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





Wed. Morning  

Feb. 24 -43


Dear Son:-


I got your letter and 2 quickies yesterday, the ones which you wrote when you were eating breakfast of hot cakes. It sure is nice that you are having good eats and plenty of them. I would like to be in that land again too. I donít suppose I could cook again to suit you if you came home. I would have to learn to cook southern style.


Sure glad you are enjoying the meetings and I know the young people will enjoy a letter from you and if you write them nice interesting letter like you used to write me you know they will enjoy it. I know Mrs. Bittner will enjoy it as she said Sunday night that you wrote such an interesting letter to her.


Yes, I hate it that I havenít a job and I will have to do something I suppose if it is nothing more than ask Arrilla Barilla for one of some kind. I will have to eat and keep the home running as long as I can and thenówell that is all that I can say.


Hold on to the money you have because I am a no good piece of furniture just being here at home and no money coming in to pay for things which will come along from time to time. Everything is clear so far but that wonít go on forever. I see that women of my age are not wanted in the public as long as there are these pretty little split tails all painted up and dresses to their knees to have around. I suppose all that is left for me is to go out and clean houses or hook some old stag that is on the loose. If you think it is a pleasant outlook for me, just step into my place and you will soon know.


If you think that school is the thing for you, I suppose you will take it no matter what it does to me and as I said before, I donít count any longer and donít tell me that it is self pity, because if I was given an opportunity to do something I wouldnít holler at all and I am sure you know that. Betty made a suggestion that I close the house when you come home and go back with you for awhile. She said I certainly couldnít go on like this. She knows how I donít eat or sleep any since I havenít my work and things look like they do. I told her I would like to do that but that I was not the one to decide that you may have your opinions on that matter too. Well I guess it doesnít make any difference anyway. I have asked God to keep you in the states and if he donít I will know that he has turned his face from me for sure and then what is the use of anything after that? It is easy to say that it is one of those ďgoodĒ tests but the next thing is to come through it.


I want you to have your leave and come home and something will have to be decided then and settled for all time because I canít go on like this or Mt. Pleasant or some other place is going to have me on their list. These kids are bringing in the money this month to pay the lights and fuel, but it is driving me nuts with all this baby stuff around until you canít get through the bathroom and much less use it when you need it. I have to go  to the cellar most of the time as the baby is always having something done to it in there and the back bedroom looks like a rag pile all over it. She never closes a dresser drawer or hangs or picks up a thing that she has a place to throw it down on and it just nearly drives me nuts. I have to get Jackís supper if the poor kid gets any before eight or nine at night. Just because she donít feel well she donít manage a thing. She left the clothing hang on the line until last night when it started to rain and when I told her it was raining she brought it in. I just let it hang there for two days.

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I am giving them a hint to leave because I canít stand to go to work if I do get a job and then have to come home and clean the house and get the supper too. He gets mad at her and he made her mad the other evening about doing nothing and being so slow. Well these dam fool boys gets hot in the pants and have to have something to sleep with and they sure pay for it a plenty before it is over. Well so much for that. I am so nervous that I canít do anything. And she calmly walks away and leaves me the kid to take care of when she knows I never slept a wink all Sunday night, never ate all day Monday and last night I never got to sleep until one oíclock. Monday I washed from eight in the morning until six in the evening, so you can see what a shape I am in.


Well I guess you donít want to hear about this stuff and say to yourself, that is your problem you got into it and you can get out of it, so I will stop.


I have to go get my ration book today for canned good, etc. I donít need it now but maybe I will have to use it for future use. I wanted to get the floor cleaned in the dining room yesterday when it was mild but I had that kid to take care of while she went for her ration book and then she winded up, up town before she came home and Jack was home by that time she was, so half of my day was ruined yesterday and half will be today when I have to go up there and wait.


It rained yesterday evening and then turned into snow and snowed until the ground was white and it is cold again today. I wish you could see the chairs, table and rugs, maybe you would like and appreciate them but just as it is I donít give a darn for them. I donít even care to put them down or anything. They are too beautiful for me to be using. I should have gotten some old cheaper thing for myself. Maybe you will be able some day to get some good out of them.


Well Mes. McDaniels and Mrs. Ritner can say all they want to about me being a good soldier but what they donít know donít hurt them. I donít go to the church spilling my guts to everyone as to how I feel and what is on my mind or is crushing the very life out of me, because I would only be criticized as well as made fun of.  I know these church  people all too well and it is not much that I want to have to do with any of them. I have seen my mother suffer for years because of just such christians and I am not putting my foot in with any of them.


Well, I donít know any news either only a dirty house and bawling brat so I might as well close. I know you donít care to get these letters so maybe it would be better if I didnít write but just send you funny post cards.  Tonight is Jackís night off so I suppose they will be going to a show and I will be stuck with the kid even though I wanted to go to church this evening. I guess it donít make any difference anyhow so I will close and go out now and get breakfast as she donít get up until 10 or 11 and only then because the kid cries.


Tell me what you think about me coming down with you for awhile in March or April after I get the insurance money for if you are still on this detail I can get away for a little while, but if you donít want me to think about it just say so and I will stay away. Hang on to your money, donít let the church people tell you that the Lord needs it too as they always do when they think someone has a cent. You will need it too and as long as I have to be a burden to you with the home some of it may be needed here. I hope this donít go on much longer.


Eat lots of cakes and enjoy yourself as you can and I will be looking for a letter soon and maybe you will be coming before long too.  Love, Me