Sometimes It’s the Postmark; Sometimes It’s All Confusing ✉️

Back in the February-March confusion of letters, it ended up being the postmarks that confirmed the correct order of letters, in addition to some letter content and the style of writing paper. All those things pointed to the handwritten letter dates as incorrect, something that turns out to happen occasionally, but more often in the early letters.

This recent puzzle in April 1942 was not that easy to solve. I even made a chart to compare paper type, letter contents, written and postmarked dates, but nothing stood out as a clear pattern, so I just went with the handwritten dates as gospel. The variation and sequence of postmarks could be due to Ruth putting letters back in the wrong envelopes, letters being delayed at the post office and not postmarked in a correct sequence, or even Walt forgetting to send them in order and not mentioning it.

The real oddball is the envelope with no letter. It’s postmarked April 25, and I’m sure it originally contained a letter, although that would be pretty funny if Walt sent an empty envelope on purpose—he would not be able to resist pointing that out in a subsequent letter, though—Ha! Rather than give it its own page, I’m just going to post it with the letter of the 25th and its envelope.

A Moment While I Puzzle

  • I’ve got a letter dated April 24, 1942 in an envelope postmarked April 27.
  • Then I have a letter dated April 25, 1942 in an envelope postmarked April 26.
  • Finally, I have an envelope postmarked April 25 with no letter.

Well, I suppose that Ruth could have put some letters back into the wrong envelopes after reading a few, especially if they arrived several at a time. I also suppose that Walt could have written some and mailed them out of order for some reason. What I usually do with such puzzles—if I notice them in advance—is to compare the letter contents to see if there are clues to the order.

Just give me a few minutes

The Wizard Behind the Curtain

Don’t pay any attention to pages of letters that show up before previous ones have been filled. For example, the March 1942 page where one letter is posted in the middle of the month. I had been working on it when I realized it was misdated. I found its mate in March, with the same incorrect date, but matching paper and a content reference. Both had clear March postmarks. Rather than try to keep it as a draft, it was just easier to create the March page and post it.

Advice: Don’t read letters out of order if you want to read them in order.