Posted by: notsofancynancy | May 2, 2013

World War II, chapter 62, Correspondence Course

Dad Wrote "Bob (Winter) and Chas (Charles) Lance somewhere in France

Dad Wrote “Bob (Winter) and Chas (Charles) Lance somewhere in France

World War II

Correspondence Course

Chapter 62

Mom has a little over a month to go before the baby is due. Dad has been in France since July of 1944 so about four months. Dad has found a sewing machine and is sewing his way across France but he did not need the machine to do that. Dad has made four or five different bedrolls, two before he went overseas and one over there. He did all the sewing by hand though. I never knew he was such an accomplished seamstress. I am glad though. I know the bedroll did keep him warm. Well as warm as one can be when it was snowing and freezing out.

29 November, North East of Morhange, France

Hi Darling, Hows [sic] Mommie tonight? You know it won’t be long until Mommie won’t be a false statement will it. Boy Oh Boy! I can hardly waite [sic] even over here. I got letter 16 from last month today. Also one from Mom written of the same date. So you see my mail is not coming worth a damn. That makes two from Mom I have to answer. Now all I have to do is find time when I’m not fiddling around to get it done. Bob and I have sure done the works. We have a blacksmith shop, carpenter shop, and an ex-sewing machine shop. Oh! Yes we did it. Loaned the darn thing to another kid and he sure gummed the works. Perhaps we could have fixed it but that sledge hammer was a little to [sic] heavy. But between them all we have really been doing things. Have taps sewed on our shoes and handles on our knives. We have sure been busy experimenting though (along with the war) You finished the rabbit quilt and Bob and I finished the rabbit. You know those darn things are sure scarce around here. I remember a few weeks when one could step for them. Not that we have them but fresh meat sure tastes good at times. We only eat the tame ones though. Excuse me Bob and I have been day dreaming again. It sure seem [sic] nice to talk of the things we could be doing. I love you my sweet. I love you so so much. Gee Honey. If I could only explain how much I love you. I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty

1 December, North East of Morhange, France

My Darling Wife, Hi honey. I missed writing last night so this better be good huh! I did write Mom though. But guard came too soon and had that to do. I have gotten a number of your letters in the last couple days. Boy they sure were sweet. Even if some of them were for Oct. A letter from you always seems so nice. I got the letter today with the lamb pattern in it. It sure seems ok but as Bob with no more grass than that the lamb is sure going to get hungry. I filled the enrollment for my next course in education. Now I’ll let you in on it. I took carpentry. More or less what I wanted was shopwork [sic]. But they didn’t have it. Now if I can complete this and get to a business school and take building contractors I’ll be set. Of course I don’t even know if whether the school will except [sic] me but I have hopes. If you remember when I first went into [Camp] Robinson I wrote Mom and said I wanted to be a carpenter. Perhaps someday I will. Who knows? Hope you didn’t have your hopes too high on something else. I wouldn’t feel right until I tried this. I got a Xmas card from Aunt Dick. It was quite cute. Also she sent a package which I haven’t gotten yet. But it will come. Yes Eleanor is the girl I was telling you about. She didn’t live at Lex [Lexington, Nebraska] when I knew them perhaps they do now. She seemed to be a darn nice girl though. Gosh I just don’t seem to be able to get into the subject. I’m just not in the mood for writing I guess. How’s Jr? Its [sic] bedtime honey so I’ll tell you how much I love you and all that. I do love you honey. I love you so much. I love you. All my love, Lefty

Dad Wrote "This is the first chateau we lived in. In the window is (John) Keller, Bob (Winter), (Hawker)Harvey, me and (Myron) Morris, (William) Price in the door"

Dad Wrote “This is the first chateau we lived in. In the window is (John) Keller, Bob (Winter), (Hawker)Harvey, me and (Myron) Morris, (William) Price in the door”

2 December, North East of Morhange, France

My Darling Wife, Gee Honey that day finally came again no mail. I guess maybe I can find enough material (no news) to write. But that only helps my moral a little. But tomorrow is another day. You should see the laundry I did today. From my pinks on out. Guess how I did it. Well first I heated the water and soaked the clothes. Then I found an old broom stick and a can. With the aid of a hammer and two nails, nailed the two together. And used that as a stomper. If you think it doesn’t work try it sometime. Now damnit its [sic] raining and I have to dry them by the fire. Which isn’t so bad. Some men over here don’t have a fire. The card I got from Aunt Dick said she would be seeing you before the holidays. That must have been written before the change of mind. Huh! She didn’t date it and the [unreadable] date had been blurred. She said there wasn’t much news from Gerald. It has definitely been established that Fred is in France. Ruth has heard from him here and also some of the others. Of course I haven’t and probably wouldn’t mind seeing him though. But we are probably not near each other. Mommie you said in one letter that you didn’t think Dale and Genieva would be happy. And also that Bob and Madeline may. What do you think of Vi and Lefty’s chances if and when they get a chance. It think its [sic] pretty darn good of myself, As a matter of fact I think I’ll be the happiest man back there for a long time. I imagine it was kinda chilly if you just had your sweater on. But why take chances of catching a cold running to the mail box with just a sweater on. At least you could have put your shoes on too . (Just and afterthought) I love you my darling. I love you so much. I sent another picture of me. Hope it gets there ok. They aren’t good enough to be wasting time wrapping so I just stuck them in with some cards. I love you so much honey. I love you. I love you. All my love, Lefty, your husband.

3 December, North East of Morhange, France

My Darling Wife, Another day and no mail. But a day closer to being Papa-Huh! If I come home with gray hair and a water soaked fountain I’ll blame it on to Jr and France. Gee sure haven’t much to jot down tonight. How about that old line I used to spread. Can’t even remember it now. I’m in a bad way. I can say I love you though. The man Deloris was talking [about] never did get to that town. I happen to know him. To [sic] bad, but the patches were in the wrong direction. I imagine she has been seeing the country though. You know in the little while you have been traveling you didn’t do so bad. Now when you see New York and New Jersey you’ll have seen as many Eastern states as I. You walked 22 blocks. I just made two trips to the C.P. [Command Post] and that’s enough for me. Went down once to finish my school business and someone up here had my money order and had to come back after it. I have the enrollment forms sent. Now to sweat out the answer. I just got up and put some coal in the stove. Now what? I think I waited just about an hour to [sic] long. Well by the time it goes clear out I’ll be on guard and will go right to bed when I come in. Bob isn’t home tonight so I’m here by my own little self. Want to join me? Well honey I have run out of material again. Gee I wish something new would happen along so I could write it. I love you my Darling. I love you so much. Gee I love you lots and lots. All my love, your husband, Lefty

4 December, North East of Morhange, France

My Darling Wife, Boy I got mail again today. Not much but a letter from you and it was a good one. Also a letter from Mom. It was also good. In case you don’t get the first picture I sent you I have sent another. It is on the way. I have a couple more so in case you don’t get this one I’ll keep on trying. Hope you get this one though. And three money orders is all I have sent you. 21-12-12 So I imagine you have them. Dean had better be careful. Men are shot for a lot less than he did.  You know I don’t really believe that story either. Uncle Sam just doesn’t work that way. Boy I wish we would have a couple mornings like the one you explained around here. If we would have had maybe it wouldn’t have taken Bob and I two days to dry our clothes by the fire. We just finished today. And I haven’t put mine away yet. No Mrs. Johnson didn’t say what Dorothy was operated on for. She just said that something was upside down and had to be changed. She did say she had a woman Dr and the operation name was to [sic] long to write. Maybe it just wasn’t the kind I was to know about. I haven’t heard since so still don’t know. I haven’t seen a show in a couple weeks. Say I’ll bet there are a lot back there I haven’t seen. It will be your turn to have seen them all when I get home. I want to write Mom tonight honey so I’ll just say I love you so very much. I’m glad Jr is ok. Hope he continues to do so. I love you, all my love Lefty, your husband

Interesting they sent this envelope to Cozad Nebraska by mistake. That is Dad's hometown

Interesting they sent this envelope to Cozad Nebraska by mistake. That is Dad’s hometown. How did they know he was from Cozad?

6 December, North East of Morhange, France

My Darling Wife, Well Honey, I’m lost. I don’t even know where to begin a letter anymore. I have written the same thing so many times bet you have almost have memorized the letters before you read them. Perhaps I can change some. Would you like to know some of the times we have had. Looking back the first day we were in France. Boy what a day. I think I covered enough ground that day to have been to Berlin and Back. We were with an Inf [infantry] and I don’t believe they knew where or why we were going. Anyway we went in such circles that I fell out turned around stopped turned around again and followed the same convoy. In the first place I was the last truck once again they made a complete circle. We didn’t know If we were in [unreadable] or not. It went on until 2:30 in the morning. We pulled into the area and stopped beside a big pile of rations. Being damn hungry I made the remark that we should open a box and eat. Someone going to sleep on top of them said go ahead but on down are some better ones. Figuring we would end in a lot of trouble. We didn’t. The next morning what should we find but some Major had told us to open a box. He was the guy sleeping there. We got a sorta hot breakfast but it wasn’t much. Then we were off again. Sometime that afternoon we ended up in the same place as the company and was it good to see them again. Beside that we went back with them and that did it. That night after we got into bed I was sleeping in a trailer and the [unreadable] started shelling. Well they weren’t’ even close but being new at the game I sure sweat out that night.  The next I slept in a fox hole. What an experience that was. We were never shelled again but that hole sure was the place to be. I had a little trouble with ground lizards at first. But later took the flashlight and inspected each hole and if one was there I would take my knife and kill it. Then the darn dirt started falling in my face. To fix that I got some old sacks and card board and lined it. It started getting a little cold then so Bob and I started sleeping together from then on it was a matter of bigger and better fox holes. Say I sure wheeled off a line then didn’t I. Well I reread it and can see nothing that won’t pass the censor so if you like that better than the old line perhaps I could spread a little more. Its [sic] almost time Bob was coming back and I have to get the fire going. I love you so much my Darling. I wish I would have been home sharing a bed with you instead of a fox hole with Bob. Of course fox holes are out of date for us now. I love you. I love you I love you. All my love, your husband, Lefty

What a great description of a night in a foxhole. I am glad this letter passed the censor. It must have been a scary night.

6 December, North East of Morhange, France

My Darling Wife, The mail is coming through a little faster now. I got one from Nov 28 today. Did I say one. Well that’s all she wrote. I got just one. It was the second edition of your telling me of the box. Nope Mommie I didn’t pick the things. I walked into the store she piled up a bunch of stuff I paid her and walked out. I knew damn well you didn’t want what I got but wanted to send something and that’s the only think [sic] worth a heck here. The scarf was just a side line. I saw it in a window and bought it too. I debated a week after I bought it as to whether to throw it away or send it. But if you like it I’m glad I did sent it. If you haven’t anything to use it for save me the string off that silk. Of course if you use it its [sic] ok because I’ll probably have it laying around anyway. Say did you forget one page in letter 17. It just doesn’t sound right. Unless there is something in one before that goes with it. I guess that could be it. I haven’t gotten the one before. It looks like I could find a lot to write about from a long letter like that but I guess I can’t. Oh! Its [sic] there but I’m not in the mood to pick it out. In fact I’m just not in much of a mood. Well I laid down about an hour, built the fire, cut up some paper, and still don’t feel in a much better mood. I guess I’m just plain lonesome. So you’ll have to grin and bare [sic] this one. You asked if I ever got back after seeing those folks at Nancy. We were only there twice. We were supposed to go back but just didn’t find time. It was kind of a gruesome affair us sitting there like a couple of buck Indians talking. At that we carried quite a conversation. Did I ever tell you about the time we screwed a mans [sic] thrashing machine into a place even God himself didn’t know it would go. Thinking back I feel sorry for the old gent that owned it. He sure won’t get it out unless he has good neighbors. You see we wanted the place where it was. In the same barn was a portion that seemed to be just used as an alley. Well in it went. It took three pry poles, a 6×6 and about 2 ½ hours of work but we did it. We would push a little ways then slid it sideways with the 6×6 then push some more until it finally went. I wanted to be a little mouse when he started to take it out. Well I saw a good tool box there he can take it out a piece at a time. Its [sic] almost bedtime honey.  I love you so much. I love you my darling. I’m glad you liked the thing I sent. I love you honey, I love you. I love you. All my love, Lefty.

Dad drew this picture to show how they moved the trashing machine

Dad drew this picture to show how they moved the trashing machine

Dad has always been quite the prankster. After the war he came home one day from his milk route and told my mom he had something to show her. They went out to the milk truck and when he opened the door to the truck the end of his finger fell out. He had slammed it in the door and cut the tip of it off and just left it in the door until he got home from the hospital, he drove himself. Did the man not feel any pain? Dad told that story quite often and it gives you a sense of his silly sense of humor. I sure do miss him.

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Robert “Bob” Winter, Pictures: John Keller, Hawker Harvey, Lorens “Lefty” Woodside, Myron Morris, William Price, Charles Lance

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Responses

  1. Thanks for another wonderful post. Must laugh about the place for the machine..”even God himself didn’t know it “… btw: we have still the same old wooden electricity pylones as in your first picture. Some were replaced last year, but a lot of them is still common here :o)

  2. Interesting about the pylons! as usual thanks for the support!

  3. He left his finger tip in the door jamb as a way to get a scream out of your mom?! My gosh! And luckily the shelling was a distance away. I cannot POSSIBLY imagine being at the receiving end of a shelling – especially if it lasted for a couple of hours. I’d probably end up being slapped by Patton.

    • Ha ha yes on the finger! One day sometime later he told her the same and she was scared. At least he had all his fingers mom noticed. It was three baby kittens. Not sure what happened to them but I am told I tried to give them a bath in the toilet. I don’ t remember the incident. lol I cant imagine the shelling but I am sure it was a common thing for them. Not that it made it any easier.


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