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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.)
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.
Because I know people, it’s always good to know people, I was able to see HAMILTON when it breezed through my neck of the woods. And I was able to get excellent seats. It was fantastic. Although, there is so much going on on stage that you can’t see it just once.
And after having seen the show I feel even more of a connection to history when I read things like this:
To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton, 15 November 1777
Peeks Kill [N.Y.] November 15. 1777. Mr Kennedy’s house.
I arrived at this place last night and unfortunately find myself unable to proceed any further. Imagining I had gotten the better of my complaints while confined at Governor Clinton’s & anxious to be about, attending to the march of the troops, the day before yesterday I crossed the ferry in order to fall in with General Glover’s brigade which was on its march from Poughkepsie to Fish Kill. I did not however see it myself but received a letter from Col. Shepherd, who commands the Brigade informing me he would be last night at Fish Kill and this night at Kings Ferry.3 Waggons &c. are provided on the other side for his accomodation, so that there need be no delay but what is voluntary; and I beleive Col. Shepherd is as well disposed as could be wished to hasten his march. General Poors Brigade crossed the ferry the day before yesterday. Two york regiments Cortlandts & Livingstons are with them. they were unwilling to be separated from the Brigade and the Brigade from them. General Putnam was unwilling to keep them with him, and if he had consented to do it, the regiments to replace them would not join you six days as soon as these. The troops now remaining with General Putnam will amount to about the number you intended, though they are not exactly the same. He has detached Col. Charles Webbs regiment to you. He says the troops with him are not in a condition to march being destitute of Shoes stockings and other necessaries; but I beleive the true reasons of his being unwilling to persue the mode pointed out by you were his aversion to the york troops, and his desire to retain General Parsons with him. I am with much respect & esteem Yr Excellys Most Obedt servt
A. Hamilton ALS, DLC:GW.
3. Col. William Shepard’s letter to Hamilton has not been identified.
This is a letter that Alexander Hamilton is writing to George Washington, talking about my great grandfather William Shepard. And my great grandfather, Col. William Shepard, was writing to both of these historical figures.
Awesome! History can sometimes be so cool.
P.S. I celebrate giving thanks on this day, not the genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of this continent.
I thought this might be an interesting short post for Veteran’s Day. My ancestral grandfather William Shepard, of Westfield, Massachusetts, retired a Colonel of the Revolutionary War.
When he first joined up to help further the cause of the Revolution he was a 2nd Lieutenant, as he had had prior experience in the military when it was British. Over the years during the war he was eventually promoted to Colonel, and in 1782 he was recommended for promotion to Brigadier General. It appears that they needed more Generals to run the brigades in the army.
Unfortunately, William didn’t get that promotion. He retired from military service January 1, 1783, possibly because he felt it was a promotion he should have gotten, plus he had served his county for many years, it was time to go home.
However, nine months after he retired a Congressional Resolution dated September 30, 1783, was passed, it appears that his service was finally being recognized, as he was promoted to Brig. General, although without pay of that rank.
Dear Dick & Dad:- Sunday evening and it just started raining, it has been a fairly nice day today, temperature at noon was 60 degrees it is now about 35 degrees. Bess was down to day and just left a short time ago. She and the “gang” are all O.K. said for you to write her a letter. I suppose you are wondering how I’m getting along with my ‘Store teeth‘, well I can do everything except eat. I should lose some weight as I’m only eating soft stuff and soup. I can’t chew with them and if I eat soft food like bread the damn things won’t stay put. What do you do in a case like that? I’m glad I didn’t have to start out with lower ones too.
Did Lydia get along O.K. on her trip down? We were wondering how she stood the ride. We would surely
page 2 like to take a ride in that direction. I’ll bet everything, all the trees, flowers & etc are really pretty now after all the rains you’ve had. Those yellow Easter flowers that Dad set out for us are just now in full bloom and I don’t see how they made it because we haven’t had only a couple of nice days really warm. Of course they have been in the process of blooming about 2 weeks.
You should have been here a week ago when we had a sleet storm and seen the willow trees, they had just enough leaves out that the ice could form on, and it looked like the limbs of the trees was going to break off they were so heavy with ice.
page3 do you folks still like you place? “I hope so” and how is the wiring job I did holding up? I had hoped you would sell a few wirings jobs so I could go down and do them but so far I haven’t seen any orders. Speaking of jobs are you looking out for me? You know I’m counting on you do don’t let us down. I suppose Lydia told you we had a “lite” on the cottage at Harbor View but I believe I “goofed” the deal because I give him a flat no on any reduction in price. I should have left the door open for further conversations as we haven’t heard anything from him since.
page 4 If the weather is decent next week end we expect to go up and build the catwalk on our part of the new dock, then after the Easter week end go up and open the cottage for the season. I don’t think we’ll have any freezing weather after that.
Bess and Johnie are planning on opening theirs Easter weekend. She says Eddie and Jane will not be going up this year. She is to have her baby sometime the latter part of May. Boy time surely flys here I am writing about opening the cottage and before you know it you folks will be here and the kids will be home from Washington. We are anxious to see them all and I imagine
page 5 they are looking forward to the time they can start east.
Edna Frutchey called Ruth after they got home. Said they had a wonderful time although we haven’t heard from her since. I’ve been working on my lawn mover. today so it will be in condition by grass cutting time. Work at the shop has been pretty slow ever since we got back, but picked up a bit last week. What have you guys been doing lately. Write and give us all the details. Love, Herman & Ruth.