Posted by: notsofancynancy | June 13, 2013

World War II, chapter 68, Bob goes Snow Skiing

World War II

Chapter 68

Bob goes Snow Skiing

Belgium

Belgium

My oldest sibling was born in Pasadena, California on January 11, 1945. I am not sure how long it was but I know it was the smallest of the siblings weighing 6 lbs. 2 oz. Not small until you look at the fact I weighed in at 10 lbs. 5 oz. Dad was in Belgium braving the cold weather and he would not get the news of the birth for a while. Pop, Mom’s dad drove her to the hospital and waited with my grandmother in the waiting room while she labored and delivered the baby. Pop had enough of the baby business when my mother was born (Mom turned 21 the next day) and I am not sure he wanted to do it all again but Grandma Susie didn’t learn to drive until after Pop died in 1972. Let’s see how long it takes for Dad to get word of the baby.

11 January, near Arlon, Belgium

My Darling Wife, Hello honey. No mail from you today. I did get a V-mail from Mom written the 25th. Also I got a package from Madelyn Murphy. It was candy, fruitcake and one handkerchief. Sure was good candy though. We stirred up some snow cream and ate the cake with that. Have you ever heard from Madelyn. I haven’t in over two months. She doesn’t write often though. Gosh I wish there had been a letter from you. Well I guess I’ve even answered all the letters I’ve gotten from you. So have to think of something else. If you can’t read this the table is kind of wobbley [sic].  I have a box setting on top of a couple water cans and it just isn’t so good. You should have seen Bob. Somewhere we got some skies and he was trying them out. The hill was about 200 yards down and he didn’t get all the way down on skies [sic]. I got a picture of him when he did get down. Nope I didn’t try today. I got on a rabbit track and tried to find him. I haven’t seen a wild rabbit here and was just out so thought that would be something to do. Of course we couldn’t shoot them but would have liked to seen them run anyway. All we found was tracks though. They have deer here too. But we didn’t even see a deer track. We ended up by watching them ski awhile then came home. If I get a chance I think I’ll try tomorrow. So wish me luck. Bob didn’t get killed at it so I shouldn’t either. Wish I had scoop shovel I’d show them. The Readers Digest is getting on the ball. We got Dec copy today and Nov yesterday. That makes about three I have gotten since I left. We are right up in the news now. Its [sic] about time to stop and I must write Grandma Schultz tonight. I love you my Darling. I love you sweet. I hope you and Jr. are getting along ok. I counted three more gray hairs today. I love you darling I love you I love you so much honey. All my love, Lefty

Dad Wrote "Bob (Winter) Skiing

Dad Wrote “Bob (Winter) Skiing

I don’t remember my dad talking about the war very much but there are a few things I do. One is the story of those skis. The story as I know it is that Dad’s company came upon a wrecked railroad car that was full of skis. It seems that they borrowed them so they could partake in a little recreation. I am not sure the story is true or not as it is just a fleeting memory but it was one of the few I remember. Dad also talked about how cold it was and it left a lasting memory of how rough they had it.

Growing up in the Los Angeles Basin in California we did not get much snow. I remember it snowed when I was in the 6th grade. Once in all the time I have been here it only snowed once and of course it did not stick. So when Dad said they made snow cream I had to check it out. Maybe some of you out there have partaken in this cold treat but I have not. I searched around and according to Wikipedia you add snow, a little milk or cream, sugar, and a flavoring agent such as vanilla and mix and you have snow cream.  It was a sweet treat for those soldiers.

12 January, near Arlon, Belgium

My Darling Wife, I got two letters from you today honey. 26-27th. They were sure good ones. I also got one from Lucille. She felt pretty bad Christmas I guess. At least she said so. They weren’t home all day so I don’t know. They were up to some relations at Cozad and said they enjoyed it very much. She said she looked for a letter from her Bro but didn’t get one. Well that’s about all she had to say. She said she hoped we were home next Christmas. Well we all hope that. And it seems like we are going to have to do a little more than hope. Well I have the shoes I’m going to ware [sic] on my first pass in Berlin. Bob gave them to me. They were to [sic] small for him. Oh! Yes they are just GI’s but I have spent three days sewing tops on them so I wouldn’t have to ware [sic] leggings. Now I’m going to hoard them until well at least summer. Well that stationary had your name attached to it. I’m sure of that. Or was I looking wrong. Seems to me you sent it. Its [sic] been so long I just don’t know for sure. I am sure I didn’t thank anyone for it so you had better have sent it. I think by the time Junior got there you should have the names I like for it. If not you should. Its [sic] been almost 6 wks since I sent them. Boy I’ll bet you’ll be mad when you do get it. I made some wise cracks in that letter. Well I always open my mouth at the wrong time. Well I hate to answer both letters tonight, but I sure haven’t anything else to write about. I can’t even think of anything that’s happened to write about. I’ve been trying since I got your letter saying you liked the ones I did write. I guess I better hurry up and get this done. Have to go on guard shortly and that isn’t good. Well it isn’t so cold so it won’t be bad. I want to think about your other letter before I answer it. Its [sic] one of the best I have gotten and I want to think about it. I love you my Darling. I love you honey. I love you I love you Gee my Darling I wish I were there. I love you. Hope you and Jr. are ok. I love you. All my love Darling, Lefty

I sure hope my Mom got those names. What would that have been like, waiting a month and a half to get a letter on what Dad wants to name the little one. In a previous letter Dad narrowed down to two names he liked best. Terry Lee if it is a boy and Mary Lynn if it is a girl. I will let you wait for the details with Dad until he gets the news.

14 January, near Arlon, Belgium

My Darling Wife, Well honey here comes the Daily Bugle. We didn’t get any mail today. Guess we did the works yesterday. Say isn’t this the big day. I’m sure hoping so. And more than hoping I get the word from it before to [sic] long.  This is getting awful waiting and now knowing for sure just how you are. Well I guess you have had the longest waite [sic] anyway because we sure have had enough to keep our minds occupied most of the time. I have been reading a book. Its named The Glorious Pool. I am not sure it has been released for civilians use or not. I’m not sure it would pass the censors. Man does it have the language in it. It is by far the screwiest book I have ever read. I just finished rebirth and that was bad but this was a lot worse.

“The Glorious Pool” by Thorne Smith is now available online as an e-book. I did not take the time to read the whole thing but here is a link to read it if you are interested. I am curious how bad the language was compared to what is published these days.

(Click here to read “The Glorious Pool“)

The letter I didn’t answer last night was the one you answered about the feeling a wife will have when we come home. I kinda thought that was the way you felt honey. But the kid who was talking like that always talks about how much nicer his wife is than anyone else’s and as you said he is about first to go out. Well it is his business but it makes me so damn mad when he starts bragging I just half [sic] to leave. Well one could say something and stop it but I find it better just to keep still. He hasn’t anything to talk about and in the end I’ll be just twice as happy as he and I don’t have to run around. Well Mommie I guess I love you so much I just can’t stand anyone else. Its [sic] just as easy to stay around here and find something to do as run around town and whore around. Nope I never did and since I’m married it sure no time to start. Well I guess I’ll just send the money home. I would have to sure do that and we can have a lot of fun when I get there. I love you so much my Darling. Gee honey I sure made a mess of trying to say I love you to [sic] much to be running around over here. When I know you wouldn’t there. But I am sure of one thing my darling. And that’s that I’m so much in love with you. I think of what we will do when I get home and what good times we’ll be having even if now we are deprived of them. Well I do now darling I couldn’t have fun with anyone else as I can with you. I love you my Darling. I love you so much honey. I love you I love you I love you honey. All my love Darling, Lefty

15 January 1945

15 January 1945

15 January, near Arlon, Belgium

My Darling Wife, Hello honey hows [sic] everyone tonight. Expecially [sic] you and Junior. This isn’t going to be much of a letter. Had a man get sick last night and stood his guard then have been going today. The guard wasn’t bad but it sure ruins one’s sleep. Besides that I guess the snow and driving isn’t doing my eyes any good because they sure are running. About like ones nose when you have a good head cold. Guess I’ll have to see the Medics tomorrow and find what he can do for them.  We didn’t get any mail today and I’m not sure we will for awhile. The mail just doesn’t seem to be coming through. Sure wish it was on the ball. Man am I watching the news. I was reading some old letters and looking at some cards you sent that I saved. Boy I sure enjoyed them even if I had read then a dozen times before. Man if I ever get tired of you saying you love me, shoot me. I love you so much Darling. I went to church yesterday in a little Chapel. Boy was it nice inside. Of course our Chaplain was there, but the chapel was what surprised me. I just don’t know how to explain it in writing but maybe someday I will be able to tell you. Also in a big church sometime ago. And you know the people here really put in everything to decorate a church and keep it nice. I love you my Darling. Gee honey I’m worried about you and the baby. Sure wish I had the news about it now. I love you honey I love you Darling, I love you I love you I love you, All my love, Lefty

16 January, near Arlon, France

My Darling Wife, Well I’m alright so far. No mail today.And it looks like there won’t be for another few days. Man am I tired. That old truck sure gave me a beating today. The roads are sure rough. I guess I better ask about Jr. he has been on my mind all day. I have to get it off early so maybe I can think of something else to write. I hope you and he are both the best you can be. And believe me he has to beat Ernest’s baby. Boy he didn’t even get his seed back. Harker Harvey got his. His boy only weighted 5 ¾ I think. Man that isn’t much either. Got a cup of coffee now that should be clear the cobwebs out of the old noggin and maybe I can think. Bob made it and I believe its half sawdust because the grounds are floating on top and I know he cooked it enough. I was talking to Don Walker today He didn’t have much to say. Guess he had been doing his share of riding. He said his Bro was now stationed in the states. Some people have all the luck. He is in the Navy. Well Darling it doesn’t seem that even the coffee could do job. I just can’t think of anything. I love you honey. I love you so much my Darling. I love you I wish I were there. I love you. All my love, Lefty

Dad Wrote "This one was take in a small blizzard"

Dad Wrote “This one was take in a small blizzard”

17 January, Arlon, Belgium

My Darling Wife, Hello honey hows [sic] my wife tonight. Its [sic] mighty cold here. But I guess we are ok. We have a good fire and everyone is trying to talk at once. Man I wish they would run down. The damn rattle has been going on for three days and its getting tiresome. I guess I’ll live over that one too. If they would only get some mail over here. I would sure like to have some of that. We haven’t gotten any for a week and it looks like none will come for another. This mail situation is sure getting rough and just at the wrong time. Man [would] I like to know how you and Jr. is. Boy I’m kinda worried. Well everything is ok at least you say but yet I just don’t know. I would feel a lot better if I knew. We had some more snow cream today. And someone had some fruitcake left over and we had that. Wasn’t bad at all.  The news sounds good doesn’t it. Well in ways it does. But I don’t know if the papers are doing justice or not. I see in the S&S [Stars and Stripes] that Betty Grable was about Kidnaped. I wonder if that is good or bad. Well maybe she is looking for another husband and using that for an excuse. Boy honey the news is scarce. I just can’t seem to think of anything to write except that I love you very much my darling. And I can’t write that enough. I do love you honey. I love you so much. Did my laundry today. And you should see it. Man I didn’t know how much I had. I love you darling. I love you so much Gee honey I love you I love you I love you Darling. All my love Darling, Lefty

My oldest sibling is now six days old. How much longer will Dad have to wait before he gets the news?

© 2013 notsofancynancy

Harker Harvey, Robert “Bob” Winter, Don Walker (not on roster)

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Responses

  1. Thank you for the letters. Soldiers find things to do. Even in bad situations.

    • Thank you for reading! It makes it all worth it!

  2. Goodness, it could take weeks!

    • That is what I am talking about! Weeks but we will see!

  3. I like the snow cream recipe – but I wouldn’t try it with our snow, because it’s most dirty. I must laugh at what your dad wrote about Betty Grable – she was the million-dollar- leg-girl, right?

  4. Why yes in fact she was the Million Dollar Leg Lady! I had forgotten that! lol I got a chuckle out of it. You can’t make this stuff up! hahahaha

  5. Wow, your dad was really good about telling your mom how much he loved her. That’s what comes across to me in all the correspondence. Did he continue to be like that after the war?

    • I did not come until 13 years later and sadly no, there were many years they did not even like each other. They did get closer later in life and one of the only times I saw my dad break down and cry was when we were making her funeral arraignments.

      • Geez, I would have never guessed. Probably had lots to say but was so much easier to say on paper. The final days put everything in perspective.

      • And I would have never guess how much they loved each other. It has been refreshing to know how much they did. I am so thankful for the letters.

  6. How great was it that they had skis! I’m sure that added some fun to otherwise very long days without any news from home. I can’t imagine waiting for the mail so far from home when you have a baby on the way! Just think what your dad would think about today’s military and the almost instantaneous communication. I read your comment about the fact that at times your parents didn’t get along. On top of other factors I’m sure, there is the fact that I’m sure the pressures of war changed both of them, too. I am sure you must have wondered through the years what would have been different if they’d married and simply raised a family together without the disruption of the war. All in all, there are some pretty lovely records in these letters that they did love each other!

    • Yes I am certain the war changed all of our lives. I know I had a reoccurring dream when I was young where I was being chased by Germans all around our home town. I always woke up in a sweat and had it often. I think the one thing I have learned and really has changed my views on my mom is how much dad loved her. I don’t think I ever knew that until I started this journey and I am thankful to her for getting him through the war.

  7. So glad we have email, skype and even in our day in the military we had what was called M.A.R.S., but don’t ask me what it stands for. While volunteering with the Red Cross that is how we got important news out to the guys either on ship or out in the field. Now you see where they can patch the soldier in through skype to see their child being born although it is rare.

    • I m glad these letters show that. It gives one a whole new appreciation to technology. It also makes me wonder about communication in WWI.


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