Thursday, December 31, 2009

In Germany - March 2, 1945

March 2, 1945

Dear Mother,
I heard a program from Springfield the other day. Sort of a message to servicemen from there. It kind of brought back memories when they spoke of Lanphier, The Sangams, and other well known spots.
I received another of your little boxes yesterday. The coffee candy didn't last long among these chow hounds. Thanks a lot for the little note book. My old one was getting pretty full.
Those people in Belgium I wrote of gave me their card. The censor restriction has been lifted, so I'm sending it on to you.
There are also a couple of other enclosures. Two American invasion notes of German money. One for five marks and one for one mark. At the present exchange rate a mark is worth about ten cents. Also a note for ten Belgium Franks.
I picked up a couple stamps I'm putting on this letter.
You keep asking me to request something - so I think I'll impose on you and ask for a nice big box of chocolate candy. The things that most of us would want if it was possible would be odds and ends of tidbits that could be eaten between meals or before bed time. That is one big thing - the ability to change the monotony of army chow.
Look! No more room - So good night - Love

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Brussels, Belgium - Feb 26, 1945

Feb 26, `945

Dear Mother,

I've always wondered what happened to all those Christmas packages. I suppose someone along the line needed them worse than I did. Anyway I've given them up for lost by now.
Your other box with the magazines got here. That's was pretty good time for those. They will be well read before becoming fire material. By the time a book makes the rounds of this company - and maybe several others - it's ready for the fire. Thanks a lot on behalf of all.
There were some other things I wanted to write about, but I can't think of them now. Maybe in a later letter. Of course I could give you a few high lights of Brussels, Belgium. - Whoa! now just because I said something about Brussels you get evil thoughts of me getting drunk or something. - Well maybe I did take a few drinks but you know how it is. After all when you walk down the street and people sidle up to you, and want you to buy a quart of Cognac, you can't turn them all down.
Some people expect us to go into town and see all the old buildings and points of interest. What they don't seem to realize is that we spend days on end looking at old buildings and historical points. When we get the chance to go into town, we go to see the people and not points of interest. People are more interesting than most people realize.
I'll tell you more later - now I have to hit the hay for a little recuperating.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Crazy Stove Pipe - Feb 20, 1945

Feb 20, 1945

Dear Mother,

Has spring raised it's head yet around there? The natives say spring is just around about here for good - But I don't know. I've got a feeling in my bones that we may see snow again before spring. I hope I'm wrong but time will tell.
Have you heard any more about Tiny? You said in one of your letters that she was feeling bad. I wondered if it was anything serious or not.
I'm sitting here half writing this letter and half listening to the radio. I don't know which will win in the long run. Right now the radio is winning with some darn good music. The barn dance just went off a short time ago.
Now a stove pipe is a strange thing to write about. But everyone that comes into our room comments on it. Anything that gets that much attention should rate a few lines. Everyone sees the great big furnace pipe we have running clear across the room and they want to see our stove. Then they go around the corner of our "L" shaped room. That's when they burst out laughing. The stove is so darned small for all the pipe.
Good night, Good luck, and God bless you

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just An Idea - Feb 18, 1945

Feb. 18, 1945

Dear Dad,

How's the job going? Mother says you got a pretty good offer from another plant. Are you considering a change, or have you turned it down?
Anything new on the place? By now it should be under a hundred - right. That's the way we like it.
I've been thinking of something and thought you might have more information than I have. Missouri has some land open for homesteading to veterans. Maybe you could find out if there is anything open around the lake. And if so what provisions they have made. It's just an idea but worth looking into.
How's the old bus working? Still putting around I suppose.
Write when you get a chance.
So long

Sunday, December 27, 2009

We Have Hot Showers - Feb 17, 1945

Feb. 17, 1945

Dear Mother,

Your three little boxes arrived today. The two with the carmels and the one with the pencil. Just a minute and I'll try it out. - Now we'll see how it works. - Not bad, not bad at all.
I finally got my package to you off today. Mostly it's odds and ends of stuff - mostly red parachute cloth. Maybe you can make something for yourself and Puggie or maybe for Linda Lee or Joanna. The cloth is a little dirty but not too bad.
One of the best things over here are the showers they set up. They have shower units in tents that keep right along with the rest of the outfit. All they need is a stream or river, and presto! Hot showers! It's one place you walk into dirty, muddy, and greasy - ten minutes later you walk out a new man. A little bit of hot water makes all the difference in the world.
Did I tell you that Dave's address came a short time ago? I was surprised to hear he was in the O.M. Had I received the earlier address I might have looked him up in person. I have passed his outfit several times in the past.
Thanks a million for the packages. Love to you all.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thank You For The Valentine - Feb 13, 1945

Feb 13, 1945

Dear Mother,

Thank you each and every one for the Valentine. I have tried to find a card to express myself. But there were none. So to Mother, Dad, Puggie, Grandma, and Stubby - Won't you be my Valentine.
Your box containing books and magazines arrived in good shape. Now then we are all reading again. Thanks to you.
Some of the boys had a bad night. The plaster in our new home was water soaked from snow and rain. During the night heat from our stoves dried it out and as it dried it came loose. A few lucky ones didn't get a face full of plaster. You don't get to laugh at me this time, cause I was one of the lucky ones.
Now I'll close this letter and squeeze it into that envelope with all those bushels of Love I'm sending you

Friday, December 25, 2009

I'll Send That Box Later - Feb 7, 1945

Feb 7, 1945

Dear Mother,

It will be a little time before I get to send that box I spoke of a while back. It's a matter of getting some more stuff of some kind to fill up the box I have. I'll give you a buzz when it's ready to roll.
Dad had better start using that "Y" membership. If he's waiting for me, I'm afraid I'll be a little late. He had better take advantage of my absence to get in shape gradually. It hurts less that way.
Sometimes I almost think my packages were among that ten percent lost due to enemy action. Either that or they are ashamed to be sending Christmas packages so late, and are keeping them.
You know what! I got a letter from Emily Register yesterday. It was quite a surprise, right out of a clear sky. I'll have to answer right away so to you I'll bid goodnight.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All Is Well - Feb 4, 1945

Feb 4, 1945

Dear Mother,

How-de-do and how are you? A couple of short lines to let you know that all's well.
I sent some more money home yesterday. Don't know how long it will be before you get it. At least you know it's coming. It'll be for about forty-five bucks more or less.
So far no more of your packages have caught up with me. I'll let you know when they do.
I have a hundred franc note from Belgium. You can add it to your collection of souvenirs. In case I haven't told you the exchange rate on Belgium francs - it's about two and a quarter cents per franc. A little more than the French franc is worth.
You gotta go you gotta go. So loads and loads of Love

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How About A Snow Ball Fight - Jan. 30, 1945

Jan. 30, 1945

Dear Mother,

How you'all this fine day? Come over and we can have a nice snow ball fight. You and I will gang up on Dad. Wee! If Puggie's not busy she might join us. And of course we could let Dad have Stubby for support - That should make things fairly even.
That sounds like good news on the place. It won't be long now until "Paid in full", can be written across that contract. That day will call for a big celebration - don't you agree?
You should see our truck when we make a move. Stoves stick out all over the truck. We have found out that you must come prepared - or else freeze. Sometimes we are lucky and take over places with heat furnished, but usually we furnish our own.
I have some cards to acknowledge, so this is where that eventful little word appears - the END.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Mother - Jan 25, 1945

Jan 25, 1945

Dear Mother,

A Happy Birthday to you this fine January day. And may you have many more happy ones. How many candles are you putting on the cake this year? The right amount or the usual twenty-five? By the way I have one lit over here you can blow out while you're puffing.
Thank you for the box of bolts. (That's what it said on the end of the box). They were good eating despite that. When you stop to think of it - it's surprising the things I've eaten sense being in the army.
Oh yes! I have a little something to send you one of these days soon. I picked up part of a red parachute the other day. After it dries out I'll rip the seams out and send you several of the strips of goods. I think it's nylon - don't quote me but that's my opinion. I'll let you know when I get it on the way. Maybe you can make blouses, skirts or something in your spare moments.
Once again I bid you Happy Birthday with all my Love.
Now good night, maybe we'll meet in dream land.
So till then Love

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cold Winter Nights - Jan 18, 1945

Jan 18, 1945

Dear Mother,

Time really flies, strange as it may seem. I no more start looking for a month to begin - than bang - it's gone. Not keeping track of the days has something to do with it. There are days on end when I couldn't even tell you the date or day of the week.
Is every one working at the same old jobs? Come to think of it I seem to be in a rut also. And on the other hand when I see boys sleeping out in snowy fox holes I'm glad I'm in that rut.
I took a few minutes the other morning for a try at a rabbit running around here loose. He's an elusive young fellow. I only got one shot at him before he disappeared in the woods. Better luck next time - I hope.
There is a woman that serves hot milk to me every night at bedtime. Believe me it hits the spot on these cold winter nights. I'm getting all kinds of bad habits. Don't you think.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Have You Ever Tasted Blood Sausage? - Jan. 15, 1945

Jan 15, 1945

Dear Mother,

Did you ever taste Blood sausage? I ate some the day for the first time. I liked it better than I expected to. The first time I heard of the stuff was back in France a ways. I found out you can't always tell the best things by their looks.
I'm glad to hear everybody was able to get down for Christmas. You must have had quite a house full - What did you do - stack them up like cord wood? Maybe next time. --- ---- ----
You must have heard from all the people we used to know. The Roberson's, Miss Sparks, the Albert's, Ola, and all the rest. It's nice hearing of them again.
Maybe I shouldn't bring this up, but you're going to have a birthday soon now. I'll have Dad give you a spanking for me by proxy - Yes.
That's all for now. Oceans of Love on your Birthday.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In Belgium - Jan, 1945

Jan. 1945

Dear Mother,

There are times when I wish I had a camera again. I have, in my travels passed through some beautiful country. One place was just like a picture on a Christmas card. A road leading through a woods, unbroken snow on the ground and the limbs of the trees white with snow and ice. It's something not seen in the States very often because the snows come and go too fast. Over here the temperature is more or less stable all winter long.
Thank you for the nice Christmas card.
After careful study I have come to the conclusion that I like the people of Belgium better than those of any other country I have been in sense leaving the States. The people don't seem to be able to do enough for you. They ask nothing in return, only that they be allowed to do everything possible, most of the places we have been will give you most anything but they expect plenty in return.
One family in Belgium invited four of us fellows to eat all our meals at their home. We compromised by eating suppers there. It was surprising what that woman could do with the limited things she had.
There are some things that never will be forgotten and these peoples generosity heads the list.
All My Love


Monday, December 14, 2009

The Mail Finally Found Me - Jan 4, 1945

Jan 4, 1945

Dear Mother,
They finally found out where I live now days. Yesterdays haul of mail netted about twenty letters for yours truly. I had begun to think someone was dead lettering my mail.
The letter with Dave's address isn't in this lot - maybe next time.
One of the letters had a drawing of a cabin. I looked it over and rather liked it's looks. Especially those built in bunks. It would be just the thing for parties of various sizes.
It's just as well that deal for the poster board fell through. It will be some time before we can get around to thinking of investments like that.
With a mile of shore line - that looks like our best bet. Especially with everyone wanting vacations - Yes.
Every time I think I have caught up on my work - Boom in comes a bunch more - it's a hard life.
Lots of Love from Me to You all


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Year Almost Gone - Dec 26, 1944

Dec 26, 1944

Dear Mother,

Another year almost gone - it hardly seems possible.
Christmas was a nice day - real cold with sunshine. We had a big turkey dinner - without much of the trimmings. We topped this off with a keg of beer. All in all it was about as good a day as could be expected - for not being home.
Also your package containing cookies and candy arrived just before Christmas. I don't believe it could have gotten here at a better time.
Vanita said she sent some packages, but she sent them all to the replacement depot - so it's hard to say just when they will catch up - if ever.
Hows the colds making out this winter? You got a colt in your nose? I hope all of you get by without too many colds. We live outside so much I never know whether I have a cold or if my nose just runs to keep warm.
It's time to say - bye now.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Radio Programs - Dec 20, 1944

Dec 20, 1944

Dear Mother,

Well! Well! December mail is arriving at last.
That must have been some snow you ran into while in Springfield. That's about the biggest snow they have had in a long time.
I can just see Dad on the business end of that shovel. With a "Yo heave ho" - Bend that back - Toss that snow. -Yes indeed, every little bit helps.
I didn't know Jack Gody very well. But I did know they had a place out of town a ways.
Did you find out what Grandad wanted you to come down for. Or did the storm take up too much of your time?
We hear the same persons over the radio that you do - mostly. Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Amos & Andy, Diana Shore, and others. The only difference is that they are transcribed programs we hear or on rare occasions a good program comes over short wave from the U.S. Of course on numerous occasions we have to be content with British programs.
Good night for now. My love to all the inhabitants of the Register residence.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

48 Hours In Paris - Dec 15, 1944

Dec 15, 1944

Dear Mother,

I can just see you fixing up things for Christmas. Who is going to be there this year, all the old crowd? Wish I could be one of them - Yes indeed.
I know what they mean when they say - "How do you expect to keep them down on the farm after they see Parie." I spent forty-eight hours there - and just between you and me they were right. A description of Paris is beyond my ability. In some ways it's like New York but mostly it's just Paris. In forty-eight hours you can do one of three things - Go shopping - Go sightseeing - or Visit the bars. We got there too late in the evening to go shopping or sightseeing.
In between bars we managed to see a number of famous places. Most of them within walking distance of our hotel. Maybe someday when this is all over we can all come over and see Parie together.
I got a letter from Grandad the other day. Am glad to hear he is not staying in the home place alone anymore. Maybe it'll keep him from thinking too much about his health.

I'll bid you all goodnight for now.


Friday, December 4, 2009

I Got A Stack Of Mail - Dec 4, 1944

Dec. 4, 1944

Dear Mother,

I got what you might call an assorted stack of mail. Letters dating anywhere from July to November. I'm not going to try to answer them as individuals.
Probably if I answered a question you asked in July you would wonder what in the h--- I was talking about - Unless you keep carbon copies of your letters - do you?
The two pictures of the place, showing the cliff you tried to climb around, was included in said batch of mail. From your description and pictures I don't think there is a doubt about where I'd like to be - Now and ever after.
I would like to have seen Dad in that gay and loud shirt of his. I can just picture why Stubby got all hot and bothered when he showed up with it on. Next time he should wear the overalls also - if they come in sizes that big around.
You wanted to know if your packages sent to the old address ever caught up. I tried to acknowledge them as they came but might have slipped up a time or two. To date I have received all you mentioned I believe. Thanks for each and every one.
Sometimes this mud she makes me mad. I was driving the jeep down the road when - zoom a truck barrels past. I had to spend the next five miles spitting mud. Now then I have to do a little equipment cleaning - so.
Bye till I get to the bottom of this dirty business.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Request In Here - Dec. 1, 1944

Dec 1, 1944

Dear Mother,
I don't know if you are getting absent minded or maybe it was an accident. I just received your air-mail letter of Oct twenty-eight. And it didn't have a stamp or any sign that a stamp had ever been present. - The envelope was cancelled and nothing said so guess nobody worried about it.
Eula's family sure likes to get married. Bob surprised me - getting married to an English gal. I wonder what ever happened to Jim. I don't recall hearing anything about him for a long time.

If you ever get any good reading material - Either fiction or technical books - send them this way will you? Reading material is powerful scarce except for French books, and they are like so much Greek.
Don't have much time for reading unless we're on the move. Then reading helps pass the time.

The time is coming nigh when I must say goodnight - so