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.



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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.

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  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 20, 1955 Lois Shepard to In-laws

April 14, 1955

Dear Dick & Dad,

Suppose you are back from West Virginia by now-Hope you had a nice visit.

We are all around the dining rm. table – Sue doing homework Bill working on a gun, Kenny Kibitzing & me trying to write.

Bill finally go his boat trailor etc. all assembled & we’ve had a couple of rides in it. It certainly does go & we think will be very satisfactory for our purpose. We watched a water ski show Easter Sunday & it was quite interesting and looked like lots of fun. So we are all anxious to get started. Probably break our

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necks – but we’ll try anyway We are still shifting things around in the house – Not much storage space & no garage – there is one but they won’t let us use it! – So we had to pile a bunch of boxes & trunks in one corner of the large bedroom. – There is space for it but doesn’t look very good that way-

Bill hopes to go fishing tomorrow – He hasn’t done any as yet. Been too much to do- Tho we don’t think the fishing will be as good as Biloxi – Maybe he’ll find places where it is good after he’s been here a while –

David & Alan dont have any playmates there age

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around here so they have leaned to play togeher much better – We decided not to send Dave to Kindergarten for that reason. Alan would really be lost – –

Hope everyone is O.K. at home & write –

Love
Lois

From Riches to Rags

You know the story…poor man or woman comes to America and through sheer perseverance, sweat, and smarts, gets rich. Well, Franz Pietersen Clauw decided to buck that tradition. In fact, he came to this country poor and fate decided to pretty much keep him that way.

So why is this interesting, and why am I mentioning it? (Because, we have lots of ancestors who came to America poor, and stayed that way.)

Well, according to the local lore, Franz came from lots of money, but when he arrived in Beverwyck, he had nothing. Did his family back home disinherit him? Did he make bad investments? Did he drink, or gamble it away? Was it lost because of war? Unfortunately, the how if it never comes to light. But everyone in the area knew of his background, in fact his neighbors nicknamed him ‘Kind van Weelde’ or “Child of Wealth/Luxury.” Of course, it could have just been a story he told to make himself sound more interesting.

Franz arrived in Beverwyck by 1654, which we know because he shows up in local records regarding a court appearance. In his testimony Franz stated that he had been in Esopus for the fall harvest in 1654, so it is possible he arrived in that year.

Where he came from is mere speculation. Some say Holland, some say Brazil, but there is zero proof either way, at this time. The only thing we know for sure about him is that his father’s name was Peter, and he married Elsie, (origins and background also unknown).

The Clauws had two known children Jurrian and Hendrik. We descend from Jurrian (which is George in English), whose daughter Rachel, married Nicholas van Loon.

There are several references to Franz and his nickname in local histories, and in a journal kept by Jasper Danckaerts. The parts referring to Franz are entered below.

May 1st [1680], Wednesday. We began early to load, but as it had to come from some distance in the country, and we had to wait, we stepped ashore to amuse ourselves. We came to a creek where, near the river, lives the man whom they usually call the Child of Luxury, [Frans Pieterse Clauw] because he formerly had been such a one, but who now was not far from being the ‘Child of Poverty’, for he was situated poorly enough.

He had a saw-mill on the creek, on a water-fall, which is a singular one, for it is true that all falls have something special, and so had this one, which was not less rare and pleasant than others. The water fell quite steep, on one body, but it came down in steps, with a broad rest sometimes between them. These steps were sixty feet or more high, and were formed out of a single rock which is unusual. I reached this spot alone through the woods, and while I was sitting on the mill, my comrade came up with the ‘Child of Luxury’, who, after he had shown us the mill and falls, took us down a little to the right of the mill, under a rock, on the margin of the creek, where we could behold … crystal lying in layers between the rocks, and when we rolled away a piece of the rock, there was, at least on two sides of it, a crust or bark, about as thick as the breadth of a straw, of a sparkling or glassy substance, which looked like alabaster, and this crust was full of points or gems, which were truly gems of crystal, or like substance. They sparkled brightly, and were as clear as water, and so close together that you could obtain hundreds of them from one piece of the crust. We broke some pieces off, and brought them away with us as curiosities. (The rock was calcite, and of very little value.)

–Jasper Danckaerts Journal

Franz made his living as a carpenter and ran a saw mill. It appears that he made enough to feed and clothe his family. Whatever money he had before he came to America stayed gone for the rest of his life. Maybe, he became a better person because of it.

https://www.core77.com/posts/53123/A-Brief-History-of-Wood-Splitting-Technology-Part-3-The-Wind-Powered-Sawmill-That-Changed-Dutch-History

NOTE:
The thousands of sawmills in New England for about 200 years beginning in the 1630s used essentially a single technology—a wooden waterwheel with a crank connected by the ‘pitman’ arm to a wooden sash (frame) in which was mounted a straight saw blade. The reciprocating motion of the vertically mounted saw results in the characteristic straight “up and down” saw marks on boards and timbers cut on these sash-type saws. [http://www.ledyardsawmill.org/history/early-sawmills-in-new-england]

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Source:
1. From the Journal of Jasper Danckaerts, p217-218
2. For more on Dutch saw mill history – https://www.core77.com/posts/53123/A-Brief-History-of-Wood-Splitting-Technology-Part-3-The-Wind-Powered-Sawmill-That-Changed-Dutch-History

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

Year end bits

2018-New-Year-Background-Image

Well, here we are again, at the end of another year. Which also means it’s time to post my end-of-year wrap-up.

I am afraid it was not a year for great research finds, or revelations on the DNA front. I did upgrade Dad’s yDNA to 111 markers, and paid for a FamilyFinder test to one of our related Shepard lines. This was to see where the cousin markers might be with this Shepard. And guess what. NO match! What!

If the Shepard line, that yDNA shows we are likely related to, isn’t showing the same person matching us in FamilyFinder, I am not sure what to think. Maybe the generational distance has diluted the markers so much nothing is showing up in the DNA carrying this Shepard line anymore, other than the yDNA. Hmmm, maybe someone else can help me figure this one out.

I have been contacted by several distant cousins, (none really shared much in the way of data, or pictures, or stories, so I have nothing there). Or, in the case of the Krings, I was contacted by a person who descends from the Krings, but is not related to us – other than the fact that Herman Shepard, my great uncle, married Ruth Kring. I am hoping this Kring descendant can help identify folks and places in Herman and Ruth’s pictures.

This year I will again be going to Salt Lake to do some research. I am hoping to learn more about my Norwegian ancestors and their lives in Norway. The library can provide assistance to folks researching other countries, and I plan on making use of this service this time around.

Last month I upgraded my website, which means I was able to change the template to one I like much better. I also uploaded more images and documents to the site. Something I will be doing much more of this year. The image focus will be: headshots, family group shots, or family homes. If someone wants to see the whole kit and caboodle, they can go to my Flickr site, that’s what it is for. There will also be a lot more ancestral documents to see soon on the site: vital records, wills, military documents, etc. There is no reason for them to sit on my hard drive just taking up space.

I wasn’t able to post as many ancestress stories as I would have liked this last year. Unfortunately, work, and having to pay the bills, gets in the way of my hobby time more than I would like. Or, I run into research blocks, where I am at a certain point in my research, but getting the record I need to continue means a trip to a courthouse, a facility in another state, or some other annoying hurdle to jump. But, I’ll keep truckin’ and do what I can to continue that project.

And, that about wraps it up! Here’s to cool finds and revelations in the new year, to me, and every other genealogist. (Oh, yeah–I updated my theme!)

happy-new-year-wallpaper-6

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

One of the Oldest Houses in New York

This image is from Wikipedia page, see source below.

For my last research post of this year, I though I would share this interesting bit of New York state history that I found in my online travels.

As I have hit a pretty sturdy brick wall researching Gertrude Cain’s Irish ancestry, I have moved on to trying to flesh out Gert’s non-Irish side. And over time I have found some pretty interesting history I have been able to share in this regard. So here is another interesting story, it’s about Jan Van Loon (pronounced ‘van loan’) and his house. I plan on telling you more about Jan himself next year, for now we will stick with his house.

Jan Van Loon arrived in New York in 1675. He was a blacksmith who spoke French, and was Catholic. In 1685 he purchased a very large tract of land consisting of thousands of acres, (this property now encompasses Athens and parts of Catskill and Coxsackie). In 1688, as the earliest European settler in the area, Jan decided to name the settlement he started Looneburgh. Or, later settlers named the property in his honor. The story is told both ways. The patent is still known by that name.

Apparently, when Jan built his house for his family in 1706, he built it to last.* According to wikipedia it is now known as one of the oldest extant buildings still standing in the state of New York. Although, if you do a search of a list of the oldest buildings in New York it is about 31 down from the top. But still, that is pretty darned old. The house is located in Athens, the exact address is 39 South Washington Street, on what is also New York State Rt. 385.

In 1932  an historic marker was placed outside the house, as you can see in the image above, which reads:

JAN VAN LOON HOUSE BUILT 1706 BY JAN VAN LOON CHIEF HOLDER LOONEBURGH PAT. 1688. ATHENS VILLAGE FIRST CALLED LOONEBURGH

New York State Education Department

Jan’s place on the family tree is Gert’s 5th great grandfather, on her mother’s side. Gert actually descends from Jan twice, as her great-great grand mother Lena/Helena Van Loon is the daughter of Van Loon cousins.


*Although, technically, only one wall of the original 1706 structure remains unchanged.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Van_Loon_House

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