Jul 25, 2015

Wed, Jul 25, 1945: threshers

"Saturday night we went to town to see 'Lad, Son of Lassie.'  It was fine and although Stanley was tired out from carrying water all day to the threshers he wouldn't have missed it for anything.
"We got our threshing done last Friday and then I helped Irma and Alice cook for threshers on Sat. and Mon. so I feel like I had my share. They finished the threshing in this community Mon. evening."

-- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Boulder, Colo., Wednesday, July 25, 1945.

Jul 21, 2015

Sat, Jul 21, 1945: keys

[language warning] “On Wednesday we had our first experience with the new conversation grading system.... I'm trying to do good work in that field in an effort to get a job as an interpreter instead of spending my career as a language officer behind a desk doing routine translations.  Last month I had a 91 average, which was quite a bit above anyone else in the group - but it probably depended a lot on luck.
"Last week we had some very amusing and interesting lessons.  In one a Jap gave his impression of the western world after a first visit to Paris and Brussels.  He was astonished by the large number of keys and from that developed his point that keys could sum up our lives from the spiritual to the material side of living. Another good story was on the life of Buddha, and the last story of the week was about the Magellan round-the-world voyage."

--Letter from my father, Boulder, Colo., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Saturday, July 21, 1945.

Jul 19, 2015

Thu, Jul 19, 1945: sugar situation

"Just as we were getting through with dinner yesterday, Herbert and family came to visit with us.  Daddy had to go to help thresh but the rest of us got to visit.  We went down to the swimming hole and Herbert and the kids went swimming.  They had a fine time riding Foxy also.
"I would like to bake cookies etc. much oftener to send to you but the sugar situation is really getting serious and we are not getting as much canning sugar this year. I baked some with honey the other day.  They weren't so good but I am going to doctor up the recipe and see if I can improve it somewhat.
"Keith Parry is home on furlough, the first time for three years.  He went into the army about the same time Dale did and had only one furlough before going across. He was wounded seriously in the leg several months ago on one of the Pacific islands.  He came to the states two or three months ago and was in a hospital in California but is home now for 30 days and has to report back to the hospital at that time.  He uses a cane and limps considerably but gets around very well.  Mr. Parry said he drove the tractor some last week.  He doesn't know yet whether or not he'll be discharged."

-- Letter from my grandmother, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Boulder, Colo., Thursday, July 19, 1945.

Jul 15, 2015

Sun, Jul 15, 1945: tobacco

"Incidently, Marvin didn't pass his physical for the Army, either.  Ada said he didn't want to do any work while he was up at Leavenworth, so when they handed him a broom he told them they couldn't make him do any work, because he wasn't in the Army, yet.  He also found out that, by sleeping in the bunks in the middle of the room one wasn't nearly so apt to be told to do something. He and another boy hid behind some empty bunkhouses (or whatever they were) so they wouldn't have to work....
"Thursday Mom and I went to Douglass.  On the way down there we stopped at Grandma's and Grandpa's. Grandpa, who had been silent practically all the time we were down there, got up just as we were leaving and said, 'You're not going, are you? I was just getting ready to talk to you.' Grandma whispered to me, 'He's going to spit out his tobacco.'"

-- Letter from my aunt, Bloomington, Kans., to my father, Boulder, Colo., July 15, 1945.  Marvin Lenz and his mother Ada were neighbors of my grandparents in Bloomington, Kans.

Jul 7, 2015

Sat, Jul 7, 1945: secrecy

[language warning] "(I just took time out for a bike ride.)  We travelled up to Wall Street, a gold mining center -- 12 miles up Four Mile Canyon.  Unfortunately the place is still deserted.  We looked at the equipment - narrow gauge railroads, etc. - but didn't see a soul.  Either they haven't gone back to work yet or else the town's population had all ceased activity for a Saturday night in Boulder.  However, the rusty padlocks with which mine entrance doors were sealed shut seemed to indicate that no one had entered in quite some time.  I'd like to make another expedition up later.  If we could contact some old-timer - 'sourdoughs', I think they're called - we could probably get a nice background on gold mining history in these parts….
"Evidently the rules on secrecy here have been relaxed to a certain extent.  Names of graduates are now being read at graduation ceremonies, etc; so the publication of my name in the Gazette probably won't make any difference.  After all it'd be a little simpler for Nip spys to slip into graduation exercises than to read all hometown newspapers in the country.  That is if they care about learning who language men are."
-- Letter from my father, Boulder, Colo.,  to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Saturday, July 7, 1945.  

Jul 6, 2015

Fri, Jul 6, 1945: sweating out

"Well Son, my experience in Germany is now a thing of the past and I am now back in France awaiting redeployment. What we are sweating out is wether [sic] or not we will go to the Pacific direct or go through the states.  Of course it goes without saying that we want to go through the States so I certainly hope we can get together some way."
-- Letter from Everett Samuelson, Reims, France, to my father, Boulder, Colo., July 6, 1945.  Samuelson was a college buddy of my father.