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!

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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

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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

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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.

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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.)

I saw HAMILTON

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.

Happy Thanksgiving.

P.S. I celebrate giving thanks on this day, not the genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of this continent.

Source: What’s this?https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-12-02-0252

April 7, 1957 Letter Herman Shepard to parents

Worthington Ohio
April 7 1957

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

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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.

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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.

March 7, 1957 Letter Herman Shepard to parents

Worthington Ohio.
March 7, 1957


Dear Dick & Dad:-


Ruth and I want to extend our congratulations on your Golden Wedding Anniversary. You two were never ones to talk a lot about your anniversary. In fact, I never knew just what day it was until we called you last Saturday. If we had thought about it, we could have made our trip down to help you celebrate at this time. Although we can not make the trip , you can be sure of one thing-our thoughts will be with you and wishing you all the happiness that you deserve.

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and another thing you can be sure of is that you’ve been the greatest parents in the world and I’m proud to be your son. May God bless and keep you.

We are enclosing a check so you can use it to buy something for your house, or for yourselves as you see fit. It’s only half as much as I would like to send, but maybe it will help. Don’t buy your everyday needs with it. But get something that you wouldn’t spend your own money for.

In case Dad is looking for his little knife, I want you to know I found it in one of my pockets after we got home and

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I can never think to write you about it. How is our old fishing buddy “Smitty”? Give him our regards, and tell him we hope the fishing is better now.

I don’t suppose any letter would be complete with out some comment on the weather-, the temperature here is now 25 degrees and a light snow is on the ground. After I called you last Saturday, I took a look at the thermometer and it was 16 degrees colder than what I told you. Well, that should make you feel good, so with that thought in mind, I’ll bring this to a close.

Love Ruth & Herm.

December 5, 1956 Herman Shepard to his parents

Worthington Ohio
Dec. 5, 1956

Dear Dick & Dad:-

Just a line to let you know we are OK and everything’s as usual. The weatherman has been very kind to us for the past few days but according to today’s forecast we are in for some colder weather & “stuff” I’ve been watching your Tampa reports and they look good to me, I’m surely glad you folk are down there to enjoy it.

Ruth and Charlie were here last Sunday and told us all about their trip and the house they bought. We were anxious to talk with them to find out all about what you folks have been doing, where and what kind of a house you rented, “you know the details.” You were lucky to get a nice place so quick-especially one large enough to hold your furniture. Also to be close to stores etc. I’ll bet you’ll be

page 2
spoiled when you change your own house unless you would be lucky again to get close to shopping facilities.

You may have to give up that convenience in order to get the location, house and price you want to pay. Let’s hope your luck holds out. Ruth & Charlie really must have gotten sand in their shoes to have bought a place already. As he won’t be able to retire for so long. We wish them luck and hope they will be able to keep it rented until they need it for themselves.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but we haven’t been up to see Lydia yet. I hope she is getting along O.K. Seems like there just isn’t enough time to go around. Ralph Kring and I went up to 22 W. Park last Sunday and got the table & top carrier so that I would say

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was the final act as far as 22 W. Park is concerned.

Have you folks been looking around any yet? Ruth O’Farrel said you were going to start soon. Sure wish we were looking for one down there. The orange blossoms smell a lot closer now than they did a week ago. The main reason is Rodenfels cut my commission $20.00 a month effective starting next month. It surely made me mad when there isn’t any reason for it. I could go on and gripe for twenty pages but it won’t do any good. We are top dealer in service volume in the Norwood zone plus the fact new cars are about $200 higher than last year and I haven’t heard of any other company cutting wages.

page 4
I was thinking maybe I could get a raise and look what I got. (Hardy Har Har)

I am enclosing the receipt for your check to Rodenfels so I hope everything is O.K. By the way how does the radio work? Are you able to pick up WLW? I imagine Dad listens to Peter Grant if you are able to get WLW.*

I’m just about out of news so till next time, I’ll close for now.
Love H.O. & ruth.

P.S. We have the birch wood in the fire place & basket and it’s so pretty we don’t want to burn it.

P.S.S. Ruth & I enjoyed Dads letter, why don’t you take turns writing now that you’re started that way. Good idea, yes.

* Peter Grant had many fans who listened to Cincinnati Radio WLW and later, watched him on TV on WLWT. Peter was a staple on WLW for years! He was also a regular on the Ruth Lyons show, and loved by viewers of all ages.

September 17, 1956 Letter Herman Shepard to parents

Worthington Ohio
Sept 17, 1956

Dear Dick & Dad:-

Just a line to let you know we are O.K. Elsie and Ralph were in last Monday night to bring us the “Black Diamond Cheese” which she presented to us as a gift “God bless her soul” They brought Charlie and his family along so we could meet them. I’ll bet that guy was a ‘circus’ from some of the things they told us. I would liked to seen him dragging that “pike” out on the shore over on Tunal Lake. They must have had a wonderful time. Elisie said she didn’t even want to come home, and they couldn’t keep from telling us how nice you and Dad were to them.

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Their pictures turned out very good. If they had been in color they would have mine beat a mile.

The fishing at Lake Erie has not been so good the past couple of Sundays. Those darn perch are getting more stubborn all the time, they wont bit on just any old minnow, it has to be a “shinner” if you please and they are hard to get. Week ago Sunday we had a couple here from Worthington with us and the lake was too rough to go out on so we fished in the harbor and caught a few little perch and blue gill. Last Sunday the lake was OK but the fish wouldn’t bit so what are you agona due

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Have you had any news from Simon in regards to his taking one of the lots? In case you come home before I get to write again bring all the necessary information and papers with you for me to start the process of getting the one next to you.

Are you folks going to Florida this winter? Lots of people are asking and I’m telling them “yes” We are trying to get Elsie & Ralph to go along and drive with us if we got to make the trip. It wouldnt cost as much as flying although I rather fly its so much fun that way [he wouldn’t say that now!!] and a wonderful time soner.
over

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Well that about winds me up for tonight so will close for now.
Love from Ruth & Herman

P.S. I still haven’t sold the cottage.

September 7, 1956 Letter Herman Shepard To His Parents

Worthington Ohio
Sept. 7, 1956

Dear Dick & Dad:-

I’m a little late getting this letter written, but better late than never. Ruth & I enjoyed Simon & Hazel’s visit here, they didn’t have any trouble finding the house or nothin. After we had our supper we all loaded into our wagon and toured the city I took them to some of the old places that Simon was familiar with, he said he would be lost if I turned him loose. We didn’t have much tiime to talk but he did tell us about he and Dad getting lost back in White Fish Bay, Boy when two old snake hunters get lost that is “sumpin,” Simon said they weren’t lost but just couldn’t find their way out (Hardy, har, har) We thought the water system was a pretty good deal too. First thing you know you’ll

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have inside toilets. I’ll bet it was no small job to get that outfit over from Jack’s Camp and installed but Simon is just the guy who could do it. You must have cracked the whip to get all the things done while they were there. Simon and Hazel surely like it up there as he was telling me about wanting a lot.

How is the road situation progressing? Simon said that Mr. Tapp was going to extend the road farther toward you place right away and that it would possibley come to within a half mile of “Shepards Point. I suppose Unk. Ralph and Elise will have all the dope relayed to us by the time you read this. I hope they had good weather while they were there. The weather has been real nice here only a little on the cool side for

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this time of year. It’s been too cold for me to go “Water Skiing” since we came back. We have been catching a lot of med size ring perch the last couple of weekends 77 one Sunday and 108 over the Labor Day weekend. Mary Ann and Bill were up with us Labor Day and enjoyed the fishing very much. Neither one of them ever fished any. They really got a “charge” out of catching the perch as they were hitting pretty good. They are getting into their house tomorrow so we’ll be alone after that. We’ve enjoyed having them as Mary Ann is as nice as they come and Bill is a big clown.

Ruth is having her Bridge Clu next Thursday night and is working herself silly trying to get the hoseu in condidtion for the girls inspection. After they leave the place will smell like

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a pool room (cigaretts) and will look like a hog pen, but a least Ruth will have the satisfaction of knowing it was clean to start with. We heard you had an offer on the house but the people wanted posssession now how did you come out?

I would still like to have the lot next to you but would like to know more about the road situation and if Simon is going to get one before we say a definite “yes” I would like to get it before the price goes any higher so keep us informed of any developemnts along that line. Maybe we could get the paper work started and sort of string it along as long as possible. A kind of delaying action. You know

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what I mean, in order to get in on the present price etc. We got our pictures back and most of them were good. I got one real good one of Aubrey Falls and the rest were under exposed, why I don’t know.

We are planning on going up to Westerville some evening after Ruths Bridge Club to see Lydia and check on Aunt Dosh. Burch is getting along fine he says it sure is nice to be able to take a good “shit” and enjoy it, and I’ll bet he just aint kidding. Burch told me that Ada, Charlie and Chuck were coming up this week end so Charlie must be feeling better. He says Dosh is also feeling better than for

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some time. We haven’t seen or heard anything of Bess but I suppose she is on her vacation by now.

I received a letter from “Bill ” the other day in answer to the one I wrote while in Canada, not much news just what they are doing etc. Well looks like I’m about run down so will sign off for now.

Love Ruth & Herm.

P.S. Thanks for sending our junk home and Ruth said to tell you we still have 21 lbs of Canada butter and 1 load of Thessalon bread. We have been kinda saving the butter back. If you have space when (over)

you come home bring us abot a dozen loaves of wheat bread, sliced and wrapped etc. We can put it in the freezer you know.

August 27, 1956 Letter Bill Shepard to Parents

27 August 1856

Dear Dick & Dad:

I hope that the weather is better in Thessalon than at Moses Lake right now. All day it has been drizzling a cold rain. We cant complain too much, as it seldom rains.

I have been busy building a 5 foot high picket fence around our yard to keep Bonnie & the boys in. Hope to have it finished in a few weeks.

Havent been doing much fishing or boating since we came back from vacation. Two weeks of it must have worn me out. We did have a wonderful time though. Lis has written you about it, i’m sure.

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I wonder what time you are going south this year? Ill try to get a cross- county flight and come down for a week-end when you get settled.

The children are getting ready for school now. K W & Sue to high school. Dave to 2nd grade. Alan will go to Kindergarten. We dont want to push him too much. Tomorrow Lois & I are taking him to a hospital in Tacoma Wash. to have another eye examiniation. We hope that an operation will not be necessary.

I hope you & dad are feeling well Dick. Ill close now & get a letter off to H. O. (Ill shock him too).

Love
Bill

August 21, 1956 Herman Shepard To Parents

Worthington Ohio
August 21 1956

Dear Dick & Dad:-

Just a line to let you know we are O.K. and getting back into the grind of things. Mary Ann and Bill are with us now and I expect they will be for a couple of weeks yet. We were on a neighborhood picnic to night and got to meet a lot of our neighbors for the first time. Of course I had to tell them all about our wonderful vacation. Ruth said look at the full moon tonite and we wondered if you were looking at it to comming up between the Island and the Cove. It is so cool here we turned the furnace on last night and it is down to 52º again tonight 11PM.

Cliff Burch came back to work yesterday and again today, seems to be doing O.K. says he feels

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like it was worth all the trouble soon as the soreness is over.

We went up to the cottage last week end and found everything OK except the grass was about to take over, the lake was rough etc. so we just took it easy, cut & trimmed the grass, cleaned the cottage etc. and just visited in general. Too bad about Frank but we were more of less expecting the worst.

Run[?] & Elizabeth were up there so we got all the information. Elizabeth is still pretty much upset. She wants to sell his boat etc. and I expect she will be selling the cottage too.

She gave me his hip boots which I use so much in taking care of the boat etc.

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We haven’t been out to see Elsie & Ralph yet but expect to get in touch with them soon. I forgot to mention in my other letter but we see each gained 3 lbs. I though it would be at least 10 for me.

The peaches are just coming on the market at the lake and we got 2 peck for eating & pie baking purposes. Well that about all.

You’ve had it. Love
Ruth &H.O.