World War II Letters: Getting Excited About Going Home!

In this letter, Dad expresses his excitement at the thought of getting together with his dad and brothers for another of their all-night gab fests.  Though a usually quiet man, when Dad was with his father and brothers, he became very loquacious.  His thoughts were more and more on the baby coming in march of 1946….and on going home.  Dad enclosed a cartoon Bonnie had made in 1944 about her first attempt at baking a cherry pie and then having to scour the oven due to the spillage. 
October 19, 1945
Guam

Dear Mom & Dad,

     Yesterday I received your letter giving me your new address.  I didn’t get to answer it though, because I didn’t get off work until late.  I’m glad you left that darned place on Michigan Avenue.  I didn’t like that bunch of people around there.

     I got a letter from Bonnie today, and she said she is coming to stay with you starting December 1st.  Mom, you don’t know how happy that makes me.  Please don’t let her back out of coming .  She has it nice with her cousin Jean, but they aren’t “her” people.  She wants to come to you, but you know how she is, so please make her come “home.”  Then when I come home, we can find a place where I can take care of her, OK?  Yes, Eddie is in the states, and you don’t know how happy that makes me.  I had been waiting for his letter telling me he was going home.  I know what it means to a man to get home after he’s been far away for a long time.  He said he would be the one to pick me up off the hospital floor when the baby is born.  What a guy!  wait until he and Jesse and Dad  & I get together again.    All of the windows will fly out of the house.  That will be the first time Bonnie will see me talking so much that no one else can get in a word.  Bejabbers!

     Say, Dad, when I get the word that I’m coming home, I’ll write to you and make a date in advance to got out with Bonnie.  You’ve got to let me have a date with her sometime after she moves in with you and Mom.  You won’t be able to take her out ALL the time.  By George, I can just see myself sitting at home mending socks, and you and Bonnie out to a show with Mom telling me, “That’s OK. You can take Bonnie to a show tomorrow night.”  Egad!

     Here is a cartoon Bonnie drew for me a long time ago.  Show it to her to see if she remembers it.  She sure is a sweet kid.  I’ve laughed at this cartoon every time I’ve looked at it.  I can just see her face turning red and scrubbing out the old stove.

     Well, this is short but I can’t think of much more to say unless I said, ) * !!))))000**##*** to Vi for not writing.  Bye for now.  Be careful.  God bless you and watch over you.

Your loving son,
   Elwood

p.s.  When Eddie gets there, make him take some pictures and send me a couple, OK?

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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