World War II
You would think that fighting in a war would be enough of a job but Dad must have been a little bored so he sent for a correspondence course. After all he now had a family to support and needed a career to do that. He has two lessons done and has finally gotten the results of the tests he had to take. Now mind you the mail service to those overseas is spotty to say the least and there are still letters and packages he is waiting for. I figure it will be at least a month for him to hear back from them. The first lesson he scored a 98 and with this next one being a 96 I would say he is getting good grades. Go Dad!
26 April, 1945 Quartermaster move to Burgdorf, Germany fifteen (15) miles NE of Hanover
28 April, Burgdorf, Germany
My Darling Wife & Daughter, Well Darling I fooled around and didn’t get you written last night. But am getting an early start tonight. So maybe I’ll get a little done, if I’m lucky. Its [sic] pretty nice out today. A little chilly but one can stand that. The sun shine will come if it keeps on. I’ve had my long handles on and off so much they jump every time I walk by thinking they get to go again. Boy Mommie I hope that Dr gets you straightened out by the time I get home. I don’t want you wasting any time having to run to the Dr for treatments or shots. I just hope everything gets along ok anyway.
My mother suffered from endometriosis and I have to wonder if it is showing itself so early in their relationship. This condition would haunt my mother causing two miscarries between my third oldest sister and me. After my younger brother was born she was forced to get a hysterectomy but by then there were five of us so I think that was plenty. After all Dad is adamant he only wanted two. They came from such different families. Dad being one of eight children and my mother was an only child. Dad was one of the youngest so he dealt with a lot of nephews and nieces growing up. Mom had no one except a few friends and some cousins.
Guess Mary Lynn is getting on the ball now. I never could get along on milk she will make that 8 ozs look sick. Next week watch out Mary Sue [a friends baby who Dad feels they are in competition with] here we come. I suppose you missed my letter telling about how I broke my toe. Well when I went back to La Harve I got two quarts of Champaine [sic] and dropped one on my toe and broke both. Boy sure hated that. Needed that Champaine [sic] The way it was Bob only got one and I didn’t have any. I brought the one back to him. Boy one kid has been gone and his mail just caught up with him. He has about 50 letters. Boy wish I could catch that. I don’t know though perhaps I have gotten all of it. Sure would be nice to sit down and read about 40 letters all from you. Man I think I could do it too without stopping. I got another test paper back today. 96 on this one. They skipped one though. I have gotten the 1st & third back and not the second. I must get on the ball and get another on the road. Have till the 5th. It must be going by then. You only have [a] month for each lesson. This one is on exterior finishing of houses. Am just to where they are boxing the windows. Not a bad subject either. I haven’t seen a show for some time. At least a week. Sure wish they would get one here. Could use a little morale raising. Well darling. I must close now. Think I’ll read a little and then go to bed. Am tired—got up at 5:30 this morning. I love you my Darling. I love you so much honey. I love you & Mary Lynn. All my love, Lefty (10 more pictures)
30 April, Burgdorf, Germany
My Darling Wife & Daughter. Well Gosh here I am again. Didn’t write last night. There just wasn’t a darn thing to write about. I didn’t do much yesterday and what I did do I couldn’t write. But believe me it wasn’t anymore than I had to do. Broke an oil line on the truck and by Christ it took Bob and I two hours to put a new one on. Man they can sure put things in the Darndest places to fix. Guess they didn’t realize it would ever brake [sic]. I got two letters today. One from you and Mom. They were both pretty nice and I hadn’t gotten any mail for about three days so I really got a bang out of them. Boy your mail has been coming right through. In about 7-10 days. Good Huh? Say Mommie you said you were a hostess at the next Starette Meeting and had to furnish drinks and such. I have a quart of cognac want me to send that. Of course it may not fit the purpose. But I’ll bet everyone would have a good time. What would George think? I am in the doghouse now. I’ll bet that locket and ring Dick and Gerald sent are nice. Gosh she is getting so many things. I just can’t realize just what she has. You tell me and I try to picture that and what it looks like and I can’t. But I’ll get to see them someday if the boat don’t sink. Might be a couple years but we have hopes. I was talking to a couple Nebr. Boys today. Didn’t know either one of them but we sure had quite a talk. One was from Broken Bow and one from North Platte. It sure seemed good to talk to them. We exchanged a few stories and such. Bob and I haven’t had a good talk for a long time. So I don’t know how Madeline is. Guess they have had the snow. Bob did say tonight he had a sweet letter from her so guess she is on the ball. It sure doesn’t seem that Roberta’s baby is 6 months old. Its [sic] even hard to believe Mary Lynn is almost 4. Time sure has flown and has the water gone under the bridge. Yes I guess so. I have 10 more pictures to send tonight and I think 9 left. So I’ll get them all on the road as soon as possible. Perhaps I’ll send them in Mom’s letter. I love you my Darlings. I love you so much honey. I love you I love you I love you so much my Darling. All my love, Lefty
2 May, Burgdorf, Germany
My Darlings, Guess what? I did it again. Didn’t write last night. There just wasn’t a darn thing to say. Didn’t get in until after nine and was awful tired so went to bed. Didn’t get any mail yesterday so there wasn’t a darn thing to write. Man I thought before things were darn scarce to write. But anymore its [sic] worse. Once in a while we did something to write about. Perhaps we are now and just can’t write it. Think so?
It is hints like this that really make me wonder what really is going on around him. I know they are doing things that they cannot talk about, but you can hardly tell there is a war going on reading these letters.
I got two letters and the three pictures you sent. They were pretty good. The one of the four was quite good. I love that thumb in Mary’s mouth. She looks like she is the queen of the coop. Rowan didn’t look like she cared but Mary sure does. The sun must have been shining she has her eyes squinted. The others were quite good except a little blurred. Your telling of Riverside Rancho made me homesick. Boy sure wish I could go to a dance. Man we have a mess hall finally where we can sit with our legs under a table again and also have a phonograph fixed up to play in each of the two rooms. Boy the music sure hits the spot. You almost get rhythm in your eating. When I get home you better have your dancing shoes polished. Ruth said she got locked in the rain the other day. Said Carolyn locked the door and couldn’t get it opened again. I’ll bet someone got tanned. She said she had to crawl through a window to get in. I heard about Butchie being a name. But I thought that was in the funnies. The name might last her the rest of her life. But I’ll just call her Butch. Butchie sounds too sissified to me. And by the sounds of the temper and things she isn’t a sissy.
And that is how my sister got her first nickname. You know when I was working with our family pictures I came across one that called my sister Butchie and wondered who that was. I am glad I can put a story to the picture.
Here I am back again. First I got all the pictures you sent and looked at them. Boy I can sure see the change in Butch in them. Then I took the last ones over and showed them to Bob. He had just finished a bath. He thought they were good and then I had to talk a while. And here it is 9:30 and I started this at 6:30 so you see. I’m not feeling just right tonight. Nose is all plugged up and head kinda hurts. Guess I have a cold and have been sleeping in a room with not enough ventilation. That’s the whole thing. Have to [sic] much blackout. I love you my Darling. I love you I love you honey I love you so much Mommie. All my love, Lefty (the last of the pictures I have are here)
3 March, Burgdorf, Germany
My Darlings, Well Mommie here I am again. Went down to drink some beer and it didn’t even look good so here I am. All I want now is to be home with you and Mary Lynn. The Company has gotten some beer somewhere and are having a time. Not many are there though. The beer isn’t so good. You know Mommie I wish you could have had some way to have been looking out the window with me tonight. Boy waite [sic] until I can tell you about what we saw and also about this damn country. I just don’t know honey. I got busy and finished another lesson today. Now I have to do the test and send it in. Should do that tomorrow. It is suppose [sic] to be on the road by the 5th and that isn’t very far away. (this pen is getting awful dirty) (it almost won’t write) [There is a big blob of ink on the paper and he changes colors] Now I cleaned the damn thing and see what it did. Well maybe it will do better from here on. I hope. I’ll get along fine on what I get. I have been wondering about you though. How are you getting along? I got another raise when I made PFC. $4.80 so I’m getting 8 something now and not a damn place to spend that. I’ll save it and maybe something will turn up who knows. Boy have I a cold. About all I get done is blow my nose and man I think I about have my blower blowed out. Sure hope it doesn’t last long. Cause I hate to have things hanging on. Should write some more letters too. But sure ain’t in the mood. I’m going to bed. By Gosh honey I guess I just don’t know what to write. I can’t think straight. All plugged up. I love you my Darling. I love you so much honey. I love you I love you sweetheart. I love you I love you Mommie. All my love, Lefty
5 May, Burgdorf, Germany
My Darlings, Hello Honey how are you and Mary. I am fine I hope except for this cold I have and I think it is getting better but I’m not building my hopes too high. Anything can happen and I wouldn’t drought [sic] but what it will. This is the first time I have done any typing for a long time and boy are the key’s ever mixed up. But I didn’t have any thing else to do for a while and thought I would try anyway. Didn’t get any mail today so haven’t any thing to write much. Did get a letter from Lucille though. She didn’t have much to say. Only the usual things. She said that the yard was all dug up for the water and didn’t know just when they would get it all in. I guess the kids were in the last day of school and she seemed very happy about that. She said that they had gone on a hike and in the afternoon they were going to tour the town. I didn’t write last night because I was on guard and didn’t get off until midnight. Boy that was a long time. It wasn’t so cold though so we had that to our advantage. Man one would think the country would warm up some but it sure doesn’t seem like it will ever do it. I don’t know how the people get along around here. Even the thought of getting out turns my stomach. I sent in the fourth lesson today. Man I wish I had the other ten in. I have been so busy doing nothing that I hardly have time to do anything like that anymore. It’s still very interesting though and I still like it very much. Just running my head off though and haven’t the time to do it. But I’ll get it done. I’m getting my truck in pretty good condition now. It sure was a wreck when I got it. I guess it will out last the war though. I sure hope so I don’t want to get out some where and get stuck. But I’m not worried about that now. It hasn’t gotten me into any trouble yet. I was wondering if you wanted any more of that parachute silk. I have a lot more of it and I just haven’t sent it home. I guess I should cause I have a couple of swords to send too and I have to get at it. Man if I had sent home all the things I wanted too I would have had a house full. But the small things aren’t so bad. (I hope) ——— [the next page is hand written] 4 hours later and someone else has the pecking machine so I continue by hand. Haven’t much more to say anyway. Except of course how much I love you. Bob and I went down and was going to drink a beer but decided it wasn’t worth it so just talked over old times and are planning on going to bed. I love you my Darling. I love you I love you honey. Gee Darling I wish I were home with you. I love you both so much I love you I love you I love you. All my love, Lefty
A couple of swords and some parachute silk? It seems like my dad sent home some guns also as I remember one of them hanging on the gun rack that graced our patio wall. My brother got all the guns when my parents went into the rest home and I just don’t remember but it seems as though there are two that came home from overseas. I do not remember the swords. I also have a vague memory of parachute silk and also will never forget the two wool blankets he brought home. They were so itchy I could not stand them and was thankful when my mother made them into quilts sewing flannel over them. Then they became my favorite blanket.
It seems like Dad is in charge of his own truck maintenance no matter who was assigned to drive it that day. Dad was always handy with working on a car and did the maintenance on all of our cars growing up. I tell you I spent quite a few hours with my dad under the hood of a car handing Dad tools and I would not have changed that for all the shoes, clothes, and make-up in the world. I was my father’s notsofancynancy daughter.
© 2013 notsofancynancy
Robert “Bob” Winter, Shirley B. Wood, Reynold G. Hansen, Allen L. Ozanne