May 25, 1951 Lois via Ken to in-laws

 

May 25, 1951
Lois Shepard
march A.F.B. Calif.

Dear Dick

I am writing [son Kenneth]  for mother because she has a sore arm. She has been in bed almost a week. Daddy, Sue and I have to do the work. She may have an operation. It is a sac of calsium on the shoulder bone pressing against the bone. It has been pretty painful for her.

We went swimming last Saterday.

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David went in  for his first time. He just loved it.

School will be out on the first of June. And if mothers feeling better we’ll have alot of fun swimming and going on picnics.

Alan is eating fine and is a good baby. David is talking a lot now and is just as ornery as ever.

Daddy says he’ll make some woman a good wife.

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We are glad you got our flowers and that you enjoyed them.

Love Lois

P.S. Just time for a word, Dick. Lois’s arm is better. I took her to the hospital thursday and they tapped the shoulder socket, drawing off puss & calcium water. She is feeling much better today. The irritation was pressing the nere and was almost unbearable. I expect her to be OK in several weeks. Will write when I have more time. Love to all.
Bill

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Early 1951 William Shepard to parents

 

Electronics Station
Headquarters 15th Air Force
March Air Force Base, Cal

Dear Dick & Dad:

Here is my quarterly letter. Everyone here is fine Alan is gaining weight and very soon will be 4#. He reminds us so much of you Dad. He has the same configuration. Dave is growing so fast now. He is talking a little and runs us all ragged. I believe that he has almost doubled his weight in the last five months. Sue us doing very well in school and is also growing up. She and Kenny do the evening dishes all the time now. Kenny is the same as usual. His latest obsession is to be tied up with a rope and then to see how quick he can get loose. I cant tie him up any more, he seems to wiggle out every time.

Lois recuperated quickly from having Alan. I guess he was so small that it wasnt so complicated as usual, although Margaret Johnston,

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says that Lois had a serious trouble & we are sure lucky to have Alan.

I have been traveling quite a bit lately, but hope to start staying at home next month. In spare time I work with the radio station, ride with the kids, and shoot a little.

The weather has been fine so I wont bore you with details. I think that you would be much better off here in the south west Dad. It never gets cold and is dry all the time.

I hope that we can stay here long enough for you to visit us. As soon as you can travel let us know and we can have everything ready. I expect to stay here for a while. We have some new pricutes to send you in a few days.

Goodby for now.

You Son
Bill.

November 27, 1950 Lois Shepard to in-laws

Nov. 27, 1950

Dear Dick & Dad,

Hope you aren’t snowed under but by all reports I guess you are. Eve called Bob last nite & it was pretty bad in Dayton. She left this morning. Sorta hated to see her go. One reason I haven’t written is that we’ve been busy & pretty much on the go as we wanted her to see a little before she left. Our furniture arrived Monday, almost a week after we arrived. Everything OK, but our big mahogeney coffee table & our magazine rack. The coffee table has a crack across one corner & the magazine rack was cracked on the side. Maybe we can collect Both can be fixed I guess.

The weather here is beautiful. Except for the 1st weekend & it dripped continuously then. Not exactly a rain but awful thick fog. And that’s when we drove

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into Los Angeles & Hollywood. We did get to see a little tho. Then Thanksgiving day we drove down to San Juan Capistrano It is beautiful country down there. Saw the Pacific ocean. Tho the Caribbean is prettier.

Bill took the kids horseback riding yesterday. They enjoyed it but Bill is a little sore today. He’s Staff Duty Officer today & won’t be home tonite.

We do like one house very much but I’ve still a lot to do. I’ve got a woman coming tomorrow to clean 75¢ an hour she charges. I guess I’ll have her one day a week & then she baby sits too. She lives almost across the street so it’s handy.

We had her Sat. nite & went to a dinner dance at the Club. Haven’t seen any of the folks that

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we knew at Ramey yet. The Schwaderers live in San Bernardino & it’s quite a ways. It certainly is handy to the field here. Almost as close as living on it would be

I feel sort of let down today. Partly cause Evelyn left & partly cause I cut Davids hair. Poor little stinker. He isn’t the same boy. He didn’t mind a bit & sure looks like Bill now. It was so cute when it curled but now it won’t. He looks cute but it’s such a change.

Evelyn gave me another Toni [perm] Friday. Looks pretty good this time. I still could get into my pink formal & that’s what I wore Sat. nite but I won’t be able to wear it again till after Minnie arrives.

Kenny & Sue seem to like their school They have a cafeteria & eat there lunch there  20¢ a day same as Minerva.

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They’ve learned to cross the street here OK & can go to the grocery for me. I hope to get started on my Xmas shopping this week or next but it just doesn’t seem like it’s that time of year yet.

I haven’t done much today & should get busy. We just stuffed things away to get them out of the road & now I have to get them arranged. I’m to get my stove put in this weekend. Be glad to have it to use again. I’ll write again.

Love
Lois

October 1, 1950 William Shepard to parents

1 October 1950

Dear Mother, Herman, Ruth & Ed:

Did I include everyone? well I promised to write so here goes. In case you havent heard, I will give you all the news I know.

Arrived here early Wednesday morning after a fine trip. I just received my assignment as Wire Officer for the 15th Air Force. The 15th has the Strategic Air Command fields in the western U. S. Pacific, Japan etc., also some in England. It looks as if I will be traveling some but not too much as my job is a staff job. General “Rosy” McDonnel is my commanding general. By the way please do not at any time release any information of my duties etc, to any newspaper as SAC is very strict about it.

The base is situated very much like Tuscon, desert with mountains around it. The Sierra’s are in the back yard here. The climate is warm by day cold by night. It hasnt rained for some time here,

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and as I understand it, it does not rain too often. Irrigation seems to supply water and when you buy property you get so many water shares with it.

I am going to have Lois try to sell our house and move out in about a month. In case we have to loose too much on the place we will keep it and rent it.

Housing seems to be plentiful here. About a hundred homes for rent in areas near March field. We wont have any trouble finding a home.

It is hard to say how permanent my job will be, but it looks as steady as any in the Air Force today so I guess the family will be better off out here.

How about some news from Canada?

Bill

August 7, 1949 William Shepard to parents

 

Aug 7, 1949

Hello Dick & Dad

Lois is busy filling out birth announcements & feeding the baby.

He was born tuesday afternoon at 2:15PM, while I was flying from St Lucia to Ramey. We named him David Mont. Weighed 7# 8 oz.

Lois stayed in the hospital four days. You know they have a new system now. The mother gets up right away.

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Lois had less trouble with David than either K W or Sue. She is feeling fine now, and Dave is getting along OK too.

Kenny & Sue both have a little touch of fever, nothing serious. They are better this evening.

We are all settled down in our new quarters now. We have four bedrooms & three baths. For once we can all sit in the mornings.

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Not much news other than the baby. It has been raining quite a lot here lately.

Kenny & Sue received their $5 and want me to thank Dad. It made them happiest because it came from home.

K W has been getting a little work in the evenings baby sitting, and you know what a miser he is. It tickles him to pieces to earn money. He spends

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half his time at the swimming pool now and swims like a fish. He plays on the high diving board & swims in the deep end of the pool all of the time. Don’t worry about him as it is a small pool & has two guards. I wouldn’t worry about him anyhow, because he can take care of himself. You almost have to see it to believe it. Sue is swimming a little now too.

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Dont plan on it too much but I just might get a trip home in about a month. Just overnight but that wold be nice.

Well Ill write again, perhaps sooner than the last time.

Your son
Bill.

June 30, 1949 Lois Shepard to in-laws

June 30, 1949

Dear Dick-

Bill is off again this morning for Vernom[?] Field. He’ll stay two weeks this time unless I call him home. I rather doubt it tho cause most everyone down here goes overdue. Just 4 wks to go so it isn’t too long. I’ve a few things to get yet & a couple more things to make.

Sue is still asleep & Kenny had dinner over at Eric’s & spent the nite. The new swimming pool is open now & it is really wonderful. Kenny has been every day & I took Sue Mon. & Tues. Mrs. Crocker (Kenny’s teacher) had a party for them all again

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yesterday at the Pool. It is really beautiful & the Club really will be nice when they finish. They are redecorating it entirely.

Dick-I’m enclosing $2 & want you to get me a few things & send me. I want 4-4 inch zippers in white for neck openings. Not like a dress placket. The kind that open at the top. And I want 5 nice glass buttons as big around as a penny. And a couple of cards of little white flat peach buttons for Susies dress. About this size [circle drawn on page]. A little bigger than shirt buttons also a couple of yards of white

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feather boning. If $2.00 isn’t enough let me know. I don’t get into Aqualilla now & they don’t have the buttons I want anyway I need the zippers for some shorts I’m going to make. They open down each side.

Went to O.B. yesterday* & I haven’t gained a lb. in 3 wks & only 2# the last two months so I guess I’m not doing too bad & I don’t stick to my diet religiously either. I’ve gained 15# altogether. I have to go to O.B. every week now.

Well thats about all for now.

Love
Lois

*NOTE: Lois is pregnant with their third child.

July 29, 1948 Lois Shepard to In-laws

letter_shepardl_to_shepardwr_1948_07_29_p01and04

July 29, 1948

Dear Dick & Dad –

I’m writing this with my new Parker “51” [awesome fountain pen!] desk pen Bill gave me for our 10th anniversary. He didn’t go to British Guiana after all so we took Lt. & Mrs. Hodkins to the Club for dinner. Flowers & candle light, Filet Mignon & Champagne. It was very nice, then we stayed & played Bingo [page2] ‘Course we didn’t win anyting and Bill won last week. Two silver Ronson table lighters.

I’ve really been working yesterday & today – cleaning closets etc. Things were getting in a mess – And there is no cooperation from the family. My suit-cases were covered with mil-dew & so I had to air everything.

We are to go to a dance & dinner tonite [page 3] for the squadron. Or at least put in our appearance. It’s an enlisted mens party. Then tomorrow nite is a costume dance at the Club. Always something to go to & not nearly enough to do it all.

Kenny & Sue are fine Kenny started another letter to you & I’ll have to get him to finish it this time. [page 4] While Mercedes does my lunch dishes I think I’ll take a nap – then I’ll have to bake something for dinner.

Love
Lois

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May 29, 1948 Lois and Bill to Shepards

 

May 29, 1948

Dear Folks –

Guess I shouldn’t have sent that last letter to Canada. But I thot you’d still be there. So if the letter missed you all together – yes we got the package & thanks loads. Here’s $3 to cover cost of the items. If it isn’t enough let me know.

Just got the children to bed & not anything going on tonite so we’ll spend a quiet evening at home. Bill got back from Trinidad last nite. He’d been there since Wednesday.

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It so hard to find much to write about. We just do the same things over & over.

The kids will finish school next week & our trunks have finally arrived. Tho they haven’t been delivered yet. Hope to get them Tuesday. I’ve forgotten what I do have.

We are well into the rainy season now & it rains & rains – everyday. We do manage a few hours of sunshine but things in the house are getting musty. I’ll endeaver to get Bill to write a little in here.

Love Lois

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Hello Dick & Dad:

Not much news as Lois had mentioned. Did she tell you that I took her up in an AT-6 last week? We were up about 1 1/2 hours and covered about half the island. Lois liked it very much and I think that she will make a junior birdman.

The kids have stayed in some lately. The rains have arrived. Ill try go get off a better letter next week.

Love
Bill

December 30, 1947 William Shepard to everyone

 

Tuesday, Dec 30

Hello Everyone:

This is my last letter to Trenton Ill, barring any change in plans.

I just rec’d your letter  of the 25th telling about X-mas. It was just like having Christmas, hearing about it. Im so happy that the children had a good time.

Ill be going out to supper on New Years Eve. Capt Larsen is having a turkey! Reception at the club on New Years day for Col. Hanson. Aside from that Ill probably spend the rest of the vacation in our quarters. I have had a good rest, I really didn’t need one. Been reading and studying most the time. Go to the cinema every time it changes.

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I think that I have told you about everything that I can. Just as a check Ill go over a few things

  1. If you cant leave the car at the N.O. Port of Embark. make arrangements with a local garage to deliver it to the port upon our demand. Store it with them temporarily until invitational orders are forthcoming. We are jumping the gun a little, but down here they overlook it. Everyone comes down this way & they say its OK. All that is needed to ship the car is my personal transfer orders & you have them.
  2. If I cant meet you at San Jan check with the information office of Pan American at the air terminal in San Juan for a message. If no message come on up to Borinquen via taxi. Our quarters in 169B on Circle F. Drive.

That should take care of it. Ill try very hard to meet you in San Juan.

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but I may not be able to.

You wont need a passport as this is a US possession . In Trinidad, you would have needed one.

By the way our residence phone if 6278 my office phone is 5103 or 2162. In front of our house it says. Lt. Palmer, they haven’t changed the sign yet.

Tomorrow I must get paid! Thats first. Then get a commissary card., order another table, desk and a few more chairs from the Q.M. for our quarters. Thank goodness we dont have to pay for them.

The refrigerator shelves are being re-finished and the[n] electrician is going to go over the stove tomorrow.

Ill start stocking up on groceries this week end and perhaps by the time you

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arrive the larder will be well filled. Ill try to find a nice set of dishes. I hate to buy cheap Ill try to find some in San Juan.

When you arrive we can live with things as they are for a week or so, until you get organized. The place is a little bare without drapes (you know me) but it has enough furniture and it is clean.

Take your time and enjoy the trip as much as you can. If we don’t enjoy traveling we had better quit now, so see if you cant make the trip and have a good time! Ill be waiting for you.

Love
Bill

P.S. Dont loose your sense of humor!

December 28, 1947 Bill Shepard to parents

This is a set of two letters. One written to each of his parents on the same day. Very poor spelling of places, and a just a little bit of that condescending white attitude toward the Puerto Ricans.

 

December 28, 1947

Dear Dick:

I am happy to hear that you will be with Lois & the kids until they leave. I know that it will help so much.

I hope that all of you had a fine Christmas. We were unorganized by the moving around but I think you will all understand. The main thing I guess is how you feel anyhow, and I want to tell you that I think the world and all, of my family.

I received your & dads package in time for Xmas and I want

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to thank you for the presents.

I am living in our quarters now. I am trying to fix them up a bit. The goverment furnishes stove, refrigerator, table & chairs for kitchen. For bedrooms they furnish beds  chests of drawers. In the living room-dining room they furnish a large table (seats 12) chairs, desk, and a type of bed that makes into a sofa. (We have 2 of them). So with a bit of arranging and some sewing of slip covers, we will make out O.K.

I hope you enjoy the trip. Be sure to see New Orleans if you go there. Take good care of yourself.

Love
Bill

December 28, 1947

Dear Dad.

Everything is settled down now. Lois will soon be here, with the children. I am sure happy that Dick is going with them to New Orleans. It is a big help to Lois.

I have quarters here, and they are very fine. Although we have only 2 bedrooms the place is large. The goverment furnishes adequate furniture including 2 beds that make into sofas in the living room.

The climate here is ideal, 75° to 80° all the time. Palm trees & jungle. I guess that we will be here

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until about June 1950, unless something unforseen occurs.

Right now I want to go on record as inviting you down in 1948. I think that the trip and the sights here about would be interesting. It is a very quick trip by air, and if you want to come by boat, it takes only two or three days. Perhaps we can all be together next Christmas?

Dad, I want you to take my gun to the gunsmith and have him put a poly-choke on it, then ship it to me. We have skeet club here, and I could use it, if It wouldnt be too much bother for you to have it fixed & shipped.

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The houses here are built for the climate. They are low-bungalows, built of steel reinforced concrete with tile floors. The windows have slot type shutters, like a venetian blind, only they are very heavy. All windows are screened with no glass in them. We have a utility room in the rear, with a 66 gal. hot water heater (electric) and double wash tubs. In front we have a large screened in porch.

They just finished repainting all the woodwork before I moved in, I have built 4 lawn chairs and now Im banging together some bookshelves and a few other odds

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and ends.

The school-house is a large one and is 1/2 block away, as is the shopping district. There is a shoe repair, barber shop, restaurant, post exchange, theatre and even an ice-cream factory less than a block away.

The children have a playground — almost in the back yard, and everyone here has children.

I am working as the telephone construction & maintenance officer for the Caribbean area. It is work I know, so I enjoy it. I have several line gangs and cable splicing crews working and I get to travel quite a bit, keeping them going.

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I have been in Jamica and Trinidad already, and I will be off to Antiqua and British Guina soon for a few days.

You know we got all these bases for 99 years from the British in exchange for those 50 old destroyers during the beginning of the war.

We have telephone systems on all of them and my crews maintain them from this headquarters. Bounquin field is the headquarters for the Antilles Dept.

The hardest thing I have to deal with is the Spanish language. I hope to pick it up in a few months. I can make myself understood only with a lot of hand motions.

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These natives are exasparating. You explain what you want done to them, assuming they know some english They dont want to let you know how little they understand so they say “Si Si!” which means yes. So when you get back the work is done wrong and they are standing there grinning like chesecats* thinking they have it right.

Well. It will all work out OK. They have been getting along OK before I arrived so they will do OK when I leave.

I think that we will enjoy it here. I’ll write again later

Take good care of yourself

Your son
Bill

*maybe he meant Cheshire cats