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
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.
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.
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.
page 2 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
page 3 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.
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
page 3 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.
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.
[page 2] 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
[page 3] 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
[page 4] Well that about winds me up for tonight so will close for now. Love from Ruth & Herman
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.
[page 2] 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).
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
[page 2] 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.
[page 3] 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.