Nov 29, 2013

Mon, Nov 29, 1943: menu

"Did you have as good a menu for Thanksgiving as you thought you were.  We didn't have any proverbial turkey, but instead had chicken, gravy, dressing, potatoes, peas, celery, pickles, cranberry sauce and apple pie.
"Since Stanley is too busy to write in that he is making up his arithmetic he missed last week, he is giving news items to tell you.  Buzzy has four pups and of course Stanley thinks they are wonderful.  Then he wants to tell you that Old Mary Jane has a calf."
          -- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Monday, November 29, 1943.

Nov 24, 2013

Wed, Nov 24, 1943: feast

"And we should have a real [Thanksgiving] feast, if The Capala Arrow, college newspaper, has the right dope on our menu for Thursday noon.  Roast turkey with gravey and dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, butter peas, corn, tomato and lettuce, crisp celery, assorted pickles, hot rolls, butter, pumpkin pie, apples, grapes, candies and nuts are listed by that paper.  All of which probably means various combinations of hash and soup until Sunday, but I'm looking forward to it.  I suppose that you folks had one of the usual family dinners with a variety of food that would put the just mentioned menu to shame with a Turkey furnished by Uncle Frank.  No doubt the annual visit of the Shepherds - (if that's proper spelling) and the quail and rabbit hunt had to be called off for lack of ammunition and fuel."
-- Letter from my father, Navy V-12 program, Cape Girardeau, Mo., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Wednesday, November 24, 1943.  This was my father's first Thanksgiving away from home, as an 18-year-old apprentice seaman.

Nov 20, 2013

Sat, Nov 20, 1943: the South

"Most of the boys here are from the South.  This is really the University of the 'South'.  The word 'Yankee' is used with a feeling of disgust here.  My English professor refights the Civil War in every class.  The other day he told us that ‘a Nazi is a Yankee carried to his logical conclusion.'  He said the South was their only hope.  To him a Yankee is a sort of heathen.  The South has all the culture and finer things."
-- Letter from Lee Lenz, University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., to my father, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Saturday, November 20, 1943.  Lee was my father’s neighbor and high school class mate.  He was in the Navy V-12 program, as my father was.

Nov 18, 2013

Thu, Nov 18, 1943: pup tents

"I'm now stationed somewhere in Tenn. on my winter maneuvers.  Expect the experience of the coming months will separate the men from the boys. (Thats a pet expression used around here, don't believe I'll have to elaborate)
"We are bivouaced in a wooded cow pasture and living in double pup tents.  The weather has been kinda cold when it frosts.  So thats why we have four men to a tent.  Sure is noisy when four of us snore."
-- Letter from Dale Sooter, near Nashville, Tenn., to my father, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Thursday, November 18, 1943.  Dale, my father's cousin, was a private in the Army; my father was an apprentice seaman in the Navy.

Nov 15, 2013

Mon, Nov 15, 1943: big cities

"Things are going along here as before.  Clarence Brewster of Wichita is still my roommate.  In fact out of 20 boys in our corridor only two are new -- both of them coming from St. Louis.  In fact all of the boys are from big cities with the exception of myself and Earl Burgett, a boy next door from Seabie, Montana.  Five are from St. Louis, 2 from San Francisco, 1 from Los Angeles, 1 from Chicago, and several from Kansas City, besides my roommate from Wichita and one boy from Columbus, Ohio."

-- Letter from my father, Navy V-12 program, Cape Girardeau, Mo., to my grandfather, Bloomington, Kans., Monday, November 15, 1943.

Nov 14, 2013

Sun, Nov 14, 1943: across the waters

"Ruby and Homer had a letter from Jack last week and he was at his place of embarkation. Suppose by now he is rolling across the waters."
 -- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Sunday, November 14, 1943.  Jack Seal was one of my father's neighbors and best childhood friends.  He was the only child of Ruby and Homer Seal, who ran the town store.  Unlike my father who entered an officer training program allowing him to remain stateside, Jack was sent overseas soon after entering the army.

Nov 10, 2013

Tues, Nov 9, 1943: cold as a barn

"It has really been chilly the last two days.   About 24° was the lowest Mon. morning and my schoolhouse was as cold as a barn."
-- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Cape Girardeau, Mo., Tuesday, November 9, 1943.  Three day earlier, on November 6, Soviet forces had captured Kiev from Nazi forces.

Nov 3, 2013

Wed, Nov 3, 1943: capital

"I'm now back at work in the V-12 program at Cape Girardeau.  The trip from home was uneventful outside of the stops in Kansas City, Jefferson City, and St. Louis.  While in Jeff City we spent about 15 minutes looking over the Missouri state capital building -- big place.  Of interest were a lot of Civil War relics on exhibit on the ground floor.  After stopping at every mail box from Jeff City to St. Louis we arrived in time to catch the bus that arrived in Cape at 11 P.M. Oct. 31."
-- Letter from my father, Cape Girardeau, Mo., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Wednesday, November 3, 1943.  He was back at his naval post Southeast Missouri State Teachers College after his first leave home.