An exceptional relationship between mother and son, and the words between the lines that told how love and lives were shaped by the war. A great manuscript for the devoted reader. A true reflection, best I can type it into words for viewing.  -Deb Barker

Jan 12 1943

Ottumwa Sep 17 1943

Ottumwa Sep 19 1943

Agency Oct 8 1943

Oct 17 1943





Ottumwa, Ia.

Feb. 19 -43


My Darling Angel:-

Here I am, I think I too have been neglecting you because I didnít write last night. I was so busy when I got home. When Jack isnít at home Betty nearly talks my leg off and I canít do anything. She is lonesome here alone all day long and she takes it out on me when I get here.


I am glad that you got to stop in Greensburg and see the folks for a little while. Yes, I sent Mrs. Holland a card and brief note thanking her for her kindness to you. Of course, they love you, they couldnít help it for you are all that is wonderful and good.


Well, tomorrow will be my last day at the store and I really donít care after getting your letter tonight, although I go tomorrow at noon to meet a party and see if they can use me at the D. K. tire shop on west main that is about across from the Depot I think. I am going to see the manager of the new egg drying plant which will begin here soon and they will employ about 200 but I am asking him for office work as his wife is a customer at the store and I spoke to her about it today, they are from Calif, a Mr. Dittbrenner. I am going to be awfully busy between now and some time in March. I have a lot of cleaning and things to do here at home. I havenít put the rugs down yet, they are just lying where they were unloaded until I get home next week and get the floors cleaned.


I am so glad that you are having a good time in the church with the people there and the Holy Ghost. I know what it means to you because I am so deprived of it since working and with the kids moving in.


I am so glad that Jim is trying to get the detail under a separate unit and it would be nice to stay with a good officer who likes you like you say Jim does, one who trusts you and knows that your are playing square. I will be able to take it better and school may throw you into a very undesirable situation, so we will let God lead us along as he has always done in the past. Wonít we?


I will envy you being in Vicksburg because I have always wanted to go to the south and to that place to see the historical places and scenes. I am so glad that you are getting the opportunity although it nearly tears my heart out with loneliness to have you gone. Jack made me feel so sad yesterday evening by going in and lying down on the back bedroom bed like you did with his feet hanging over the foot of the bed. I nearly broke right out into tears when I saw him and I couldnít eat any supper with them, it hurt me so, so their being here donít help me in the least.


They have gone to town for the evening and Peggy and Bobby are here with me and so I am writing to you. Sister Noland just now called, wanted to know if your address was still Kentwood as she is sending a letter out in the morning and that will mean one from her and one from me the same day. I am glad that you heard from LaVina Bell. I have not heard a scratch from them since I came home from there except to get the lunch cloth and hankies for Christmas.


I am anxiously looking for the pictures. I canít get too many of you. I just eat them up every line in them. I sure am crazy about the one where you have on your blues and white cap. The Navy has a patrol in town now at certain hours to check up on the fellows and they cannot go to town in their dungarees.

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I havenít seen Mamie Bush or talked to her for weeks. I sent you a part of the paper telling about Roland. I expect you have gotten the different newspapers parts telling of different happenings since you wrote this last letter. It just knocked me goofy to see Bennie Doupís going. You will no doubt know more of them in the list than I do but that was what floored me.


I wish I could be with you and it wouldnít take much to cause me to pull up stakes for awhile but just now I donít suppose it would be best until we see if you stay in the states or not. If you get more settled and find out what the details is going to do, etc maybe I can spend next winter with you, Bobby and I. It may be that the Lord will let you come home during conference the 15-16-17th of March.


The Lord has been good to provide for us and to give us our desires as long as we leave it to him and let him lead. No, I donít like to miss a day writing to you but I sure miss your letters when you donít write every day. I am just crazy about all the pictures which you sent and I show to anyone whom I think might be interested. Just think of the trip we will have together down in the country when this shindig is over. We will just start out together like a pair of gypsies and have a nice long visit before you start back into the routine of working again, that is why I want to get a steady job and hold up my end of the bargain for you. Morrells havenít sent me the amount of your earnings yet and if it donít come soon, there is going to be some hot telephone wires and I will tell the government just the reason for the delay and everything. I wonít bear the blunt of it. I hope I get my insurance money before you come home as I have next to nothing left, it is taking all of the kids rent money for coal and then one weeks wages is all that I will have for lights and water the first of the month if I donít get some work or the allotment comes through. Betty hasnít received hers yet either. So I guess I am not the only forgotten person in the gang.


I sure will be all atwitter now until you come home and after that another deathly slump I suppose but I am looking forward to the homecoming first. We will have to go to Des Moines one day anyway to see Aunt Lilly wonít we? And if you get ten days that will leave you five or six at home wonít it?


Well Lane Bryant sent some of my money back because they couldnít supply one of the two dresses and said they thought they could send the other one in about a week so hereís hoping. I will have to get a spring coat this year and I want to get a winter dress coat in advance because this heavy winter one looks like a mangy dog wearing it every day and the light grey one is splitting at the neck because it is so rotten from wear and age. I got that when Dad died, so it is about eight years old.


I am just so tickled tonight that I can hardly write anything. I donít know anything for one thing and I know that it makes me so happy to think that you are coming that I donít know anything either. I do think that we are going to have rain before many hours as it is clouding up and is so warm that we canít hardly keep any fire it goes so far out on us. Jack had it fixed and the ashes out when I came home tonight. When he goes to work tomorrow he wonít be home again until Monday night. It is his weekend at the base, so he and Betty have gone to a show. Jack and I have breakfast together of a morning, I get up and fix the fire and get our breakfast and then Betty donít get up until daylight, she fixes the babyís bottle and stays with her until daylight. The house is so polluted with these box elder bugs that I hate to put the rugs down. Betty donít crush them on the floor because I told her they made a grease spot but we canít help stepping on them sometimes.


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Well, I guess I will close and do some things that I want to do without them here and then tomorrow will be a whiz of a day because everyone will be buying canned goods before the sale of all canned goods is frozen tonight at midnight. All fish and canned meats were frozen one night this week without announcement and shoes were rationed on ticket #17, so it is hard telling what will happen over night and tomorrow orders will be fast and furious, so I must get my rest and sleep for your mother is an old woman and not very fast on the track, so I will close now the happiest person in the whole wide world. Oh, I am so happy. God has answered prayer and it seemed to me that it was such a feeble whisper too and yet he heard me. Praise his name.


Now Goodnight dearest one. Oh, how I love you my darling little boy, coming home to Mother and the dear old home. Hang on to your pay tooth and nail so that you can hop the first train headed out to Iowa. Oh, how can I wait?  God Bless you my darling and bring you safe home to Bobby and me.


Write as soon as you can as I will be waiting for your precious letters. My Sailor with the Navy Blue Eyes. My Angel, my baby.

Mother loves you so & Little Bobby Dog, too.