DEAR JOE: It’s Christmas eve, and all day long I’ve been thinking
of a letter from a lieutenant in the South Pacific. He sent it to his father and
mother and they sent it on to me. I’m sure that they would be happy to have me send
it on to you. His Christmas greeting to them, it is the translation of a letter
written long ago by Fra Giovanni in the year 1519.
“I salute you—
“I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you
which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give
it, you can take. No Heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today.
Take Heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little
instant, Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it yet within
our reach is joy. There is a radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see-and
to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look.
“Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast
away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it
a living splendour, woven of love, by wisdom, with power, Welcome it, grasp it,
and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial,
a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there; the gift is there,
and the wonder of the overshadowing presence. Our joys too; be not content with
them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
“Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty— beneath its covering—that
you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it: That is all!
But courage you have; and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through
unknown country, home.
“And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but
profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks,
and the shadows flee away.”
HOME TOWN. Kautzky’s are suggesting commando knives for Christmas.
Trealor’s still have steaks and barbequed ribs. And at Barrier’s Meat Market in
Badger you can buy buffalo steaks und roasts—and no points. Rationing is rough on
restaurants. Went out to the Mainliner the other evening. It used to stay open most
of the night. Closes now at seven. The coffee shop at Hum- boldt in the hotel has
closed for the duration . . . F. E. Okey of Dayton is in the Lutheran
hospital at Fort Dodge . . . Stores are vemaining open only two nights Christmas
week this year. We’ve got to save something for next year ... Gals are coming home
from war jobs for the holidays. Charlotte Ford, Margaret Mitchell, Helen Sullivan,
all from important war jobs in Washington... Life of the Kiwanis Christmas party
was a fake broadcast from KVFD. In an unrehearsed performance, and called on from
the audience, Rion Dow was funny talking seriously about gas rationing,
Larry Geer in declining to play a saxophone. Not bad as a quartette
were Duco Mattice, A. M. Lyders, Harold Williams, and Myron
Oleson . . . Signs of the times. Townsend Clubs now call themselves
Townsend Victory Clubs... Tom Timmons of Lehigh home, sick . .
. John Kirchner is now assistant county attorney. He was named
by the board of supervisors at the request of Tom Healy, acting
county attorney ... Moppetts who write to Santa Claus are asking for shoe skates
for Christmas and for skis. The rink at Hydro Electric park has been in use for
several days and others opened this week on Round Prairie and neay Butler school
... Phil Dorweiler, KVFD announcer, and still in high school, was
one of fifteen boys to go to Camp Dodge to see how induction into the army is handled.
They got a three-day preview of the army... The Rainbow-DeMolay dance will be held
January 3rd . . . Mrs. W. E. Duncombe is in the hospital, but getting
better... Mrs. Roy DeVilbiss has been re-elected head of the Navy
Mothers Club . . . Martin Ertl is a patient at Mercy Hospital,
and very ill . . . Lots of arguments in Congress right now about subsidies. Dairy
subsidies in Webster county amounted to $4,739 for the month of October. The subsidy
is figured at the rate of four cents a pound on butterfat and 30 cents per hundred
weight on whole milk. It is designed to offset the increase in the cost of feed
and help . . . Last week you could get a half a gallon of port at the
liquor store. This week a fifth of whiskey. Next week just before New Years, no
only rum, brandy, or wine. Kind of a rum deal, eh? . . . Margaret Flickinger
of Harcourt has joined the Waves. She’s at home awaiting orders.
HERE AND THERE. Corp. Donald “Sparky” Harper of
Lehigh is home after nearly two years overseas, Ireland and North Africa. The doctors
have some work to do on his knee . . . Decorated again. Lt. R. V. Gadd,
pilot of a medium bomber in the S. W. Pacific. The bronze oak leaf cluster to go
with the air medal he already has . . . Capt. Leroy N. Larson,
who has been tooling a tank through Africa and Italy since he left his dental office
here two years ago, is back home. He gets a new assignment at Fort Sheridan, soon
. . . Gee! G. I. Santa Claus. Pvt. Dwain L. Hart, Overseas, long
before Christmas reports the receipt of 18 Christmas packages . . . A/C Fenton
Isaacson is at the twin bomber field at Lubbock, Texas. Yep, Helen
is with him . . . Joel E. Daniels has gone to the dogs. Despite
that he has been made a sergeant. He is training them at Savannah, Ga. . . .
Mrs. Larson and daughter Janice are going to Nashville
to visit Lt. Ben. His anti-aircraft outfit is there on maneuvers
. . . Irving Greenlief, manager of the Logan Hotel, and E.
E. Attleson, speech instructor at high school, are off to the west
coast to sail with the merchant marine. Irv. made a couple of trips earlier in the
year as a steward . . . Don Jordison is now in ASTP at Pamona College,
Claremont, Calif. His brother Dick is in preliminary flight training
at DePauw, in Greencastle, Ind. . . . Lt. “Bernie” B. J. Gillespie,
first pilot of a Liberator, the Tante Liza, is in Brazil ready to take off for overseas
. . . A/C John Mulholland is in Muskogee for primary flight training
. . . Sgt. Dick Leonard is now in Brownwood, Texas . . . John
E. Callahan of Duncombe, back in the states after sea duty that took
him to Trinidad, Gibralter, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific . . . Harry
Ladwig of Callender has been transferred to Huron, S. D., for further
COMMISSIONED. Lloyd F. Jenks as Ist Lt. in the
CORP. S. T. NEWMAN is home on a two-day furlough from Fort Riley,
Kansas, to celebrate his silver wedding anniversary. Who said this was a young man’s
LT. ROBT. BAUGHMAN has been awarded the purple heart. He was reported
as wounded in action a few days ago in Italy but he was sufficiently well two days
later to write to his folks.
To SGT. ROSS D. BURD, missing in action in the S.W. Pacific, the
air medal. The B-24 on which he was a gunner was last seen Nov. 16th in the New
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Lt. Don Charles of Dayton
from Camp Chaffee . . . Corp. Oliver Miller of Dayton from Camp
Wolters, Texas . . . S/Sgt. George Armstrong from Camp Pickett,
Va. . . . Pfc. Wayne Godfrey from San Diego, California . . .
Corp. Don Strom home from Gulfport Field, Miss., to see his wife and
brand new son, Terry Meldon . . . Sgt. Jim Constantine,
an antiaircrafter, home from Fort Bliss, Texas . . . Ted Pallos
is home, a sergeant, with twenty-four months of overseas service behind him. He
goes from here to Fort Sheridan for reassignment . . . Major Orin M. Thatcher
from San Bernadino, Calif. . . . Wave Vanna Hoffman from Atlanta,
Georgia . . . Pvt. Ernest Larson from Fort Jackson, N. C. His brother
Noress, a corporal, is in Italy. Mervin, also
a corporal, is at Fort Flagler, Washington . . . Clyde Bowers,
a petty officer 2/c, of Lehigh, from the east coast . . . Mel Huggett,
a sergeant now, home from Camp Cook, Calif. . . . Ensign M. I. Knutson,
navy nurse, from Great Lakes . . . Pfc. Ronald Folvag of Badger,
from Keesler Field, Miss . . . . A/C Manford Rhodes of Duncombe,
from Buckley Field, Colo . . . James Porter from boot training
at Farragut . . . Basil Barnhill, aviation radio man 2/e from the
east coast where he has been doing sub patrol work . . . Dr. Harold Larsen,
Lt. USNMC, enroute to the west coast from Pensacola, Fla. His wife is in the Marines
and his brother, Lt. Frank, also a doctor, is on a heavy cruiser
in the Atlantic . . . S/Sgt. Burke Gagnon from Camp Howze, Texas
. . . Sgt. Richard Bartlett from Hays, Kansas. He is stationed
at Walker Air Base . . . Corp. Chet Smith from Camp Leonard Wood,
. . . Lt. and Mrs. H. J. Coddington from Oklahome City, Okla.,
Will Rogers airfield . . . Perry Butterworth, A.O.M. 2/e, from
PROMOTED. To petty officer 1/c, Vincent Crawford
of Moorland. He’s with the Atlantic Fleet . . . From 2nd to 1st Lt., Karl W.
Abel in the signal corps at Tampa, Fla. . . . From 1st Lt. to Capt.,
Chaplain Wm. T. Paden, former pastor of the Presbyterian church,
at Tinker Field, Oklahoma City, Okla. . . . From Corp. to Sgt., Carroll Evans
at Orland, Fla. . . . From 1st Lt. to Capt., Darrell R. Lindsay.
WEDDING BELLS. Eugenia Little to Lt. James
W. Foster of Perry, Dec. 11, in Chicago . . . Mary Augustine
to Sgt. Maurice Brown of Waterloo, Dec. 6th in Waterloo.
SCOREBOARD. Sacred Heart beats Boone, 30 to 22. The Irish finally
got going after poor season's start with DiNoto racking up a dozen points . . .
Corpus Christi loses to St. Cecilia of Algona, 85 to 21. By the end of the game
four of the Corpus Christi regulars were sitting on the side line, out on personal
fouls. Mike Hood played a nice game while he was in . . . Barnum takes Otho, 28
to 24, Hendricks got 11 points for Barnum. Lindstanek 9 for Otho. Gowrie wins its
first game. From Farnhamville, 21 to 27 _,. Harcourt wins again. Seven times in
a row. Paton is the victim, 40 to 30 . . . The Dodgers win again and lose again.
From East High, Des Moines, on the basketball floor, 27 to 17. Junior Janssen got
13. The following evening West High Technical of Des Moines nosed them out 23 to
18, The mat men who took on West High Tech of Des Moines the preceding evening won
every fall, handing West High Tech a whitewashing, 48 to 0. Sacred Heart defeats
Otho. Irish 61, Otho 17. DiNoto got 21 points, Huebsch 15. Corpus Christi drops
one to Fonda, 23 to 18. Lanyon 54, Burnside, 42. That makes it four straight for
Lanyon. Dayton takes Harcourt 34 to 29.
JEEPERS, CREEPERS. What a dandy Christmas! Humboldt has closed
They say the flu bug will get you if you don’t watch out. The mayor’s order covers
the whole holiday season.
THE POSTOFFICE was open until 9 o’clock the first three nights
this week. The telephone company is handling sixty thousand calls a day. Normal
average is about forty thousand. 250 seniors are working down town to handle the
SEEMS LIKE whenever two people from Fort Dodge meet in England,
one of them is apt to be Lt. Nancy Sittig. She and her brother-in-law,
George Haire, got together as soon as he could get her on the telephone
after getting back from North Africa. They are stationed only thirty miles apart.
PFC. GENE BLUNK is a horseshoer at Camp Carson, Colo, If you have
an odd job, let us hear about it.
THEY MET. Allan Johnson and Rex Perkins
have gotten together in the Southwest Pacific . . . They met in Africa, Pvt.
Paul Ivory and brother-in-law, Ray Smith. Paul’s brother,
Joe, is a corporal in England.
YOUR LETTERS TO US. Corp. Elmer E. Hensen, somewhere
in England. “Haven’t run into any of the Fort Dodgers since I have been in England
but have seen their names on Red Cross registers in London and in Cambridge. Hope
A/C Floyd M. Vevle, Bakersfield, Calif. “Our officers have just
informed us that we’ll have no leaves of any kind until we are finished. That means
flying on Sundays, Christmas and New Years. But when I’m here on Xmas and New Years
trying to become a pilot, I’ll be wishing all of you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New
Qenry Kallansrud, U.S.S. Monticello: “On arriving back from Australia
found seven of your letters from home.”
S/Set. Wesley V. Hill, somewhere in Iran, “I'd gladly trade all
the country I can see here for one little half acre of lowa, even though it’s snowbound.”
(Ed. Note—Am trying to work out a plan on addresses.)
Corp. Fred Brisbin, Fort Flagler, Wy. “There isn’t much news out
here. Am still on the same island with a searchlight and machine gun outfit, since
Dec. 7th, 1941.”
A/C John Wold, USN, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis. “Jn addition
to flying the Navy has allowed me to play with
Marquette. So far we’ve beaten Wisconsin 51 to 43 and Lawrence 44 to $1. In a scrimmage
against the Sheboygan Redskins we won 69 to 61. They were last year's national champions.
I had a full evening guarding 6 foot 9, Mike Novak, all American from Loyola.”
Pfc, Walter “Buck” Vargason, somewhere in Italy. “I know I am late
in writing you but over here everything is war and no time for pleasure. I want
to wish all of you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.”
Pvt. Herb Lefler, Washington, D. C. “The stuff you read in the papers
about the crowded conditions here isn’t true any more. A person can always get a
room if he has to come here on business and transportation facilities are better
here than anywhere I have ever been. Being in Washington almost seems like being
at home there are so many Iowa people out here and many more from the middle west.
Washington’s not a city any more, it’s a bivouac.”
Sgt. Pete Yates, somewhere in Italy. “I’ve been in Italy since it
started. Went thru the African and Sicilian operations and won't be satisfied until
I see Berlin flattened like Bizerte.”
Capt. Don Thatcher, M. C., somewhere in England. “Received your
letter from home today and it added that certain something to my Thanksgiving Day.
We did have turkey and as is typical of a doctor's Thanksgiving dinner, I was called
away to the scene of a plane crash just as I was starting to enjoy it, On the way
to the accident a British driver of 4 small lorry acquired the American custom of
driving on the right hand side of the road. No serious damage was done other than
the fact that I am nursing a small egg above my right ear. The chaplain tells me
I I shouldn’t complain since fresh eggs are so hard to get in this country.”
Lt. John S. Barry, somewhere in Africa. “I have done a great deal
of liaison work with the French. Some of the colonial troops such as the Goums are
among the world’s best soldiers, and the Spahis, are a very unusual organization
and a very fine combat group.”
Lt. Wm. G. Hesser, somewhere in Italy or North Africa. “Yes, I had
turkey for Thanksgiving, but I had to fly from Sicily to Africa and then to Naples
to get it. I think the dinner was worth it though. Haven’t seen anyone from Ft.
Dodge but did run into Lt. Kocker from Humboldt in Algiers.” (Ed.
Note—Will try to take care of those suggestions, including the address of Critz.)
Pvt. Carl C “Chester” Haugen, somewhere in the Hawaiian Islands.
“Living about a hundred feet from me is a fellow from Fort Dodge named Leroy
Smith. Also over here are Eldon Faine and Paul Ross,
but I’ve gotten separated from them and don’t know just where they are.”
Pfc. Jim Mailander, somewhere in India. “It isn’t practical to ship
newspapers all the way to Mother India, and we still like joes news, and there’s
where your letter is doing its competent best.”
Christmas Eve almost and there your letters lie on the desk in front of me. I couldn’t
have asked for or received nicer Christmas presents, And there were others that
we thoroughly enjoyed from Carl E. Theiss, on an island in the
Pacific . .. from S/Sgt. Richard R. Davis with a fighter squadron
overseas . . . Pfc. Bill Muenster, at Camp Marshall, N. C . . .
.a card from Pvt. Marvin McCo, at Elkins, West Va. . . . Carl
J. Graves, EM 2/c, St. Louis, Mo. . . . Blair Swasy,
Camp San Luis Obispo, Calif. . . . Pvt. Jim Skophammer, L.A.A.F.,
Laredo, Texas .. . S. B. Axness, S 2/e, somewhere in the Pacific . . . Pvt.
C. A. Spittal, Elkins, West Va. . . . S/Sgt. M. L. Campbell,
Fort Dix, N. J. . . . Corp. Ernest Flickinger, Childress, Texas
. . . S/Sgt. Walter Horn, Camp Beale, Calif. . . . Corp. R.
P. Metcalf, Boca Raton Field, Fla. . . . Alex W. Black,
MM 1/c, Fleet P. O. N. Y. . . . S. C. Betters, CM 3/c, New Orleans
. . . the Kellys, husband and wife, both ensigns, Ginny and Bob,
at Cambridge, Mass. . . . Sgt. Chas. Konyalinka, Bakersfield, Calif.
. . . Pvt. Quentin J. L. Parker, Randolph Field, Texas . . .
Pvt. T. E. Keefe, Sioux Falls, S. D. . . . E M. Goodspeed,
USN, Baston, Mass. . . . Bob Roheer, SC 2/c, Jacksonville, Fla.
. . . Ralph W. Rutledge, SC 1/c, Gulfport, Miss. . . . and from
Australia a letter from Pvt. Robert Lentsch, and finally one from
Corp. R. H. Peterson, Camp McCain, Miss.
Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Your Home Town Correspondent, ED BREEN.