Just in case I don’t survive the pandemic, I’m proceeding to get all the files of letters ready to send off to a library interested in war letters. I have all the folders boxed up in file cases and am writing up instructions for them in case something happens to me before I can send them off. The worst case scenario would be that no one knew what to do with them, and I don’t want them scattered among family members, handled or framed or damaged or lost, because to my mind they are not mementos, but historical artifacts. I still think the Center for American War Letters is a good place, but I’ll have to contact them to see if they’re interested, and right now they are in the midst of fires and a pandemic.
I unbundled all of Ruth’s letters and listed them by date, which you can see here. They stop in July 1942, but still, it’s a good sized list. I started scanning them, well one of them, and then I thought about taking my printer/scanner out to the garage to look for the sledge hammer, because you have to fight to get it to keep your scanning settings.
I’ve been going through all my blog posts over a period of time, deleting ones that no longer fit my vision for the project, and editing or adding dated comments to a few. I should have noted how many there were when I started. Oh, well, there are 98 now with this one.
I have very slowly been adding transcriptions of Ruth’s Letters. I have nothing else to say about that except that I have sure come to detest scanning. 🤷♀️ There are four page drafts waiting for me right now to finish. The last letters I posted were in February of this year.
As I mentioned long ago in a blog post, the nature of blog sites is that followers only get notified of new blog posts, like this one. When I add another transcription page, no one is notified. Readers must, for example, go to the page for Ruth’s Letters and see if any letter dates have turned into links. It’s a bad system for readers.
Just posting that the first and longest of Ruth’s letters is posted. Over 30 pages long, because she doesn’t have Walt’s mailing address yet, it’s a good introduction to the lives of family who waited at home while their loved ones went to war.
The whole thing ends with this kiss
All of Ruth’s letters will be listed on this page as they are completed.
After finishing transcribing all 359 of Walt’s letters, I fell into a winter slump. Let’s call it a vacation. I’ve crept back into transcribing by working on those two pilot logs (log1, log2), and now I’m starting on Ruth’s Letters by scanning them and filing them into folders—I hate that part.
Walt mentioned a few times that he was returning her letters for the scrapbook she planned to work on (but never did). Most of her letters were bundled into envelopes, except for four that were returned to her in their original envelopes. She might have picked those up when she went out to visit him. The last bundle is dated 26 July 1942. Walt doesn’t head out to Texas until November, so it’s unclear why the returning ended in July. Nevertheless, that’s all there is. Walt and Ruth would be together after December, so there was no need for letters in 1943. The war obviously made it unlikely that Walt could return any letters received overseas. Beyond that, I don’t know what happened to the idea of the scrapbook, even though there is a large one with photos of other soldiers in it.
My scanning plan is to scan all of an envelope’s contents into one PDF. For the transcribing, though, I’ll do that one letter at a time, with each letter page in JPEG format. Bear with me.
While there is nothing new to read, imagine me scanning and organizing.