Letter from Frances on Sewing, Gas Rationing, and Thanksgiving

Council Grove

November 19, 1942

Dear Brother—

We aren’t very busy this morning so will try and get a letter written to you. It surely is a pretty day but it feels more like spring than fall. The weather is so warm and it is rather windy. It has been quite foggy some mornings but was nice and clear this morning. Yesterday the fog was quite bad. Gloyd brought me to work and we could hardly see to drive. Leo Dike ran into a bridge on his way to Delavan and smashed a rear fender, broke a spring and broke the door handles off the car but no one was hurt any. Gloyd went down home yesterday and today to shuck corn. He said they should get the west field done this week. The corn is pretty good although he said it was rather thin and really should have been replanted. He said it would be nice shucking in the big field.

Paul Robert has the chicken pox but he isn’t sick at all. Gloyd said he was running in and out all day yesterday. I guess he didn’t feel very good Saturday but Sunday he felt better so got ready and went to Sunday School.

They had a party for Sam Edmiston’s Tuesday evening. They have sold their farm to Miles Sheaffer and are going to move to Texas.

Gloyd’s folks, Aunt Della and Helen came over last evening for awhile.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I have borrowed Mrs. Pickett’s sewing machine so she came over to use it. Her iron has played out too so she wanted to use my iron. We sewed and ironed and Helen took a bath so she could use the bathtub. I discovered I had sewed part of my dress together backwards so Aunt Della ripped for me. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have been trying for a week to get it made but haven’t met with much success yet.

We got up about 5:15 this morning and Gloyd left shortly after six. I stayed up so I got the house cleaned and the dishes washed before I came to work this morning. It will be nice to go home at noon and not find a table full of dirty dishes. When Gloyd isn’t working he gets dinner and washes the dishes and one day last week he cleaned the house and made the bed and did a good job of it, too.

We went out to Harry’s for dinner Sunday and took the folks and Aunt Della. Gloyd had to work that evening so we came home about six. Gloyd went to the selectee party that night. I didn’t feel like going so stayed home alone. There were 29 left Monday morning. I am getting to be the worst kind of a fraidy cat but I just can hardly stay alone anymore. I was alone again Monday evening while Gloyd went to drill but he wasn’t so late then. I guess I will get Helen to stay with me after this when Gloyd is going to be gone. They said awhile back that a hump backed boy here in town who isn’t too bright was around peeking in windows. Helen was just sure he was over there one evening. I always keep my doors locked when I am alone and here lately I pull the shades at dark. We girls don’t get together anymore on Monday evenings since Dale left. Nellie’s husband never did go to drill and Maurice hasn’t gone since he came back from Leavenworth. Gloyd is the only one that is still in. The State Guards are finding it impossible to keep their enlistment up to what it should be. The army has taken so many of the younger men there isn’t much to recruit from any more. This training is doing the boys some good though. Dale has already been put in charge of one squad and I wouldn’t be surprised but before long he will have some stripes.

Benny Linn was home last week and got married while he was here. He married Irma Scott.

Gloyd is going to try and get back in time this evening so he can register for our four gallons of gasoline. I couldn’t do it. Seems it has to be the same one who signed the registration certificate.

We had a fight over on the east side the other night. One fellow got his arm cut quite bad. The paper said he lost a gallon of blood but I imagine they over estimated the amount a little.

We went to the show Tuesday night and saw “The Big Shot.” It was better than we had expected it to be but not too good at that. I haven’t heard whose name was drawn last night.

The senior play was at Dunlap last night but I don’t believe Wallace was in it. He and Mother went though. Dad stayed home with Paul.

Gloyd and I have just gotten over some terrible colds. We just took them all at once and they left about the same way. Gloyd went to the doctor but I kept on going. Seems to be a lot of them around.

We are going to have a blackout here sometime next month. Guess we will just have to sit in the dark a few minutes.

Seems like I have about run out of anything to say. It is noon anyway. Maybe I will think of something before I come back after lunch.

Later–

When I went home at noon your letter was in the mailbox so I will answer it, too. I tried to call Mother but the Dunlap line was busy so I will try again this evening. If I don’t get through I will send your letter down with Gloyd. I imagine he will go back tomorrow.

It would be nice if Irma and Howard were close enough so you could go see them but I don’t suppose you have much time. It is better to be busy. I have found from experience there isn’t anything harder to do than do nothing. There is always plenty I could be doing now. I have also found that everything doesn’t have to be done at once. Work is one thing that will wait and I have learned that I can’t keep my housework all done like I used to do and work here all day too. So the housework usually has to wait until Sat. night after work or Sunday  morning. I still work at the store Saturday night. I believe I will enjoy living more if I take things a little easier.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANo, I haven’t gotten my glasses changed yet but I am getting along all right. We got our grocery bill paid and Sims. It won’t be long till we have our debts all taken care of.

Aunt Cora is planning a Thanksgiving dinner at George’s if nothing happens. She has been home a couple weeks and was gone for five. She had a nice trip and a good visit with Charley’s.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Well, I guess I better quit. I have done a little work this afternoon and there is a little more to be done yet. Helen and I came back a little early today. I had a dress to exchange. It will have to be made over but it was a bargain anyway.

Take care of yourself and write when you can

Love and Best Wishes

Frances and Gloyd

P.S. Irma didn’t like it either.

P.P.S. Wayne is an M.P. but doesn’t like it. Says he wishes he had waited to be drafted. Paul wants to get on the switchboard. He thinks he is too old to climb poles.

PICT0984P.P.P.S. If I had an extra quarter I would send it to your buddy for the nice compliment. The grey hairs in my head didn’t show in the picture.

Another Letter from Frances

Lester (upper right) with his sister Frances, little brother Wallace, and their grandmother.
Lester (upper right) with his sister Frances, little brother Wallace, and their grandmother.

Council Grove, Kansas

October 16, 1942

Dear Brother

Since I never got the other letter mailed yet I will write a little more this afternoon while I am not busy. August is gone again this afternoon and we are going to have a birthday party afterwhile so I guess there won’t be much work done this afternoon. I did work all forenoon though. I believe I am beginning to get on to the work a little now but at first I thought I never would learn. It still makes me nervous when I have to make out a loan in a hurry. They say that after harvest the men come in and we sometimes have to make as many as twenty loans a day. There is so much to it. The worksheets have to be made out, then the loan, then the folder must be labeled and put in the file. A record is kept of every loan that is made and all the feed wheat that is sold.

It started to rain last evening and we had a little shower but it didn’t make things very muddy for which we are glad. The weather is going to get a little cooler I believe but that will be all right too for it has been so warm it has taken all the pep out of me.

Mae and Bill are in town today. Bill is home for a week. They are trying to sell the farm and he thought he would come home and see about it rather than sign things down there. They were going out to Delavan this afternoon to see about getting on out there. But he said if it wasn’t quite a lot better than his present job he wouldn’t change. He is making pretty good now. They wanted all of us to come down Sunday so he could see everyone but Gloyd has to work so I know we can’t go until after dinner anyway. If it is nice we might drive down in the afternoon. Since we are rationed on gas we won’t be able to go much.

They are creating new boards here all the time and some of them meet up here. They have a new gas rationing board and one to check the tires. I guess they call it a transportation board. They are in need of a new secretary for the board but so far they haven’t been able to find one. Dolly Collins worked one day and decided it was too much work. The state man was here Wednesday and told Helen that any one that wasn’t worth $2.50 a day wasn’t worth having. We decided we might as well go home for we are only getting $2.25. We hope for a raise before too long though.

Gloyd got his notice to take his screen test Tuesday. Of course they aren’t really reclassified until they take that but there isn’t any doubt but what he will be all right for there has to be something decidedly wrong with anyone now before they are turned down. He thinks maybe he would like to get into the ground crew of the air force. I would rather have him there than in a lot of places. I was in hopes he wouldn’t have to go before Christmas anyway and maybe he won’t if Kirk can get him deferred. Wayne took the test to get into the radio school for the signal corps or something of the sort and heard that he had passed but hasn’t been told to report yet and has already received notice to go to Leavenworth for his physical the 27 of this month. He is very much in hopes he will be accepted in the school before he is inducted otherwise if he gets in after he draws army pay. He may join ghe ground crew of the air force if nothing else develops. Melchert has received his call to report the 26 of this month. That will just about leave Council Grove without any doctors. I guess Miller and Kerr will be here as long as Council Grove is.

We went to the show Tuesday night and saw “This Gun for Hire.” We neither one cared for it as it was very much a gangster picture. I don’t know whether the money was given away or not. We never got it. Wednesday night we went on a weiner roast with the bunch. The rest of them went to the show afterwards but as we had already seen it we didn’t want to go again. They planned the party Monday night but I wasn’t there so didn’t know about it and they forgot to call us until noon Wednesday. Gloyd always has a meeting on Wednesday night anyway. They signed up another recruit last time but they still don’t have the company up to full strength.

Mother called Wednesday evening. They are all well. They had been to Emporia on Saturday and she had gotten some things for me that I couldn’t get up here. I have been needing a little washboard and there just weren’t any here. I thought it would help a lot to have one that could be put in the sink. Then I have a sunshine sister that has a birthday the 21st of this month so I had her get a serving tray for her.

The town has been full of soldiers the last few days. They are out on maneuvers from Fort Riley. Yesterday there were jeeps and tanks but every day nearly there are jeeps. They are quite a contraption. Gloyd thinks they would make a good mud car for mail carriers. The tanks were all named. One of them was named Eisenhower, Wainright, Vinegar Joe, and I can’t remember the names of the others.

Well, I guess I have told all I know again this time so better get started on another letter. I think I will write to Paul. Seems like Gloyd doesn’t have much time and in the evening he is so tired he doesn’t feel like writing.

Love to you

Frances and Gloyd

The Folks. Paul in front; Charley, Georgia, Gloyd and Frances; Wallace and Lester in back.
The Folks. Paul in front; Charley, Georgia, Gloyd and Frances; Wallace and Lester in back.