July 10, [1954] William Shepard to Parents and Son Kenny

10 July

Dear Dad & Dick & Kenny

You wouldnt know a week ended. We are working right on, as it looks as if the weather would be good. Good flying weather is scarce in Korea during July & August, so we must make the best of it.

Lois writes me that she expects to start up about the 25th of this month. I hope they all have a good time.

Wish I could taste some of the lake trout now. Perhaps next year I can.

Getting a lot of flying time now. Will get about 25 jet hours & 10 conventional this month. Like the jets best. They sure fly easy.

Down to weight now and have stopped dieting — Im at 180# now and so help me Ill try not to get any heavier. Feel so much better when Im not fat.

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Kenny — have you been catching any fish? And how about wild game? Is there any around? It has been so long since Ive been up there I have forgotten how it looks. Why dont you take some pictures?

You know I bought a .35mm projector the other day. It is a TDC with automatic slide changing – a beauty. So we dont have to borrow any more.

No real news so Ill close the letter. Wish you all good health and good fishing.

Bill

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Canada, oh Canada!

That’s a song–right? Nevermind.

The ‘never seems to be ending’ project of scanning my Shepard grandparent’s old family pictures has been fun and interesting, although admittedly sometimes a bit tedious*. But, I am really getting a chance to look them over and put together a picture timeline of their life, and even get ideas for future blog posts. Or, just remember the places that they lived and my own visits there. Some of the pictures are also triggering my research itch, because of questions I have about the time, or place, or who is in them.

I recently scanned more Canada pics from Dick and Dad’s part of the collection, a couple of them, thankfully, have been labeled ‘Cummings Lake.’ If I had the grandparents around to ask, I could find out exactly where this cottage was, (although I do enjoy putting the clues together, and solving the mystery myself). So the location has been narrowed down to Cummings Lake in Thessalon, Canada. Now the question is– where on the lake, exactly. Having the photograph below helps to narrow it down some more:

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Dick and Dad’s view of the dock below the cottage. Taken in 1954. This, by the way is a great picture.

I can narrow the location down because I found the following picture at the Grand Falls Camp website when searching online for information on Cummings Lake:

Grand Falls Camp Cummings Lake Thessalon

The cliff face in the background matches exactly the cliff in the first picture. This location is stated by the website as being between Lakes Tunnel and Cummings. When using Google map’s street view, I find this exact spot on Hwy 129 going North. It is facing Lake Cummings. Which means that the cottage was in the area on the topographic map below. It is difficult to tell where exactly, or even generally, from this view though.

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Google street view from highway.
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The arrow is pointing to the cliff area we see in all the pictures.

Looking at a larger overview of the area, I’m thinking that the cottage was, or is, if it is still there, on the big bump out of land above the falls area.

We have lots of photos of the cottage and the area around the lake, so I created an album of just those pictures at my flickr site (well I hope they are all from the cottage and lake area). Seeing the pictures and writing about this topic has given me an urge to drive up there next summer and visit. It is only a 7-8 hour drive, and I have my passport now!

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My grandfather, Bill Shepard, wrote lots of letters mentioning his parents cottage. They usually talked about how envious he was, because he never got to go up and enjoy all that fishing everyone was always going on about. I know an uncle went there at one point when he was a kid. Other than Herman and Ruth, who else made the trip?

 

*I won’t complain too much about all that scanning, as we are fortunate to have so many family pictures that that been passed down. Some folks aren’t so lucky.

July 5, 1954 William Shepard to His Parents

6 July 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Very happy to hear from you. and also happy to hear that you are all well and having a good time.

Yes-I received the box of candy and thank you very much. It was sure tasty. [Hey Gramps aren’t you on a diet?]

By the time you get this – I will have about 7 more months to go. That isnt so long is it? Time is going by so fast now that I’m busy. I have all this office work I can do and I am learning jet fighters in my spare  ? time. Should get 20 hours flying time in jets this month. Still instructing in the C-47 too so it keeps me humping.

You tell Kenny that he had better take time out to write me a good letter because Im his old man and I said for him to do it!

That cartoon of the boat reminds me of our little 12 footer & the 25

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horsepower Johnson. The time has come to go to bed so Ill have to close. Have fun.

Bill

 

June 21, 1954 William Shepard to Parents and Son

21 June 54

Dear Dick, Dad & Kenny:

When you get this you will have had time to get settled. How have you found everything at the cottage? I suppose that you are eating some nice golden brown lake trout by now. What I wouldnt give for some right now.

Work is heavy here. Im trying to do my regular work, and get my jet schooling in too. Start flying them next week. Im happy about it because they are easier to fly, and faster too.

I have been watching my weight lately with the help of the Flight surgeon and weigh less than anytime since OCS in 1942. Im at 184 now, and have 6 more pounds to be to my proper weight of 178#. It feels so good to be where I should be.

Kenny dont you make the mistake I did and eat that little bit too much of fat & fried food I never watched it and was always about 30 pounds overweight. The Doc says a person is healthier when

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they stay slim, and who wants to be unhealthy when they dont have to be?

I know I dont have to tell you to enjoy Canada, but dont overwork up there.

Ill try to write next week. Cant before then as I will be in an air-ground school which teaches us how to support the troops with our F-86’s. Ill be with the army for the next few days. (roughing it.) Well goodbye for now.

Bill.

May 27, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

 

[I believe that Gramps is in Korea at the time he is writing these letters.]

27 May 1954

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter of the 17th a few days ago. Im not much at writing outside the family. When I write Lois and each of the kids once in a while Im wrote out!

It sounds like everything will be going North in June, so this is the last letter Ill write to you at Park St. The address is Route 3, Thessalon Ont., isnt it?

I have been receiving the Sunday papers and they are sure welcome. I read every want add!

Had a touch of the flu for several days, but it is all cleared up by now. The next time I get to Tokyo I want to get some things and send them home. Ill send your present at that time. Ill try to get you something to wear but keep your fingers crossed.

The rain, real hard rain hasnt started yet. It is suppose to about now. Everything is green, the rice is about knee high. I have

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a lot of pictures on the way home now, so when they get there you can see how some of the things look.

If Kenny goes north with you, he will have a good time, I know. I wish that there was a way for me to spend a little time up there. Just doesnt seem to work out.

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This is Gramps in Korea.

 

Take care of yourselves. Ill write you in Canada.

 

Your Son
Bill

P.S. The fudge was good, in case I didnt tell you- Everyone in the barracks liked it too (too much)

April 6, 1954 William Shepard to his parents

16 April 54

Dear Dick & Dad,

Received your letter yesterday. Even if I am out of ink, Ill write. Lois has probably kept you informed of what little news I have.

Work is  not very heavy. When I get my files straightened out the way I like them I wont have too much to do. That is, unless I get another job too.

The time goes fast enough, as there is plenty to do. I seem to be getting 9-10 hours sleep every night & feel like a million. The food is very good. Weather is typical spring weather. In fact it is hot today.

I have met quite a few people I knew previously, but that is to be expected

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expected. Ive been in the service almost 12 years now.

I suppose that you will be going to Canada soon. It will be time to fish in a few weeks!

When I get home next year it should be about April 1. If it isnt too cold I would like for Lois & I to go up for a week or 10 days. I cant remember when we have gone on a trip by outselves. Its our own fault I suppose because we were parents so young.

I hope that you & dad are feeing OK. Take it easy. Ill write gain sooner that you think! Not a year between letters any more!

Goodbye for now
Bill

March 28, 1954 William Shepard to parents

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28 March 54

Dear Dick & Dad:

Things have slowed down enough for me to write a letter now. I have been managing to write Lois, and that is about all.

I had a good trip over, leaving 17 March and arriving on the 20th. I rode in a Lockheed Constellation, which is one of the more luxurious planes. We stopped 6 hours in Honolulu and one hour on Wake Island. I spent three days in Japan and arrived in Rosia[?] on 24 March.

Was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Wing at Osass Kova[?]. They call this base K-55. I am communications — Electronics Staff Office for the wing. They have F-86s, however, I am flying C-47s and letting the young fellows have the jets.

I am just settled down now and ready to put in my time and today is Sunday, so Ill close to go to church.

Bill