[Letter changed from January to February on 5 June 2016.]
I briefly outlined my editing choices in transcribing in the post that announced an invitation to read the Korea section, but there is one in this letter that frequently occurs that I want to clear up. Sometimes Walt crosses out mistakes and moves on, sometimes he puts those cross-outs in parentheses, which is an interesting way to separate them from the rest of the sentence. Sometimes I can read what has been crossed out, and sometimes not, so here’s what I’m doing:
- If the cross-out is in parentheses, I will keep the parentheses and either write and cross out what is readable or say that the cross-out is illegible.
- If the cross-out is not in parentheses, I will do the same as above, but put it in square brackets.
The Aunt Ruth mentioned in this letter was my paternal grandmother’s younger sister. She lived close to where my mother lived and it appears that my father may have been staying with her for some reason. He registered for the Army as a citizen of Girard, OH, so it appears he had taken up residence there. Was he attending school or working before enlisting? I don’t know.
Clearly, at the beginning of his service, he was training for regular infantry and not in a pilot program yet. Hence the references to shooting and horsemanship.
I’m thinking that the open parentheses are some kind of a secret code, as in the mention of a kiss in the last letter, so I’m leaving it in (and fixing it in the previous letter).
A transcript follows the letter images.
Jan 5, 1942
You sure must of moved some to get up (
an) a half an hour late and still make the same bus—Ha.—Anyway you got out of combing your [illegible cross-out] mother’s hair—Unh.
So mom wrote a letter—Well I’m glad she sounds a little more cheerful—In the letter I got from Aunt Ruth yesterday she said Mom was more reconciled to me leaving and that she thought I done the right thing. I sure am glad (illegible cross-out) I joined your church, I know it meant a lot to Mom and Dad and maybe you too, Unh? I think it was alright too.
Did they come to Girard—and did you go up. I suppose you will write and tell me before you get this letter—I hope.
If you like the club, why don’t you join, I think they are alright if you like the people who are in them.
I would like to take a guy by the neck who writes the letters like you were telling me about.
So you are sleepy—Ha—that sure is news. I never saw you sleepy—Ha—I only wish I were there to hold you while you sleep. You know I’ve thought a lot about that night Beach walked in and we were sleeping. I’ll bet that was a picture. Kind of sweet I thought—just like we ought to be. Unh?
We shot the semi-automatic rifles for record today—at 200 yds. I didn’t make quite as high a score as I did yesterday when we were just practicing—my luck—but I still qualified for the next to highest rating with a rifle and was one of the high scorers. In order—1 Qualify 2 Marksman 3 Sharpshooter 4 Expert. Yesterday in practice I made Expert—today for record I made Sharpshooter. I scored 14 bulleyes out of 16 in rapid fire. One other guy beat me with 16 out of 16. Next week we get more Horsemanship. All week I guess.
Well, I sent the best pictures to you—I
amg am going to send a couple to Aunt Ruth—Mom.
(illegible cross-out) Until tomorrow
With all my love