Posted by: notsofancynancy | July 19, 2012

World War II, Chapter 21, Never Again

World War II

Chapter 21

Never Again

Camp Rucker Stationary

In the last chapter Dad got in a fight with Mom (in his own mind) over not getting a letter from her. I am not sure how long it was because we do not have Mom’s letters. It amazes me at how much their relationship has been about those letters.  From that first letter back in 1937 to now in 1943, they have written a lot more letters than the times they have actually spent time together.  It has been a lot of letters to go through. I have to admit we have not even gotten through the first row of letters in the suitcase. We still have about 30 left to get one third of the way through the suitcase so here we go.

6 October 1943

Dearest Darling, Gosh another day and am I tired. I guess I’ll be worse tomorrow. Anyway we have a 25 mile hike starting tomorrow at 2PM We walk for 4 hrs and then eat then walk the rest of the way. Which will be about 5 hrs. Sounds interesting. We sure haven’t done anything today or yesterday. Last night Bob and I went to the show “Hostages.” (See a clip from the movie “Hostages” here) Tonight we just went out in the woods and threw our knives. I made 30 cents so didn’t do so bad [sic]. It was fun.

(Read an Overview of the movie “Hostages” here)

HEY WOODMAN SPARE THIS TREE IT’S ME

He goes on to talk about when Mom’s birthday is. He thinks it is January 10th. It is really on January 12th. I bet Mom gave him a hard time for not remembering, and I bet he never forgot after that.

We were suppose to have a Co. party here either next Wed. nite[sic] or a week after. I guess it is suppose to be a stag. So we can do what we can do [sic] what we like. Usually the men bring their wifes [sic]. We really don’t know though. We have to go to the field again the 11th so what happens now nobody knows. The Great Ozanne and I had a blow up again yesterday. I can’t get along with anyone anymore except Bob. Sometimes I don’t see how he stands me. I guess it is about deffinate [sic] we go on maneuvers sometime next month then as usually a furlough and I imagine across (overseas). At least we are about scheduled for that. We are going to make it someday too. Bob is sure getting exited about his furlough. He leaves the 15th. Man wish [sic] I was going then. Sure would like to see you again real soon.  I don’t know what else to say. Tell everyone hello. And to you darling I know I am an _______________ (I guess it was so bad he was ashamed to write it) but gosh I do love you. Maybe I am just not good enough for you who knows [sic]. But my God Darling I could shoot myself for sending that letter. I just was off my bean. I must stop now. I love you. Love forever and kisses, lefty.

NEVER AGAIN!

The stationary was sure great for what he is saying in his letter. Never again will he write another letter jumping to conclusions, we’ll see.

I am glad that after the war Mr. Ozanne and Dad became friends. It may have been what they went through during said war. I guess we will just have to read on and see where it takes them.

8 October

Dearest Darling, We had today off. I guess we deserved it though we had our first 25 mile hike yesterday afternoon and was it rough. Anyway started yesterday afternoon walked 15 miles then ate supper then finished up. We only lost 6 men out of the Company. Bob has some sore feet but I guess I’m none the worse. We had a brake  [sic]at about 20 miles and two of us got to betting how many push up’s we could do with a full pack on. Well he did 30 and I did 31 so I guess we aren’t in such bad shape. We have another 25 mile hike this month and one next month.

Boy they have come a long way since that 15 mile Yoo Hoo hike. Now they are up to 25 miles, and 31 push-ups to boot.  Go Dad!

Then about the 22nd we move out to Tennessee for maneuvers. The rumors are that we won’t be there long until we move either to Colorado or California. If we go to Colorado we will probably guard prisoners for awhile. Although as I say it is only a rumor. But we go on maneuvers next month. Maybe I should say we are suppose [sic] to go to the field again next week. Maybe the little termite will be there again. I’ll bet he has his red flannels on. For the last month it has really been pleasant here. Not to [sic] hot or to [sic] cold. Only when we were in the field it was pretty cold. Imagine it will be worse this time. Yes we convoyed to Georgia. It was more than just down there and back though. We were there longer than that. We went after the III Corps inspection team and were gone 4 days. I’ll bet the black dress is nice. Boy would I ever like to see it. More than that though I would like to see you. Gosh Darling I’m so lonesome. Darling I have some reading for a class tomorrow and it’s getting late. I’ll write more tomorrow. So I love you very much Darling. I love you, yours always, Lefty.

Dad starts this next letter by thanking my mom for the package she sent him. I left it out of the following letter because I could not figure out what he was talking about. Now reading the letter from the tenth I realize that she sent him a watch. I am not sure why unless it was because his birthday will be coming up on the 22nd.

Letter to Mom

9 October

Dearest Darling, Well here I go again. You know Darling when I get your letters and I know you haven’t gotten mine it hurts and then I also know its[sic] all my fault. Gosh honey if I didn’t judge all people by myself. I guess I wouldn’t have so much trouble. Anyway honey I promise I won’t let it happen again. I know how it feels to be without you or nearly so. And sweet I sure don’t like it. It’s like losing an arm or something. Or maybe taking an all-day sucker from your sister.  I use to do that too.

I am really not sure what he means by the whole sucker thing because Mom was an only child and had no sister. Maybe I am just not getting it.

Returned Receipt

I guess experience is the best teacher and I have sure learned a good lesson and want no more experiences like that. When we came in from the field I weighed over 190 and yesterday when I weighed at the Medics I weighed about 170. So this has not done me any good either. I was sick for awhile though. But not that bad. I have been low.  Not because of my not hearing from you but because of your [sic] not hearing from me. I guess I would have wired. But you couldn’t wire much with 3 cents. Darling I love you so much. What can I do to get goodly punished for the misery I caused you.

I wonder why Mom is not getting the letters. I know he is writing them because I have them all right here. It must be the Army or the Mail Service that is holding them up. I think I am done with this lover’s quarrel.

Camp Rucker Letterhead

An airplane cracked up just across the road yesterday. It was just a small spotter plane for the Field Artillery and no one was hurt. But it caused some excitement. It was picking up messages from the (unreadable) co. and an air packet. It was only about 40 ft high. So even the plane wasn’t hurt so bad. Do you remember Don Walker the kid George and I run around with before we got into the army. Well he was just here a Master Sgt. and here I am just a Cpl. Boy what a brake [sic] he has gotten. He is with the Division Chemical Warfare Sect. and I guess that is a deal. He had a chemical and mine explode on him with sulfur gasses in it and burned himself in places. That’s a kind of an acid and works as such. This is before it has evaporated and the fumes are poisonous. Anyway it isn’t bad but he has a couple of scars on him. Burned the back out of his coveralls and ruined his shoes. It happened some time ago though.

(I looked for Mr. Walker on Find a Grave and I believe I may have found him)

Well Monday we go back into the field. I imagine we’ll all be down with colds pneumonia or something when we get back because it is plenty cold. We sleep with two blankets over us in the barracks and what will we do in the field. It has certainly cooled off around here. It isn’t too cold though. If they would only let us be. Next month we have maneuvers and maybe that is going to be cold two [sic]. That may last only a couple of weeks though. Then to one coast or the other. Of course it is all rumors but we hope we go west. In case we do you’re going to be a married woman so fast you won’t have a chance to argue or say no. My better judgment is going to be clear in the rear. Bob is getting all excited over his furlough. We were talking a while ago and I said if I have even half a chance I was getting married and he said in a wry reformed way “Well then if I ever catch you even thinking about writing a letter like that again I am going to kick you bald bearded” He also said he might get married while home. He was inquiring about blood tests and such. But I am betting he won’t.

According to Find a Grave records Bob and Madeline did get married but not until February 1946.

I AM CLEANING UP HERE

We just had an emergency call for the Division QM a kid got killed and they had to have some clothes for him. He was in an auto accident. I guess several were hurt. One kid that had just transferred from here got his arm cut off and he isn’t expected to live. How many more were badly hurt I don’t know. It sure seems funny talking to someone one day and the next he is dead or only half there. Neither were from this Co. but I knew them both.

How many times will this happen once they get overseas? I am not sure I want to know that answer.

“Pistol Packing Mama” is about the only number played around here anymore. They are sure running it into the ground. It is good though. I have about 12 hours and I’ll be off duty again. I guess it won’t hurt me. I am on C.Q. and have the radio turned on to some good old low down music. Someone is signing. “Shes Someones[sic] Darling Once More” I hope or wish he were talking about and you and me. I probably wouldn’t be listening to it but its[sic] all I could get and that isn’t very clear. Maybe later I’ll be able to get the Hit Parade. Well darling I still love you. You’re going to have a hard enough time to figure this out so I guess I am going to close. Good Nite [sic]Honey Sweet. Love always, Lefty.

(Listen to Pistol Packing Mama here)

I could find no other information for “She’s Someone’s Darling Once More.”

10 October

Dearest Darling, After I got off this morning I came over and did my weeks washing and then read the funnies and went to sleep. Bob went to church and then we talked about you and Madeline until dinner. Then we went up to the woods and practiced throwing our knives. Then came back and went to bed. Tonight we went to the show. It was good. “Sweet Rosie O’Grady” Anyway we enjoyed it. Then came home and packed our clothes for the field. Bob is also packing for his furlough. I just hear [sic] the time on the radio and my watch has kept perfect time since I set it. I sure like it Darling. Thanks again for it you couldn’t have done better. I love you honey.  I haven’t written much Darling but I am about run down. So if you’ll excuse me for tonight my Love I’ll just hop off to bed and read a bit. Gosh I love you lots. Mom really shouldn’t make you write thought. I guess I’ll have to write her. Good nite [sic] sweet. Love, always and always, Lefty

According to Wikipedia:

Betty Grable was the number one box office attraction at the time of this film’s release. Her other film that year was Coney Island and that was also an enormous success. Both Coney Island and this film were among the top ten highest grossing films of 1943 and were two of 20th Century Fox‘s biggest money makers that year.

(Read more about Sweet Rosie O’Grady here)

Pretty Mom

14 October

Dearest Darling, We have accumulated a flashlight and I am writing by that tonight. The moon is almost bright enough though. Gosh Honey it is sure a romantic moon. And the weather sure is nice. There are a few mosquitoes though. But gosh I wish you were with me. Sure didn’t get up until after eleven and then have a headache from sleeping so much. Still have a slight one but it sounds like I’ll get over that tomorrow. We might have to go out. That means all night and probably Friday. So maybe tonight will be the last night we’ll be sleeping in the cold. It hasn’t been so bad yet though. Last night I did get a little chilley[sic] and didn’t sleep so well. Had to get up every so often and post my guard. Anyway so that didn’t make much a difference. I ran all over these darn woods in my shorts last nite [sic]. Boy did I get a cold bath. I didn’t take time to put my clothes on.  We have been sitting here talking about harvesting. Man have we ever had some tall tails [sic] to tell.  We haven’t made so much coffee [sic]cards are the main event this time and neither Bob or I play so we talk. Tonight Chuck is here also. He lives near Holdrege and therefore we have a lot in common.

I found a Charles Quitman Steinke 1922-2002 buried at Prairie Home Cemetery in Holdrege, Nebraska on Find a Grave. I wonder if this could be him.

Darling I love you. Does that sound strange? I do. There isn’t much to talk about. I guess Bob leaves on furlough about Friday. Talking about furloughs. If we get any it will be in January do you think we could arrange it so you could come out home then. I would like to know what to plan on. In case you can’t I’ll have to make plans to come out there. Because if we can’t be together I won’t take one. It wouldn’t be a furlough without you. Maybe if we start planning this early maybe if everything works out right we will have every end worked out. I really can’t say I expect a furlough thought I don’t  Darling I love you very very much so for tonight I’ll say All my love my Darling. I am always your Lefty.

Is Dad trying to set a date for the wedding? I know he said above that if he got this chance they would be married in a hot minute. Will the Army give him the furlough? January is only two month away and we still have 21 letters to get through to make it to December let alone how many more to get to January.  I am not sure because that will begin the second row of letters.

©2012 notsofancynancy

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Responses

  1. Love this post. Especially your insights and comments. You have quite a treasure there!

    • Thank you. I was just saying Dad has been gone 11 years now and it is like I am meeting him for the first time. So much of this I did not know.

      • Then it really is a gift when we get to see our parents as people! Don’t let the volume of letters overwhelm you – it’s a treat for all of us.

      • I have learned Dad was kind of a hoodlum. lol I feel lucky I have been able to see his as more than just my Dad. A whole new side I have never seen before and I really did not know how much he loved my mother back then.

  2. Come on second Row. The Plot thickens….. I must remember to buy more popcorn and soda before the next chapter!!!!! LOL I enjoy these Post. Take care and God Bless!!! 🙂

    • Thank you so much it really means a lot that you are enjoying it. I know it makes my dad proud, even though he is not here and that I am telling all his secrets! lol

  3. You are doing your dad a great service. Secrets and all!

  4. Lefty was a hoodlum? LOL… But one thing – he touches on accidents. Let’s all remember these were pretty much boys. 17 – 20 years old perhaps. Imagine them with beer, riding around on overloaded Jeeps on dirt roads totally blitzed, etc. Unfortunately, thousands died from accidents back then, whether during training or on the front.

    Boys will be boys.

    • Yes lots of accidents! A lot of men did not even get to the war but were killed in training. And Yes! Lefty was a hoodlum. hahahaha I never knew!

  5. Loved this post. I’m gonna go back and read all of them again…. 🙂
    I just simply believe their generation was greater.

    • Agreed! And thank you for letting me know you like it. Comments like this keep me going!

  6. Not only am I enjoying your dads story, but when you add some of the music it brings back memories of Sunday afternoons when dad would play his old 78…Pistol Packing Momma was one of his favorites! Thanks for the memories… Blessings ~ Patty

    • That is awesome that you recognized Pistol Packing Momma. I am glad I could bring some good memories for you! Awesome!

  7. Thanks for visiting my blog. Boy, yours is quite a read…, very interesting. I’m loving the letters.

    • Thanks for the return visit and I am glad you like Dad’s letters. It is a die of dad I have never seen before.

  8. Does your father have a sister? If so, could she be the “sister” that he mentions with the “all-day sucker”? When I first read it, I figured he was conveying how his sister must have felt after he took her sucker. I love the Pretty Mom photo. No wonder he was such so love-sick — she’s beautiful.

    • Silly me it makes perfect sense now. lol Dad had two sister’s and I am sure he probably stole their suckers. I am learning that Dad was a hoodlum after all. lol And yes I think this is my favorite picture of my mom. She is so pretty in it.

  9. Your Mom is really beautiful.


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