24 March 1942

Drinking “Vitamin Z” and roller skating sounds like fun, but apparently it doesn’t compare to walking with Ruth in Mill Creek Park. I grew up just a few streets from that park and can verify that it was indeed a great feature of Youngstown. Now part of what are called Mill Creek Metroparks, you can get an idea of the park in this video, which shows a trail like one where Walt and Ruth might have walked:

You can see why Walt longs for the green of such a park while living on the plains where dust hangs in the air.

A transcript follows the letter images.

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Transcript:

Mar. 24, 1942

Hello Sweetheart:—

I’ve kind of give you a “rookin” these last few days. But Honey I’ll try to do a little better—You shouldn’t write to me when I miss a night—But don’t you dare do it—I just positively, absolutely have to get them at least once a day—or I’ll  go “over the hill” } A.W.O. L. and come sailing back to Daileys!

Honey—now be careful!—Know what I did last night? Tsk, Tsk.—A fellow from back home (O. B. Hawkins) sent me a pt. of Vitamin Z. So, James Goddard, Donald Cline, Jack Bennett, Jim Holder and I drank it—went to town—drank a little beer—bought another pt.—drank a little beer—got slightly under the influence—went roller skating—Oh My—Oh My. I guess we done things on skates that were never done before and very likely will never be repeated again. At any one time

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during the evening there was at least one of us on the floor and sometimes all of us. I skated on my nose until I wore the skin of—no foolin’—Tail spins and falling leafs—I also originated some new stunts—When we were all on the floor at one time most of the other skaters disappeared—I guess they expected us either to kill somebody or get wrecked ourselves. Now isn’t that awful. Honestly, I fell so much I actually got tired of falling. I just up and quit.

As to the weather:—Hot—windy—very dusty, you wouldn’t believe that the ground could dry out so fast. The dust hangs in big yellow clouds—It fills your hair—it grits between your teeth, it fills your eyes, nose and lungs—it gets worse as the days go by. And summer isn’t even here yet. I’ll bet that by the time get out of Kansas I’ll wish I never came. Ha—

Well your little “Brown Eyes” is O.K.

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and loves you more then ever.

Gee Honey, I know you’ld sure like to go out someplace, sure wish I could be there to take you. I know of nothing I would like better, then to spend another night with you. You know Ruth,—Sun. it was so nice that it just seemed to me that you and I  should be taking a walk in Mill Creek Park. When I think back, I guess those were the happiest days I ever spent. I don’t guess, I know they were. Hope to God they come back again. X

Well Honey—I think I will say goodnight—See you tomorrow

Goodnight

I love you

Walt.

(x xxxx xxx)

Note on back of envelope:

I love you.

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