I’m still able to eat and I do my own work so I guess I’m not so bad off.  Anyway don’t worry yourself about it.  If any one needs to worry about me, I’ll do it.

It’s almost mail time so I’ll mail this and get another off next day or so.  Sunday is Easter and I’m trying to make a few new things for the kids.  Well take care of yourself.  I’ll write sooner next time. Love, Roy, Irene and Kids

 

April 5, 1944: Juanita and Violet to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dated April 5 but finished after April 8

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Clarice is about as ornery as ever now if not worse as we spoiled her too much when she was sick.  Junior was sick but is about well now.  When he was so sick well Clarice would do anything for him and when she was sick he would do anything for her.  It was funny to see them.  Last night I was cutting out my dress and Junior got some of the material, held it up to him so we could see how it looked on him.  He likes the material it is so bright.  He liked to try on dresses too.  Say I hope you can read this as my fingers won’t go right or the keys aren’t in the right place.  You asked how I got along with the girls at Buhler I get along with them pretty good that is some of them.  Say let me know if you want me to get those girls to write to you because if you don’t I will just have one write anyway, so there! 

Clarice and Junior have been trying to get me to put lipstick on them.  Dad calls Junior a sissy.  Mother will probably write oftener since the kids are all better now. 

Say where did you get that beer to give for those hip boots?  Don’t tell me you use that stuff.  Ha Ha!

Say what do you mean me scared Heck no, I just don’t like the idea of the dog moving when some is getting murdered I listen to a lot of stories like that and I don’t have bad dreams so there.

About those slugs buzzing around I think you had better duck and not let them come too close to you.

We are having good weather now and I hope it continues.  Say what would you do if you were me, mother told me she said if I would address some of these she would write, well I have and she hasn’t written yet.  It is time for the bell so will finish this this afternoon. [Handwritten after this point]

Well as you see, I didn’t get this finished so I am going to have mother finish this so you can hear from her.  I am waiting on the bus now.  Write soon!  With lots of love, Juanita

Dear Ivan, Juanita has been waiting an hour for the bus.  I was just ready to go to Meda Teter’s to find out if the bus was going when Meda came to say they’d called.  The bus couldn’t make it over some of the roads and wouldn’t be by.  My, but we really have had the rain.

Minnie’s boy arrived Saturday April 8 at 6:45 p.m.  He weighed a bit over 8 lbs.  They’re both doing OK from what I hear.  I plan to see her tomorrow.  Obee has two cases of scarlet fever.  School is dismissed till later.  Write soon, Love, Violet

 

 

April 6, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan:

How are you?  I guess I’m OK even though I don’t feel that way, ha!  Yes here I am, still at home.  I went to see Hempsted yesterday.  He says if I am still home in a week to come back, then he’d give me something.  He ought to know I’m tired of waiting now.  Oh well, that is a small matter.  I’m going to wash this morning.  I have the water heating.  Wind has started to blowing though.  Hope it doesn’t blow too much dirt.  I missed the carrier with this maybe I’ll have it ready to go in the morning.  I made Mother two new print dresses this week.  If I have another week at home I may get some more sewing done.  I took care of Beth and Walter Monday while Mrs. Macklin took Irene to town to get her permanent.  Am sure glad she got it as her hair looked so stringy without one.  Bennie was put in 1A limited on account of ruptured hemorrhoids and flat feet but they told him to get things ready to go in three weeks.  Dad Evans is sure hostile about it but I think it’s no more than fair.  They said they never had many blacksmiths and Bennie is under 26 years too.  Roy hasn’t had to go to Fort Leavenworth as yet.  He hasn’t had any notice yet as to when he will have to go.  He’s been in 1A quite a while.  I’ll bet that baking helps out a lot with your meals.  I made several pies last week.  My family hardly knew how to eat them.  I guess I’d better sign off and get to work.  Lots of love, Fred, Minnie and Girls

 

April 8, 1944: Ivan to Parents and Family

Dear Dad, Mom, and Family: 

How are you doing these spring days?  I think Spring and Autumn are the nicest seasons of the year.  I received your V letter today of 27th.  It came in good time.  You must of been really crowded going to church with Irene's children and her with you.  How is Wilma Marie? Just as independent as ever?  She sure was when she was little.  Violet and Edna have been married a long time.  It hardly seems possible that they have been married so long.  I am glad you liked the sea shells.  Mom the little black one is for you.  I polished it quite a while to get it smooth like it is.  It was a bit rough at first so I polished it with emery cloth and crocus cloth.  I found the shell about 6ft from my bed by a coconut tree.  The rest I picked up about 20 miles from here along the beach.  They come from a snail and the stone or shell is its trap door.  It goes into its shell and everything is pretty tight.  The cateyes are from the dead ones and are washed up on the beach.  The sea water eats them up and the same wears them out by the action of the tides.  My heat rash doesn't itch any but I don't like it though.  It is pretty hard to keep away from fungus growths down here.  It is so warm and one is sweating most of the time.  I figured your cream boy would come back to you, he must of been pretty small.  But all of his family was though. 

Mom I am still in the same coconut grove.  It seems like a nice place after one comes in after a work detail around here.  It is cooler here under the palms than in most places.  They are high enough they don't stop the breeze but give us plenty of shade.  Mom your guess was wrong on particular place.  Phone up Naomi Pollock at 411 East 4th and she should be able to tell you right place.  Mom the post cards I wanted you to see were of the Hawaiian Islands and they should be in old letters somewhere.  It won't make me mad if you look through them for me.  It is OK to read diary too if it would interest you any.  It's just more or less of things I have done and battery from day to day.  I'd better finish this.  Pretty sudden it is getting dark and I want to go to show down at the big tent.  We have electricity now but no bulbs or sockets just yet.  We fixed our clothes hangar today in our tent so it was higher and neater.  The weather has been nice lately but pretty warm.  I plan to go to Easter Sunrise services in the morning.  It looks like I'll be up a lot earlier than usual on Sunday morning.  Well I hope this Easter Sunday will find you well and happy.  I got about 5 V-notes today.  I'll be busy tomorrow.  Lots of love, Ivan.

 

April 12, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We enjoyed getting your letter written April 2.  We got it yesterday, good service isn’t it?  Oh yes, our V-8 works fine if we have gas.  We put on some sealed beam lights on it so it really is nice to drive at night.  I guess you can’t beat a Ford.  Virgil has a Chevy and it works good most of the time.  Virgil has just gone to school and Gayle is getting ready to go.  They are fine.  Virgil feels much better than he did as he has cut out some of his activities.  He was really doing too much.  We had a nice Easter cantata at our church Sunday evening.  It was difficult but very good.  Virgil had a solo part in it.  He enjoys his singing a lot. 

I expect someone has written you about Fred’s new boy born April 8.  His name is Muriel Dee.  He weighed 8lbs and 5 and a half ounces.  He is quite a big boy.  Minnie and baby are getting along fine.  Fred is really proud.  I’m sure his hat is too small for him now for he is a proud Daddy.  The girls think he is fine too.  We had a rain yesterday, but it is nice today.  There was snow in parts of Kansas yesterday.  Around Emporia roads are closed on account of high water.  A fire is very comfortable today.  I washed yesterday and hope to finish drying it and iron today.  I have a First Aid class today too.  Lots of love, The Tuckers

 

April 18, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Ivan,

Say if you can’t read this it is because I am using another machine and because I can’t make it work.  I don’t like to write with a pen as I always get the ink all over me and everywhere else.  So I am as you can see typing this.  About those girls writing, one says she will write but you have to write first.  Her address is Alice Thomas, Hutchinson, Kansas, Route --  Say I don’t know about them sending the picture but I have one of each of them and will send them if you promise to send them back because I only have the one.  About the others I haven’t got to see them don’t go to Buhler now but they used to so what the difference.  You asked what grade I am in I am just a sophomore an old softie.  Say if I was older you would probably see me over there someplace as a nurse.  As I plan to be one.  I expect you know that.  Obee is having school now they weren’t having school because of scarlet fever.  We finally went to Wichita Saturday.  And if things work out as I am hoping they will you will be addressing my letter to Wichita instead of Hutchinson.  Dad and Mom went down today to see about a job and a house the only trouble will be we can’t have the dog or cat.  The cat had kittens yesterday and last night Spot the dog killed three of them.  Spot wanted in the box with the cat as they have been sleeping together.  There was only six kittens, two yellow and white and four plain white there was two white and one yellow that was killed.  Well I must close for now.  Write soon.  With lots of love, Juanita

 

April 21, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

(post marked May 2, 1944)

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

We were over to Grandma’s last night, got over there about 9:30 left about 11:00, so you see I got to read some of your letters.  I am going to see one of the girls I told you about today.  I am taking your picture along.  We only have school for half a day because of the music festival.  I am going even if I’m not in anything.  This is the first period and I am supposed to be in speech but he wants to work with some of the kids, so we are in study hall.  It seems like everyone is dressed up today.  I am wearing my Easter dress.

Am I glad, bet you can guess why, because there is only four more weeks of school.  Then I’ll be in Wichita.  Dad starts to work this Monday night at midnight.  As soon as Lottie Grace’s school is out, they will move down, and I will probably stay at Aunt Minnie’s.  I hope they get a house close to Watson and Mary so us kids can be together.  If they get one close to them we will have an electric refrigerator, gas furnace and stove, running water, modern bathroom.  If by Uncle Miney we will have a coal stove to heat by and gas to cook with and just a ice box instead of refrigerator.  [At the] first place the electricity, gas will be paid for by the government and we would just have to pay the rent.  By Uncle Miney we have to buy the ice and they furnish the coal.  Either place won’t be bad but I would rather have a refrigerator than ice and gas instead of coal. 

I probably won’t send this till Monday and so I can write some more. 

My eyes have been bothering me so I am supposed to see Dr. Quiring (sp?) eye doctor at Gage Hall clinic Saturday, that [is] tomorrow at 2:30.  Hope I don’t need glasses. 

Well I must close but I told you Alice’s folks won’t let her write first but she will answer if you will write or are you too bashful if so you are as bad as Uncle Tommy.  Ha, Ha!  I think I told you her address but didn’t put the route.  Well I will give you too addresses and see if you write to them. I will know as I will write to them myself. Miss Alice Thomas, RR # 3, Hutchin­son, Kansas. Miss Leona Conner, Burrton, Kansas

No route on Leona’s.  She is a twin and I write to her brother Leonard.  I’ll send those pictures as soon as I get your letter promising to send them back after you see them.  Must close this newspaper. With lots of love, Juanita

PS:  Alice doesn’t want you to see hers at least not the one I have as it’s too crazy so if we can get together we may send you just one with us three girls in it and you can keep it to scare the Japs away.  Hurry and promise to send pictures back.  And they are on the way.  Didn’t get this mailed and now it is May the first so please excuse me.  Try and write a V-Mail soon. Love, V.J.E.

 

April 26, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

We enjoyed your letter a lot, but am sorry we missed writing last week.  Minnie and Son came out Tuesday evening and stayed until Friday night.  Delores was here and does she ever like her little brother.  She can’t hardly let him sleep.  Fred and Evelyn came in every evening, ate supper with us, and stayed all night.  They went out after breakfast each morning.  It was nice to have them here and the baby was really good.  They are getting along OK.  Carl Tucker left for the Navy this a.m.  We were over there last night to see him and got stuck in the mud as we started to leave.  It has been raining so much lately and just poured down last night.  Wichita and Winfield has really been hard hit with flood this time but we are lucky here no floods to do any damage.  We just can’t get into our gardens yet, but hope to soon.  Virgil came back from school just now and said the H.S. quartet were singing at a luncheon today so had to dress up as he had forgotten about it.  Last Friday the H.S. had solo (voice) try outs for a music festival in Wichita and Virgil gets to go.  There are five boys who go as soloists.  The quartet also is going.  They are to go Friday of this week if all goes well.  John is at Wilma’s I guess they are getting lots done.  Roy Emery went to Leavenworth Tuesday and so did Herbert Emery.  They will be back for a time before going into the service.  Tom is still here.  Schuyler is in North Carolina.  Everyone here are OK.  Hope you are well and not too busy. Love, “The Tuckers”

 

April 26, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan:

Here I am to pester you again with letters!  You have had a rest from my letter writing.  Don’t know as I’d call it a rest that I’ve had though.  I think I was lucky having a boy though, as I’m afraid I’d have to adopt the next one.  As it is Fred is satisfied with family and I know I am.  Murriel Dee sure is a good baby.  I can’t complain at all about how he has done since I left hospital.  All I can complain about is he is too stout in his jaws.  He just has me chewed to pieces but I guess in time I’ll not know it.  I sure do now, though.  He looks around and notices things that you wouldn’t expect a two week old baby to.  Really, he is quite a boy, but look who he is.  Delores has said about a thousand times, “Isn’t he cute, Mama?”  Phyllis Teter told Delores she had a cute little brother.  Delores answered her with, “I know it.”  School is out this Friday.  I’ll be glad then Evelyn can be here to help more.  I’ve had to go pretty slow but am doing better now.  Still is raining and cold here, will be glad when it warms up.  Dorothy Barnes has twin girls.  Hazel Barnes had a girl same day my boy came. Lots of love, Minnie

 

May 4, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Here it is another week has passed by.  We enjoyed your v-mail sent Feb 13.  We had warm weather most of last week and now it is like winter again, but don’t expect it will last long.  You really do have a lot of rain there, and it must be warm too.  Does it rain mostly at night or not?  Schuyler went back Wednesday morning and surely did hate to leave as he enjoyed Delores so much.  He told me he didn’t know babies could be so sweet, until he had one of his own.  It did us all good to see how proud and happy he was over his baby.  I told him if he had a doz. they would all be as sweet, and he said that’s right.  So glad he has a better slant on life for that means so much for his happiness.  Thomas was to leave Friday, but they took his name off list for a week or so and he will go to Minneapolis, Minn. to a training base.  We are still having T.A. but hope to finish soon with the Scouts.  We’ve had 10 lessons so far.  Everyone is fine.  John is at Wilma’s and is helping her good.  Lots of love, hope you are well. “The Tuckers”

 

May 5, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Seems like I don’t have as much time to write, etc. like I used to.  My boy takes up 2 hours and 20 minutes just eating.  That doesn’t include the time it takes fixing his dinner and putting it away.  I have to use ointment on nipples they have cracked so badly, have to put unguentine on two burns on one lunch basket as they blistered me at hospital using hot packs, also have to put Vaseline over the whole thing as they itched so from fever I had, I think, also have to use boric acid powder water to wash off ointment.  Takes almost complete drug store to fix up his dinner.  He sure has been a good boy.  Has never even whimpered at night after his ten o’clock feeding.  Dad was here yesterday.  He was on his way to town.  He has to go North to get out from their place.  Violet’s were here last night.  They are moving to Wichita Saturday.  Wonder how they will like town life.  Evelyn is doing dishes and Delores is sucking thumb.  Marjorie Elliott is trying to curl her hair.  Her hair comes almost to her waist.  I think I will trim it for this summer as it will be so hot.  It isn’t hot yet, though.  It frosted last night and Mrs. Cannon said it froze ice too.  I never saw it though. Lots of love, Minnie

May 7, 1944: Gayle Tucker to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Uncle Ivan,

The Basketball season is over.  The first team never won a game.  The second team won three games.  The last game I played on the second team and we won that game.  I am taking a stamp collection.  I have 133 U.S. stamps alone.  I was wondering if it is a Long Tom you are manning? The gun I mean.  We got your V-note today.  Hope you’re well.  This is the first time I have written to you. I will write some more.  In school we are getting a paper which is very interesting.  The name of the paper is “Young America.”  Good luck, old timer. Love, Gayle Tucker

 

May 7, 1944:  Ivan to Parents and Family

Dear Dad, Mom and Family: 

How are you doing?  I'll bet you think a long time no hear?  Well I have been a bit busy but I think that I'll be able to keep writing pretty regular.  I am not writing so plain this Sunday evening but then I haven't wrote for a while.  We have made a little change in our camp.  We are now on New Britain island.  I have 3 pounds and some shillings, sixpence and pennies now for money.  You ought to see the pennies.  They are about as big as half dollars.  The traffic here travels on the left side of the road and it seems quite strange.  We have our living quarters up now and it isn't bad here. 

Dad if you moved out of eastern Kansas on account of the mud, you would leave this place in a hurry.  This mud here has about everything beat for mud I have ever seen.  It is about the blackest stuff and the hardest to get off I have ever saw.  It's about like old grease and it is about as hard to get out from one's finger nails.  There is a little stream near our camp that one can bathe in and keep clean providing it isn't muddy.  This is the first time in my life that I have seen a volcano or at least one that smokes.  One can see smoke curling up from it when it is visible most of the time. 

The last v-note I received from you was wrote April 14.  Yes Mom, we fasten the hammocks to trees or anything that will hold it up and right distance apart.  I hope Mrs. Moore got the letters I sent her.  There are lot a trees in jungle: mahogany, teak and a lot of others.  Bamboo grows here too.  The vines grow good here also which makes it bad.  I told you that I received letter from Tom and hope he writes more often.  I am glad that our Holstein cow is doing fine and easy to milk.  It is too bad that Aunt Florence's parents aren't well.  They both seemed in good health when I was visiting with Uncle Abe.  We have a nice camp here and it is pretty nice when it isn't raining.  It rained today pretty good.  We don't have any shade trees like we had before and I sorta miss them.  But then a nut could kill one if it hit on the head. 

Well I hope Minnie and baby are doing fine and hope Muril has red hair.  I am getting along OK down here.  Hope this finds you all well and happy.  Lots of love, Ivan.

 

May 8, 1944: Schuyler to his Parents

U.S. Army Air Forces

Dearest Mother and Dad,

Well I suppose you are pretty proud of your new grandson and I have a new nephew.  Well I am still here in camp Sutton. We think we will be leaving before long.  We have been doing close order drill and calisthenics guard and K.P. and bivouacking, sleeping in pup tents.  They sure are not very big. They should be a little bigger and just a little longer to suit me.  I have lived in a tent ever since I have been in the army except for about one month in all. 

Ruth told me that Roy passed the Exam and is going in the navy.  I hope he likes it better than I do the army.  I sure wish along with a lot of boys that it soon will be over.  They are talking some of giving us all furloughs again soon.  I don’t know when.  We have been down on the Cotona river learning how to build those pontoon bridges then we came back and went to Morris Air Field just 6 miles from Charlotte, N.C. and build roads and bridges there. We were there six days and came back here yesterday. We have a new tent on our big hut.  The old one leaked when it rained, the tent helped some. 

Have you heard from Ivan lately?  I wonder if he is still in the Solomons.  I am sorry I haven’t written sooner only have been keeping us plenty busy.  Hope this finds both you and Dad feeling alright. Lots of love, your son, Schuyler

 

May 10, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Here it is the 10th of May and a fire feels good.  I have a sweater on now too so you see summer isn’t here yet.  We’re hoping it will be here soon as the gardens don’t do much.  It is cloudy today so I expect we may have some rain.  School is coming to a close.  Gayle’s is out next week but Virgil has until June 2.  Gayle is supposed to finish the grades and Virgil High School.  Virgil says he wishes school was just beginning as it isn’t so nice to know this is the last year but I guess that is what we can expect.  Gayle has examinations this Friday here.  Next week is commencement and picnics, etc.  The folks are OK the last I heard but still have plenty of water close to them.  We plan to go home Sunday.  Last Sunday we had all of Arthur’s here for dinner as Carl Tucker left for the Navy Monday a.m.  He thinks he is off on a lark.  I think he will change his mind soon – don’t you?  Harold T. is at Camp Beale, California, the last we heard.  Schuyler is still where he was, but don’t know how long as he has expected a move for some time.  Ruth and Baby are OK.  We don’t see them much as they stay at home.  Clarence’s have moved to Wichita as Clarence is working in a defense plant.  He is a welder there and that is good pay.  Hope you are fine.  I’ll try and not be so lazy as to miss writing to you as I should.  I’m sorry.  It is time to call Virgil so bye, bye.  Lots of love, The Tuckers

 

May 15, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

I expect you have got my letter by now.  Two of the girls say they will write first and two say you have to write first and you have their address.  As soon as I receive your letter promising to send the pictures back I will send them to you.  I don’t have a picture of the girls who say they will write first.  One of the girls lives over by Thomas Grove where I used to go to school.  The other lives over by Medora.  One of the girls who say you have to write first lives over at Burrton.  The other one lives out in the country.  Alice the one you have to write to first is the one I run around with the most.  Alice had a birthday Saturday.  She is 18. 

Well this is probably the last letter you will receive that will be typed unless I find a typewriter down to Wichita.  We only have school until Wednesday as we have the picnic Thursday and Friday assembly.  Saturday I catch the bus and go to Wichita.  Mother and Dad was up Saturday and Sunday as Grandma Emery was having a Mother’s Day picnic.  Uncle Minny was with them and he was a lot of fun.  All he could do was something funny.  For instance they killed the rabbits and got some blood on their pants so Uncle Minny said they had to buy them some more pants.  When Dad was seeing about selling them Uncle Minny would tell him to be sure to get enough for them so he could get a new pair of pants.  When Dad had gone to several stores and they did not want any, well Uncle Minny said they just had to sell them so he could have a pair of pants or they would have to make a pair out of the fur.  As Dad was gone in a store a man came out with some groceries and Uncle Minny said put them right in here we will take them home.  He just kept that up all day.  Then Sunday he talked about Grandma Emery’s boarders staying in the bathroom so long and he couldn’t get in.  He really had a terrible time to hear him tell it.  But he had a pretty good time I think bothering everyone.  He got to see Grandma and Grandpa Roberson.  Uncle Fred and Aunt Minnie has seen Random Harvest.  They said it was really good.

Oh one of the pictures I am planning to send you is one where Alice and I are together and are we crazy in that one…We had the back of our hair braided.  And it was raining that day and did we look funny.  You can’t tell our hair is braided unless you look real close.

Well I can’t think of much to say so will close until later and then finish this up.  I will write and tell you the new address as soon as I can.  I am wearing glasses now I go them Saturday.  Quiring said it was far-sightedness and I was straining my eyes and that was causing that white stuff on my eyelids.  Saturday night a bug to into Aunt Minnie’s ear and they called the hospital and they called the doctor and told them to kill it with oil and come in the morning and he would take it out, so Sunday morning they went into town.  It didn’t take long from what they said for him to get it out.  Delores fell off of the tractor and sprained her arm but it is doing ok now.  Well I am running out of news so will close this newspaper.  Write soon!  With lots of love, Your niece, Juanita

 

May 17, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan:

How are you?  We are fine here now.  Delores is about over a sprained wrist.  We thought her arm was broken.  Dr. took an x-ray and showed it wasn’t.  That was last Friday night.  Then Saturday evening after I got home from town I got a bug in my ear.  Felt like an airplane inside of my ear.  We tried everything we knew but couldn’t get it out so used warm oil in my ear.  That killed the bug but it was still in there.  We went to hospital met Dr. there and he got it out.  He washed the bug out with a syringe.  We were at Fred’s folks for dinner Sunday as Lee’s were up for dinner from Wichita.  I think we started something.  Luella told us that the old stork was going to visit their home about 1st of December.  Isn’t that something.  She says they are both thrilled about it, but you know it’s funny how thrilled they are when they never planned for it.  Steps count sometimes.  Our boy weighs eleven pounds now.  He is sure getting fat.  He has a double chin.  The church is buying a quarter acre of land from Mr. Elliott right by Locks to put the parsonage on.  I think it will be better location than where they did have it.  Juanita is taking bus to Wichita Saturday morning.  Her school is out Friday.  Did you ever eat an avocado?  We bought one the other day and no one here likes it.  I just wondered what one was like.  Fred is sure busy now.  I saw Mr. Lyman and Grandma Lyman yesterday.  Grandma Lyman is 91 years old.  Richard, Merrick and Billy are in service and Paul goes as soon as he graduates this spring and Dorothy’s husband goes in Friday.  Eugene Lyman is sophomore in high school this year.  Lots of love, “The Evans”

 

May 17, 1944: Tom to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Hello!  Ivan I saw Beulah May down at the firestone station one day and I talked to her.  She said that she would not tell me nothing about your letters.  She said that you could have hers burned she doesn’t care.  She started a letter to you one night but didn’t finish it so she tore it up.

How are you getting along over there by now?  I’m going to try and get a leave in June if I can and go to Pueblo Colorado that is where Mary’s uncle lives.  He told her if she would get enough gas to come out there he would get enough to come back so we are planning on going.  We went to Mother’s for Mother’s Day and everybody got there sometime Sunday.  Mother and Dad look pretty good, Dad bought a new motor for his car and I was off today but I didn’t have time to put it in so I will Saturday.  I helped Fred put in a pipe from his house to the shop.  I dug the hole for the pipe and put the pipe in the hole.  I’m going to get another new tire for my car soon I hope.  My wife is still working and they tried to make me take out war bonds out at the base and I told them that I wasn’t making enough money and Mary is buying them where she works.  But I still might have to take out some anyhow.  Lots of the boys have some but they cash them as soon as they get them so why buy them?  I will write sooner.  Your brother, Tom

 

May 22, 1944: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan:

How are you?  We are all OK.  Roy is still here yet.  He will be in the navy if they ever think they want him.  His age may keep him home he is only 29 and they want these boys from 26 to 18.  Did mother tell you about the time Walter went to see Murriel?  Well it was the Sunday Dad got stuck in the mud hole as they started to church.  Fred came and took them to church.  Roy let I and kids off at the mud hole and we walked around the water to Mother’s.  That afternoon after Dad got the car out of the water he was going to bring it home by way of Minnie’s.  Walter knew Dad was going to stop at Minnie’s so without telling us he scooted off, went around all the water and got to the car before Dad left.  Well he got to see the baby.  And when Roy came he went after Walter and were we glad to see him.  Well I’ll close. Love, Roy, Irene and kids

 

May 22, 1944: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan:

Here is another letter same day.  These v-notes don’t hold enough.  I get started and I have to quit.  We went to Mother’s yesterday and in the afternoon Minnie and Wilma were there too.  That baby of Minnie’s looks more and more like Delores did when she was that age only mother says his mouth is a bit bigger and Minnie says his ears don’t stick out so much as Delores’ did.  All the kids went swimming in the lake Dad has in his calf pasture, even the ones that were not supposed to.  Walter came in dripping in the little suit he wore to Mom’s.  It didn’t hurt him any but he might have changed his clothes.  These kids of mine have been collecting tadpoles and some have four legs already and are losing their tails.  It is almost mail time so I’ll close.  Take good care of yourself.  Love, Roy, Irene and kids

 

May 22, 1944: Minnie to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan:

How are you?  How did it happen you could tell where you were this time?  Delores just got through shaking basket and Murriel is sound asleep.  He is getting hungry as he’s supposed to eat in 15 minutes.  He’s never cried yet at night.  Isn’t that grand?  We think so.  He has hair about shade of Delores’ but his eyelashes are white so I suppose he’ll be a tow head like you and I were when we were little.  He sure is getting fat.  Delores keeps telling me she thinks he’s cute.  Wilma and John had a mattress fixed for the little bed for his present.  Sure was nice of them.  We plan to take Wilma’s truck and go to the cemetery tonight and fix those markers.  Can hardly wait then to see how surprised folks are.  Ill write and tell you how they were.  Hope and Verona Chitwood were at Sunday school yesterday.  Their girl is almost two years old, she’s cute.  He goes to the navy tomorrow.  Did I tell you they are moving parsonage to some of Elliott’s land.  Just right by Lock’s is where they bought a half acre.  Juanita went home Saturday.  Went in town with Allen Theiss so I didn’t have to go in to take her.  Wilma’s were here yesterday and I went to Mother’s with her.  First thing we knew the kids were all swimming in the calf pen.  Isn’t that something?  It was up to Delores’ neck in places.  I sure gave my girls a lecture when they got home as that was stagnant water and drained from barn lot too.  I think our girls will ask us next time.  I hope so.  John is still at Wilma’s.  Must close. Lots of love, The Evans

 

May 22, 1944: Southwestern Bell Telephone Company to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

We hope you’ll find the enclosed card helpful while you are serving with our armed forces.  I’m sure you know the Telephone Company is proud to have you identified with it wherever you happen to be.

Many of our telephone people were reluctant to give up their Telephone Company identification when they left for military duty, so it occurred to us that some evidence of your telephone service might be useful. 

This card brings with it my kindest personal regards as well as those of everyone in the department.  Best of luck from us all.

Sincerely yours, H.L. Snell, District Plant Superintendent

 

May 22, 1944: Doris Yeager to Ivan

Norwich, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I am really terribly sorry for being so slow in answering your letter I was so glad to get.  For the last six weeks there has been something going on almost all the time.  Now that school is out maybe it won’t be that way.  I am going to Wichita this afternoon and mess around for a few days and maybe go to Winfield.  So I thought I better write now.

I graduated last Thursday night.  I thought it was a happy occasion but now I’m not quite sure.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I knew what I was going to do.  Dad sold his place and he doesn’t know what he’s going to do either.  But why worry about a thing like that?  It’s all very simple.  But you keep writing to Norwich until I tell you different, and I promise to write more often.

Yes, I am 17.  You certainly have a good memory.  I am afraid you have it wrong about me but I will send you a picture anyhow.  It’s just a senior snap.  Maybe I’ll get something else this week.

I don’t know much to say I guess.  So I will close for now and write again. Love, Doris Yeager

 

May 23, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Route 2, Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Thanks for the nice V-letter we got yesterday written March 12.  Pretty good service, don’t you think?  Yes, spring is supposed to be here, but it’s been wet and cold for a week or more, so we don’t have any garden planted, as it is too wet.  We hope it will soon dry up some.  You really do have damp weather there, don’t you?  Do you wear boots all the time there? 

I put another 20.00 in the Coop for you last week, and the bal. is $219.34 now.  Not so bad is it?  We don’t hear very much about the rotation program but we’re hoping you may benefit from it as some of the boys are. 

Schuyler’s baby I think will have red hair, but there’s not enough to tell the color yet – just fuzz.  She really is sweet. 

Are you planning to go to some other islands in your group?  New Ireland or New Britain?  Hope you will get to come back here before too long.  From radio reports there is action in New Ireland. Love and best wishes, The Tuckers

 

May 25, 1944: Edna to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

Well for us we are having two graduations.  Gayle graduated from the grades this year so last week was his week of commencement.  They have services here for our graduates and it is much like High School, even the Processional.  There were 19 in his class that graduated.  They had commencement Wednesday evening and the school picnic on Thursday and Saturday is the exercises in Convention Hall.  Our church had a banquet for the H.S. and grade school graduates last night.  Morris was master of ceremonies and we had a very nice time, a good program and about 35 graduates and parents and friends too.  There were over 100 people there.  Baccalaureate for H.S. is on Sunday night and Commencement is Thursday night.  Virgil may go into the Navy soon as they say they are closing up enlistments soon as they want men in the army.  Virgil doesn’t want the army so he thinks the Navy is the lesser of the evils so I expect he will soon be enlisting.  We don’t like to think of it but I don’t think it would be fair if he wants the Navy to object.  Everyone here seem to be OK.  Minnie and her boy are fine.  He really is growing and is so good.  From what we hear you have moved again.  Are you very busy?  Is it still muddy there?  Does it rain most of the time there?  It is cool and nice here today and sunshiny.  Our roses are really nice.  We hope to have plenty for Decoration Day.  Hope you are feeling fine.  We are all OK here.  Lots of love and best wishes, The Tuckers

 

May 25, 1944: Violet to  Ivan

Wichita, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dear Ivan,

How is the world using you by now?  We are moved and getting more settled all the time.  Clarence works on third shift here at Beech.  We’ve been so unsettled for so long about the airport and what we were going to do.  We moved here to Wichita and I thought I’d get lots done.  We got partly straightened up when Mary Foulke went to the hospital.  They have a baby girl.  I’ve kept all or part of the family since.  We done their washing today.  Ellen and the three others are here today to help.  Perry is 2, Patsy is 4 so we’ve got 4 little folks with my two little ones.  Clarence is up at present.  The radio is going and if you think we’ve got many here you ought to see the gang of little folks in this court where we live.  The Baptist minister 2 doors south have seven.  They are here quite a lot.  The oldest is eleven.  I’m doing my washing today too.  Juanita and Ellen are doing their ironing.  We plan to go to Hutch this Saturday.  It’s as close to Decoration as we can go as C.D. works then.  Will write again soon.  Take good care of yourself.  Love, Clarence Violet

 

May 26, 1944: Doris Yeager to Ivan

Norwich, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

I know you will be surprised to get two letters so close together but it wasn’t just a slip.  I am trying to make up for lost time. 

It’s raining here and it has been all day.  I just don’t care about that kind of weather but it’s alright.

I’m going to join Eastern Star Lodge when I am 18.  I don’t know why but Mother and Dad both belong and naturally they want to drag me in.  It must be nice of them, ha.

I came back from Wichita this morning on the train.  I don’t know what I am going to do now.  But something.  Write soon. Love, Doris

 

June 1, 1944: Juanita to Ivan

Wichita, Kansas

== V-MAIL ==

Dearest Uncle Ivan,

Well have you ever wrote to those girls?  Remember I can find out if you do.  I hope you can read this as I am writing on my purse and I am used to typing and you aren’t used to reading my scribbling so maybe we will make out and maybe not.

I am working now at a restaurant here in Wichita, $15 a week two meals a day and I work from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Then I am off till 4:00 then back to work till 8:30 on week nights and 9:30 on Saturdays.  Not bad do you think?  I have made 85 cents on tips in two days.  Clear profit.

We were back home Saturday and Sunday.  We went then to decorate the graves as Dad had to work on Tuesday so we had more time going then.

Well it is about time to go back to work so I must hurry or I’ll be late.  Oh I forgot to tell you the work I am doing is waitress work.  Say I am looking for a letter every day even if it is a line to let us know you are OK.  We can’t read Grandma’s like we did.  We are planning to go back about once a month.  That is if the gas holds out.  We saw Uncle Sam.  He’s the one that has a filling station here at Wichita.  Well I must close.  Hoping to hear from you soon. Lots and lots of love, Juanita

June 2, 1944: Lottie Jane to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

My Dear Son Ivan,

I thought maybe you’d like to read Schuyler’s last letter [dated May 8, 1944], so this is an easy way to send it to you.  We were so glad to get your air mail letter this week, it was ten days coming.  I think that was fine.  I am sorry I’ve been so slow in writing this week.  I plan on doing better next week. 

We are having beautiful weather and Dad is listing now.  I have the little chicks out in the coops now and they are doing fine.  Violet, Clarice and Junior stayed with us from Saturday morning till Sunday morning.  We all went to Sunday school together and Clarence came there after her.  He and the rest stayed at his mother’s.  A card from Violet yesterday said Clarence was real sick with the Strept throat when they got home Sunday night.  I suppose he is better by now. 

Old Watch is as usual sometimes he won’t drive the cows unless I go along.  When Dad tells him he needs shooting, he stays close to me and won’t even bark for Dad.  He generally goes with me wherever I go.  I guess he thinks he and I don’t go very fast and he can keep up with me.  He looks good and hears good. 

While Violet was here her and Dad set tomatoes in the garden.  John helps milk most of the time while he is here.  I think his back is OK now for he went to look for a job this a.m. 

I rode with Fred’s to the to the cemetery Decoration Day.  Dad and John went in our car, Morris’ took their car.  It was so nice to see the new stones on our lot.  I don’t think anyone has more thoughtful children than we have.  I surely thank every one of you.  They had ten dollars left over so paid it on the lot and Dad paid the rest so the lot is paid for too and I am so glad.

Well Ivan I am a little late so I’ll hurry and send you another letter soon.  I’ll get some air mail envelopes soon, but we are requested to send all the V’s we can.  Don’t you think I’ve sent my share? 

The pink roses are in bloom now, just a little late.  Our new heifers are doing fine, we expect to have some good cows some day, better than we ever had.  Dad said he was glad he hadn’t sold the animal, he thinks lots more of him now.  I’ll put this in the box and write soon again. 

We hope you are well and OK, and that you’ll write again soon.  Take as good care of Ivan as I would if he was here.  Good-bye with lots of love, Dad and Mom

 

June 3, 1944: Irene to Ivan

Hutchinson, Kansas

Dear Ivan,

Do these letters get to you as quick as v-notes do?  I just wondered.&