Jul 30, 2016

Tue, Jul 30, 1946: a civilian

"Have you wondered what has happened to me?  I'm a civilian now -- and have been since about noon last Friday -- but there has been no time to write until now....
“Last Friday at 6 A.M. Walt Brunhumer came by my room to awaken me. After a hearty breakfast we still managed to get to the discharge center behind only Jim Spillane and Phil Walker--two Boulder men.  By the time they unlocked the center (7:45) a sizeable crowd was gathered.  We were early enough to go through with the first group.  After filling out many forms and hearing a number of instructive lectures, 23 signatures and five finger printings later -- we had our discharge buttons and certificates in our possession.  The center had a congenial staff--the old medical captain with his amusing quips: 'Were you nervous in the service, son?' and 'Don't you know that you were too old to have measles?' the personnel man who gave us a lot of angles on GI benefits which we hadn't thought about--some of which might evade the spirit of the laws, and the athletic-minded chaplain with his anecdotes about football: 'Even though the football season is over keep in there pitching for the old school'--this he applied to our case by substituting the words 'country' and 'war'....
"My plans call for a trip up to Chicago tomorrow to see John.  Aunt Nell thinks it would be nice if I stop here on the way back through since Uncle Orville's Aunt Frances, and Joyce will be here--so I'll be around for the family dinner Sunday--and I may stay on until Tuesday since Aunt Nell thinks it would be a good idea.  Also, I plan to stop over in Missouri -- so I don't know exactly what day I'll be back home."

--Letter from my father, Decatur, Illinois, to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Tuesday, July 30, 1946.

Jul 27, 2016

Sat, Jul 27, 1946: funny notions

“I bet you think I’ve fallen in.  But I haven’t.  Now the problem is to get two weeks into less than a pamphlet. Well, I can’t be as detailed as I’d like.  Somehow last week was simply swamped and rushed.  If only I had a typewriter now!  Well – I made the preacher’s wife jealous in California [a town in Missouri]….
“I am anxiously awaiting further discussion of later summer plans.  It looks as if Dot’s folks could take me to St. Louis & I could leave from there.  However, I will do what you want me to.  I promised this summer to go where sent & conduct myself as a good servant of Jesus Christ, so I guess another week wouldn’t hurt.  I at least know my traveling companions for that week….
“Mr. Hesler at California was marvelous.  So was Mr. Yoes[?] at Dexter.  But Mrs. Heslor was a funny one – an Easterner – no sense of humor & Mr. Hesler was clever as can be – She got funny notions. However I had no intention of taking her husband away.  I didn’t even know she had this notion until we left…."
--Letter from my mother, Charleston, Missouri, to her family, [likely in Hutchison, Kans.], Saturday, July 27, 1946.

Jul 18, 2016

Thu, Jul 18, 1946: overseas jobs

"Monday morning I dropped over to the Pentagon Bldg. for an interview with Mr. Nott who is handling overseas jobs for the War Dept.... Tuesday he called up Mrs. Farrow -- the Korean War Dept. worker in our offices who handles proficiency tests -- and said that he had jobs for five of the men who had applied -- my name among the five.... Tuesday night I was all set to accept the job [in Japan] until I went home at 11:30 P.M. to find Mom's letter waiting for me.  Mrs. Sellar's has a room open; so I decided to go to college & get my degree-- and I left the door open for a job next summer in Japan."

--Letter from my father, Washington, D.C., to my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., Thursday, July 18, 1946.

Thu, Jul 18, 1946: real farmers

“We gals became real farmers—drove tractors, watched turkeys hatch, ‘snoopervised’ the building of a new turkey house, and had blackberries and turkey eggs for breakfast.  All this was at the home where Dot and Ruth were lucky enough to stay at Gray Summit, or rather out of Gray Summit on ‘Hardeman Boulevard.’  These same Hardemans were three-fourth of the reason we had such a good start to our summer.  None of us had ever known a family that made such a place in our hearts in such a short time.”

--Group letter from my mother, Ruth Murray, and the three other members of her Methodist Youth Caravan, Thursday, July 18, 1946.

Jul 14, 2016

Sun, Jul 14, 1946: threshing

"The threshing is all done now except Uncle Orrin's sweet clover which they will thresh to-morrow. Guess I'll have to help them with dinner.  Last Friday they were working on our oats by noon but Myers seemed to think they should have the men for dinner as they had worked there the afternoon before and the most of the morning.  So I furnished some of the food and helped get dinner there."

--Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Washington, D.C., Sunday, July 14, 1946.

Sun, July 14, 1946: preachers

“But Mr. Hesler now!  I heard his step in the church yesterday noon & knew that’s what it was – then his face appeared – young, earnest, clean & healthy looking.  I nearly hugged him & he has been just like we dreamed.  I had almost forgotten about preachers who know what’s going on and really take an interest in their people and have good constructive ideas.  He’s not better than average probably, but he seemed heavenly to us….
“After waking up – Sleep is a marvelous invention.  I am much encouraged now.  We had cokes with the lady & fed the dog cookies.  This better be as good as week in all respect as the people we’ve met so far.  I think I can even write the thank you notes to Cuba now – after I read the funnies, which I haven’t read since I left home.”
-- Letter from my mother, California, Mo., to his father and sister, Hutchinson, Kans., July 14, 1946.  The Youth Caravan was a program in which teams of Methodist young adults  travelled for two months in the summer to several churches in a region away from their home, staying with church members, and helping the churches improve their youth programs.

Jul 5, 2016

July 5?, 1946: Mrs. Hardeman’s gardener

“Sun. morning we went down – we had a hard time getting used to going out back when it was convenient instead of waiting until it was necessary.  In the kitchen an old man said, ‘Good morning, girls.  I’m Mrs. Hardeman’s gardener.’ We were very agreeable & soon Mrs. Hardeman came in & said.  ‘Did you meet my boy friend?’  We said yes.  (He is 78 & she is in her middle sixties). Then the boys came in & called him Pop. It turned out that he was Mr. Hardeman & I love him.  He says very little, but he’s a peck of fun when he does.  They call each other honey all the time.....
“We can tell the family is democratic, loving, cooperative & Christian from a few hours being with them.  They all help each other & tell nice things about each other.  This morning, we did hear Walker almost howl Howard out, but it’s the first sign.”
--Letter from my mother, possibly in Missouri, to her father and sister, Hutchinson, Kans., about July 5, 1946.  This was written while she was in Methodist Youth Caravan, travelling to churches in rural areas, staying the families, and helping churches work on youth programs. She was 19 and getting ready to start her junior year of college. 

Thu, Jul 11, 1946: observation car

"After I left Washington I stayed in the observation car until it got so dark that I couldn't see the scenery any longer.  It happened there was a man there who rides over that line about forty times a month.  He knew every crook and turn and made things much more interesting...Mrs. Howes was there waiting for me [in Chicago]....We went down to the Marshall Field store and looked at the many, many beautiful things they had for sale.  It was fun riding up and down on the escalators.  We ate our lunch in their beautiful cafeteria.... By staying in Chicago a day I missed out on getting dinner for threshers Wed. However to-morrow Myers and I shall probably get dinner together."

--Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Washington, D.C., Thursday, July 11, 1946.  My grandmother was returning to Kansas, after having visited my father in Washington, D.C.

Jul 1, 2016

Naval language officers, Washington, D.C., 1946. L to R, my father, Bob Nave, John Holmes, J. O. Williams.