They just couldn’t stand it any longer. Lester’s intended headed to Michigan to be close to him. She found a place to stay and a job nearby. What a special time for the two of them! Like many farm families from that time period, Josephine’s family and Lester’s family were all good friends. Lester and Josephine grew up together and had known each other most of their lives. Lester’s younger brother and Josephine’s younger brother were best pals through their school years.


Monday night

May 11 – 1942

Dear Folks

I haven’t much time tonight but will write a few lines at least.  Thanks for the candy you sent with Josephine.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was very good.  I went in and saw her Saturday evening and all day Sunday.  We went out and met Allen’s cousin Sunday afternoon.  They are rather old but seemed very nice.  They asked her to stay with them awhile but I don’t know what she is going to do.  Yes, I wish you could have come with her, Mom.  Perhaps you will be able to come to Chicago when I go back to the Lakes.  You could visit Audrey too, then.

Josephine just called me now.  She is out at the cousin’s tonight.  She looked for a job today but didn’t find anything yet that she wanted.


The president of Peru is coming tomorrow to review us and visit the station.  We have been drilling for the performance and he probably won’t stay long enough to hardly see us when he does come.  Rear Admiral Downes is coming Wednesday to see us so we are going to have to watch our step, you see.  Mr Downes is the commandant of the ninth naval district.  He is at Great Lakes.

Tuesday morning.  Taps blew last night before I finished this so I’ll try again this morning.  We will probably have to go to chow pretty soon now.

Is it still raining at home?  We have been having quite a little rain here, not so much at one time but frequent small rains.  It is a little chilly but not cold.

Well, chow is over and we had hash, French toast and syrup, oatmeal, an apple and a donut.  It was pretty good.  When it is warm we usually have cold tea, lemonade or orangeade to drink for noon and evening.

You might tell Mabel that if she wants to write to Josephine before she gets a permanent address, she can send it to me and I will see that she gets it.


Noon:  The president of Peru has been here and gone again.  He is just a little fellow, about middle-aged I would guess.  Mr Henry Ford was along.  This was the first time I have seen him but he looks just like his pictures.  He wore a light grey suit & an old brown felt hat.  He was just as common as anyone.  He looks like he is getting pretty old.

Guess I had better mail this cause it is about time to go to school.  I talked to Josephine at noon and she has taken a job doing housework near here.  Will write more later.




A Letter Home on March 19, 1942

Keeping busy at the training station. Photo postal card 1941.
Keeping busy at the training station. Photo postal card 1941.

March 19, 1942

Dear Folks

I received your letter today so will try to get a letter off by tomorrow morning.  No there isn’t any special history connected with the handkerchief, just a little souvenir from Canada.  Nearly all the stores were closed so we didn’t have much of a choice.  I don’t know whether I will go on liberty this week or not.

I expect to be here about another month.  We are supposed to leave here April 24th.  My last weeks grades averaged 3.6 which a little above average.  4.0 is equal to 100.

I will try to write to Nelson Parrish soon.  Not much chance of us seeing each other.

Glad to know that dad has got the crops started.  Did you sow the lespedza out west of the garden?  I didn’t realize that St. Patricks day was this week until I heard some of the boys talking about planting potatoes.  Mr. Ford is starting to send his ships out this week & they say that Spring is here when he does that.  A little tug boat is used to pull the ships out of the canal.  Two of the largest ships are still here.

Is Merle going to Calif. too?  I didn’t know that Roy was in the service.  Did Ola have a job?  Rymans probably won’t hear from Ernest very often cause the ships don’t go into port very often.

If Nelson is in a barracks close to the water then they certainly are expanding rapidly cause I never was close enough to see the water.

I’ll try to write the first of the week.