January 17, 1960 Letter Herman Shepard To His Parents

January 17 1960

Dear Dick and Dad:-
I’m a little late in letting you know
we received our fruit OK, it came
last Tuesday and is so good, what
kind of oranges were they? You
can send some of those any time
you want to. I got a kick out of
the three kumquots from our tree.
Somehow I thought they tasted better
than the others, or was it my imagination.
All the fruit arrived in excellent condition
except the kumquots, so as much as I
love them I don’t suppose you should try
to send any more as about
a fourth of them had spoiled.

We had a busy week last week
only one night that didn’t involved
either one or the other of us in Lodge
work or both of us at the same time.

[page 2]
That night we went up to see
Burch the first we had seen of him
since New Years day when we had
him down here. He seems to be doing
a little better about the drinking but
we’re afraid his memory is to far
gone. He just doesn’t remember
anything and has lost all track of
time, he dosen’t know weather its June
or December. He received his first
check on January 5th and we are
trying to help him straight out his affairs
but there just isn’t enough money to
go around all his obligations. Hes
let his affairs get into such a mess
that I don’t have much hope of ever
getting it all straightened out. We are
not going to give him any money
but will see to it that he has food
and clothing or anything else that
is necessary and will try to
visit him as least once a week.

[page 3]
I’m tryingto stave off a cold as of now
Ive got a sore throat and some of
the symptoms of the (BUG) so wish me
luck. Ive taken asprin all day and eat
all the fruit I can hold. We were out
to Ruths folks today and I took a
nap for about three hours out there.

Well we had our first meeting
last Wednesday night and I got by
but believe me there is room for
improvement about the time our year
is over I’ll be about ready to start.

We are suppose to have candidates
at our next meeting Feb 10th so
on that night about 9 PM say a
few extra words for me. We
have our school of instruction next
Sat. night and after that the
inspections start. Ours will be
April 28th say a few more
words on that night to.

[page 4]
Edw. asked if we knew of anybody
that were going to visit you next
month and we told him as far
as we knew there wasn’t anyone,
he said he would call you
before he came down so he
could make arrangement for
you to meet him.

How is the Chevy doing? I see
your old one almost every day
and Jack is real pleased
with it. He had his operation
and is back to work now.
Our work hasn’t been as
heavy this winter as usual
because we have really

[page 5]
had a beautiful winter so far
only one or two minor snows.
Even have the gareage doors open
most of the tome. If we can get
by for the next six weeks I
think will have it made.

We are going to miss going to
Florida this winter but are looking
forward to Canada next
summer. I think well try to
make it early in the season.

Well thats about all from
here for now so write
us a line when you find
the time, and thanks again
for the wonderful fruit
Love
Ruth & H.O.

Rachel Ann Hays 1888-1986

Rachel Hays as a young woman.

I am keeping my promise to tell about all the women in my tree by working my way back in time, starting with my great grandmothers. It has been a while since Charlotte Hatch, but here is my second one.

She was known by family and friends as ‘Dick’. What can one say about Dick. Most of what I know about her has either been told to me by her granddaughter, gleaned from looking through all the old family pictures, researched, or heard in one poorly recorded interview from about 1982. The person that I recollect was what you would call a ‘character’. She very short statured, loved cocktails, and wore awesome eyeglasses when she was older.

This is her life, as well as I have been able to piece it together.

Rachel started her life journey September 19, 18881. She was the second child, and second daughter, of Osborn and Eliza (Stackpole) Hays, and had been named in honor of her grandmother, Rachel (George) Hays. Osborn and Eliza would eventually have 10 children together, but from what I recollect hearing, Rachel was always her father’s favorite.

‘Dick’, as she became nicknamed by the family, grew up in Grant Township, Wetzel County, West Virginia. In fact her family lived there their whole lives, farming, and making a living off the land. She was a tomboy, and always had a preference for boys to keep company with. I guess she didn’t have much use for girls. The hills and landscape that she grew up in probably made for great exploration and tomboyish proclivities.

This is the typical landscape in Wetzel County where she grew up.

As was typical of children during the time she was growing up, she only went through the 8th grade2 in school*. Which means she was about 14 when she was done with learnin’. As the Hays family had settled in the Pine Grove area of Wetzel County, it would seem likely that Dick attended the Pine Grove School (although we don’t know that for sure). It was known in its early years as Free School.

Of course over time, as is wont, she got older. Then along comes William Atkinson Shepard, a newly minted teacher who recently arrived in Wetzel County, having received his teaching certificate from a Normal School, (although at this time we don’t know which one). Family rumor has it that this is how Dick and he met. It is not likely that they met because he was her teacher, because he would have been about 16 years old or younger in order for that to happen, which is doubtful. So it is possible that they met when she went to pick up some of her younger siblings from school. Maybe the locals took turns having the new teacher to dinner to get to know him, or they met at church or a local festivity. We might not know the exact how of it, but she definitely took a shine to him.

A quote from Dick’s son William:

My father, William, had received “higher education” beyond the customary 8th grade and attended normal school which prepared him to become a teacher. He taught in several places, and I think his last was in Jacksonburg, where he taught several of my aunts and uncles (Hays). He met and married Rachel Ann here.

–William A. Shepard, Dick’s son

They were married by the Rev. Reid of the M. E. Church in New Martinsville, Wetzel County, on March 9, 1907.

Their marriage license.3

Their first child, Herman Osborn Shepard, was born November 28, 1907 (pretty much 9 months later). That was fast work.

The birth was a hard one for Dick, as Herman was quite a large infant when he was born and Rachel was a small woman. Her injuries were such that Herman was raised by Dick’s parents in his early years, so that Rachel could recover her health. The doctor’s also told the couple that she shouldn’t have any more children, as the next one could kill her. This news must have put much stress on their early years of marriage. Decent birth control was not readily available to folks then like it is now.

Her husband was working in the steel mill in the town of Parkersburg by 1910, and possibly sooner. I imagine a school teacher’s wages were not all that great to raise a growing family on, so he decided to try for better wages. However, by 1912 they had moved to Ohio and were living in Columbus, where William started working as a clerk for the US Post Office with the rail road. He continued in this line of work until he retired in the 1950s as a supervisor. This job, no doubt, helped the family get through the depression with less damage than those around them.

Rachel was a typical woman of her time. She stayed at home, raised her child and kept the home. For other income they bought properties and made money renting the lots, or homes. It didn’t make them rich, but they were able to buy a home in Florida to retire in, and land in Canada to make their summer vacation spot. (A spot that is mentioned many times in family letters.)

1919 might have been an especially tense and worrying year for Dick and Dad, because Dick found out she was pregnant again. She was due in late December to early January. And on January 4, 1920 she delivered a healthy baby boy, William Atkinson Shepard, jr. Dick did okay too. There was no long hospital stay to recover from the delivery, so she was able to give junior her undivided attention, and she had her 13 year old son to help. This would be the last child that they would have though, possibly the second pregnancy caused problems we are unaware of–and Dick didn’t share that part of her life with her children, or grandchildren.

I believe this is Dick and Herman with the family dog.

The Shepard family moved over the years in and around Ohio. In 1920 they were in Pickaway County, in 1930 it was Franklin County, in 1940 Delaware County. But no matter where they moved, Dad was always working for the US Postal Service for the railroad, in fact he told his sons that when they were older to get jobs working for the government, because they were the most steady and secure. One of them heeded his advice.

Dad, William, jr., Dick, Herman.

Over the years they visited with family and friends (Dick was remembered by others as a very gracious and hospitable person), built their own cottage, from scratch, on Thessalon Lake in Canada, (and went there often to fish and barbecue), then they retired to a cute little house in Safety Harbor. The cottage in Canada they sold in the 1960s, and Dick gave the money from the sale to her sons.

She was quite a pill, was Dick. I, no doubt, don’t even know a single percent of the shenanigans she could get up to. The only story I vaguely remember hearing happened shortly after her eldest Herman, started dating his future wife, Ruth Kring. Apparently Dick, (no doubt with malevolent glee), decided that Ruth needed taking down a peg or two, because she somehow made sure that they conveniently ran into an old girlfriend of Herman’s. I guess that’s how she kept herself busy while Dad was at work.

When Dick and Dad moved to Florida to officially retire, Dick kept busy with the Woman’s Civil Club and her Order of the Eastern Star Safety Harbor Chapter (No. 173).

MOVIES AT WOMAN’S CIVIL CLUB HALL NOV. 7TH
       On Monday, November 7, at 8 P. M., a program of free movies at the Woman’s Civic Club Hall will present the Rich Plan __ Frozen Foods. Attendance will give the Commercial Award credits. Light refreshments will be served gratis. Movies of the Cape Coral Development, near Ft. Myers will also be shown by Mr. Jerry Flynn…
        The new members received at the meeting of October 14 are: Mrs. William Shepard…Members please add these names to your Blue Books. Several former members expect to attend the Club meetings this year.

1960-10-28 Friday, Safety Harbor Herald, Safety Harbor, Florida, p1

WOMAN’S CIVIC CLUB NEWS
        …Mrs. Brown presented each newcomer with a corsage…Mrs. Rachel Shepherd

1961-02-03 Friday, Safety Harbor Herald, Safety Harbor, Florida, p1

SAFETY HARBOR CHAPTER 173, ORDER OF EASTERN STAR, INSTALLS
          Mrs. William A. Shepard was installed as Worthy Matron of Safety Harbor Chapter 173, Order of the Eastern Star…in ceremonies recently held at the Masonic Temple here…
        Mrs. Shepard stood under an arbor made of fresh red roses while Thomas Peasley, Past Grand Patron of the State of Maine, sang, “How Great Thou Art.”
      Mr. and Mrs. Herman Sheppard, son and daughter-in-law of Mrs. Shepard, came from Worthington, Ohio, to be present for the ceremony and Shepard presented his mother the gavel she will use throughout her term of office.

1963-02-08 Friday, Safety Harbor Herald, Safety Harbor, Florida, p1

O.E.S. RUMMAGE SALE MAY 4TH
The O.E.S. will hold a rummage sale Saturday, May 4, in the lot next to Clark’s 5&10 store. Anyone having clothing or other items they don’t use bring them to Mrs. Rachel Shepard, 305 7th Ave. N., or the day of the sale.

1963-04-19 Friday, Safety Harbor Herald, Safety Harbor, Florida, p1

Ashley Chapter 147 members heard comments by Mrs. Bess Evans, past matron, on her attendance at a meeting of a Florida chapter of Order of the Eastern Star. Mrs. Evens’ sits, Mrs. Rachel Shepard, is active in that Florida chapter, Safety Harbor No. 173.

1975-04-16 Marion Star, Marion, Ohio, p26

I don’t know what Dad did, when he retired. Maybe he walked to the ocean and fished everyday. He was the quiet type, at least when we were around, so one never knew what he got up to.

Dad and Dick showing of their catch of the day. Probably in Canada.
At the cottage on Thessalon Lake.

Dick lost her husband on April 19, 1973. They had been married for just over 66 years. (Unfortunately, our family was overseas and unable to attend the funeral.) She was a widow for 13 years before she died April 27, 1986. I heard tell that she spent many a Friday evening at the local bar flirting with all the old widowers after Dad died. As I mentioned before, she did enjoy cocktails.

Dick at home in Safety Harbor, Florida 1970s-1980s. Must be 5:00pm!

I have an audio recording (be sure to download it) that I have had digitized of Dick talking to her niece Evelyn Conning (1980sish). It is about 30 minutes long, and is of very poor quality. The interviewer definitely wasn’t a professional, and there were no questions asked that I would have asked. But it beats having nothing. Too bad we don’t have one of Dad, apparently he told great stories.

I am very glad that I was able to meet my great grandmother, and I was at an age that I can remember her these many years later, even if only vaguely. I definitely remember her voice, and hearing it on the audio recording helps to bring back those fond memories of my visits to their house in Safety Harbor, Florida. (You can read my post on their house here.)

*Here is a great web page that gives an excellent synopsis of rural schools in the latter part of the 1800s: http://www.heritageall.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Americas-One-Room-Schools-of-the-1890s.pdf.
—————————
SOURCES:
1. Rachel Hays birth entry, 19 Sep 1888, General index and register of births, Wetzel County, West Virginia, page 74a. Parents O. Hays and Eliza Hays.
2. 1940 US Federal Census, Genoa Township, Delaware County, Ohio details;
SD 17, ED 21-17, Sheet 3A, Enumerated April 4, 1940; household 48, home owned [by parents], not a farm, lines 33-34
. What is the highest grade finished is one of the questions on census.
3. W. A. Shepard and Rachel Hays marriage, 1907; Marriage Record, book no. 13, page 180; West Virginia, Wetzel County, Clerk of the County Commission.

August 27, 1959 Letter Herman Shepard To His Parents

August 27th 1959
Dear Egghead:-
From the shores of Lake Erie and the banks
of the Scioto:- now how’s that for a
fancy take off? Here I am back at the Salt
Mine. I left Ruth up at the cottage and
will go back myself Sat. afternoon.
today was my first day back to work,
and was it ever hot, the temperature
here and at the lake has been in the
90s for over a week now.
Although it did cool of at
night up at the Harbor. I am
forwarding you a few letters that I
picked up at the Post Office
after I got home yesterday. I
received you letter of the 20th
and also one from the Dept of
Lands and Forest. Thanks for

[page 2]
your trouble. I’m going to write
the dept. and inquire if that lot
could be zoned for commercial
or resort purposes if so what
steps would be necessary. I’m
going to check these items before
I send any money. I suppose
you know all the details about
the purchase as you arranged it
for me so I’ll not go into
those details. Dick Rodenfels just
came back from up there, said
they had a good time camping out
etc..but the fishing wasn’t so good
He was telling me about all
the camping areas that have
been made-since I was
up there. Sounds like

[page 3]
they’re making it too easy for
these campers that like to rough it.
Ruth and I had a good time up at the
lake, caught a lot of fish-blue gills
and perch, have several in the
freezer so we’ll have a mess or
two when you come home. We also
found a new spot to fish for blue
gills out in the lake it just west
of Lakeside along the shore will
have to tell you more about it later
when you come home.

I went out to check on Ruths
mother last night and she recovered
from her attack what every it was
but is still having the pain in the
stomach and back, she’ll probably

[page 4]
go up to Dr. Jenning office for an
examination and xrays next week.
I didn’t get to talk to Unk and Elise
yet but from the sound of your
letter you must of had some trip
to Reception Lake.

As Ruth said I should have
listened to you about that bump on my
cheek bone, you and her both are giving
me the devil, the thing swelled up about
the size of a banty egg and sure
made me look lop sided, but
the doctor wouldn’t lance it for
me while it was infected, he
gave me penacillen shots for the
infection and I have to go back
later to have the source of the trouble
removed. The swelling is all gone
now and I suppose I’ll be going
back to him some time next week.

[page 5]
It not serous as he says its
an enlarged skin (pour?) that became
clogged and couldn’t drain just
filled up and became infected.

We’ve had other troubles also I’ll list a
few. Cost me $57.00 for parts to get
our car fixed. The garbage disposer
almost fell out of the sink (you know
it was leaking) the durn thing rusted
out and I couldn’t get a part for
it in the city of Columbus, had to
order it from California and it
hasn’t come in yet, that’s been
2 weeks ago I ordered the part
and thats going to cost about
$15.00 I got my new teeth and
had to have some of my lowers

[page 6]
ones filled that was $90.00 and
the thing I grip about the most here is
the real estate tax, I just got that
paid for the last half year and
that was $175.85, bought 4 new
tires for the car and so on. You’ll
get a kick out of this one, when I
came home yesterday Ruth had taken
my door key off my key ring and
I didn’t know it until I tried to
unlock the door, so I had to
cut the screen out of the guest
bedroom window and climb
in that way. Boy I’ll bet Ruths
ears were burning about that
time as I was hot to trot.
You know what I mean.

[page 7]
I’m also enclosing a letter
we received from Iva and Roy
Buchanan its self explanatory.
I haven’t seen Burch or talked to
him yet as he wasn’t at work
today and when I checked his time
card he hadnt only been to work
2 day since I started my
vacation on August 13th.
I don’t know what his trouble
is and unless he comes into
the shop I wont have a chance
to check on him until Sat
afternoon after work as I’m
going to be busy tomorrow night
on De Molay work etc.

[page 8]
well its after 11:PM so think
I’ll fix myself a good stiff
drink and go to bed. I’ll
be thinking about you when I
drink it. As you notice
my pen went on the blink
also.
Love to all
Herm

July 22, 1958 William Shepard To His Parents

22 July 58
Dear Dick and Dad
I was happy to hear from you. And
to know that everything was alright. Be sure
that neither one of you do any lifting or
hard work. I wish I were with you to
enjoy the quiet and to fish. It is anything
but quiet in Europe these days.

Yes, I have an apartment, or rather, I
will have one soon. It is being built and
is near completion. Lois and the children
will probably leave Worthington between September
10th and Oct 10th.

I hope Kenny can have time to visit
before Lois leaves. We cant be sure about
anything for a few weeks. Then Lois should
hear something definite.

[page 2]
My work is keeping be busy, but I have
seen some of the country. It is much like
Ontario. Pine forests and streams. The
towns are small. It has been cold
most of the time. About 50 degrees today. And
it rains most everyday.

I had to buy a car here so that I could get
around. And when Lois comes, our Chevrolet
will be a month behind her. As long as we live
in town (Kaiserslautern) she will need the
car anyhow I bought an old 50
Desoto. It may be 2 years younger than
your Chevy, but it is old.

I haven’t heard much from Kenny, but
he is like me when it comes to writing

[page 3]
Germany is as nice as everyone described
it. the people work hard, yet they seem
happy. The houses are nearly all built
of concrete block. As soon as Lois brings
over the camera, Ill send home some pictures.
they go in a lot for heavy food. Potatoes
every meal I had sauerkraut and smoked
tenderloin tonight. It was good, only they
boil the sauerkraut until it is tasteless.

Well, its about time for the bed. Ill
have to get up early to fly tomorrow.
Take care of yourselves – you are the
only parents I have
Your Son
Bill

March 26th 1958 Herman Shepard To His Parents

Worthington Ohio
March 26th 1958
Dear Dick & Dad;

This is the “Old Professor” writing tonight, I’ve been
so busy with this school work and (lodge going)
that I’m way behind. Besides having my regular
night class, I gave a Career Day speech at Eastwood
High School today, and have another one comming
up next Friday at Grove City. After this week, I
have 3 more night sessions at Central, then
I’ll be through, “I hope” I don’t know yet if they
intent to carry on any further classes in
“Auto Mechanics” or not. I like the extra money,
but, with my long hours at work, and my
Lodge commitments, it really doesn’t leave me
much time for myself. If I go on with the
School work, I’ll have to drop some of the
Lodge functions. Well, thats enough griping
about my time.

We had our Father-Son Banquet last Sat.
night and Lee Miller was the guest speaker.
We have again as many to attend as we
expected. I was chairman of the committee
for Blue Lodge and Ruth was chief cook
and bottle washer for he Stars. She about
worked her self to death, went up to the
temple about 12 PM and didn’t get away

[page 2]
till 11 P.M. She and I locked the joint up. Counting
all the kitchen help and the members, they prepared
about 250 meals.

Ruth and I were up to see Lydia last Saturday
evening. We took up the rest of the Bed Room furniture
that she bought from us. She is giving up her job
of cooking and looking after her neighbor lady. She
has lost about 14 lbs and I don’t believe she has
that much to spare. We are going to have her
down here for a few days to give her a rest.
Another woman is supposed to take over for her
the last of this week.

You have been writing in your letters that
you folks were comming north and going
on to Canada this summer. I am quite
concerned about Dad making the trip, you
know he said he was going to “stay put” for
a year, also Doc. Wettercues[?] said he was not in
favor of Dad even making the trip down to Florida.
So Im just wondering, has Dad’s condition
improved enough for him to make such a
trip, or is he just bound and determined to go-
regardless! If the latter is the case, I think
it would be using poor judgement to take
such a chance. Please write and let

[page 3]
me know what ever the case may be. We love
both of you and don’t want you to do the wrong thing
so please give this a good “think” before you make
the trip. If it’s us you want to see we might
make a trip down for a few days after my
school work is over. That’s not a promise but
a thought.

Have you been enjoying and going to your
“Star meetings”? I’m so glad you got to join
the group because you are the type who will
work out very good, they will be good for
you and you for them. I’d like to hear
about your initiation and especially about
your neighbor Esther Smith. Ruth wants to
know if your “Chapter” recesses in the summer.

Has the grass, trees and flowers started to green up
yet? We are still having cold weather here and
some snow every day or two. I hope Bill,
Lois and the kids get to pay you a visit
over Easter. It would be a good chance for
them to see Florida. Bill said he would
like to buy property down there. I think it would
be a good investment for them. I hope they
like your locality. over—

[page 4]
Our business has slowed down a little. Columb
is not as bad as other places-like Detroit,
Cleveland etc. I look for a pickup when the
weather gets warmer. I believe a lot of people
will fix their cars up instead of trading for
new ones, as the case has been for the past
ten years. I’ve about run out of anything
to write, so will sign off for now.
With Love,
Ruth & H.O.

P.S. Ruth is ironing, misses her ironing lady. Ha.Ha.

P.S.S. We have 6 grape fruit left-you keep
up the grape fruit fund and we’ll take care
of your flower fund.

January 28, 1958 Lois Shepard To Her In-Laws

January 28, 1958

Dear Dick and Dad;
Such excitement around the Shepard household as we haven’t had
in a long time. I was going to write you and send this small clip-
ing from last Saturday’s morning paper but now I shall wait and in-
clude what comes out in the paper tonight. Yesterday morning- right
after Kenny and Sue left for school, he received a telegram that he
is one of 40 winners in the Westinghouse Science Search and will get
a trip to Washington D. C. from the 27th of Feb. to March 3rd. There
he will be interviewed and has a chance to be one of the top 5 in the
Nation for awards from $3000 to $7500. The 35 other winners will
divide $8700 between them. We are so proud we could bust. He will
be on the 6 o’clock news tonight on television, They took his picture
at school this morning for the paper, he has been asked to speak at
the Civic Club here in town. Needless to say he is still in the clouds
and I might add, his mother was all day yesterday. This is from that
report he did while you were here before Xmas. It is the first time
Alabama has had a winner in the 17 years of the Science Search. Last
year Westerville had a winner. It took a Northerner to bring the honor
to Alabama. Florida is the only other Southern State to have a winner

We are all fine. Sue and Alan received their birthday cards and
money all right. We’ve had enough chocolate cake this month to last
the rest of the year. In fact there is still a piece of Sue’s cake
left so you know something is wrong. We gave her a blouse and some
money so she bought a book on Art with some of the money. Alan wants
to go over to the shopping center tonight and spend some of his birth-
day money. He got Cowboy boots and hat from us.

[page 2]
This week I am going to the base hospital every morning for Physical Therapy for my bursitis,. They give me hot packs and then Ultra-sonic treatment. I think it is helping some. The Dr. says my back has a
slipped disk that now is almost completely shattered and that in about
two years time should be replaced by scar tissue and so join the vert-
abrae and then won’t give me any more trouble. Sure hope he’s right
about not giving me more trouble. Alan is to start his eye exercises
in about six weeks – they were full up and couldn’t take him any sooner.

Hope Dad is getting along all right. Suppose you are busy but let
us hear from you.

Love

Lois

[No Date] Letter Herman Shepard to his parents

No year on this.

Worthington Ohio
Sunday Eve. Dec. 4th

Dear Dick and Dad:–
Looks like we had your trip
planned just right. The weather
here has been “stinkin” ever since
we got home. Thursday night
was a “dilley”. I went to the
Foremans Club dinner meeting
as the Fair Grounds and when I
started for home we had about
5 inches of snow on the ground
and winds up to 20-25 M.P.H.
I don’t think they got the snow plows
out till after midnight. I’m
glad it stopped snowing because
it wasn’t as bad as I
expected the next morning.

page 2
Everything wasn’t bad that
night, I won a gift certificate
good for a 20 lbs turkey at Big
Bear Stores
for Christmas. Looks
like we will have enough turkey for
the gang. Also Lester at Quality Bakery
gave me a case of assorted pies,
and Rodenfels paid me my
regular wages while I was off.
Now what do you think about that?
I’ll be sending you a refund one
of these days.

I’m glad everything worked out
for the good and we enjoyed the trip
Sure hated to leave that nice weather.
I put the fruit out in the garage
but had to bring it in to keep
it from freezing as the temperature

page 3
dropped down to 3 degrees above zero for two
nights. I’ll be giving some of the
fruit away because it will not
keep in the basement. We took
a basket out to Krings and they
can divide it among the kids.
I gave Lucile some of the kum
quats although she wasn’t home
to receive them. She ws into the
hospital with her mother, Ralph
says she can’t last much longer.

That’s about all the news for
now, except we had Kernal
Sander Chicken
and Livers for
supper last night couldn’t
hilp but think of you.

Love H.O. & Ruth.

1940s Letter William Shepard to Lois Shepard

Written possibly early December, 1940s, talking about Puerto Rico.

Hello Darling:

Here it is, Friday night in Trinidad. Ill write the letter here
and post it tomorrow. We flew down early this morning, leaving
Boringquen at 08:15. It was my first over-water hop. Only 700 miles
but something new. I flew down with Capt. Corcoran. there are
sure a lot of things to take care of beofre a flight. I dont suppose
that I have told you a lot of thngs we have to do.

First after the need for a flight has been ascertained it has to be
passed by the A-3 or the operations division of the wing (here)[?]. Then the
pilot must get all the crew & passengers to accomplish a physical
inspection certificate (if flying out of zone). Then a customs clearance
is necessary if flight into other than US possessions is contemplated.
Then the pilot fills out a form 23. (clearance of aircraft). He has
to give information as to the people going (their ranks serial nos)
the route to be traveled, air speed, altitude, destination and
fifty other things. Then he has to go to the weather office, which
prepares a chart showing just what weather he will encounter.
After that is he ready to go? No. He has to inspect the airplane
and crew & passengers to see if they know bail out & ditching (landing
on water) procedures. After everyone is aboard are we ready
to go? No! some jerk always comes running out on the
line as one is getting ready to pull out. We have to pick him
up and change the clearance (1 customs, 2 medical, 3 flight) via
radio. Then are we ready to go? I think so so
we taxi out to the runway, run up the engines and call
the tower for take off clearance. Do we get it? No. The
radio went bust! So we taxi back and change planes,
clearance, cargo, temper[?] and stuff. Well it give you
an idea anyhow of why I get $125 a month extra!

[page 2]
Im off the subject.

I figured the course out before take off and we flew 4 hours,
over water, when we hit land we were about 20 miles
off but that suited me. It was a clear day and we could see clear [over?] the top of Triniday. We had Maj. Brown the base chaplain for a passenger.

Trinidad surprised me. It is very mountainous near
the north coast and through the middle it is flat & level
Very much jungle country. It was sultry hot when we
landed. My boys (telephone) has removed some equipment
from the exchange at Waller and we loaded it in the C-97.
Ready to take off when Capt Corcoran called & said he had to
meet a naval officer in Port-of Spain. So we are R.O.N.
Get used to the term. It means. Remain Over Night.
when we are expected back & dont get to go, we send a radio
message, if possible, to one base informing them we are RON.

Be happy we are not here at Waller. It has its
points, but Borinquen has more of them. It is undoubtedly
more social & friendly but. It is really hot here. And
I have never seen it rain so hard. Believe me it has never
rained that hard in Ohio! And it keeps up.

The base is spread out over 19,000 acres! One needs
not a car, but an airplane to commute with.

When we were to RON. I went to the base telephone
office and met all the enlisted men. We then examined

[page 3]
the plant. They have a pretty fair system, better than
Boringquen’s. Boringquen isnt my worry, bu the way, any
more than Waller, Jamaica, Gunia or any of the others.
We are responsible for the telephone plant in all of them.
The Boringquen exchange is under Capt. Vaden. “Dave”. I
have charge of construction & maintenance in the whole area. I
do get a lot of experience this way although it keeps me hustling.

As we were looking over the system, one of the spliciers
tells me that they captured a boa-constrictor 19 ft long
at the very spot we were! We left there; and then he
told me of all the hunting. Deer, boar, duck. Well
now I think I will have to make frequent trips down to
Waller to coordinate communication activities.

Its crazier than hell, the way they drive. British you
know! On the left hand side, and it worries one to death.
The population here is not only dark. They are downright black
Some of the most shapely black wenches I have ever seen and
no kidding. They arent coarse but fine featured.
not negroes as we know them [SORRY just typing what he wrote]. The VD rate is high!

The driver of the jeep I rode in was black and he carried his
pet bird, Tony, with him all the time. He had made a cage
that was beautiful out of jungle wood. It was a masterpiece
of artistry! The bird was smaller than a canary and I was
told that It changed colors with age.

It may be in the cards for us to move to Waller in a year

[page 4]
or so. In that case we will undoubtedly enjoy it. But lets enjoy
Boringquen. As soon as you car arrives we will travel all over Puerto
Rico and take a lot of pictures. It, like all the Caribbean has
much to offer to the sight-seirs. It is very rich in history (only)
when I get back to Borinquen Sat I will have a full week
end ahead of me. I will get all the issued material, furniture & the
bike checked out to us & installed in the quarters. The all I will
need is a family to fill it up. We may not have a fortune
in money but we do have a family in every respect.

I am going to continue writing until I receive definate
word as to when you are coming down. Remember, I can
receive telegrams quickly, but to send one, I must go to
Augudila and it takes about 2-3 days to get to you. Coming
down they are sent via army radio so I get them immediately!

Well Im tiring out. This is a good example of a long
letter, buy the way. Ouch. Get it? well dont feel so bad,
its just lately that I have written anything but a one pager!

In case this is before Xmas I want you all to know
that I love you. That isnt worth money, just what you
want it to mean.

From South America your latin friend:
Willamo Sheparado

1940s Letter William Shepard to Lois Shepard

This letter was written between 1943 and 1949.

Friday

Dearest:
Had a bad day today. Now we dont dare
have any. The cadet standards are up to pre-war
levels and we havent a snow-balls chance
in hell now. Only 50% remain out of the group
now. I expect that I may go too as I know
my flying isnt the best, while not the worst.
I fly to conservative my instructor says. Well
perhaps I am a bit settle down. I cant get
excited over it. I just enjoy it and plod along.
If flying can be called plodding.

I just want you to be prepared if they do
pull up my number. If they do Ill probably
go to a reassignment center and then God
knows what. One thing I’m sure of. If I do
get transferred out of this I want you, If it
looks as if I might go over, to spend a few
weeks with me. Leave the children at my folks.
The thing is to be mentally prepared if something
should happen.

Dont let all this scare you. I am going to
give them a run for their money. Dammit all, I
may not be 18 years old, but Im not hoary and grey yet.

[page 2]
I enjoy flying and can fly and well too.
I know it. My acrobatics are good. Where
I get into trouble is trying to do things my
way instead of the armys. for instance in
a spin today I held the rudder a bit longer
than usuall because the spin seemed faster.
The instructor didnt like it at all. Oh well
Ill try to straighten out.

How are things going in Dayton? Loe[?]
is a working girl. Are you taking over her
household duties? OK by me except I draw
a line after 8:00 P.M. in the evenings. Dont
try to slip in an early one (as if you would).
I was only foolin Dear. I start to write
something down to kid you and it seems to
be off-color when its in writing. Guess Im
am off-color character. Im strictly in a mean
mood tonight so Id better close. I might eat
you up. Not a bad idea Hmmm. Nice dish
anyhow.

I love you always. Can you love a nitwit?
If you can we’ll get along.

Your Bill
P.S. Love to KW & Susie. (her dress is still undone as yet.)

14 May 1957 Letter William Shepard to Parents

15 May 1957
Dear Dick & Dad:

Lois has probably kept you advised of all the news-
so Ill confine my letter to our plans for this
summer. -Our plans are subject to your
wishes so let us know if anything
conflicts with your schedule.

We will leave here July 5th and drive
directly to Thessalon, taking ten to twelve
days and stopping at Couer d’Lane, Idaho-
Yellowstone Nat Park, Grand Teton Nat Park,
Mt. Rushmore Nat Park and across Wisconsin,
to the straits and to Thessalon. We will
spend the last two weeks in July with
you in Canada & then visit with Lois
folks in Westerville for several weeks, then
go to Montgomery.

I have written Herman & Ruth. I
suggested that they try to be in Canada

[page 2]
with us if they could. it would be
nice to have the family together again.
There will be no shortage of sleeping space.
we are bringing six sleeping bags and
air matress!

We bought a camping outfit-tent-stove & the works. We plan to camp all the
way aross the U.S. We will carry it
in the boat with Bonnie and the motor.

The way you can tell when we get
there is by the green boat coming across the bay with six dirty characters
in it. We may stop to wash up before
we get there! We plan to arrive in Canada
15 to 17 July.

Please let us know if this is OK. We
look forward to seeing all of you.

Bill