This short letter shows how ceremony can heighten feelings of patriotism, in the described “retreat” ceremony in full uniform and with the band. It made Walt feel part of something “bigger than big.”
We hear that Ruth’s sister Ruby is just graduating from high school. I heard from someone a few years ago that the classes in Youngstown were divided into two tracks to accommodate all the students, so that some might begin in January and others in June (not sure of the months). So, Ruby could have been graduating in January.
A transcript follows the letter images.
[Bar with musical notes crossed out] 8:08 Jan 22, 1942
Boy do I feel good—I just recieved your letter—Yes mammy—just keep right on writing. I’ll read em all and more too.
I’m sorry if i have to skip a day or two now and then—but I’ll try and keep up—Ya know—Sometimes we don’t even have 15 min. to ourselves all day—what I mean is,—They are throwing things at us so fast on this fast [or fact] program, that when we have a little time—we have to get ready for the next installment.
I’m sorry to hear about the Judge—If there is a good man—something has to happen to him.—Well maybe he’s better off.
Oh yeah! I sure am glad to hear Ruby is graduating—I can hear her laughing right now.
And don’t worry—I sure don’t want to get rid of you.—And don’t forget what I said, I’m right with you honey—right there.
I haven’t heard from Mom yet but I expect to.—
We had —”Retreat”—today—every troop was out on a big field—for a theoretical (spelling) lowering of the flag—the most beautiful think you could ever see—we passed in parade review—every man in uniform with the band—I’m telling you it sure was pretty—makes you feel like you were a part of something bigger then big.
Be sure and write—Honey—I feel a lot better today—and I mean it.
Say “Sweetheart”—keep on with the pillow cases or something as we’ll be needing them and it will keep you busy.—All the guys thought I was nuts when I said I had a girl I could trust but they don’t know “My Girl”—Unh? They don’t make them any better.
Tell your family “hello.”—Hope your Dad keeps on working.
In the main this is just a quick letter to let you know how I appreciated your letter—the bigger the better—its the next best thing to talking to you.
So Long—I see you
(– — ——)
I love you
Hear me whisper.
Note on back of envelope:
I put stamps on the last letter and forgot to mark it—Air mail.