May 29, 2015

Tue, May 29, 1945: tractor

"Today I took the culaviator [sic] down to Brown's so he could plow his potatoes.  I did not have to work very much and played with the twins and their two little kittens most of the time.
"Last Saturday I drove Brown's tractor home from our place all by my self."

-- Letter from my uncle, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, May 29, 1945.  This letter was written on my uncle's twelfth birthday.  At that age, he was already driving the tractor down the road by himself.  Brown King was my father's cousin, and about fifteen years older than him.  I believe he lived about a mile or two from my grandparents.

May 27, 2015

Sun, May 27, 1945: P.W.'s

"Dearest DeVere: It is Sunday again and the day has been full as usual as well as the entire preceding week.
"Last Monday (being the first since my school was out) I did a 4-week's washing.  Tuesday was the Senior's assembly as Evelyn Myers went with me to hear the will, prophecy and history of the Senior Class.  Barbara played 'Chloe' and 'Rag Picker' which sort of harmonized with the rest of the program.  Several girls also sang songs 'Sentimental Journey' and such.  We were unable to hear all of it but it was pretty funny.
"Wednesday I got the said 4-week's ironing completed then Thurs., Fri. and Saturday I spent almost the entire time cooking and washing dishes.  Daddy was putting up hay and got a load of P.W.'s [prisoners of war] to help him each day.  They were all pretty good workers.  They put some of it in the hay barn and baled the rest and put in the barn.  Then Sat. the prisoners helped clean out the barn.  It was a pretty big job since it had been collecting all winter and you almost had to use a step-ladder to enter the stables."

--Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Boulder, Colo., May 27, 1945. My father’s sister, Barbara, was finishing her senior year of high school.  The prisoners were presumably Germans, like those my grandfather had gotten earlier (see August 1944).

May 20, 2015

Sun, May 20, 1945: wars in the Pacific

"Aunt Frances thinks it possible that Dale might be home in a few months.  Surely hope so.  He has had a rough deal for a long time.
"Wish the wars in the Pacific would soon be over but as hard as it seems for them to make any headway, it may be a long time yet."

-- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Boulder, Colo., Sunday, May 20, 1945.  Dale was my father's cousin. In May 1945, Allied forces were fighting the Japanese for control of Okinawa, 340 miles from the main Japanese islands.

May 16, 2015

Wed, May 16, 1945: essential industry

"S.C. [Southwestern College] was the only school in Winfield that remained open on V-E Day.  The boys on the campus were rather disgusted & proceeded to put various bits of propaganda on the bulletin board the day following as: telegram to Truman, asking that SCers not be drafted because it was an essential industry (working on V-E day...."

-- Letter from Norma Harrold, Winfield, Kans., to my father, Boulder, Colo., Wednesday, May 16, 1945. 

May 8, 2015

Thu, May 10, 1945: V-E Day

"On V-E Day we had what was probably a typical celebration.  Pres. Guftafson made a few appropriate remarks to open the all-school convocation.  Then Prof. Reynolds of the Eng. Dept. read some up-to-date chapters from Isaiah, and Capt. Cheadle closed with a warming that 'There's a Job Yet to be Done.'  There was no celebration here - except that a few flags were hung out downtown and all business establishments closed.  After the many false alarms it was almost an anti-climax and, when, someone brought the report to school Monday morning, we could only believe it after hearing confirmation later in the day."
--Letter from my father, Boulder, Colo., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., May 10, 1945.  The allies accepted the unconditional surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945.