Living in the desert you sometimes need somewhere to escape the summer heat.
World War II
It is only six days until Christmas and there are a lot of fathers, sons and husbands who will not be home for the holidays in 1944. The influx of Christmas packages trying to make it to these soldiers will only “ball up” the mail as Dad says. There are a lot of men who will not get their letters and packages until quite a while after Christmas arrives in France. It will be just another day for the soldiers.
19 December, St Jean-Rohrbach, France
My Darling Wife, Hi Sweet hows [sic] Mommie tonight. In good spirits I hope. I didn’t write last night. Got started doing something else and before I know it it was bed time. That was twice I didn’t write within a week and that was bad. The other time I was on guard though. I did get to a show last night. “Important Year.” It was a screwy thing but I bet it is happening every day. We haven’t gotten much mail the last couple of days. I wish that correspondence school would get on the ball so I would have something else to do for a change. I have been putting handles of knives for some kids around here and have sure given my fingers a beating. I cut the end of one and have a couple blisters and some more are a little stiff. Of course there isn’t anything serious but I want to be a book worm for a change. You’ll probably be a neglected women when the school comes through. Because for awhile I’ll bet I’m all wrapped up in it. I think it is going to be interesting. You know Mommie I’ll bet the church committee is going to get awful disgusted with me. I got another letter from George and he wants me to write him. Well I haven’t. I read some of the letters that have been written and they seem so silly I get disgusted and don’t write. Its [sic] nice for them to write and I imagine they like to get the letters but gosh why make fools of themselves if they pertain to the church ok but did you ever read and really notice those letters. I got a Christmas card from Eva the other day. It was just a card with no writing and really not worth the money. Nice though. Her and her guy are having a time I guess. Mommie I love you so much. I love you honey. Its [sic] time for the lights and now I’m a long way from bed so I better quit. I love you so much my darling. Gee honey I love you. I love you. I love you. All my love honey, Lefty
20 December 1944 Quartermaster moved to the city of Metz, France
20 December, Metz, France
My Darling wife, Just 5 more days until Christmas and then New Years. There is always something to keep the mail balled up. I’ll sure be glad when the holidays are over and we can start getting things straight. And being so close to Christmas makes it less than a month until the little one comes out to get acquainted. Gee honey that sound swell. Now all I can wish is that I were there. I never wanted anything so much in all my life. I love you so much my darling. As you can see we have not gotten any mail lately. Boy you know that sure tells on a bunch of men. But if the morale of this outfit ever gets down its going take more than mail to get it up again. We are ok honey. We know why the mail hasn’t gotten here and all there is to do is waite [sic]. Guard again tonight. It sure takes time but there isn’t anything hard about it. The only things its [sic] awful disgusting and to [sic] much time to think. If I ever take 10 minutes off to really I think I would take off and walk home. But I can find enough to keep busy and think of you at the same time. That’s the part I like thinking of you honey and some of the things we are going to do if things turn out just right. Boy honey I love you. Tell you a good one on Bob. Last night he got to talking and before he knew it the lights were out and he didn’t write Madeline. So today he has been thinking of a good excuse why. As crazy as he can act he has brought some good ones. We saw another show tonight but didn’t really enjoy it. You see the mail didn’t come until after it started and then was to [sic] darn anxious to see if we had any. It was a good show though. “Moonlight and Cactus” Someone around here has found another dog. But I heard him barking about 6 this morning and so I imagine by tomorrow he’ll be gone. It just doesn’t pay to open ones mouth at the wrong time. Well my darling its [sic] about time I was adding the finishing touch to this. You know Mommie I always like to end a letter to you because I can say I love you and I just like to say that. Of course I could tell you I love you before the end but I usually have something else to say there. I love you my sweet. I love you so much Darling. I love you. I love you. All my love honey, Lefty
“Moonlight and Cactus” staring the Andrew Sisters was a movie that resembled what was going on in the United States. When Petty Officer Tom Garrison (Tom Seidel) comes home on shore leave he finds because of the shortage of men in the states that women (The Andrew Sisters) have taken over operating the ranch.
23 December Quartermaster moved to a new area within Metz, France
23 December, Metz, France
My Darling wife, Hello Honey have you missed me. I haven’t written for two days this time. Been kinda busy. I’ll reform now though and get back on the beam and keep my correspondence up. I haven’t gotten and [sic] mail though so as you can see I’m not going to have much to write about. Gosh only one more day until Xmas. I sure hope you have a nice Christmas my Darling. I imagine by the time you get this letter it will be time to wish you a happy birthday. And also congratulate you on the swell job with Jr. Well honey I sent Mom some money to buy something for you for Christmas. I hope she gets it in plenty of time. If she doesn’t I’m sorry. If she does good for Uncle Sam. I also said if she didn’t know what to buy just to give you the money. But if she does that you be darn sure you get yourself something. The moral of this paragraph is Merry Christmas, Happy New Years. A very nice Birthday. The best Anniversary and good luck with Jr. Talking about anniversary think here it is 10 months and I’m an awful lot in love with you. Should be shouldn’t I. Are you sorry honey. This has been the happiest 10 months in my life ever if we only had two of them together. Boy honey I don’t know what I would do without you now. Mommie do you remember me telling you about my back being sunburned and my eyes being about the same. Well anyway the eyes were sure hurting. Well if your [sic] interested I’ll tell you why they were so if not don’t read the rest. About that time we were in the dash across France and was really doing some good work. What really did it. We drove over 600 miles in 48 hours and loaded twice and unloaded twice. Man I have driven but that was it. We didn’t have time to wash and the dust hot wind and all just burned clear through. I think it took me two weeks to get caught up on the sleep from that. And I believe some here haven’t ever caught up yet. Still running around in a daze. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee honey. I hope Jr. doesn’t get balled up like the mail and cause as much worry. I hope he just comes as he should. I love you honey. I love you I love you. All my love My Darling, Lefty
600 miles in 48 hours may not seem like a lot? I bet the loading and unloading took the most time. It must have been a rough detail when you remember that these trucks were only going between 25 and 35 miles an hour.
25 December, Metz France
My Darling Wife, Hello honey Hows [sic] tricks tonight. I love you. Just think today was Christmas and not a bit of cheer. That is not more than two quarts. We kinda divided that all had about a taste. I have about a quart and if things doesn’t change a lot by New Years [sic] I’m going to get so plastered I can’t see. That’s a promise. The Captain asked if I remembered last Christmas. I must have made a real ass of myself then because everytime [sic] he thinks of it he always kids me about it. Today was mail day. Well at least I got a letter from you. Dec 16 Also a package from Mrs. Johnson and one from Aunt Dick. Aunt Dick sent a book. It was nice we don’t have to [sic] much to read. Mrs. Johnson sent some cookies gum candy and a couple dime comic books some stationary a pair of socks hankerchief [sic] comb and I imagine a few other things I can’t think of. It was nice too. But I think the letter from you was twice as good as both. God Mommie I hadn’t gotten any mail from you for so long I believe I almost thought the APO had my name messed up. But it came today. Oh yes I got the Christmas card from the Stanette’s also today. Sounds like Jr is getting a little tiresome Huh! Well perhaps by now he will come out in the open and you won’t have to blow up. It does make it kinda bad when one gets mad doesn’t it. But one really doesn’t feel right unless he does blow his lid once in a while. Well honey I’m sure out lately as far as writing is concerned. I can think of lots before I started writing but sure can’t afterwords [sic]. The only thing I can think of is how much I love you and want to be with you. I guess it is all that really counts because I really do love you so much my Darling. I think I would be the happiest man in the world if I were only home with you. I would even be awful happy if it looked like we were coming home soon. I love you my darling. I love you so much. Gee my Darling I love you. All my love, Lefty
According to an article I found on How Stuff Works:
German forces depleted in Belgium: U.S. soldiers watch Allied and German planes battle on Christmas Day, 1944. The weather over Belgium had recently cleared, and Allied aircraft were finally able to support ground troops in a counterattack against the Germans. Hitler’s belief that the Western Allies were weak and divided proved unfounded. Montgomery’s British forces attacked from the north, Patton’s U.S. Third Army attacked from the south, and American troops successfully defended the town of Bastogne. Beginning on January 8, the Germans retreated from the Ardennes. The Battle of the Bulge had been frightfully costly to all combatants. American casualties numbered about 81,000, and German casualties were between 60,000 and 100,000. But Nazi Germany’s loss of men and materiel was irreparable.
26 December, Quartermaster move to Arlon, Belgium, Billeted in Palis-de-Justice, Place of Leopold
27 December Quartermaster moved to Guirsch, Belgium, approximately three (3) miles north of Arlon
27 December, near Arlon Belgium
My Darling Wife, Hi Honey. This damn pen isn’t working right and I’m about run down. I didn’t get to write last night. Had a busy spell and was awful tired and was late when we could write and I just didn’t. That makes you about neglected in the last week. Only three letters. But I grant you it won’t happen again. I’ll hope. We had a nice Christmas. Of course we had turkey, potatoes, gravey [sic], cranberries, bread, butter and a big delicious apple. And did I enjoy that. To top it all off our PX Rations came and we had some good candy bars in that. Good old US candy. Its [sic] usually good. Then came the mail and I had a letter from you that was the best and the last mail I have gotten. Gosh I wish they would get on the ball again for a couple months. I hate to think of Junior coming and me not getting the news for a month. It is happening every day though. Harker hasn’t heard from his wife yet. I wish we would have another show here. They make me awful homesick but for a while it helps the morale. Man I’ve sure been low lately. And do I have a hard time writing when I feel like that. Just waite [sic] though the mail will start coming soon and then Oh! Boy! You know I’ve about done every thing now. I even had breakfast in a court house and you know I’ve slept in the court room. And it wasn’t bad either. You know Mommie I think they are going to have to send me home soon or your [sic] going to have a hard time getting along with me. I’m going to be so much in love with you’ll have a hard time getting anything done. God honey I sure love you. And every day I love you more. My darling I love you so much. Mind if I just kinda call this enough for tonight honey. The fire is kind of warm and I’m getting sleepy. I love you so much my darling. I hope you and the baby are getting along ok. Boy honey that will be something when he gets there. I love you so much I love you I love you. All my love, Lefty
The time is coming! Mom’s is about eight and a half months pregnant. Will the baby come early or on time? And I wonder how long it will take for Dad to get the news. Communication has come a long way since back then. Now days you could use social media to be in the delivery room no matter where you are. Back then men did not even attend the actual birth. The husband waited in a waiting room while the woman delivered. Things sure have changed.
© 2013 notsofancynancy
Robert “Bob” Winter, Harker Harvey
In the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma, we have found Military families and First Responders in need through Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma National Guard. We are preparing care packages and pallets of materials to send out asap (hopefully by Friday or early next week, and continuing as needed).
We welcome your help in collecting items and/or donating funds to help with the added shipping costs.
Road Trip: A Comedy of Errors, Part 7
The last leg of our journey would take us through the mountains through Utah and bit of Arizona, into Nevada and spend the night in the desert oasis known as Las Vegas. We would soon find out how hot that can be.
Living in the desert for so many years you learn the hottest time of the day is right starting after one. By three you are sweltering and by four you may get a break and it will start to cool. But if you are having a heat wave that final cool down may never come. From Delta, Colorado to Victorville, California is about 720 miles. When we hit about St. George, Utah it started to get hot. We tried the air conditioner and although it blew cool air it was in no means cold. The closer we got to Las Vegas, the hotter it was and we were no longer smiling. The only thing that was great was the view out of the window. Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and finally Nevada have some wonderful views. I did not hear anything from David the whole time. I am not sure if he did talk because the windows were down and when background noise is louder than someone talking to me I cannot hear unless you are yelling and then it would be iffy. I would probably nod my head no matter what you said. I would have to say although the views were amazing this was not my favorite leg of our journey. There is a lot more to this part of the trip but to save some dignity I will leave it out. Let’s just say I do not do hot well!
We got to Las Vegas a bit before the sun went down, the hottest part of the day. Believe me when I say I prayed all the way there that the next day would be cooler. We got the horses boarded and got into the hotel, turned the air conditioner on high, got a bite to eat and went to sleep. I woke up three times that night choking and being sick to my stomach. It was a rough night but by morning I was ready to get home and if the heat was anything like the before I wanted to get an early start, say before the sun came up.
We were up by five, loaded the horses, and were on the road by six and it was cool out. Nice and cool! God listened! We crossed the Mojave Desert with a cool breeze coming in our windows. I was in such a good mood even though David and I were both dog tired. I live about three hours away from Las Vegas and he lives another two hours from me. Although we had a rough time we can look back on this “Road Trip” and laugh! What a comedy of errors!
Until my next road trip, happy trails!
What better way to escape than a road trip!
If you haven’t already read my last one here are the links to do so. It was certainly an interesting trip, one I can laugh at now!
And tune in tomorrow for the final installment! We will make it without further incidents? Lets just say it was really hot coming across the desert!
This is what I love to do to escape. This road may not look so bad but it is a four wheel low road. The way is littered with loose rock which can make your tires spin if you are not careful. When you reach the top the parking is limited and you have to be careful not to fall off the tailings. When I complete such a feat I sure feel strong. lol
Once you reach the top the feeling is one of exhilaration as the view is amazing. It is one of my favorite places to escape to.
I can’t believe I have written 5 parts of this trip report and we have not even gotten through Nebraska yet! I hoped the rest of the trip went better than the first.
We got an early start the next morning and as David loaded the horses Bruiser let out one of the biggest farts I have ever heard in my life. I guess he had not been feeling well but the fart told us he was feeling better. I laughed out loud. I have never heard a fart that loud and that long but I was glad the horse was feeling better.
We had about 630 miles to go that day. Just before we headed into the Colorado Rockies we got off to get gas and use the bathroom. As we pulled off the freeway David noticed the trailer brakes were feeling funny. I have never hauled anything as heavy as the really long trailer and a couple of horses. It takes quite a while to stop. I had no idea, it scared me a little. As I went in to use the bathroom he checked things out. When I came out he had the cord that connected the trailer to the truck apart. Somehow it got lose and drug on the ground it had almost worn it all the way through. Had we gone ahead we would have surly lost our brakes. It was nothing that could not be fixed but there were six different wires that needed to be stripped and put back together. He could not find his knife but found some scissors. It took longer but we were both glad we found it before we hit the hills. An hour later we were on our way.
The drive through the Rockies was beautiful and with nothing more than a little stress coming down hill we made it with no other problems. It was a little scary when we came to the runaway truck ramp and for the first time in my life we saw truck that had used it not long before we got there. It had run up quite a ways and the truck jackknifed. It looked scary but it did its job and stopped that truck.
We made it to Cedaredge and went to find the horse boarding place. David and the lady who own it hit it off and in no time I thought they had always known each other. We both knew the horses were in good hands and David has a new friend that just happens to be where my other best friend lives. That could come in quite handy the next time I want to go to Colorado. Life is good.
We slept in the next morning and David went to take care of the horses and went riding with the lady where he boarded the horses. They all really needed the exercise. When he got back I took the truck and went to my friend’s house and I did a couple of loads of laundry and spent some downtime with my friend. David stayed at the hotel and took a much needed nap. We got a day of much needed rest and went to a BBQ at my friend’s house, Turkey teriyaki burgers, grilled pineapple, with strawberry shortcake for desert.
We called it a night early and prepared for the next leg of our journey. The most beautiful part of our trip is yet to come. The mountains are beautiful but home is in the desert. It was predicted to be hot but David’s truck did have air conditioning and I have done a lot of traveling through the desert watching from behind the windshield of my cooled truck. It seemed the worse of the trip was behind us.
World War II
Christmas is coming and the soldier’s job is not done. Dad is still in France driving troops, delivering supplies, gas, rations, and whatever else needed to be hauled to the troops all over France. My mom on the other hand is spending her days in Pasadena, California. Christmas was always a big deal in my Grandma’s house. She always made things fun. Grandma Susie wasn’t a drinker but she did have one or two Pabst Blue Ribbon beers during the holidays. Looking back on it, it was fun to watch such a prim, proper lady like Grandma Susie with a beer buzz on. Mom will deliver their first child in less than a month.
13 December, St Jean-Rohrbach, France
My Darling Wife, Hello honey this is the daily bugle. I can blow for 10 minutes and not even get reveille. But there isn’t anyone in the world I would rather blow for. The mail came. But all I had was a letter from Lucille and a package from Rose and Elmer. The package was pretty nice. Another white towel and a bar of soap. Guess they think I need sanitation over here. Gosh I wash once a month whether I need it or not. You can just turn around and be dirty so you get used to it. Outside your [sic] in mud clear up to possible and that’s not hay.
In case you are keeping track Dad now has about twelve bars of soap and quite a few white towels. I can’t imagine him hauling all that on the road. I think when he talks about the once a month bath he is really not kidding. Maybe they will have better luck for “sanitation” staying in barracks.
Oh waite [sic] I think I have a letter left from yesterday I can write about. So you finally got the picture. Well there is another on the way. Sure hope you like it too. It’s a little fixed up. If I ever get to Paris I’ll get you that perfume. Until then I guess you’ll have to buy your own. I’m sorry I didn’t get some when I had the chance. Maybe I could have, I don’t know. Boy honey perhaps you won’t fall down again in ten years but I’m going to do a lot of hoping it doesn’t happen a little bit to [sic] soon. Sure wish I [was] there so you could lean on me. Probably I’d fall too. But do be careful honey. I guess L.A. kinda has it as Christmas goes huh. Someday I’m going to do my shopping there. And hope it is next year. You and Mom really must have done the rounds today (Can’t say today that’s about 2 months late) I’m sure glad Jr didn’t give you much resistance. It sure would have ruined your day. Huh? About the names honey. I don’t know. I guess I have given the best I can think of. Perhaps you have some much better I don’t know. I’m leaving it all up to you. Don’t worry Mommie rather than have no name call it Sam or Sollsy [sic]. Well honey again its [sic] about time to quit. At least I think so. Lucille and Mike are Ok so quote they anyway. I love you my Darling. I love you. I love you. All my love, Lefty
Dad talks throughout the letters about how expensive it was to buy things in France. I am not sure of his motives though. Did he just not want to contribute to their economy when that money will be better spent in the United States?
14 December, St Jean-Rohrbach, France
My Darling Wife, Mail again today. Three letters from you and one from Elmer and Rose. The three from you were sure nice. I’m all in favor of Terry Lee or Mary Lynn. Boy if you like them we better make it that or I’m afraid he or she might get stuck with some of the names on that paper. Wow what a list. I got a big bang out of some of them. Then I showed them to Bob and we both had a good laugh. Tell you what I’ll save the list and if by chance we have to be farmers well have something to call the cats. Oh! Honey. I was only kidding. They are all good but I like the two. If you do swell. I could never go by what someone else wrote. Have to have brainstorms of my own. Some aren’t so bad either. I like Beverly Kay better than Gay. For some reason I don’t like Gay sounds out of place. Well thats [sic] my line. Ivan Ray would be nice. Terry Lee and Mary Lynn as the first two and Beverly Kay and Ivan Ray as second. (just in case of twins and we have to have two names.)
This is crazy, the baby will be here anytime now and they are just deciding on names? How long will this take to get to Mom? Will they use one of these names or will Mom pick one out Dad has not mentioned? There will be big news in the Woodside family soon and I wonder just how long it will take for Dad to get the news the stork has made the delivery.
Now vital subject is past and I hope you haven’t blown the lid, I love you darling. They were good names. Now do you believe me? You asked me how much I owed. I only owe about half as much as there is owed me only I intend to pay what I owe out of my own pocket. Besides Harold I owe Elmer a little. About the some $30 each. I had Bob paid before I left the states. I think I wrote that once. If not I sure aimed too. That’s where all the money went I won that month. In fact Bob owed me about 6 dollars by the first payday we had. Nope Mommie the two are all and I’ll get them paid. Don’t you go sending them any. Well that’s subject number two. Now we can get down to some real loving. I like the idea about the folks Christmas presents. I think they would too. So if that is what you did swell. They will think it grand. I guess I’m going to have to watch my figure. Boy Mommie I didn’t realize you weighed so much. Just waite [sic] though Jr will show you what’s what. If you keep that up perhaps I better send a couple more names huh? You know that clipping Lucille sent is sure going to town back there. By the time we get home we are going to be forgotten hero’s. For What? Everyone is writing about it. Sounds swell too. You say John isn’t working. Nice isn’t it. I’m glad I got a wife who can depend on me make the living. And if I can’t grant you will have the chance of finding someone else who can make it. But as you say its [sic] going to be damn hard. But honey I have no damn doubt but what we do a good job of it. I don’t think anything in the world is to [sic] good for you honey and I have plans of showing you the best. Boy honey all I want is a chance to show you and the rest. Well gosh honey I guess I have forgotten all the good things I had to say. I went to a show “Cover Girl” tonight. It was sure good. Have you seen it. It made me so want to be home with you. I’m just the little guy but I sure love you. But damn it this war sure won’t let me tell you. Only of course a letter and that sure isn’t any good. I get so lonesome for you my Darling. Bob’s getting to call me “Lovesick Me.” And he is the one who should be called that. Rose and Elmer are ok at least they said so. For some reason she said she was reading the first letter from France. I have sure written more than that. But perhaps she as you haven’t gotten them. The letter she was talking about was dated Oct something or other. I love you my Darling Wife. I love you so much. Gee honey I hope you and Jr are getting on ok. I love you honey. Oh Gee Mommie how can I tell you how much I have missed you and love you. All my love, Lefty
Clip from cover girl Rita Hayward preforms Poor John from the movie, “Cover Girl.”
17 December, St Jean-Rohrbach, France
My Darling Wife, Hello my Darling. Gosh honey am I the luckiest guy in the world. Know [?] why I got your Christmas Card yesterday and you know the rest. Was that picture good. Boy honey I’m so proud of it. I made a little leather folder for it today. The one it was in wouldn’t last long in this country. Boy I sure do like it Honey. The Christmas card was also very nice. Especially what you wrote on it. I sure like to get cards from you since you have been writing on them. By the way I also got letters from you. 7-8-9-10. Awful old but lots of loving and that’s what I want. I love you my Darling. Sounds like we are getting rich. And you ask me if I have enough money. Its [sic] me that should be asking you. Gosh have you been spending anything. I didn’t ever think we would have that much in the bank. That’s another thing honey. I guess I just need you to save the money for us. I have been going to write home and find [out] how many bonds I have but haven’t thought of it yet. If you need any of that money use it honey. After all its [sic] yours. I know this is mighty late but wish the folks a happy anniversary for me. Maybe next year I’ll be able to remember it and do it myself. I wish them all the luck in the world. I have your picture sitting here in front of me. And every once in a while I have to stop and look at it. I sure do like it honey. I sure wish you would get some good ones taken of you now. You write and say the ones aren’t good. I haven’t seen you take a really bad picture yet. I sure didn’t have much of a time wrapping Xmas presents this year. We just couldn’t buy anything for less than a fortune. And I guess I’m a little Scotch because I hate to buy. Well its [sic] to [sic] late now in two ways. So Fred is in Germany. Guess he went the easy way huh! I’m sure glad Ruth has been hearing from him. Wish she would send me his address someday. I probably wouldn’t write but the address would be good. You say what a cheerful day it rained all day, I can top that. What a cheerful 6 weeks. It has rained all of them. I don’t know what tree I have about run into. It has been pretty dark around here and I have walked into a few vehicles without seeing them. Does that count. Started walking downstairs last night and didn’t quite get all the way down before I turned and about broke my neck getting down the hard was. I didn’t hurt myself but my modesty was kind of mangled. (I’m sitting on a blanket now.) I’m not so sure I can fill another page or not but if your [sic] willing to read it I’m willing to try. (not bragging either) Last night we had a show “Cover Girl” and tonight “Crazy Horse.” Both were good. I guess just any old show would be good to us. They are one thing that really takes us home for awhile. It takes about three hours to come back but we make it. I don’t know why I go to them I get so damn lonesome. Then sit here and mood for 10-11 hours until the bull gets to rolling and forget it. I got another package from Lucille yesterday. The underclothes didn’t come but she said there were five packages in all coming so I still have two to go. That’s what balls up our mail so. Not I’m on the ball. Have a cup of coffee. I’m not used to drinking coffee so much anymore. So what this will do to me Oh! La! La! I got the darndest letter from Norma and Bob. It was just clippings from the Lexington paper. It came and had 2 air mail stamps on it and I thought for sure thunder and lightning had taken over and there wasn’t one word written in it. Well my Darling I must stop for tonight. Your [sic] probably tired reading this anyway. I love you so much my Darling. Gee honey am I lucky to have gotten you before someone else. I love you. I love you. I love you. All my Love Darling, Lefty
17 December, St Jean-Rohrbach, France
My Dearest Wife, Hello Honey. I’m going to have to write this in a hurry. It’s almost time for lights out and I’m awful sleepy so must have my sleep. Sound like Ruth is doing ok too isn’t she. The last thing I heard she was going to Oregon. I didn’t think she felt well and had to write her my two cents worth. Well maybe she took my advice. Bob and I went to another show tonight. “Music in Manhattan.” It was good although we had seen it before. But Ann[e] Shelley was something to look at. Dennis Day was to [sic] darn crazy though. Was much better on the radio. And better than that in the Army. You know I wish the moon would be out all the time. Man does it get dark. I guess its ok though cause I’m really grown up now and not afraid of the dark. Say Mommie one time we had several bicycles around and Bob and I weren’t contended [sic] until we rode them. Man what a ride. The only bike we could borrow was one without the precious little gadgets tires. Well we rode and ended up in a heap. We made a necklace of the front wheel. That took some talking to get out of that. (also work) But talking about bicycles. We liked to go down the road and watch the people ride. The women over here just don’t care how the dresses fly. And many times we could be going along and see pinks hanging on the bicycle seats. They soon caught on though and we couldn’t enjoy the pinks (they took them off. The life of Riley. Well Honey I must stop now. I see the lights have dimmed a couple times and that’s my cue. I love you so much my Darling. Gee I love you sweetheart. I love you, I love you. I love you. All my love Mommie, Lefty
I have been wondering what the stories were on these bicycle pictures. It looks like it did not take much to keep these soldiers amused and shame on them for spying on those French women’s underwear, but then boys will be boys even if they are 25 years old.
© 2013 notsofancynancy
Robert “Bob” Winter
Road Trip: A Comedy of Errors, Part 5
Saturday morning we slept until seven and David got on the road to pick up that darn suitcase in Omaha. Doris came and picked me up and had great news. The Quartermaster medal was found and was waiting at the front desk for her. I am so glad it was found. We met at the front desk and the girl at the counter looked all over and could not find it. She promised to find it and have it ready when we got back. Doris sure is a sweet lady, I would have been in a panic she just rolled with the punches.
We got in the car and headed first to see the land the Cain’s farm. They grow both corn and soy beans and I learned that the crops had to be rotated each season between the two. Amazing in this part of the country there are fields as far as one can see. We went by their house and I saw my first yellow finch at her feeder. We just did a drive by and headed out to Holdrege. I can’t tell you how many times the thought went through my head “I could so live here.” When I saw a tractor working I thought “I could so spend my day on that tractor.” I must have been a farmer in another life.
Holdrege was where many of the men from my father’s original 110th Quartermaster Regiment came from, including Marvin Cain. We saw the old armory and went on to the Prairie Museum. Doris told me there is a great display donated by one of the last living members of the 110th Quartermaster, Harry Dalstrom. Sadly the museum was closed and we did not have time to wait. It was then off to Lexington to see what we could see. I did not find lions, tiger’s, or bears but I did see a male pheasant. He was one of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen.
I found the Church my parents got married at. Although they did not have a church wedding they were married by the pastor there. Then we drove on to Cozad.
I had no idea where to go in Cozad. As I mentioned my great-grandparents homesteaded there in the late 1800’s. The only place I could think of going was the cemetery. We pulled into the cemetery and one of the first headstones I saw was a Woodside. I jumped out of the car and ran over. I am not sure what I expected but they were not names I recognized. I took pictures anyway and found Doris at the directory. She found several other Woodside’s but once again I did not know the first names. We walked around a bit then headed back to Lexington to one another cemetery. Now that I am home I found that in one way or another I am related to the Woodside’s in the Cozad cemetery.
The weather was perfect and Doris and I walked around the cemetery and found no one I knew. This whole time Doris had been calling a friend who lived in Lexington to ask how to get to places.
From the last cemetery Doris’s friend knew of one more cemetery and it was close. I knew my family was not there as it was the Catholic cemetery but I knew my father’s best buddy, Robert “Bob” Winter and his wife was there. We drove in and the first name I see is Ozanne. That is a name I remember hearing from when I was young. I am not sure why I remembered that name but I can remember hearing it, it was a name I remembered hearing. In fact I was able to find Mr. Ozanne’s birth and burial records and added him to Find a Grave. I hopped out and ran over to see if Alan was there. Sure enough he was there with his family. I knelt down and touched his headstone as tears threatened to leak from my eyes.
We then went off to find Mr. Winter. I must say I got real emotional visiting each of these graves a whole lot more than I thought I would. When I found Robert “Bob” Winter and Madeline, who my father talked so much about in his letters my eyes more than threatened. I feel like I know them as Dad talks about them so much in his letters. Bob was Dad’s best buddy and he really helped Dad get through the way. For this I thanked them both. It was hard to leave them. On the back of the headstone listed Bob and Madeline’s son’s names and I am going to try to find them and send them a letter. Since Bob plays such a big role in my father’s story I feel they need to know. I know you may not see this in my writing but I am pretty shy.
This was certainly a day in honor of my father, his family, and the soldier’s my father served with. I had a great time and I feel like even though Doris and Roger are not related they are certainly my family now.
When we got back to the hotel the Quartermaster pin was waiting at the front desk and I sighed a sigh of relief. David was on his way back from feeding the horses. He picked up something to eat, we went to the pool, and soaked in the hot tub and once back in the room I feel into a deep sleep.
We had only gone about 300 miles on our trip (Well David had driven a lot further) and the next day would be a full day. Starting in Kearney, Nebraska and ending in Cedaredge, Colorado where we would stay another two nights. We were still two days behind. Although we would not catch up we would at least not lose any more time, or would we?