August 15, 1956 Letter Herman To Parents

August 15, 56
Worthington Ohio
11:30AM PLEASE NOTE

Dear Dad, Dick & Gang:-

Well don’t think we’re crazy, but that Station Wagon just flew after we left the Straits, so we just turned it loose and it came on home just like an old horse. We planned on staying in Flint, as you remember, but after eating our supper in Flint, I decided to give up the wheat cakes and drive a while longer as it was only about 7:20PM. The farther we

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drove the easier it looked to come on home. We were home in 17 hrs and 50 minutes after leaving Jacks.

The fish and butter keep just fine, & we appreciated getting the butter from Jack as that saved us some time. We ate our dinner at Christopher’s in Indian River at about 1:30PM, arrive in Flint at 6:35PM. We got our cheese at Pinche’s and some melons just out of Bay City. From Toledo on in, we kept the trucks

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company, as there were very few cars on the road. I belive it will be easy to drive up there with out an overnite stop after the bridge is completed. I didn’t get a bit speepy and I feel fine this AM. I believe the car makes the difference as it rides and drives so easy. I’m just taking the day today living up the last few hours of my vacation. It sure was different here this morning from your cabin, dogs barking, kids screaming etc. back to the old grind.

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We surely enjoyed our vacation. It’s a durn shame we have to be spoiled by being up there away from it all. That “stinken” Dick Sheridian called me up this morning and reminded me that my time was just about up and that I had “had it” also that the shop was still at the same address and the hours were still the same.

My pen just went on the “blink” so I’ll finish with a pencil. Ruth called Doch and Burch is getting along OK.

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She is not feeling to good. She and Charlie Hogue was about the same as of last week.

That about winds up the news so I’ll close for this time, hope this finds you all enjoying all the benefits of Canada, etc.

Love to all Ruth & H. O.

P.S. Ruth was able to get 6 loaves of bread at the Thessalon Bakery.

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March 25, 1956 William Shepard to Parents

322nd Fighter Interceptor Sq.
Yuma County Airport
Yuma, Arizona
25 March, 1956.

Dear Dick and Dad:

I know you have given me up as a letter writer. But I do think of you both and often too. The troubles I have make me think of the many you have had with me.

I guess you are getting ready to leave Florida. If it were me, I’d stay until May 15th! It sure is nice here in Yuma. The whole southwest is growing so. Such nice homes here now.

My squadron is here to get rocket firing training. The F86 doesn’t have
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any guns – only rockets.

When I get home in April the ice should be melted and the weather about ready to boat & fish. We are about 1/4 mile from the lake. And there is water all around.

I’m happy with everything but the small house. It is 3 bedrooms, but they are small. Perhaps with summer coming on it will be better.

Your letters sound as if you both like Florida. It is a very comfortable place to live in the winter and I hope you both continue to do it

I’ll close now

Love
Bill
p.s. Happy birthday Dad

January 6, 1956 Herman Shepard to Parents

Worthington Ohio
Jan 16th 1956
Temp. 25º and snowing

Dear Dick and Dad:-

Well here tis Sunday night, we just got home from out Gahanna way, we came home early tonight as the roads are a little on the slippery side. It started snowing this morning after we came home from church and has been snowing ever since, about 3 inches up to now.

Ma Kring is getting along very nicely and should be back to normal in about two more weeks. Dad Bring says he knows she is better because she has begun to fire orders and is getting more bossy all the time. They have moved the bed room down stairs for good, as the Doctor said she could not go up and down the stairs anymore.

They intend to make a half bath

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off the south side of their kitchen, which will work out nicely as they have more space down stairs than they need.

We also stopped in to see Unk & Elsie about our trip down to Florida and as of this time it looks as though they are going along. We wanted to fly down, but if they go along, we will drive. I will take a few extra days off to make up for the lost time driving. Barring any unforeseen circumstances and weather conditions we still plan on leaving here Jan 24th and hope to make it in 2 days. Ralph has some friends he would like to see, one at Pompano Beach a garage man and another at Homestead, so maybe we can all make the trip together.

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We can make our plans after we get down there as anything could happen between now and then. I would like to spend another day at Cypress Gardens and hope the sun is shining. I would also like to go to St. Augustine to get some pictures at Marineland. Maybe we could plan a route and our time so we could make both of those places on the same trip. Ralph has been reading a lot of Florida items and says he is ready to buy a lot if it is to his liking.

Ruth said to tell you we have 3 grape fruit, 4 tangerines and 9 oranges left. The fruit was really good (Time out) Jan 8 11:30pm

I suppose you wonder what happened to Jan 7. Well that is a

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different story which Ruth will have to explain when we see you. In the mean time all the tangerines are gone, 1 grapefruit left which I will eat in the morning and 3 oranges.

Don’t bother to send any more fruit as it would probably arrive about the time we leave here.

You can add about 5 more inches of snow to the 3 we had Sunday night. Believe it or not the neighbors are coasting down Wilson Hill Drive tonight. You don’t have to be crazy to live here but it helps, especially me. HardyHarHar

Your old gas box is working just fine (refrigerator)

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Bill Dennis left for a tour of Florida last Sunday morning. I hope they started early enough to miss the snow. I’m certainly glad he is making the trip maybe he will understand why I’m so crazy about the state. He is due back to work Monday the 21st which will leave us get away on the 24th “I hope”.

How are you getting along in the new house? We are anxious to see it. From the picture it appears that you have a good site lot and some nice trees. Which is the front of the house?– over

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I better bring this to a close, with Ruths letter I’ll have to sent it in another envelope. I’ll write again to keep you posted on our time of departure etc. Love H. O.

p.s. Lydia is doing very nicely and has got the Florida Fever Bad
p.s.s. I got the new boat fever.
ps.s.s. I got the Florida fever, I’ll need a new boat there more than here.



April 30, 1955 William Shepard To Parents

30 April 55

Dear Dick & Dad:

Ill answer your letter because soon at Craig, Ill be too busy – and I do want to thank you for sending on the Guns.- We received the next letter too – telling about disregarding the telephone bill.

I called Herman the other evening to tell him to bring me a new 25 H.P. Our Johnson is running fine but remote controls dont work so well on it. And the whole family has been water skiing. It takes a real good motor.

I suppose that you have finished fixing the boat by now,

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and are ready to go north. I think Herman & Ruth are coming down in June. It will be hot, but not so much as July & August.

Went fishing today I we caught a flounder & a sea bass – had them for dinner tonite and they were good. We also caught about 20 hard tails – a fish like a mackerel. Only the fight harder than a bass. They weigh about 1 1/2 pounds.

When you come down this fall it will be fine weather and good fishing too. Well, Ill close now.- See you later

Love bill

William Runs For Office

A couple of years ago I found the coolest newspaper article when researching William Shepard of Westfield, Massachusetts. It has always been in the back of my mind, waiting, I guess, for me to finally say “Hey, I need to blog about this.”

So, finally, here I am blogging about this.

Portrait of William by Gilbert Stuart

On and off for about 15 years, William tried his hand at politics by running for the office of Representative, or Lieutenant Governor, from 1789-1804. It took nine tries before he was finally elected as Representative of Massachusetts, Western District, in 1796 (and again in 1797, 1798, his last win was in 1800).

In May of 1797 he apparently stood up in session and made reply to a speech given by President John Adams a few short weeks earlier. His words were sent to the newspaper by ‘A Customer.’ (Maybe this was done by William himself, to help sway the voters back home in his favor for the next election.) By the way, he was a Federalist.2

…The observations of the Hon. William Shepherd in the House of Representatives, May 27, on the reported answer to the President’s Speech…

Mr. Shepherd did not rise from his seat with an expectation of throwing much light on the subject under debate; but being a new member, he conveyed it his duty to come forward and announce his political principles to his constituents and to the world, and to make some remarks and observations on the subject under consideration that he might be able to justify his own conduct for thus doing, 

“Sir, said he, I do not come forward with an intention to criminate the government of the United States, for in general I believe it has been wisely conducted and well administered. I do not come forward to make researchers into the police of the government of Great Britain, neither do I come forward prejudiced against the republic of France, nor do I come forward with any prepossessed prejudiced against any of the members of this House, for they are the greater part of them entire strangers to me; but Sir, the President of the United States in his speech has informed us that there is an unhappy dispute existing between the republic of France and the United States1, and on that account there is a report Sir, on your honor’s table, which was designed for an answer to his speech, but objection has been made, and an amendment is proposed by the honorable member from Virginia—the question is before your committee, whether we shall admit of the amendment, first; Sir, I will take a retrospective review of the conduct of both nations and remark how France first came to be connected with the United States—because it has been hinted by some gentlemen, that France had no motives to induce her to take an active part with us—but pure benevolence and gratitude to help the poor Americans in their helpless and forlorn situation; but Sir, did we hear any thing from France in ’75, even in ’76 when we wre obliged to fly in every direction before the forces of Great Britain asked and barefooted—so, they did not come to our assistance. In ’77 we were more successful, the face of our affairs was materially changed, we had the good fortune to take and capture a whole British army, but as yet Sir, we received no assistance from France. In ’78 in the opening of the campaign we saw no French to assist us—what did we do at the action at Monmouth, we kept our ground as least in spite of all the force of Great Britain—By this time France had come into an alliance with us, but Sir, let us make a little pause here and enquire whether France had not some motive besides mere goodness to the Americans.

Was it no inducement to France to lop off so considerable a branch of the British government as the United States were —and weaken that government—had ever a nation a stronger motive to induce them to step into our succor.

I will only say, that in the year ’78 Count d’Estaing, planned with others an expedition against Rhode Island. In the operation of which the fleet under his command, was unsuccessful, and he was obliged to quit the harbor, and left the army of the United States on the Island, in a dangerous situation.

I mean not—by making these observations to criminate any one, for I will admit that it was all owing to misfortune, and the fate of war; I shall make no observations until the year ’81, here I acknowledge that the French army and navy of France was of great and essential service to us in the capture of Cornwallis, and I am willing to acknowledge that I felt thankfulness and the deepest gratitude towards that nation of any in the world, from their first alliance with us, to the close of the war with Great Britain. I shall now observe the conduct of France in their own nation—soon after they left America they began a reform in their own government—no man on earth rejoiced more than myself while they were struggling for their just right against the nations of Europe. I rejoiced at every victory they gained and mourned at their defeats; but sir, if they had closed here, I should have rejoiced with them to this moment; happy of us had they stopped here and all Europe besides. I will now observe and make one or two remarks on the conduct of Great Britain towards America at this time—Great Britain complained of our conduct towards them—at the same time they were committing depredations and spoliations on our navigation—and what was the cry of many of the people of this country at that time—join France and go to war with them, how can you bear to have the American flag insulted and degraded; but what was the measure taken by the Executive? why he sent an Envoy Extraordinary and made a treaty with Great Britain—and agreed on the friendly principles on which we should settle all our differences, this however gives uneasiness to France, and it will be well to make some enquiry what are the substantial reasons for this uneasiness, are they not because we did not enter into war with Great Britain , here the executive part of government is called into question for their conduct; will it not be reasonable and just that we should find them guilty of a breach of their trust before we condemn them.

Has any one been able to pint out and show wherein they have gone beyond their powers which the constitution clothes them with. I have heard of none:

But Sir, what measure had been taken by the Executive to remove the complaints of France, have we not pursued the same course which was taken with England, have we not sent a minister to them in order to remove their complaints and settle with them on the most amicable terms. But how has he been replied? why, rejected with insult and they would not even listen to the voice of accommodation.

Several gentlemen have reproached us with ingratitude and speak of it as the most heinous sin a man can commit, I admit it to be one of the greatest sins, but where have we been guilty, have we taken away their property, have we unsubtle them in the person of their minister. Then why are we to be drawn to a confession of guilt when we know we are innocent—again let me ask where is our courage, our magnanimity, our confidence, if we dare not say of them what we know to be the truth; shall we not say they are wrong when we know they are wrong.”

Some gentlemen have said that the speech is a declaration of war, it does not read so to me, that it is sounding the war whoop, I have heard no war whoop, I have heard nothing hostile but against our own government, and gentlemen who have endeavored to criminate the Executive have proved their incompetence, they have not been able to produce evidence of a single fault, they are driven to act like the men who were brought as witnesses to condemn our favor, their testimony is nought and they are driven to make any outcry of crucify him, crucify him, and take his blood on their own heads, in order to get him given up into their own power. Are we in doing this, acting either wisely or prudently? I think we are doing neither.

He expressed the degree of satisfaction it would give him to find a more general unanimity in the house, but he despaired of seeing it, on this account he would prefer the report, to the amendment, not but what he was willing for the sake of conciliation to alter some things in the address. He hoped they would agree to put the country  in a state of defense as the best best of avoiding hostility, this was an old adage, but it was as true as it was old. There was nothing he dreaded so much as going to war either with Great Britain or France. He knew his constituents were to a man opposed to war, he knew they would relinquish every thing but one in order to preserve peace—that is their independence. That would eternally disgrace them, and they were determined never to be disgraced—He knew his constituents would never be induced to quarrel with the government, and he was certain they were pleased with its administration—he could also assure the committee they would concur very readily in any measures Congress might adopt on this trying occasion.

William Shepard – speech
Here is a bit of the newspaper article.

The most likely reason that it took so long for William to win an election, or even get votes (in several earlier runnings he had only 1 vote), was because of his being instumental in the defeat of Shay’s Rebellion. The people of Massachusetts had long memories, and vindictive feelings about his role in the event. In fact anonymous neighbors, and bullies, threatened and assaulted himself and his family for years afterward:

excited against me the keenest Resentments of the disappointed Insurgents, manifested in the most pointed Injurys, such as burning my Fences, injuring my Woodlands, by Fire, beyond a Recovery for many Years – wantonly & cruelly butchering two valuable Horses, whose ears were cut off and Eyes bored out before they were killed ~ insulting me personally with the vile Epithet of the Murderer of my Brethren, and, through anonimous Letters, repeated by threatening me with the Destruction of my House and Family by Fire.- which kind of Injuries I occasionally experience even to this day.

William Shepard

There were others though that respected his willingness to serve his community, in many local offices, and defend the state of Massachusetts “at all hazards.” They understood that you don’t give in to terrorists, which is exactly what the Shay’s Rebellion participants were.

One of these men recalled his presence and military bearing at militia exercises and drills, which inspired admiration and respect:

When I recall his large, imposing figure, bedecked with his trusty sword and crimson sash…and heard the whispers ‘there’s the general,’ I remember the awe, notwithstanding his genial face, with which he inspired me.3

Unknown

The haters were in the minority long enough for him to be elected four times as a representative of Massachusetts.

—————————————————————————————————————

  1. See the following website https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-29-02-0308#TSJN-01-29-0314-kw-0001 for more on the issue of Adams and the French.
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/federalism
  3. http://shaysrebellion.stcc.edu/shaysapp/person.do?shortName=william_shepard

April 2, 1955 William Shepard To Parents

745 Oak Ave
Panama City Fla
2 April 55

Dear Dick & Dad:

We are all settled down now. Have a nice home. Lois has told you about it I suppose. It is 3 Bedrooms=one floor, on a lot about 200 x 200. The yard is wonderful for Dave & Alan. They dont come in at all, except to eat & sleep, and they are brown as berries already.

Most the work is done around the house and Im lookig forward to fishing the next month. I dont suppose it will be quite as good as Biloxi. But the water is beautiful clear.

We bought an all fibre-glass boat because of the salt water. So we are ready to vacation. I still go to Craig for 4 weeks on 1 May. so I have 4 weeks to relax and fish.

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Dad- please send the guns on down to me. Hope you can remove the old addresses and any reference to my overseas address, so they wont possibly be sent back by a mistake. Insure them for $200 apiece. And I am enclosing 10.00 for postage. If it isnt enough let me know. Should be about right.

Congratulations on reaching your 69th birthday with good health. Lois & I cant seem to find anything you would like so we want you to pick out your own present-that is what the other $5 is for.

We will write you later-Goodbye for now

Love
Bill

January 25, 1955 William Shepard To Parents

25 January 1955

Dear Dick & Dad:

Really dont have any news. Lois will keep you informed when I know the exact time Ill be home, and were my next assignment is. What Im writing about is to see if you know any people in Parkersburg named Criner.

Major H. S. Criner is at Taegu [Air Base], where I am visiting. This evening we started talking and It seemed that he knew a lot of people that we should know. In fact his grandmothers name was Smith – wasnt there a Smith in our family? [Yes] He knows Shepards – Buchanans – [did a quick check on Lt. Col. Harold Smith Criner, not related via Smiths.]

There are a lot of Davis & Smiths in his family.

Well it has been warmer the past few days. Perhaps the last few weeks of my stay here will be more pleasant. Anyhow it doesnt matter very much, just so I get to come home around 1 March.

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I suppose you will be getting ready to go to Canada soon. Wish I could make it, but it seems that I just wont ever get a vacation in the summer. Maybe when I reture?

Hope you are all well. Give my regards to Aunt Doshie & Uncle Burch. Ill see you soon
Bill

December 26, 1954 William Shepard To Parents

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1954_12_26_p01and02

26 December 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

It is the lull between holidays. We had a cold christmas day with no snow. The package arrived OK and the presents were just fine. Thanks ever so much for the P.J’s as they were needed.

Work here at K-55 in Korea is much different than I have been doing. Im back to communications work and it isnt nearly as interesting as fighter aircraft operations. But it will get me home sooner. If I would have remained in Okinawa I’d come home in April. This way Ill make it in March. In fact I expect to leave Korea sometime during the last two weeks in February. There isnt much news from

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here. I just wanted you to know that I was still kicking. I should be getting my new assignment stateside in a few days of a few weeks at the most. When I know where Im going Ill sent another letter.

Try not to let the cold weather get you down. It is bothering me! No colds or runny nose but I just cant seem to keep warm.

Well, goodbye for now Ill write later.

Your Son
Bill

November 19, 1954 William Shepard To Parents

19 November 54

Dear Mother:

Have been moving about quite a bit so I havent been able to write much. Letters to Lois have been rather light. As you probably know I was supposed to be in Korea, but have been sent for a period of temporary duty to Okinawa – Pen is not too good so excuse the scratches.

The way things are going, I should be back in Korea about 10 December. And I hope to get my christmas boxes there. It is medium warm here on Okinawa – about 50º to 70º with the wind blowing constantly. It was beginning to get cold in Korea – down to freezing quite a bit.

As you mentioned in your last letter, the boys are growing up and I will probably notice a big change in them. Sure miss the little rascals. [apparently his daughter is of no interest]

Im very sorry to hear that Bess is having so much trouble. I hope that she is finished with it now. She certainly has enough trouble as it is.

We are on maneuvers here in Okinawa and I’ve been living in a tent & sleeping bag

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for the past week. There is about two more weeks to go.

So much work to do that I dont have much time to get homesick. But once in a while I do.

Flying is about normal. I finished my 2000th hour last month. I am assigned to the 67th Fighter Squadron now and it is quite some outfit. The squadron insignia is a rooster with a pair of boxing gloves.

We almost caught the last typhoon but it died out just before getting here. Would have been rough on the equipment out in the open like we are.

Dont know just when I’ll get to write agian. But Ill try not to make it too long.

Take care of yourself & tell Dad hello for me
Bill

October 31, 1954 William Shepard To Parents

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1954_10_31


31 Oct 1954

Dear Dick & Dad:

Just after writing you a letter, I received yours of the 15th. In fact Im not sure if I received yours before or after I wrote last. Anyhow this letter will bring you up to date.

I am now at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa for several weeks, after which I shall return to K-55 at Osan Korea.

The outfit moved here to Kadena, and I was transferred out just prior to their leaving. I will be as Headquarters 5th Air Force at K-55 when I return, about 12 November.

The cool weather had just started when I left K55. Here at Hadena it is windy, but not cold. About 60º-65º.

Sorry to hear about Bess. Hope that she is alright by now.

Give Doshi & Burch my regards, and dont work so hard.

Looks like Ill be home early in March. So Ill try to write a few more times before then. But remember that I was behind the door when the pens were passed out. — Bill