If you have been following along for the past two months, you might remember that Ruth M. is my grandfather’s sister. You also might recall that he hated his name. No one except his mother called him Roscoe. His family and friends called him Jake. Ruth had the privilege of being the only girl among six brothers. She also was born right in the middle: 3 older brothers and 3 younger ones.
Ruth was married to Earl Mutcher and they had one daughter Romaine who in 1942 was 15. The Mutchlers lived in Wilmington, Illinois. Earl was a locomotive engineer at the Styro Mine. Wilmington is about 65-70 miles away from Kentland to the northwest. Ordinarily, this probably wasn’t too bad of a trip by car. With Gladys being almost 8 months pregnant, the trip might not have been too pleasant. The trip wouldn’t have been much longer than a trip into Lafayette which is about 50 miles. Note to my readers: Keep this distance in mind because my father was born at the hospital in Lafayette. Because of rationing, a national speed limit was imposed of 35 miles per hour. On top of that, considering that car suspension wasn’t as great then as it is today, I don’t think Gladys took Ruth up on her offer to come visit (plus I already know she didn’t).
We will hear from Ruth a few more times during the war as well as hear about her. Even though my grandfather’s family was spread out a bit, they still managed to stay in touch.
Aug. 11, 1942
Dear Gladys & boys,
Had a letter from Jake yesterday Glad to know that he made the trip O.K. Got your letter to last + intended writing right away but didn’t get it done. In Jake’s letter he had the stamps I am sending on to you. I think he probably intended sending them to you + by mistake put them in my letter. Any way I’m sending them on to you. I have written him to + am going downtown
(page 2) to mail the letters. Also had a letter from Mom yesterday. She says she feels better than she has for some time.
Romaine is so happy today. Her scab came off this morning + she says her operation is officially over now.
I ironed this morning also baked a cake. We are having a church supper tonight, have to go down there to work this afternoon. I sure wish you + the boys
(page 3) were here for a few weeks. Earl says to tell you that if you need anything you have only to call us + if it is anything that we can do we will surely do it so remember that + don’t worry along by yourself about things that we can help you with. I have always said + still maintain that you + Jake are two of the bravest people that I ever saw,
(page 4) I must hurry along now but will try + write more later. Let us hear from you + if there is a chance + you feel that you are able, do come over. Love from us all
P.S. I didn’t say anything to Jake about the stamps. Was sure he meant them for you.